Iran: ISIS attack escalates Persian Gulf tensions
ISIS claimed responsibility for simultaneous attacks on Iran's Majlis (parliament) and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on June 7, through a statement from the official Islamic State news agency Amaq. At least 12 are reported dead at the Majlis, and several wounded at the mausoleum. Reports indicate four gunmen, disguised as women, entered the visitors' hall of the Majlis building and opened fire, while a suicide-bomber pre-positioned inside the building blew himself up. Two other suicide-bombers meanwhile detonated at the Khomeini shrine. Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards accused Saudi Arabia and the US of being behind the attacks. "This terrorist action, coming one week after the meeting of the president of the United States with the leader of one of the region's reactionary governments...shows they are involved in this savage action," it said in a statement.
President Hassan Rouhani took a more moderate tone, saying that "terrorism is a global problem" and calling for "regional and international co-operation and unity."
The US State Department condemned the attack, saying "the depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful civilized world." However, President Trump added a veiled warning in his own statement: "We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote." (BBC News, The Hill, Khaleej Times, UAE, Press TV, Iran, via Payvand)
ISIS has recently launched a propaganda campaign aimed at recruiting members of Iran's increasingly disaffected Sunni minority. In March, ISIS released a rare video in Persian, in which it called on Iranian Sunnis to rise up. Since then, ISIS has published four issues of its online propaganda publication Roumiyah in Persian. Roumiyah, whose title means Rome in Arabic in an allusion to prophecies that Muslims will conquer the West, is already published in several languages, including English, Russian, French and Indonesian. (RFE/RL)
Iran's regions of Ahwaz and Balochistan, with significant Sunni populations, have faced growing unrest in recent years, impelling a push for greater minority rights—which has in turn sparked a backlash from reactionary sectors of the governing class.