Feature

Plotting attacks against Iran

Iranians are asking themselves what role the U.S. played in the suicide bombing attack in southeastern Iran.

American agents are to blame for last weekend’s suicide bombing in southeastern Iran, said Tehran’s Kayhan in an editorial. A terrorist from the Sunni insurgent group Jundallah, comprising ethnic Baluchis, blew himself up at a tribal elders’ meeting, killing 42, including six senior Revolutionary Guards. Iranian leaders agree that the U.S.—which funds and supports Jundallah and other terrorist groups that seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic—directed the attack. “Mr. Obama has said he will extend his hand toward Iran,” said Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, “but with this terrorist action he has burned his hand.” The Revolutionary Guards also issued a statement saying that “the Great Satan America and its ally, Britain,” were responsible for the bombing “through their allies and mercenaries.”

America does bear responsibility for the attack in Iran, although indirectly, said Tehran’s Resalat. America’s invasion of Afghanistan pushed al Qaida out of that country, but the terrorist network simply “dispersed throughout the world.” Many al Qaida operatives are now advising other terrorist groups, including groups in Iran. Moreover, the U.S. bombardment of Pakistan’s tribal areas has driven terrorists from Pakistan into Iran. Surely it’s no coincidence that the suicide bombing last week took place very near the Iranian border with Pakistan.

You’re letting the U.S. off way too easily, said Tehran’s Javan. “It is naïve to believe that a small terrorist group like Jundallah can operate in the country without help from the American and Zionist intelligence services.” The Americans have scarcely even tried to hide their illegal campaign to destabilize our country. Just look at a strategic paper put out a few months ago by U.S. think tank the Brookings Institution, which recommends that the U.S. government “support Iran’s tribal and opposition groups.” The natural conclusion is that “all the terrorist attacks” in Iran this year have been masterminded by Americans “according to a pre-planned scenario against the oppressed people of Iran.”

Iranians may be overstating the case, said Fikret Ertan in Turkey’s Zaman, but no one can deny that the U.S. is trying to recruit agents in Iran. Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki “took the unusual step of complaining to the U.N. secretary-general” about the disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist believed to have been abducted by U.S. intelligence. The scientist is “only the latest in a string of disappearance cases involving important Iranian officials.” Of course, some of these people—notably former Deputy Defense Minister Ali Reza Asgari—probably simply defected to the United States on their own volition. But others may have been snatched first and persuaded to defect later. After years of hostility, Americans and Iranians are now meeting at the negotiation table. But the “shadow war” continues to rage. “Which side is winning? It’s too early to say.”

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