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Who’s Behind The Attack In Ahvaz?

Al-Okaz, Saudi Arabia, September 25

Last week, a large blast shook the streets of the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, just as a military parade was proceeding through the main square. Over 25 individuals were killed in the attack, including several Revolutionary Guards soldiers. This assault was not coincidental; it was meant to target the Revolutionary Guards and send a clear message to the government in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quick to respond by vowing to react “swiftly and decisively” against the perpetrators. He accused “foreign powers” of being behind the incident, alluding to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Of course, to propose that Riyadh or Abu Dhabi are responsible for such a cowardly terrorist act is preposterous. The oppressive Iranian regime has made its fair share of enemies, both at home and abroad, that could be behind this assault. The list is long, and going one by one would be tiresome and grueling; however, several names come to mind. One group is the Mojahedin al-Khalq, an Iranian anti-regime militia that has been one of the country’s most active and violent opposition groups. Otherwise, the people behind the attack could be Iranian ethnic and religious minority groups that have a desire to express their rage at the central government. One example is Iran’s Kurds, whose political headquarters in Iraq was recently targeted by Iranian missiles, leaving 11 people dead. Then, of course, there is the possibility that those behind the attack are just normal citizens like those who have taken to the streets in recent months to demonstrate against their government’s policies. Irrespective, it is clear that the message sent to the regime was heard loud and clear. In the aftermath of this attack, the mullahs sitting in the Sa’dabad Palace in Tehran have yet another reason for concern. Between Iran’s domestic turmoil and American sanctions, very few options remain in order to restore stability in the country. In many ways, regardless of who planted the bomb or shot the rifles, the sole culprit is the Iranian regime itself. –Mashri al-Zayidi