Iran's Parliament and Shrine attacked by terrorists killing 12 people

by SUSIE FISCHER June 12, 2017

On Wednesday, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran's parliament and the Shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini killing 12 and injuring many people. The terrorist also held the Parliament under siege for one hour, which led to 4 of the attackers being killed by the Iran's security forces.

IS have taken responsibility for the attack while this has not yet been verified.

This would be the first time that IS, a Sunni jihadist group, has managed to successfully attack Shiite majority Iran. Islamic State is vocal about its view that the Shiites are apostates. Islamic State is also engaged with Iran-backed forces in both Iraq and Syria. IS had begun a series of propaganda against Iran in the past year encouraging attacks on Iran.

Those who observed the attack describe that the attackers were dressed in women's clothing and entered through a public entrance in the building. The Shrine of the founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini was the second site of attack. Several grenades and magazines for automatic weapons were recovered from the scene. The suicide bomber was reported to be a woman.

One gunman spoke in Arabic and stated, "Oh God, thank you... Do you think we will leave? No! We will remain, God willing,", which is a slogan that was created by ISIS spokesman,  Abu Mohammad al-Adnani.

Al-Adnani was killed last year in Syria. The intelligence ministry claimed that they foiled a third attack, but they did not provide any details. The parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, called this action a cowardly act. According to the analyst, Charlie Winter, this attack has major implications for the region by intensifying the battle between Sunnis and Shiites.

The attack in Tehran follows a call by IS leaders for more terrorist attacks during the month of Ramadan. This is the fourth attack by IS since May 26th when Ramadan began. Some experts believe that as ISIS loses its control in Iraq and Syria, it will continue to spread its insurgency abroad and use its tactics and to prove their power and legitimacy.

The attack in Tehran is the first successful attack by Islamic State in the country. Historically, Iran has maintained a relationship with Sunni jihadist groups, including Islamic State's predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq which largely spared it from being targeted. In 2012, David S. Cohen, then under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence stated that Iran allowed Al Qaeda to move money, weapons and personnel through its territory and in exchange avoided being targeted.

Iran's support for Sunni jihadists may have emboldened those who have now turned their back on Tehran.

Iranian regime supporters however are blaming the attack on the Saudi government. Hamidreza Taraghi, an Iranian analyst close to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei claimed, "ISIS ideologically, financially and logistically is fully supported and sponsored by Saudi Arabia - they are one and the same."

The timing of this attack is critical since it occurred on the heel of major tension in the Persian Gulf. On Monday, Saudi Arabia and seven others states cut ties with Qatar due to its support of terrorist groups and supporting Iran. The attack in Iran could help to buttress Iran's claims that it too is a victim of terrorism, which the regime uses to downplay its own role as a state sponsor of terror.

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