By Patrick Brogan
News is developing of a double terrorist attack in Tehran, the Iranian capital. Some news sites have put the death toll at 12, but this number has already been revised since the initial reports this morning. It is believed ISIS have already claimed responsibility.
The assailants attacked both the Iranian parliament, the Consultative Assembly, and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini. Gunmen stormed the parliament and it was reported that they had taken hostages. Four men attacked the mausoleum, including one suicide bomber, it is believed.
The timing of these attacks comes at an interesting point in inter Middle Eastern relations. Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries have recently cut ties with Qatar. The Saudis allege that the Qataris are funding terrorism, including al-Nursa in the Syrian conflict. In 2014, a similar temporary suspension took place after Qatar backed the Muslim Brotherhood, much to the Saudi’s annoyance. To add to the complexity, Qatar is backing Saudi Arabia in the war against Yemen.
Another reason between the tension between the two gulf states is Qatar’s stance on Iran. They have never fully complied with the Saudi’s total condemnation of the Persian country and have seemed to play the two of each other. Recently, on his trip to the Middle East, President Trump did a 180 degree turn on his statements that the Saudis had more to do with the 9/11 attacks than is acknowledged and said Iran was a major backer of terrorism through its links to Hezbollah and other Shi’a militant groups. All of this without a mention of the House of Saud’s financial backing of radical Wahhabi doctrine.
The Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, said he would not wait until the fight was inside Arabia and said it should be taken to inside Iran. Tensions have never been far away due the Sunni/Shi’a divide and other historical and geographical issues. Iran has been public enemy number 1 for the Saudis, the Israelis and high on the list of the Americans since the Ayatollah toppled the Shah in the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
This terrorist attack will not be the last we hear of this and Iran is also on the radar of the three countries that always seem to get their way in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
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