Maybe some readers noticed the rather brief stories that “five senior commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and at least 37 others” were killed in a suicide bombing inside Iran. I think this story deserves more coverage than it has received. The first link below, from USA Today, gives the initial details. The second link, from Xinhua (China’s official news service) reported one day later that the death total was up to 45 and that Iran is blaming the USA, the UK, and Pakistan for aiding terrorists inside Iran’s borders. Iran has reportedly said that it will “retaliate….in a proper way.” The third link below, from USA Today, cites even stronger language from Iran. It reports Iran as saying it will “seriously deal with Pakistan once and for all,” and that it “vowed to deliver a crushing response” against….someone.
Saying Iran will retaliate against other states for supporting terrorism inside Iran strikes me as an example of “the kettle calling the pot black.” There have been many reports that Iran aided Shiite terrorist suicide bombers inside Iraq in their attacks against American personnel as well as against Sunni Arabs (including the killing of some Sunni tribal chieftains in Iraq’s “Awakening Councils”). Iran has furnished aid, arms and missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to Hamas in Gaza for use in terrorist attacks vs. Israeli civilians. Iran has supported terrorists against Americans, Israelis, Sunni Moslems, etc. Why should Iran be surprised that someone just “gave it a taste of its own medicine.” Or as the Bible puts it in Galatians 6:7, Iran just “reaped what it has sowed.” This immutable Divine law applies to nations as well as individuals.
There are several aspects of this mass terrorist attack against Iranian Shiite leaders that bear scrutiny. I very much doubt the attack was a random “lucky” attack. The fact that the suicide bomber knew exactly when and where to strike to kill the maximum number of senior Iranian commanders argues that the “terrorists” had inside information inside the Revolutionary Guard itself. How else did the attackers know in advance very detailed information about the travel schedules of the slain Iranian commanders? Could it be that the Sunni Arabs got tired of being killed by “Persian Shiites” in terrorist attacks and decided to inflict some revenge on Iran? That is a distinct possibility.
Also, the attack occurred near the Iranian-Pakistani border. This part of Pakistan is far away from the northwest tribal territories in which Pakistan is now waging another of its periodic desultory campaigns against Pakistan’s tribal regions which are sympathetic to the Taliban forces. Pakistan may or may not have had something to do with this attack against Iranian leaders. Personally, I tend to doubt it. What this attack does indicate though is that Pakistan is slowly losing its grip over its own territory in more than one place.
We westerners easily forget that in the Iraqi-Iranian War in the 1980s, Sunni Arabs and Persian/Iranian Shiites waged war against each other with terrible ferocity and massive casualties in a multi-year war. The Moslem world is not monolithic; It has deep internal divisions and rivalries. Also, I seriously doubt the ability (or willingness) of the Americans or British to arrange a suicide bombing inside Iranian territory. My own personal take on this attack is that Iran was just reminded that two can play at the game of sending suicide bombers. Vengeance is a virtue in many Mideast nations and tribes. I think Iran was just “sent a message” that if Iran continues to support suicide bombers against Sunni Arab targets, Iran can expect “pay-back.”