All posts tagged: Islamic State

Why Islamic State Targeting Tehran?

Attacks by the self-proclaimed Islamic State on Iran’s parliament and the shrine to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, symbols of the republic and Iranian revolution, left seventeen dead on June 8, 2017. They mark the group’s first assault on Iran and come at a time when its purported caliphate, which spans the border of Iraq and Syria, is under increasing military pressure by U.S.- and Iran-backed forces, among others. In the face of this pressure, the Islamic State hopes to demonstrate its resilience and wide reach, says Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. The group’s attacks are also meant to burnish its credentials as “a defender of Sunnis everywhere” and “vanguard of the struggle against the Shia,” Hoffman says, since even as Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers rail against Iran for how it wields influence in the Middle East, only the Islamic State has struck it directly. What was your initial reaction to the attacks? Unprecedented. ISIS sees itself in literally an apocalyptic battle with the Shia, and to be able to strike in …