June 30, 2017

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Iran cracks down on Salafists in wake of Tehran attacks (Fazel Hawramy, June 30, 2017, Al Monitor)

The five young attackers who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in a video released shortly after the attacks appear to have traveled from Kermanshah province to Tehran undetected in early June. The rare but deadly strikes targeted two of the most guarded locations in the capital: the parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

How these men obtained firearms and explosives to carry out the attacks is not clear, but Iranian officials have admitted that the country's security establishment was taken by surprise. On June 27, parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission held its second closed-door session to examine the June 7 attacks. "In this session, the new plan to maintain the security of the parliament and the ways to confront future possible incidents were discussed and necessary measures were taken," the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency reported about the meeting. Iran has held IS directly responsible for the attacks, but it ultimately blamed the United States and "regressive" regimes in the Persian Gulf region for supporting the group. As a symbolic gesture, on June 18 Iran fired several missiles from the Kurdish areas in the west of the country, where the attackers came from, at an IS position in northeast Syria. "Our enemies should know that Tehran is not London or Paris; this was a small measure, and if they make another mistake, we will strike them with deadlier attacks," said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Since the June 7 attacks, security forces have taken no chances and have rounded up a large number of individuals mainly associated with Salafist groups in a bid to crack down on their activities, sources inside Iran and human rights activists from outside the country told Al-Monitor.

The Shi'a and Christians are fighting the same war.

Posted by at June 30, 2017 4:51 PM

  

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