Terror Attack in Iran Threatens to Bolster Extremists On All Sides

Why Iran and Why Now?

ISIS rhetoric, propaganda and actions has always targeted Shia Muslims, which ISIS sees as legitimate targets because they do not see them as “true Muslims.” This genocidal ideology towards Shia Muslims in part dates back to one of ISIS’ founding fathers, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who led a bloody campaign against Iraq’s Shia population. Iran, as a Shia majority country, is a valuable target for ISIS. Moreover, as Iran is militarily involved in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the organization justifies attacks against it as it justifies attacks against the U.S. and other European countries.

Regional Implications

The ISIS attack in Tehran will likely increase tensions in the Middle East as some political players in Iran, such as the Iranian revolutionary guards (IRGC) for example, will use this attack to add more fuel to the already big fire of sectarianism in the region.

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Jonathan Greenblatt

Jonathan Greenblatt

CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League