Tehran, Iran. In quite possibly the lowest point in US diplomatic history, US President Donald John Trump took advantage of an ISIS attack in Tehran to in turn, attack the nation of Iran itself.
There were 16 plus people killed on Wednesday in attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, or the ISIS group, as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini – leader of the 1979 revolution – in the capital, Tehran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called US President Donald Trump’s reaction to deadly attacks in Tehran “repugnant”, as intelligence officials said that the five attackers were Iranians who had fought for ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Javad Zarif was responding to a statement released by Trump’s press secretary’s office, which took the opportunity of an attack to make a point that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote”.
The Trump White House statement, which mentioned how Iranian people were “going through such challenging times”, came as the US Senate advanced legislation that would impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic, partly for what the bill described as Iran’s “support for acts of international terrorism”.
Normally it would have been the opportunity to take the high road and sympathize, empathize and rise above politics on a human level and seek common ground with the people of Iran. But, in dealing with a man of finance and not humanity, this is a reaction many would find unfortunate.
What kind of “terrorism” these statements refer to remains vague. Trump has long accused Iran of backing “terrorism” and has threatened to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal between the Iranian government and major western powers.
The President’s comments also brought criticism from Iranians on social media, who recalled their government’s offers of support and candlelight vigils held in Iran after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York. “Iranians lit candles for you on 9/11. You kick them while they’re down. Classy,” tweeted Ali Ghezelbash, an Iranian business analyst.
Iran’s intelligence ministry on Thursday said that the men who carried out the twin attacks had left Iran to fight for ISIL in the Iraqi city of Mosul, as well as Raqqa, in Syria – the armed group’s de facto capital – before returning last summer.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard weighed Saudi Arabia of being behind Wednesday’s attacks.Some in Iran’s government are demanding an investigation.Iranian security officials counter that it is their regional rival Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, that is responsible for funding and spreading the ideology that most closely resembles ISIS.