The Supreme Leader has tried to rally Iran’s public following Wednesday’s attacks in Tehran on the Parliament building and the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
Twelve people were killed and 42 were wounded in the attacks. Four assailants — dressed as women, according to the Interior Ministry — got into the Parliament complex and moved around the main building for hours. In southern Tehran, two attackers entered the Khomeini mausoleum, with a female suicide bomber detonating her explosives.
Footage of the moment that attackers entered the Parliament building:
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) June 8, 2017
The assault, the first in an Iranian city in years, was claimed by the Islamic State. The group — which regularly takes credit for any incident, whether or not it is involved — did not offer support for the assertion, but Reza Seifollahi, deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said all six attackers were Iranian and had joined ISIS.
Speaking later on Wednesday to university students, Ayatollah Khamenei asserted:
The Iranian nation is moving forward. These fireworks that happened today will have no impact on the people’s resolve. They are too weak to affect the will of the Iranian nation and that of the officials.
Iranian nation moves on, today the fumbling with firecrackers in #Tehran, won't affect the will of our nation.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 7, 2017
On Sunday, Khamenei had verged on boasting when he said, in the wake of last Friday’s attacks in London that killed seven people, that Europe had brought ISIS attacks upon it because of interventions in the Middle East. The Supreme Leader did not refer to Iran’s own interventions, including its support of the Assad regime in Syria.
In an allusion to Iran’s military presence in Iraq and Syria, the Supreme Leader declared yesterday that if Iran had not stood against the “hotspot of terrorism in the region”, the Islamic Republic would have faced more severe problems. He said, “Terrorists will be uprooted, God willing.”
Khamenei said that, if losing hope was an option, Iranians would have done so during the Iraq-Iran War from 1980 to 1988.
The Supreme Leader also took the opportunity to fire another shot at the Rouhani Government, continuing his assault upon any Iranian involvement in the UN’s Education 2030 agenda.
Khamenei maintains that hostile powers dominate UNESCO, which has set the agenda to improve access to and standards of global education: “Even if some parts of it were not openly against Islam, a nation’s education system must not be written outside the country.”
President Rouhani and his advisors had cooperated with UNESCO, including meetings with its head Irina Bukova. But, during last month’s Presidential campaign, Khamenei criticized Government officials, including the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, which approved the cooperation with UNESCO.
Rouhani has now stepped back from Education 2030, with Iranian State media declaring that “submitting to the UNESCO agenda would require Iran to share its educational information, which could end up in wrong hands”.
Rouhani Stresses Unity
President Rouhani issued a message condemning the “cowardly” attacks and vowing that they would be successfully resisted: “The Iranian nation…will prove once again that it will crush any plot or scheme by ill-wishers through unity and solidarity and its powerful security structure.”
Rouhani emphasized his long-standing line of a world cooperating against extremism and violence, but also declared that Iran’s enemies had attacked because of their anger at the turnout in the May 19 President election and to “cover up their failures in the region, the collapse of Islamic values and public dissatisfaction in their countries.”
Revolutionary Guards Blame Saudi Arabia and US
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps immediately blamed Saudi Arabia and the US for attacks.
In a statement, the Guards noted that the attacks came less than two weeks after Trump visited the kingdom and met “the rulers of a regional reactionary regime” which the IRGC said has been supporting “Takfiri terrorists”.
The Guards argued that this indicates that Washington and Riyadh “have a hand in the bestial attacks”. They said they will retaliate.
The Rouhani Government later distanced itself from the claim. Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said, “In this case, since we do not want to make slogans and unsubstantiated remarks, it is [too] early to say that it was from Saudi Arabia. We cannot yet make a judgement and therefore we are studying the subject.”
— Rohollah Faghihi (@FaghihiRohollah) June 8, 2017
Trump Undermines State Department’s Condolences
Donald Trump undermined the expression of US condolences, given by the State Department, to victims of the attacks.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said thoughts and prayers were being sent to the Iranian people, adding, “The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world.”
But Trump’s statement omitted any expression of sorrow and cast blame on the Islamic Republic, “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded angrily:
Repugnant WH statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients.Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 8, 2017
TOP PHOTO: Iranian security forces deploy outside the Parliament building, June 7, 2017