Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif: Trump Condolences for Islamic State Attack ‘Repugnant’

Iranian Foreign Minister
AP/Hussein Malla

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter to condemn a statement from President Donald Trump that Americans would “grieve and pray” over the victims of Wednesday’s Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Tehran, calling the White House remark “repugnant.”

Zarif, the mouthpiece of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dismissed the statement and asserted that Iranians would “reject such US claims of friendship”:

The White House released a short statement of condolence from the president on Wednesday following the Islamic State attacks on both the Iranian Parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Khomenei, the founder of Iranian regime. “We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times,” the president’s statement read. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and one of three states on the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list along with Syria and Sudan. President Barack Obama removed the fourth country, Cuba, from the list during his tenure, despite the Castro regime’s continued support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Hezbollah.

Iran’s state-run PressTV media outlet accused Trump of having “pointed the finger at Tehran itself, arguing that victims are sponsors.” The outlet also noted that the U.S. State Department had published a “more benign” statement on the incident, reading, “The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world.”

A combination of suicide bomb attacks and shooting sprees hit both the Parliament and the Khomeini shrine on Wednesday, with Iranian authorities later confirming that the individuals guilty of the attack were Iranian nationals. The Islamic State took credit for the attack through its Amaq News Agency media outlet. According to PressTV, four men and one female suicide bomber participated in the attack. The outlet said the Iranian Intelligence Ministry was currently refusing to publish the last names of the perpetrators as they searched for relatives potentially tied to the Islamic State as well. The five had allegedly “participated in the group’s [ISIS’s] atrocities in the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqah.”

The terrorists, Iranian officials claimed, operated under the orders of an Islamic State terrorist named as “Abu Ayesheh.” The incident was the first such attack by the Islamic State within Iranian borders. Iran is the world’s largest Shiite Muslim majority country, and thus, a prime target for Sunni jihadists like the Islamic State.

Despite claims of credit by the Islamic State and Iranian investigators detailing ties to the terrorist group, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have blamed Saudi Arabia and the United States for the attacks.

A statement from IRGC on Wednesday read:

The public opinion in the world, specially the Iranian nation, sees this terrorist action that happened a week after the joint meeting of the US president with the heads of one of the reactionary regional states that has constantly been supporting Takfiri terrorists as to be very meaningful, and believes that ISIL’s acknowledging the responsibility indicates their complicity in this wild move.

Khamenei has repeatedly made public claims that the United States and its allies created the Islamic State to cause chaos in the Middle East. Many Iranian lawmakers agree, highlighted by their reaction to the Parliament attack. As the shooters attempted to interrupt a Parliamentary committee session, lawmakers were recorded chanting, “Death to America” in response.

Khamenei has yet to directly blame the United States for the attack, instead, dismissing it as “fumbling with firecrackers.”

“Everyone should know that they are too little to be able to influence the willpower of the Iranian nation and the country’s officials,” Khamenei said in public statements following the attack, according to the Iranian state-run Fars News Agency. “And these incidents, of course, revealed if the Islamic Republic had not displayed resistance at the heart of all this conspiracy, we would’ve had much more trouble of this sort in the country. God willing, they will bite the dust.”

Iranian figurehead President Hassan Rouhani followed Khamenei’s lead, issuing a warning that Iran “will crush any plot or scheme by ill-wishers through unity and solidarity and its powerful security structure.”


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