Why Western regimes are complicit in Daesh’s carnage in Iran’s popular shrine

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

It is no surprise that the Daesh Takfiri group claimed responsibility for the despicable terror attack on the revered shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz on Wednesday.

The modus operandi employed by the Kalashnikov terrorist who rampaged through the 12th century shrine belonging to a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was straight out of the Daesh playbook.

So, unsurprisingly, the group, in a statement posted on its Amaq News website, bragged about the carnage, which left at least 15 people dead and dozens more injured.

Among the victims were the parents and brother of Artin, 4, who had gone to the shrine for evening prayers. Artin was lucky to survive and is recovering from his injuries in a local hospital in Shiraz.

The terrorist, whose identity has not yet been revealed, allegedly targeted congregational prayers inside the shrine’s main hall, but shrine staff closed the door on him, preventing a bigger massacre.

Let’s get things straight. Contrary to popular perception, Daesh has not yet been decimated or consigned to the dustbin of history. The group, driven by the toxic ideology of Takfiri, is very active and successful.

It reminds me of what Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said some time ago. The self-proclaimed Daesh regime in Iraq and Syria has been crushed by the resistance axis led by Iran’s notorious counter-terrorism commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

But, as a group and as an ideology, Daesh is still very present – in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan – openly and secretly supported by Western powers.

It is no secret that Daesh fighters have been flown from Iraq and Syria in military helicopters to Afghanistan, to fill the vacuum left by the US-led NATO military alliance. United. Those who deny this fact need a reality check.

This is the group that wreaked havoc in Iraq and Syria for years and continues to carry out diabolical attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan, in line with the crooked agenda of Western hegemonic powers.

The far-right takfiri ideology that drives these brainwashed terrorists, that anything out of step with their rigid interpretation of religion must be exterminated, is essentially designed to sow discord among Muslims. and defame the image of Islam. This is precisely where the interests of Daesh and Western powers converge.

The criminal collusion between them has been fully manifested in the countries of the region in recent years. And now they have been bold in targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran, attacking the country’s sacred religious sites and spilling the blood of innocent people to incite sectarian tensions and civil war.

The last time Daesh footprints were spotted in Iran was in 2017 when the group targeted the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the parliament building, making at least 17 dead and hundreds injured.

It is a moment of judgment for the Iranian people, who transcend sectarian, regional and ideological lines, to thwart evil plots designed to bring about social disintegration in the country. It is also important that the countries of the region join forces with the Islamic Republic to confront and defeat this hydra-headed monster before it swallows them.

The fact that Wednesday’s attack took place amid foreign-backed unrest and rioting in Iran makes it even more sinister and despicable.

It won’t be an overstatement to say that the lawlessness and mob witnessed across Iran in recent weeks has essentially paved the way for this cold-blooded massacre, which makes the Western powers who incited the rioters directly complicit in this diabolical crime.

As Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian rightly pointed out on Thursday, this is a “multi-layered project” carried out by enemies to fuel insecurity in the country.

It is also worth noting the target chosen by the terrorist group – a holy place in a city known as the cultural capital of Iran. Shiraz, the capital of the southern province of Fars, is one of Iran’s top tourist attractions, known for its picturesque gardens, Achaemenid-era ruins, mausoleums of legendary Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi, as well as the rich heritage of the city.

The goal seems to be to fuel insecurity, instill fear and turn Iran into another Afghanistan or Syria, so that tourists stop coming and locals live in constant fear.

There are very few hashtags for victims of Daesh terrorism in Shiraz, which is not surprising though. It shows that not all lives matter. If it had been Paris, London or New York, it would be a whole different story. But it is the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country that single-handedly challenged the hegemony of arrogant world powers and laid bare their wickedness.

Therefore, it is completely understandable that the Western mainstream media, an extended branch of the Western military-industrial complex, deliberately turned a blind eye to the bloodshed in Shiraz, treating it as a normal incident.

The same media brazenly twisted the facts in the case of Mahsa Amini’s death and sparked deadly riots in Iran that cost many precious lives.

Well-meaning human rights defenders in the West, who miss no opportunity to denounce Iranian authorities for using force to maintain law and order, especially amid foreign-backed riots , also remained silent. Their silence is both complicity and cowardice.

As the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and President Ebrahim Raeisi have stated categorically, this terrorist act will not go unanswered. The authors and their sponsors will have to pay the price. It is important to nip this evil in the bud.

Syed Zafar Mehdi is a Tehran-based journalist, political commentator and author. He has reported for over 12 years on India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Middle East for leading publications around the world.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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