September 22, 2018: Iran military parade attacked by gunmen in Iran

ISIS claimed a gun attack on a military parade in the SW Iranian city of Ahvaz in September 2018 in which 25 civilians were killed.

Many see Iran as a bringer of terrorism: it can be a victim as well.

AHVAZ, IRAN – I do not imagine that Iran evokes a lot of warm and fuzzies among many people in the West these days. After all, whenever we read or hear about that nation it is usually in a very negative context. “Iran seeks nukes”, “Iran sponsors Hizballah, the A-Team of terrorism”, and “Iranian ayatollahs impose antediluvian policies on women” are typical headlines.

So, no, not a lot of love lost for Iran. And this is too bad as it is not the Iranian PEOPLE who pose the challenge: it is their government. When Iranians overthrew the brutal Shah back in 1979 they wanted change. Change for the better. Yes, some did support Ayatollah Khomeini and his minions but not all. And opposition to the clerics is very high: it’s just that overthrowing this bunch is going to be very very hard, given their hold on the security apparatus.

Still, we once saw the Shah as invincible so…

We thus see Iran through the lens of a country that is on the giving, not the receiving, end of terrorism. But that is not always accurate.

On this day in 2018

On this day in 2018 gunmen opened fire on a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, killing at least 25 people, including civilians, and injuring 60. Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the carnage.

This should be of surprise to precisely no one. ISIS, and all other Sunni Islamist extremist groups, hate Shia Muslims most of all. Given that Iran is a Shia state, ISIS et al see it as apostate and worthy of death.

So next time you think of terrorism, don’t buy the line that Iran is behind all of it. Iranian victims bleed the same blood as the rest of us.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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