Iranian media has given the Boston bombing and the subsequent manhunt extensive coverage. Most media outlets confined themselves to reprinting the photos of the events with straight reporting. Some other sites and Tehran Friday prayer believed there were larger lessons to be gleaned from this event.
In response to the manhunt in Boston for the marathon bombers Fars News Agency ran with the headline, “Will America Now Have to Confront Salafis in Its Own Streets?” Ali Reza Karimi wrote, in a long article covering several decades of US foreign policy, “Jihadi Salafism, which is a type of Salafism, has not only entangled itself with the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq, but that virus that the United States nourished in the region now has inflicted America.” He used the analysis of a Stratfor article about the Boston bombers which said, “The jihadist threat now predominantly stems from grassroots operatives who live in the West rather than teams of highly trained operatives sent to the United States from overseas.”
Karimi pointed to US support of the Salafis in Afghanistan after the invasion of the Soviet Union, which he called an “unconsidered” support that had resulted “in the misfortune of many people.” He then noted the American “adventurism” after 9/11 which led to more “poverty [which] makes individuals more prone to accepting extremist views.” Karimi also said, “Obama’s government is supporting the Salafis in Syria the way that Reagan supported them in Afghanistan,” although he added that while this is not the US “official” position, it is the position of US allies in the region.
But now, Karimi concluded, “Americans are facing a Salafi community in which they played an important role in shaping.” He wrote, “It’s possible that in next few decades, with the growth of Salafism, America, Europe and Western countries will have to face the same tragedy in their streets that the people of Iraq are facing today.”
Karimi also wrote about the effects this would have on the American Muslim community. He said, “Experience has shown that when one Muslim commits a crime in America, the entire Muslim community must pay the price. The continuation of operations by Salafis in America will make these conditions worse.”
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Tehran Friday prayer leader and a member of the Assembly of Experts, spent the second part of his Friday sermon discussing the bombing and manhunt in Boston. He said, “The position of the government is that we condemn the explosions in Boston and Texas and the killing of innocent people anywhere in the world.” An explosion at a fertilizer plant on Wednesday in Texas has killed 14 people, although it appears to be the result of a fire.
Khatami continued, “Whether in America, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan we condemn the killing of innocent people,” adding “our rationale is that human beings are honorable.” He said “It shouldn’t be bad to kill women and children in America but for it to be good to kill women, children, and old men in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.”
The Friday Prayer leader elaborated “Today in America and Europe we see that the killing of women and children affects many people, but those same people send arms to Syria that kill people in a tragic way. This is a contradiction and a lie.” Khatami added, that “Now that you see what insecurity is and how tragic the killing of innocent people is, answer your own conscience and ask your political leaders to stop sending arms to Syria.”