Here’s a summary of the attacks in Tehran:
Another terror attack happened in the world today, this time not in London or Paris but in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The two most recent, widely reported terror attacks in both London and Manchester were important beyond their victim count as they represented cultural shifts that are happening in Europe between the populace and the people who rule them. Both attacks showed that no matter how low the terrorists stoop (like nail bombing children) or how frequent attacks are (three in three months) nothing will be done about it, and the people’s representatives will not only do nothing to help, but they will also capitulate to the terrorists themselves. That’s what makes what happened in Iran so noteworthy, not only was it a horrific attack, but it may be a pivotal point in geopolitics as we know it.
To summarize, there were two related attacks in the Iranian capital, carried out by agents of the Islamic State. One attack was on the parliament building, the other on the mausoleum of an Iranian war hero. Attackers were armed with suicide vests and kalashnikovs, and they engaged in combat with both civilians and armed police before either getting gunned down themselves or exploding their suicide vests. During this attack the assailants recorded a video of some sort within the structures, and after the attack another video was released claiming responsibility for the raids. Before I get into how the Iranian government responded, it’s important first to understand the recent history in this region.
The nation of Iran has an interesting government, as it has a hybrid of a democracy and a theocracy. Iran is officially a Shia Islamic nation, who has a supreme leader and other cabinet like members under him who maintain Islamic culture within the nation, as well as an elected president and parliament who do normal government duties. Western policy during the initial years of the War on Terror has always been that Shia Islam is bad and supports terrorism, and Sunni Islam is good and sells us oil. Thus, Iran has always been on rocky territory, which is a main factor in the pushback of former president Obama’s Iran Deal. Turns out people don’t think it’s a good idea to give nuclear energy to a country that wants death to apostates, conversion by the blade, and the destruction of the Jewish state. Conversely, a Sunni nation like Saudi Arabia is a massive trade partner of the U.S., with Donald Trump visiting, complementing them, and working out the largest arms deal of all time. This is the same nation that still makes homosexuality a crime, and makes women and non-Muslims second class citizens, with practically no rights or protections. Wealth over prosperity, I guess. The Islamic State throws a fascinating monkey wrench in this whole situation, as, guess what, they’re Sunni. The Obama administration scratched their heads over how to handle this situation, starting first with Clinton funding and training ISIS, before realizing her mistake and deciding to occasionally drone strike a leader or two without really affecting much. This apathetic attitude towards a now well armed terror group has led to the fall of way too much territory in the Middle East, and the collapse and oppression of many lives and cities in the region. Trump’s administration hasn’t done too much better in this front, although he has called ISIS some mean names lately and dropped a huge bomb on them once. He also has said way more mean things about Iran, blaming them and Shia Islam for the terrorism in the world today, ignoring the fact that Sunni Saudi Arabia is actually the one funding ISIS. Whoops.
Hard cut back to current day, and this makes Iran’s response to the terror attacks so important. Unlike Europe who takes these terror attacks to the chin and apologizes afterward, Iran came out swinging at ISIS. They not only said that these attacks were unacceptable and a massive affront, but they also publically blamed Saudi Arabia for the attacks as well, saying that their funding is responsible for ISIS having so much power. Honestly, nothing they said isn’t true. Saudi does benefit from ISIS attacking their Islamic rivals in the region, as they’ve made literally hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars ever since the entirety of the Middle East became destabilized. As one of the only functioning, stable, and America friendly(ish) nations in the region, who also has an insane oil supply, they benefit greatly from keeping their rivals down. If you want further proof, the precursor to all of this has been the events taking place in Syria these past years. The secular, stable nation of Syria collapsed after rebels arose from chemical attacks President Assad used on his own people. This led to regional (and world wide) involvement, that just further destabilized the entire situation that is still going on today. ISIS plays a huge factor in this, as they have split the rebel forces, forcing them to choose between being U.S. backed and wanting a new Syria without Assad, and joining with ISIS and forming an Islamic State across the whole Middle East, and then the world. Iran watched this happen, and backed President Assad, along with Russia and Vladimir Putin, hoping to keep a stabilized Syria. Opposing them is not only the U.S. who is taking an arbitrary moral red line against Assad, but Sunni Saudi who has been funding all of the rebel groups, including ISIS. Oh yeah, and the Kurds are there too, but it doesn’t seem like much will go in their favor no matter the outcome.
Anyway, this makes Iran’s reaction to the terror attacks much more understandable, as they’ve directly seen Saudi funding lead to the fall of a major and otherwise stable nation in the region. They’ve read the tea leaves and see what lies in front of them if they don’t take immediate action. What this action will be though will be left for us to see. What’s important is to figure out where loyalties will lie if and when things get heated. To recap, America is currently backing Saudi Arabia, who also funds ISIS who we’re enemies with. Iran is allied with Russia, and enemies with basically everyone else, but especially Saudi and ISIS after the terror attack. An interesting nation to watch during this is Israel, who although allied with the U.S. primarily, doesn’t have bad blood with Russia, although it is essentially mortal enemies with Iran, who prays for Israel’s destruction. You confused yet? Imagine how Trump feels.
Despite my little joke, it’s important to understand what’s happening in this region. I’m not saying that World War III is going to break out in the next five years, but what I am saying is that without a doubt, large scale conflict of some kind will occur, it’s only a matter of time. These incidents don’t happen in a bubble. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Israel/Palestine, ISIS, terror attacks in Europe and America, they all build on top of the other. They all tie together to create and destroy alliances that will take center stage the second a catalyst large enough to trigger war occurs. Every terror attack matters. Every election has a lasting effect. Every press conference has deeper meaning. The kettle is boiling people, and if nobody takes it off the stove, it’s just a matter of time before it overflows.