Beirut Victims of Terrorism
This blog was initiated to promote the virtues of diplomacy and remains committed to this goal, focusing on Iran’s exploitation of its own diplomatic infrastructure the world over. In this context, and against the backdrop of the bombing of its embassy in Beirut last week, this post is dedicated to the 23 victims – including Iran’s “cultural” attaché, responsible for activities in both Lebanon and Syria – who never returned home, all because Tehran’s game of duality.
Past Backlashes Against Iranian Diplomats
I condemn the act, for sure. But in view of the aggressive support for Bashar Assad and Hezbollah by Iran and its official representatives – not only in Syria itself, but from Lebanon as well – it was unsurprising that the al-Qaida-linked Sunni rebel group which claimed responsibility for the attack pledged to continue until Hezbollah withdrew its forces from Syria.
This would not be the first time, of course, that Iranian diplomacy’s emissaries and employees paid the price for Tehran’s policy of riding the tiger.
Already back in 1980, an Iranian died when six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in London. In 1992, Iranian rebels led a unified attack on diplomatic missions and embassies in 10 Western countries as a form of protest against Iranian air strikes in Iraq. In 1996, Taliban forces in Afghanistan killed 11 Iranian diplomats. Last year, the Iranian consulate in Afghanistan was attacked again over executions of Afghans in Iran.
The pattern is the same: Iran exploits its diplomatic infrastructure for very non-diplomatic activity, and in the end those affiliated with it pay the price.
Tragic Price for Exploiting Diplomacy
As Iran’s involvement in Syria escalates unchecked by the international community, the Beirut bombing demonstrates that Tehran is not immune to the dangers faced by other diplomats – including by Iran-supported operatives (as well-documented by this blog). Indeed, the Beirut tragedy is unfortunately liable to repeat itself – unnecessarily leading to more victims of Iran’s cynical exploitation of diplomacy.
- More attacks likely but Iran won’t respond in kind (dailystar.com.lb)
- Hezbollah Suffers Syria Blowback in Beirut Bombings (bloomberg.com)
- Iran’s role in Syria provoked Beirut attack: March 14 (dailystar.com.lb)