Iranian officials: Western states responsible for terrorist attacks in London

On Sunday, June 4, after vicious attacks by Islamic extremists in London, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei blamed Western countries for the attacks.

"Today, ISIS is driven from its birthplace in Iraq and Syria into other countries, going to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even the Philippines, European countries and elsewhere. They began this fire and now it has set them ablaze," he said.

Tehran formally condemned the terrible May 22 bombing in Manchester.  Yet the reactions of various senior Iranian officials portrayed a sense of satisfaction. 

Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaii, secretary of the Expediency Council and former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), tweeted that the "[t]errorist explosion in Manchester is the result of Trump's sword dance with the chief of terrorists."

Text and a photo on Twitter immediately released by Iran's official news agency gave major political meaning to these statements:

 

 

This is not the only senior Iranian official expressing such remarks after the Manchester attack.

"Those who regarded themselves as a security harbor are today faced with security problems such as the Manchester attack," said IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami.  "Fifty heads of states gathered in Saudi Arabia and said Iran has an uncontrollable power. This is an honor for us."

The IRGC-affiliated Javan daily also published an editorial insulting the United Kingdom.

"The old fox trapped with lonely wolves, ... the British have always been the main supporters of Takfiri terrorist groups, and they have been the target of another terrorist attack."

"The terrorist attack on Manchester must be considered the return of inevitable consequences of western states' double-standard policy, including Britain's terrorist phenomenon backfiring," the piece added[.]

Are these statements a spontaneous reaction to the remarks made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi king Salman at the recent Riyadh Summit describing Iran as the axis of destabilization, sabotage, and terrorism in the region?  Maybe. 

Prior to that, even, Tehran had already shown harsh reactions to the heavy loss of lives as a result of terrorist attacks in the West.  Following the Paris massacre in November 2015, Abu Talebi, a political adviser to President Hassan Rouhani and Iran's former ambassador to France, described the attack as "inevitable" and the "result of blind and continued Western support for terrorism ... and not paying attention to the warnings of the Iranian [regime]".

Iranian deputy chief of staff Gen. Massoud Jazayeri had also weighed in.

"The French government paid the price for its support of Islamic terrorism[.] ... If the West continues its support for terrorism… it must await a state of emergency in other parts of Europe," he warned.

The IRGC Quds Force-associated Tasnim news agency described the Paris disaster as "self-inflicted terrorism" by France and Europe and published a cartoon showing the strings of ISIS in the hands of France and its president.

Iranian authorities are undoubtedly aware that such statements have immensely negative effects across the globe.  Iran has faced accusations of terrorist attacks in different countries.  The courts of Europe, the United States, and Turkey have confirmed such accusations.

However, why do Iranian officials after each terrorist attack, especially in Europe and the United States, insist on expressing their satisfaction or describe the attacks as a reaction to the losses they have suffered?

Iran's position on such issues cannot be explained with the logic of "utilitarianism."  Its statements bring it global disgrace.  However, the Iranian theocracy does not consider this harmful.  It does consider it an opportunity to flex its muscles.  Therefore, instead of distancing itself from terrorist attacks, Tehran attempts to relate them to its interests.

The Iranian regime follows a theory, in Arabic called "Al-Nasrberoab," meaning winning by intimidating others.  Pursuing this theory allows Iranian rulers portray their weaknesses as strengths.  They have been using this theory and benefiting from it.  But for how long?

For as long as the international community, and particularly the West, fail to set aside their misguided perception of Iran's rulers being powerful.

Mohammad Amin (@EconomieIran) is a senior research fellow at the Paris-based Fondation d'Études pour le Moyen-Orient (FEMO) (Foundation for the Study of the Middle East – http://www.fondationfemo.com).  He has written several books and essays about the ruling theocracy, the transformation of Iran's political economy under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East region.  He is co-author of the book Where is Iran Going?, printed in Paris by Autrement.

On Sunday, June 4, after vicious attacks by Islamic extremists in London, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei blamed Western countries for the attacks.

"Today, ISIS is driven from its birthplace in Iraq and Syria into other countries, going to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even the Philippines, European countries and elsewhere. They began this fire and now it has set them ablaze," he said.

Tehran formally condemned the terrible May 22 bombing in Manchester.  Yet the reactions of various senior Iranian officials portrayed a sense of satisfaction. 

Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaii, secretary of the Expediency Council and former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), tweeted that the "[t]errorist explosion in Manchester is the result of Trump's sword dance with the chief of terrorists."

Text and a photo on Twitter immediately released by Iran's official news agency gave major political meaning to these statements:

 

 

This is not the only senior Iranian official expressing such remarks after the Manchester attack.

"Those who regarded themselves as a security harbor are today faced with security problems such as the Manchester attack," said IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami.  "Fifty heads of states gathered in Saudi Arabia and said Iran has an uncontrollable power. This is an honor for us."

The IRGC-affiliated Javan daily also published an editorial insulting the United Kingdom.

"The old fox trapped with lonely wolves, ... the British have always been the main supporters of Takfiri terrorist groups, and they have been the target of another terrorist attack."

"The terrorist attack on Manchester must be considered the return of inevitable consequences of western states' double-standard policy, including Britain's terrorist phenomenon backfiring," the piece added[.]

Are these statements a spontaneous reaction to the remarks made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi king Salman at the recent Riyadh Summit describing Iran as the axis of destabilization, sabotage, and terrorism in the region?  Maybe. 

Prior to that, even, Tehran had already shown harsh reactions to the heavy loss of lives as a result of terrorist attacks in the West.  Following the Paris massacre in November 2015, Abu Talebi, a political adviser to President Hassan Rouhani and Iran's former ambassador to France, described the attack as "inevitable" and the "result of blind and continued Western support for terrorism ... and not paying attention to the warnings of the Iranian [regime]".

Iranian deputy chief of staff Gen. Massoud Jazayeri had also weighed in.

"The French government paid the price for its support of Islamic terrorism[.] ... If the West continues its support for terrorism… it must await a state of emergency in other parts of Europe," he warned.

The IRGC Quds Force-associated Tasnim news agency described the Paris disaster as "self-inflicted terrorism" by France and Europe and published a cartoon showing the strings of ISIS in the hands of France and its president.

Iranian authorities are undoubtedly aware that such statements have immensely negative effects across the globe.  Iran has faced accusations of terrorist attacks in different countries.  The courts of Europe, the United States, and Turkey have confirmed such accusations.

However, why do Iranian officials after each terrorist attack, especially in Europe and the United States, insist on expressing their satisfaction or describe the attacks as a reaction to the losses they have suffered?

Iran's position on such issues cannot be explained with the logic of "utilitarianism."  Its statements bring it global disgrace.  However, the Iranian theocracy does not consider this harmful.  It does consider it an opportunity to flex its muscles.  Therefore, instead of distancing itself from terrorist attacks, Tehran attempts to relate them to its interests.

The Iranian regime follows a theory, in Arabic called "Al-Nasrberoab," meaning winning by intimidating others.  Pursuing this theory allows Iranian rulers portray their weaknesses as strengths.  They have been using this theory and benefiting from it.  But for how long?

For as long as the international community, and particularly the West, fail to set aside their misguided perception of Iran's rulers being powerful.

Mohammad Amin (@EconomieIran) is a senior research fellow at the Paris-based Fondation d'Études pour le Moyen-Orient (FEMO) (Foundation for the Study of the Middle East – http://www.fondationfemo.com).  He has written several books and essays about the ruling theocracy, the transformation of Iran's political economy under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East region.  He is co-author of the book Where is Iran Going?, printed in Paris by Autrement.