ISIS may be behind Iran bombings, US says

Neither the US nor Israel was involved in the bombings that killed over a hundred, said the State Department.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Islamist terror group ISIS may have been behind the attack at a memorial ceremony for a top general in Iran that killed over a hundred people, a senior American official said Wednesday.

“It does look like a terrorist attack, the type of thing we’ve seen ISIS do in the past,” the official said. “As far as we’re aware, that’s … our going assumption at the moment.”

Two bombs exploded minutes apart among thousands of Iranians who had gathered Tuesday near the grave of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whom the Americans had assassinated exactly four years ago due to his position as head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that orchestrated numerous murderous attacks against U.S. targets over his years in charge.

ISIS is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group, so even though it hates and targets the West much as Shiite Iran does, Tehran fought against it when it took over large swathes of Iraq and Syria in the 2000’s because of the overwhelming enmity between these two branches of Islam. ISIS has carried out attacks in Iran before, and using explosives in crowds to indiscriminately murder civilians is one of its hallmarks.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed Israel for the attack.

“I warn the Zionist regime, don’t doubt it, you will pay the price for this crime…you will deeply regret [it],” he said to a roaring crowd.

Esmail Ghaani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, added, “And you will see by the power of God that the one who has failed in this field and will leave this field more disgraced than today is the Zionist regime and the criminal America.”

The United States rejected all the Iranian accusations.

Saying that he wants “to address the irresponsible claims we have seen,” he has seen,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a press briefing Wednesday, “Number one, the United States was not involved in any way, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous. And number two, we have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion.”

When asked why not, he responded, “We just do not have any information to believe that that’s the case.”

He also noted that American and Israeli officials are speaking frequently these days, in reference to the ongoing Hamas-Israel war in the Gaza Strip, but that the U.S. got no information about a planned attack.

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Jerusalem often – but not always – informs Washington before it strikes a particularly important target, in order to keep its most important ally in the loop and prepare for possible backlash.

However, Israel’s modus operandi overseas has never included mass bombings. Actions attributed to Israel over the years against its most dangerous foe have been carefully focused targeting of Iranian individuals such as nuclear scientists, or pinpoint strikes on sites in Iran connected to the building of its incipient nuclear arsenal.