Usually when a country suffers a terror attack, especially at the hands of a group like ISIS that is a proclaimed enemy of the US, US politicians are quick to express sympathy for the victims and offer support. But when that country is Iran, no such considerations are visible. Just recently, ISIS attacked the Iranian parliament in Tehran and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, killing 13 people.
But rather than expressing sympathy, soon after that the US Senate voted to move forward on extra sanctions on Iran, with Bernie Sanders among the few opposing the terrible timing of the move.
IN THE WAKE of an alleged ISIS terrorist attack on the Iranian parliament, the U.S. Senate is marking the tragedy with twin resolutions: one to express condolences, the second to move forward on a bill to hit the country with new sanctions.
By a vote of 92-7, the Senate opened debate on the sanctions resolution Wednesday. But the resolution expressing condolences is still being worked on, one senator said.
“On a day when Iran has been attacked by ISIS, by terrorism, now is not the time to go forward with legislation calling for sanctions against Iran,” Vermont’s Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said on the floor before the Senate did just that. “Let us be aware and cognizant that earlier today the people of Iran suffered a horrific terror attack in their capital, Tehran.”
The vote also came in the face of warnings from former Secretary of State John Kerry that a new sanctions bill could imperil the nuclear deal.
Shortly before the vote to end debate on the bill, New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer — who leads the Senate Democrats — came out and argued forcefully in favor of the sanctions, showing no concern about imperiling the nuclear deal or the terrorist attack.
Of course Schumer would go ahead with the sanctions. He is a total captive of the Israel lobby that has been ceaselessly pushing to create greater enmity between the US and Iran.
Donald Trump’s qualified statement of sympathy for the victims drew an angry response from Iran.
Iran’s foreign minister has denounced as “repugnant” a White House statement on Wednesday’s terror attack in Tehran that said Iran was a “terror sponsor”.
President Trump had said he was praying for the victims, but added that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote”.
But Javad Zarif said Iran “rejected such claims of friendship” and claimed the attackers from so-called Islamic State had been “backed by US clients”.
Thirteen people died in the attacks.
Gunmen and suicide bombers targeted parliament and the mausoleum of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in an unprecedented twin assault that lasted several hours on Wednesday morning.
Iran says the attackers, all of whom were killed, were Iranians who had joined IS. The militant group has threatened further assaults on Iranian Shia Muslims.
Actually Trump is right, for once, in stating that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote”. Where he is wrong is in not recognizing that he is talking about the US. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was not shy about arguing that it is Americas actions in the region that has spawned the birth of vicious groups like ISIS and that thus the US bears some responsibility for these acts of terrorism.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday accused the U.S. of creating the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), and called its war on the jihadist group “a lie.”
“You [the United States] and your agents are the source of instability in the Middle East … who created Islamic State?” Khamenei said, according to his official website, which added that he’d made the remarks during a meeting with high-ranking Iranian officials. He propagated the conspiracy theory that the U.S. wishes to prop up the extremist group to further instability in the region.
“The claim of forming a coalition against Daesh is a lie; of course, Americans are against ‘an uncontained Daesh,’ but if anyone would want to truly destroy Daesh, they [Americans] will counter them,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
His comments come after a top Iranian general claimed the Islamic Republic had evidence the U.S. was directly supporting the group. Major General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, said Sunday that the government in Tehran had “documents and information” showing Washington’s support of the extremist Sunni Islamist group.
“We are facing a proxy warfare in the region as a new trick by the arrogant powers against the Islamic Republic,” Izadi said Sunday according to Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency.
Jefferson Morley provides that the US has signed on to Saudi Arabia’s agenda against Iran and Qatar and that thus it is at least tacitly providing encouragement for ISIS attacks on those two countries. The US seems to have made a deal with the Saudis, one of the worst regimes in the world, that their enemies are also the US’s enemies.
[T]he United States is now stepping up attacks on the front-line Iranian forces that are fighting ISIS. To wage war on Iran, Trump’s actions relieve pressure on ISIS.
This is new. Before Trump came to office, the U.S.-led coalition focused on ISIS (also known in the region as ISIL or Daesh) and did not initiate fighting with Iranian militias also fighting ISIS. That is now changing, thanks to the influence of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis, both of whom are hawkish on Iran.
Far from coincidence, the Tehran attacks were the result of the U.S.-Saudi understanding forged last month. While Congress bickers, Trump inflames a religious war and terrorism breaches another frontier.
Qatar’s former prime minister admitted in an interview that the United States and its Gulf allies supported Islamist extremists in Syria.
In CIA-run training sites located in Jordan and Turkey, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani explained, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Qatar, “all of us, we [were] supporting the same groups,” he said. Among them were extremists, al-Thani noted.
This testimony adds to the growing body of evidence that the U.S. government and its proxies backed hard-line Salafi-jihadists in order to weaken the Syrian government and its allies Iran and Hezbollah.
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani’s comments are further substantiated by large amounts of evidence.
A 2014 email from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, citing U.S. government intelligence, states that American allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported ISIS in Syria.
In a speech at Harvard University in 2014, former Vice President Joe Biden also admitted that close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey had intentionally supported Islamist extremists in Syria.
“They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?” he asked. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
These chickens always come home to roost, a lesson that nations never seem to learn.