- The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconservative.com -

IRGC Blames the Tehran Attacks on the Saudis

The IRGC is blaming [1] Saudi Arabia for the Tehran attacks [2]:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards say Saudi Arabia was behind twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people and injured 43, a statement published by the Guards said.

“This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack,” said the statement, published by Iranian media.

It would be alarming at the best of times for Iranian officials to accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting a terrorist attack on their capital, but under current circumstances it is a very explosive claim. It is all the more irresponsible and dangerous when there is no evidence to back it up, but then hard-liners typically treat attacks as opportunities to be used to advance their existing agenda. The intensely anti-Iranian rhetoric coming from Riyadh in recent weeks and months and Trump’s speech at the summit last month have provided Iran’s hard-liners with an excuse to pin the attacks on the governments that are so vocally hostile to them, but hostile rhetoric doesn’t prove anything by itself. ISIS’ claim of responsibility ought to create an opportunity for U.S.-Iranian cooperation against a common foe, but the IRGC is lumping all of Iran’s adversaries together and ignoring the differences among them. Because many Iranians don’t distinguish [3] between the Saudis and ISIS, the latter’s claim of responsibility is all that is needed as confirmation:

In the view of many in Iran, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is inextricably linked to Saudi Arabia. Hamidreza Taraghi, a hard-line analyst with ties to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, “ISIS ideologically, financially and logistically is fully supported and sponsored by Saudi Arabia — they are one and the same.”

The IRGC’s accusation puts Iran and Saudi Arabia on a perilous path. There were already going to be increased tensions between them because of the Qatar crisis, and this promises to make things even worse. While Iran’s hard-liners try to exploit the attacks for their own purposes, there is bound to be an equally destructive push in Washington, Riyadh, and elsewhere for more confrontational policies against Iran. The U.S. ought to be looking for ways to defuse tensions and to extricate itself as much as possible from the region’s various feuds. Regrettably, the current administration has thrown its support entirely behind one group of states to the detriment of our interests and regional stability. Support for the Saudis and their allies in their reckless policies in Yemen and elsewhere has only encouraged them to become more aggressive. As a result, the U.S. may find itself drawn into a regional war that it could have tried to prevent but has recklessly encouraged instead.

10 Comments (Open | Close)

10 Comments To "IRGC Blames the Tehran Attacks on the Saudis"

#1 Comment By The Wet One On June 7, 2017 @ 12:25 pm

More war isn’t the worst thing that could happen. After all, it won’t be our troops fighting and dying and it won’t be our civillians caught in the crossfire.

Meanwhile, the arms market and the demand for weapons and ammo will increase, which we can provide.

It’s all good.

Right?

😀

#2 Comment By Jay C On June 7, 2017 @ 1:02 pm

“After all, it won’t be our troops fighting and dying and it won’t be our civilians caught in the crossfire.”

Not sure about the “civilians”, but the US does have troops in the region – including 10,000 or so in Qatar, right in the middle of things: I’m not sure what their position might be in the case of a shooting war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but it’s a pretty sure thing that we really shouldn’t want to find out.

Of course, if we had a competent Administration in charge, rather the incompetent Trump and his creatures, this might be a good opportunity for some creative diplomacy to try to defuse tensions (and maybe, finally get on to mounting a decisive campaign to crush IS once and for all).

“If” – a huge concept for a two-letter word.

#3 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On June 7, 2017 @ 1:10 pm

Wait till the Qataris tell us to get the hell off our base there. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .)

#4 Comment By Thymoleontas On June 7, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

On the basis of circumstance, the claim seems plausible. The Saudis are major exporters of Wahhabi Salafism. They are currently fighting a war in Yemen against Iranian interests, and are turning the screws on Qatar for getting too friendly with Iranian-backed groups in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are also known funders of ISIS.

(See [4])

#5 Comment By Skeptic On June 7, 2017 @ 2:09 pm

The New York Times wrote in Dec., 2016, the following: “In a leaked email from 2014, Mrs. Clinton described the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia as ‘providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.’

“Financing such groups, she wrote, was part of a contest between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who were in ‘ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world.'”

The full article can be found here: [5]

In light of such reports from a source that can hardly be suspected of hostility to the US government or its prestige — why does this essay insist on treating Iranian assertions of this very same link as somehow flaky?

I would think that the interesting question to ask is something quite other: why, given the US knowledge of Saudi support for jihadi groups such as ISIS, has the US – Saudi relationship continued so strongly, both under Obama and under Trump? There are many other such questions one could ask, but I will stop there. There is something odd about not asking such questions.

#6 Comment By Dakarian On June 7, 2017 @ 2:12 pm

“The Wet One says:
June 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm
More war isn’t the worst thing that could happen. After all, it won’t be our troops fighting and dying and it won’t be our civillians caught in the crossfire.

Meanwhile, the arms market and the demand for weapons and ammo will increase, which we can provide.

It’s all good.

Right?”

Saudi is a US ally. We are already in wars focused on supporting them. So yes, we WILL be in the fighting, especially if that fighting involves Iran proper.

Also note that instability breeds more radical terrorism. That was the lesson of the Arab Spring and the fall of Iraq. stronger radical groups with more highly contested areas to feed from means more resources to then take the fight to other areas. It also means more refugees which will push harder the drive to take some of them here.

So yeah, it’ll mean more of our troops fighting and dying and more attempts at civilian deaths along with more immigration issues to contend with.

but yeah, the arms market will be happy.

#7 Comment By Uncle Billy On June 7, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

Saudi Arabia funding Sunni fanatics? How shocking. Trump’s embrace of the Saudis has perhaps emboldened them into getting even more aggressive funding and supporting Sunni fanatics, especially if they attack Iran.

This Sunni vs. Shiite conflict is a hornet’s nest and we should stay out of it.

#8 Comment By Chris Chuba On June 7, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

The IRGC’s argument is probably along the lines that a strike of this nature requires strong logistical support but I wouldn’t buy it without strong evidence.

I think that ISIS actually does have a strategy for these seemingly random attacks. They want to provoke interventions to get the west to fight Assad/Iran in Syria. It’s not a bad idea because we are dumb as a bag of rocks. We are on the verge of fighting each other in southern Syria now. Maybe another slap in the face will do it.

The Iranians and Iraqi militias to be able to bring reinforcements into Syria and we are sitting on the border blocking them. This type of attack will no doubt infuriate them. This combined with mutual suspicions could bring us into battle royal which is the only say ISIS can survive.

#9 Comment By dave On June 7, 2017 @ 5:13 pm

well there’s the Strait of Hormuz. Shipping will be threatened, so yeah, the U.S. will be involved. Most of the world will have an interest, and I suppose events could easily escalate. Israel will need some protection. I thought I read Turkey was responding aggressively to events.

If nothing else, China could use the ensuing void in the Pacific to strengthen their command of the East China Sea. That will change things in Japan. Most likely the U.S. would also need to let go of any aspirations in Afghanistan. That would be to the benefit of Russia, perhaps, and again, China.

It might help Europe recoup a little bit of their collective identity, as they pull together in some sort of attempt to shield themselves from the chaos. I’d expect them to move away from the U.S., though.

I don’t know. Random speculation. But this could set off a radical reformation of geopolitics. Hard for me to see an upside for the U.S., given our tendencies over the last 15-20 years.

#10 Comment By Jason On June 7, 2017 @ 8:33 pm

The head of iranian national security council has said that the attackers were actually Iranians from some parts of Iran.
Most likely they are either from Baluchistan or perhaps the south west, mostly Arab, that accuse the Persian controlled theocratic regime of racism, ethnic oppression and discrimination.