Iran: Victim of Terrorism

Share this item

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, terrorist groups have waged a war on the Iranian people in a desperate and futile attempt to weaken the nation and government.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

Still on screen:

terrorism /ˈterɚˌɪzəm/ noun Any act designed to cause terror as a way to achieve political goals / Oxford English Dictionary

Narration: The Shah has fled. It’s the best of times, the epoch of belief, the season of light, and the spring of hope. The whole nation is savoring a period of euphoria after the fall of Muhammad Reza Shah, the last king on the throne in Iran. Years of struggling is paying off. The Islamic Revolution has opened up new horizons for the country; a new lease of life.

Mahabad; February 15, 1979. Four days after the victory of the revolution, Komalah, a separatist group in Western Iran, stormed a traffic police station and sprayed everyone was there with bullet. This act of terrorism marked the beginning of a tragic scenario that retakes the lives of many Iranians over the next three decades. In 13,000 days after the revolution, more than 17,000 Iranians fell victims to terrorist attacks; more than one person a day.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “I've been confined to a wheelchair since 1985.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “Many people have been assassinated in our society.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “I'm Leila Mohammadi, the widow of Abdolhasan Haghshenas.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “I've been the target of seven assassination attempts.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “No one can give a guarantee that they will give up assassination.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “Those who claim to be the supporters of the Iranian nation, this is what they mean by supporting.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing Attack: “They shot me in the leg.”

Narration: Iran’s Islamic Revolution with Ayatollah Khomeini at the helm was not what some totalitarian groups had dreamed about.

June 27, 1981. Six days after the dismissal of President Abul-Hassan Bani-Sadr, a bomb went off in a mosque in south Tehran to leave Ali Khamenei, the representative of Ayatollah Khomeini in the National Security Council and the MP for Tehran in critical condition.

The next day, a huge bomb explosion shook the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, killing the Chief Justice, Ayatollah Beheshti, four ministers and scores of top-ranking politicians. Two months later, on 30 August, President Mohammad Ali Raja’i and Prime Minister Muhammad Javad Bahonar were assassinated in yet another bomb explosion. A large number of religious leaders and ordinary people also lost their lives in other sporadic terrorist attacks. The Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization or the MKO took full responsibility for all the attacks.

1981 was Annus Horribilis. It was the worst of times, the epoch of disbelief, the season of darkness, and the winter of despair. It was time when terrorism was born and bred to wound; to kill; to annihilate; and to dash the nation’s hope and sow the seeds of insecurity, fear and terror all over the country. The initial post-revolution euphoria had already begun to vanish beneath the waves of bombings and assassination attempts. Against that backdrop Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. Soon after, the MKO shook hands with Baghdad to officially go to war with Iran. In eight years, the organization carried out over 100 military operations inside the country through its military arm called “The Liberation Front”.

The MKO never buried the hatchet and swore to wreak havoc on the whole country. Since the victory of the revolution, the MKO have made endless attempts on guiltless lives.

From 2002, little by little Iran’s nuclear energy program came to the fore. Halted by war and sanctions, Islamic republic’s civilian nuclear program had begun in the 1950s with the help of the West to secure the country a reliable source of energy. Things had changed since that time and Iran had no option but to count on its own scientists, those who had set the wheels in motion. A move that the send West, including the US and Israel screaming bloody murder.

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [English]Newt Gingrich, Republican Presidential Debate: “Maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems, all of it covertly, all of it deniable, second, maximum cooperation with the Israelis in a way that allows them to maximize their impact in Iran, third, absolute strategic program comparable to what President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher did to the Soviet Union, of every possible aspect short of war, of breaking the regime and bringing it down.”

Narration: 12 January 2010. Dr. Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a nuclear physicist, is killed in a bomb blast outside his home. A few months later, his assassin has arrested.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Majid Jamali Fashi, Convicted Mossad Operative: “They showed me a passport, an Israeli passport with an Azerbaijani stamp on one of its pages. It had an entry stamp and it was supposed to have an exist stamp on it. It was a real Israeli passport.”

Narration: Israel engaged in a shadow war with Iran. Within two years, four nuclear scientists lost their lives in terrorist attacks.

SOUNDBITE [English] News Anchor: “People are killing Iranian nuclear scientist in a very clear pattern, so how do you think is behind it?”

SOUNDBITE [English] News Anchor:”And what about Israel? What’s reaction today?”

SOUNDBITE [English] Diane Sawyer:”You know they are looking for responses from Israel, all the day and where did we find it? Facebook, with the Israeli defense force spokesman saying: I don’t know who said we … with the Iranian scientist but I am certainly not shedding a tear, not exactly denied.”

Narration: At this point, it was an open secret that Israel’s intelligence services were behind the rash of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.

SOUNDBITE [English] Mark Perry, Intelligence Analyst:These are sophisticated operations, they were not suicide bombings, these most recent … was magnetic bomb so I would say it is clear that it was an outside intelligence agency and Leon Panetta our secretary of defense said : it is a good idea of who did it and I think he was hinting who was did it.”

Narration: Terrorism, by definition is the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. The MKO is only one pawn in the political battle against Iran. In fact, the archenemies of Iran, above all Israel, have more stooges on stage to put on human tragedies. Terrorist groups like PEJAK and JUNDULLAH are two of them. It’s been more than a decade than PEJAK or the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan started armed clashes with Iranian security forces along the country's west borders and the group’s criminal record shows that a large number of civilians have been the main target of their deadly operations.

On the east borders are Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, a misnomer for another terrorist group trained, armed and financed by Israel and other sponsors of terrorism. Founded in 2003, Jundullah claims that it is fighting to defend the human rights, culture and faith of ethnic Baluchis. But their actions suggest otherwise.

Terrorism is sprawling around the globe threatening all nations and civilization and there is no silver bullet for this problem unless the international community shows a political will to rid the whole world from this inhumane phenomenon.


Coming Up Online