‘They Are Experienced in This Kind of Terrorist Act:’ Iranian Analyst Highlights IRGC-Linked Group’s Threat to Destroy US Embassy in Jerusalem
The $100,000 bounty for the destruction of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem being offered by an Iranian student group affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is an urgent reminder of the Tehran regime’s long record of attacks against foreign diplomatic targets, an Iranian political analyst told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
“The Iranian regime and its armed forces and militias are experienced in this kind of terrorist act,” said Kaveh Taheri — a freelance journalist and political analyst who is now based in Turkey — in response to Monday’s announcement by the Justice Student Movement, an affiliate of the IRGC and its student militia, the Basij, that it will reward $100,000 to “anyone who destroys the building of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.”
News of the reward was first reported by the Fars news agency, a government-backed outlet that presents itself as an independent media operation.
Taheri explained that while the Justice Student Movement is not itself a paramilitary, “they are clearly supportive of terrorism, which is why they are putting up money for the destruction of an embassy.” He also stressed that the threat was consistent with past Iranian-backed terrorist operations against embassies, military residences and similar vulnerable targets.
“One of the first acts of the 1979 revolution was to seize the US Embassy in Tehran and take its personnel hostage,” Taheri said. In the subsequent period, Iran and its Lebanese Hezbollah proxy have struck at high-profile foreign targets including the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983, killing 63 people; the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, killing 23; the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital in 1994, killing 85; and the Khobar Towers residential complex serving US military personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1996, killing 20.
Israel also holds Iran responsible for a botched attack on Israeli diplomats in Thailand in 2012, in which five Thai citizens were injured in three separate blasts. Neither are foreign embassies located in Iran necessarily spared, as evidenced in January 2016, when pro-regime mobs ransacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad.
Taheri argued that the Justice Student Movement represents a minority of students on Iranian campuses. Pointing to its affiliation with the Basij militia — which played a key role in crushing the student-led mass protests of 2009 — he remarked that the group “is hated by secular Iranian students across the country.”