After the terrorist attack in Shiraz this week, killing 15 Iranians, should ISIS and its supporters now be expecting hard revenge from Iran? History says they should.
Following an attack in the Shah Cheragh Shrine of Shiraz in Iran, which left 15 Iranian pilgrims killed and dozens injured, Iranian officials immediately linked the terrorist act to “takfiri terrorists” – a label Tehran uses for hardline Sunni Muslim militants like Islamic State. A day later, the accusations came true and ISIS issued a statement, in which it claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack took place on the same day that clashes broke out throughout Iran as thousands of people came to the burial site of Mahsa Amini in Saqqez, a city in the Kurdistan province, to mark 40 days since her death.
Iranian officials said they had arrested a gunman who carried out the attack, and that he couldn’t survive the injuries during his clash with Iran’s security forces and died in hospital.
A vow to revenge
And now, Iranian officials are speaking about taking revenge, not only from the ISIS group but from the US and Israel, both of which Iran sees as sworn enemies.
In this regard, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said this Thursday that Tehran would respond; “Experience shows that Iran’s enemies, after failing to create a split in the nation’s united ranks, take revenge through violence and terror,” said Raisi, adding also that “this crime will definitely not go unanswered, and the security and law enforcement forces will teach a lesson to those who designed and carried out the attack.”
Hossein Salami, Head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also vowed revenge. “We will finally catch them (ISIS and its supporters) and punish them for their shameful deeds in Shiraz,” Salami said in a statement this Friday.
Last but not least, Iran’s Supreme Leader strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attack at the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz. In a message on Thursday, he expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting attack and also promised revenge on the attack’s perpetrators.
The heinous crime in the holy shrine of Hazrat Ahmed bin Musa which led to the martyrdom and injury of dozens of innocent men, women, and children, brought us a lot of sorrow,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, stressing that “the perpetrator or perpetrators of this heinous crime will surely be punished.”
How serious is Iran’s revenge promise?
History shows that Iran’s threats of revenge from its enemies have usually come true. One of the latest cases of Iranian officials threatening to take revenge from enemies was when the US assassinated Iranian Commander General Qasim Soleymani.
In January 2020, when the U.S. launched a drone strike to kill Soleymani, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a statement calling for three days of public mourning and then retaliation. “His departure to God does not end his path or his mission. But a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” the statement said.
And as promised, the retaliatory attack happened on 8 January 2020, when in a military operation code-named Operation Martyr Soleymani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched over 12 ballistic missiles at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Al Anbar Governorate, western Iraq, as well as another airbase in Erbil.
It was indeed the largest ballistic missile attack ever against Americans. Iranian officials said after the attack that dozens of Americans were killed, a claim that Washington never admitted.