The attacks come only two days after the Gulf monarchies decided to declare de facto war on Qatar – Iran’s main asset in the Sunni world (and coincidentally, host to the Pentagon’s largest oversees base) – and a month after Saudi’s deputy crown prince declared he will “take the battle to Iran”.
Do the math.
After the terrorist outrages inflicted on Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Manchester and London in recent months, the Islamic State turned its attention for the first time to the heartland of Shiite Islam, Tehran. Wednesday morning, June, 7, ISIS gunmen and suicide bombers hit two key regime targets, the Parliament building and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, a shrine dedicated to the founder of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
At least twelve fatalities were reported in the legislature in an attack that turned into a siege and many wounded at the Khomeini shrine.
Bands of terrorist gunmen and suicide bombers struck both sites. It turns out that in addition to three or four gunmen, there were at least three suicide bombers. Two detonated their bomb vests in the parliament building and one at the Khomeini tomb.
debkafile’s Tehran sources report that the situation in the building is not clear. There were earlier reports of hostage-taking by the shooters and negotiations for their release. It is possible that the third bomber was holding the hostages when he blew himself up, causing an unknown number of casualties.
As authorities in Tehran began counting the dead and wounded, the regime was forced to ask itself how an armed band of ISIS terrorists was able to penetrate southern Tehran and reach parliament and most cherished shrine. It is no wonder that Iran’s official outlets made haste to deny ISIS’ responsibility, although the Islamic State quickly claimed its “soldiers” had carried out the attack.
Facing hard questions are the powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, which holds the reins of government, and Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who is currently leading a fight on ISIS forces in eastern Syria.
By a single attack, ISIS punctured the fundamental Iranian doctrine, which holds that its domination of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq would provide the Islamic Republic with a belt for safeguarding its national security. This belt is composed of three layers – international Shiite militias, the Syrian army and Hizballah. It was designed to insulate Iran from hostile incursion by the Islamic State.
This modus operandi of this doctrine centers on the use of pro-Iranian forces as surrogates to fight outside Iranian borders in the pursuit of its objectives and strategic aspirations, while the Revolutionary Guards were responsible for safeguarding the regime against opponents from within.
Wednesday’s attack showed the world and Muslims everywhere that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no panacea for cutting off the long terrorist arm of ISIS, any more than London, Paris or San Bernardino.