Iranian state television is reporting the mastermind behind last months’ terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran. 25 people were killed, including a dozen members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
An alleged member of the Islamic State, Abu Zaha, was killed by Iran along with four other militants in Diyala province in Iraq. They gave no indication of how the operation was carried out. Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, many believe it was the Ahwaz National Resistance, an Iranian separatist group that also claimed responsibility.
The Sunni Muslim Islamic State group, in decline in Iraq and Syria, considers the majority Shi’ite Muslims of Iran to be heretics.
Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said those responsible for the parade attack were paid by Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that Iran will “severely punish” those behind the violence.
It behooves Iran to get their justice from the Islamic State rather than Ahwaz National Resistance. ISIS is an easy operator to blame for the attacks whether they did it or not. It’s believable and presents an enemy that isn’t as close to home as Ahwaz National Resistance. It also allows them to maintain their narrative that ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
We’ll likely never know if Zaha was really the mastermind behind the attack. If similar attacks happen in the coming months, it’s likely that Ahwaz National Resistance is behind them, not ISIS.