Following last weekend's attacks in Paris by the Islamic State (ISIS), Iranian regime spokesmen, for the most part, argued that French and American support for takfiri terrorism and for ISIS was to blame for the events, and that the French are now paying the price for their government's misguided policy in Syria and the Middle East.
In line with his policy, according to which the U.S. is the enemy of Iran and the Middle East, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in a video released by his office and a cartoon posted on his website, alleged that the U.S. and its allies were behind the Paris attacks, and that the U.S. had created ISIS and is using it as a tool to achieve its goals in the Middle East and the entire world.
In a phone conversation with French President Francois Hollande on November 17, Iranian President Hassan Rohani called "to fight ISIS with all our might," but added that he "hopes that the group of countries that tried to use terrorism as a tool to promote its interests has understood the danger such a move poses for the world." It should be mentioned that his response was characteristic of members of the pragmatic camp and the Iranian Foreign Ministry, who hinted that France is paying the price of using ISIS terrorism to promote its own interests.
Other regime spokesmen stressed that Khamenei had warned a while ago that Western support for these Syrian terrorist elements will come back to haunt them. They also complained of the hypocrisy of Western and European countries, who only express shock when the Sunni ISIS terrorism strikes their home, but did not express sympathy with its victims in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the world.
Expressions of solidarity and condolences from Iranian citizens outside the French Embassy in Tehran was criticized by newspapers aligned with the ideological camp. These newspapers criticized the "hypocrisy" of the pragmatic camp's publications which attacked the West harshly - this time for what it called its pro-ISIS policy. They complained that while the pragmatic camp was quick to express solidarity with the Paris terror victims, it refrained from doing so with regard to the Iranian victims in Syria and Iraq.
This paper will review several Iranian officials' reactions to the Paris attacks, as well as cartoons on the subject on Iranian websites.
Khamenei-Produced Video On IRGC-Affiliated Website: The U.S. And Its Allies Are Behind Paris Attacks
A video produced by the office of Leader Khamenei, titled "Who Was Behind the Paris Attacks," and posted November 17, 2015 on a Facebook page affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), claimed that the real culprits behind the attacks were the U.S. and its allies, who, it said, had created ISIS and provided it with arms and training in order to further its own goals in the world.
The thumbnail preceding the video shows Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, U.S. President Obama, and ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in collusion.
View the video on MEMRI TV here, or click below to play
A cartoon posted November 16, 2015 on Khamenei's website Khamenei.ir titled "Big Brother Goofed!" showed Uncle Sam throwing an ISIS boomerang at Syria and the boomerang returning to strike France.
Source: English.khamenei.ir, November 16, 2015.
Iranian Deputy Chief Of Staff: If The West Continues To Support Takfiri Terrorism, It Must Expect More States Of Emergency To Be Declared Elsewhere In Europe
On November 14, 2015, Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Masoud Jazayeri condemned the ISIS attacks in Paris, as well as the November 12, 2015 suicide bombing in Beirut in which some 40 people were killed, saying: "The attacks in Paris are a product of regime of tyranny's [i.e. the U.S.'s and the West's] support for terrorism. The catastrophe of bloody terrorism in France has shown that if the French government and other supporters of takfiri terrorism in the West and in France possessed reason and foresight, they could have prevented such a crime from occurring in the heart of France.
"Ever since the first months following the emergence of terrorism in Syria and neighboring countries, we persistently warned European society that the terrorism would reach them as well. We wanted the people to pressure their governments to stop supporting terrorism in the region...
"The attacks in Beirut and Paris are two sides of the same coin... If the West continues to support takfiri terrorism, it must expect more states [of emergency] to be declared elsewhere in Europe."
Front page of Kayhan: "Rabid dog bites owner's legs" (Source: Kayhan, Iran, November 15, 2015)
Kayhan Editor: The French Are Paying For The Crimes Of A Government That Fostered Terrorism
Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is affiliated with Supreme Leader Khamenei, wrote on November 15, 2015: "Following the brutal crimes of ISIS, the Leader [Khamenei] warned the countries that support takfiri terrorism, saying that they will reap a whirlwind from the wind that they are now sowing. Today is the beginning of that harvest that was predicted by the Leader...
"Edward Snowden revealed that the CIA and Mossad were involved in establishing ISIS, which they called a 'wasps' nest' that would attract extremists and create a security [buffer] for the Zionist regime. Snowden further revealed that the ISIS leader had been trained extensively by the Mossad for a year, in both military tactics and public speaking... Now, following the catastrophe in France and the deaths of innocents, next in line are the U.S., some Western countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. [This is because] now... the terrorist elements... realize who the enemy is and are coming home to roost. That is, anyone who creates a wasps' nest should expect the wasps to return to the nest.
"ISIS elements are not the good soldiers of Iran and Hizbullah, who defend the innocent with their bodies. Rather, they are people with no sense, cultivated by the Zionists, Americans, British, French, and Saudis, and will attack anywhere there is an opportunity... The French are paying for the crimes of their ministers."
Kayhan: Paris Attacks - An American-Zionist Conspiracy In Order To Send Forces To The Middle East To Destroy 'The Resistance'
Kayhan's November 17 and 19 editorials stated claimed that the Paris attacks were an American-Zionist conspiracy, according to which the U.S. created ISIS and orchestrated the Paris attack in order to cause the West to dispatch forces to the Middle East to oust the Assad regime and vanquish the resistance axis.
November 17: Terrorists Were Acting As Tools Of The White House, ├ëlys├®e Palace, And Buckingham Palace
The November 17 editorial argued that the security and intelligence apparatuses of "France, America, and the Zionist regime, which support the terrorists" were behind the Paris attacks, and that "according to many documents, the terrorists who claimed responsibility for the attacks were cultivated by the intelligence and security apparatuses of America and Western and Arab countries.
"They operate as a tool of the White House, the ├ëlys├®e, Buckingham Palace, and Tel Aviv, with funds from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and their servants Turkey and Jordan, and carry out the plans of the U.S."
It added: "It has been said that America wants to shock its supporters in order to warn them that if they quit supporting America and the terrorists, they will be struck... According to this logic, France, the European country with the smallest military presence in Syria, was chosen."
The editorial concluded by explaining that Western countries and their Arab allies will now launch a propaganda campaign stressing that terrorism cannot be fought without removing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, thus justifying their anti-ISIS activity in Syria.
November 19: France Unwitting Pawn Of The US
The November 19 editorial concluded: "Saying that the Paris event was a plot to dispatch an army to the Middle East and destroy 'the resistance' is not that baseless, especially if we recall that the U.S. project regarding the Middle East began with the events of 9/11 but has remained unfinished. If we agree that the Paris event was a plot... then it is possible that France itself has become a pawn.
"For years, the U.S. and the Zionist regime have searched for a way to get their allies to foot the bill for dispatching an army to the region. This is the same plan they carried out in attacking Iraq and Afghanistan."
Majlis National Security And Foreign Policy Committee Head: ISIS Was Created To Divert Attention From Zionist Regime
Ala Al-Din Boroujerdi, who heads the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said at a November 19 conference: "ISIS was created to divert attention away from the Zionist regime. Now the danger is palpable in all those countries involved in establishing ISIS."
Ayatollah Noori Hamedani: Recent Events In France Are The Result Of Missteps By French Rulers
On November 15, 2015, Ayatollah Hossein Noori Hamedani condemned the attacks, stating: "The measures taken by the West and the U.S. are the main causes of the problems currently facing the world. Some tyrannical nations think that they can create terrorist and takfir groups and cause trouble for the Islamic countries, while they themselves will be safe in their own corner. Those who created, and who support, the cruel terrorist movements should have known that after a while, sooner or later, these problems will reach them as well.
"Today ISIS is a catastrophe for the West. The recent events in France are the result of missteps by French rulers. Westerners should learn a lesson from this. Had Western countries like France not supported terrorism... Syria and Iraq would have uprooted ISIS."
Deputy Foreign Minister: Paris Attacks Have Shown That It Is A Mistake To Use Terrorists As A Tool
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian implicitly accused France and the West of using ISIS to achieve their ends in the Middle East, stating: "The Paris attacks have shown that it is a mistake to use terrorists as a tool."
Judiciary Head: We Must Prosecute American Statesmen For Supporting ISIS
Judiciary head Sadegh Amoli Larijani claimed that the U.S. and Europe are supporting and nurturing ISIS, and said: "We should not only castigate American statesmen, but also prosecute them for supporting terrorist groups and for creating ISIS." Asking "How can it be that the Americans cannot stand up to ISIS today... [since] they have eyes and ears in every country?" he continued, "Do they not know that Syria and Iraq's oil tankers and money pass through the hands of ISIS... who then sell them?"
Reformist Intellectual Zibakalam: There Is No Excuse For Not Expressing Condolences - And Failing To Do So Harms Iran's Interests
Reformist intellectual Professor Sadegh Zibakalam wrote on November 15, 2015 in the reformist daily Shargh: "There is no moral or human excuse for not expressing solidarity and condolences... [Failing to do so] does not serve Iranian interests." Criticizing the conservatives for blaming France and the West for the attacks with arguments such as "serves them right," "they made their bed and now are lying in it," and "they have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind," he said that such talk harms Iran's interests.
Iranian Dailies Criticize Iranian Shows Of Solidarity With France
Kayhan's November 18 editorial criticized President Rohani for condemning the attack in France but not the one in Beirut.
The Vatan-e Emrooz daily's November 16 editorial criticized the reformist press for expressing sorrow over the attacks and also the Iranian citizens who expressed solidarity with France by gathering outside the French Embassy in Tehran. It stated that the same people who have no pity for Iranians killed in Syria defending their holy sites, and do not even mention this in their newspapers' headlines, cannot now claim that they sympathize with the French people. It concluded by saying that sooner or later, ISIS will become a catastrophe for all the countries that supported it.
On November 11, Vatan-e Emrooz featured on its front page a photo of a covered body in Paris outside a restaurant, with the headline: "The Near Future Has Arrived - Dinner Is Served."
Vatan-e Emrooz front page, November 15, 2015.
Cartoons On Iranian Websites, Social Media
Source: Facebook.com/BarackObamaIR, November 16, 2015
Cartoon published by IRGC-affiliated news agency (Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 14, 2015)
U.S. to ISIS: "Islamophobia is good, you fool, but be careful so as not to spill our blood when you behead!!!" (Source: Fars, Iran, November 18, 2015)
France's excuse for launching a military campaign against the Middle East: "Get out of here, you scum. Bite me but leave my leg intact so I can lead an army to the Middle East" (Source: Fars, Iran, November 14, 2015)
ISIS surprised Paris: French president to ISIS dog: "What kind of a dog is this that does not differentiate between friend and enemy?" Syria: "This is the same rabid dog that you sent us" (Source: Fars, Iran, November 14, 2015)
France under the blade of ISIS (Source: Fars, Iran, November 14, 2015)
ISIS - a knife to the throat of France (Source: Fars, Iran, November 14, 2015)
(Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 15, 2015)
The ISIS boomerang (Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 18, 2015)
(Source: Fars, Iran, November 15, 2015)
(Source: Fars, Iran, November 16, 2015)
The world's double standard in responses to terrorism (Source: Fars, Iran, November 15, 2015)
(Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 16, 2015)
"Zionism supports terrorism" (Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 17, 2015)
 ISNA (Iran), November 17, 2015.
 See MEMRI TV clip #5168, Video by Iranian Leader Khamenei's Office: U.S. and Its Allies Were Behind Paris Attacks, November 17, 2015.
 Sephanews.ir, November 14, 2015.
 Kayhan (Iran), November 15, 2015.
 ISNA (Iran), November 19, 2015.
 Noorihamedani.com, November 15, 2015.
 IRNA (Iran), November 16, 2015.
 ILNA (Iran), November 16, 2015.
 Sharghdaily.ir, November 15, 2015.
 Vatanemrooz.ir, November 16, 2015.