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Road ahead unclear in aftermath of Tehran attacks

After having thwarted numerous plots to strike Iran, the country has finally been hit by its first Islamic State attack; the question now is what Iran may do next.
Members of Iranian forces run during a gunmen attack at the parliament's building in central Tehran, Iran, June 7, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.          TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX39E45

To ordinary Iranians, the threat of the Islamic State (IS) was never close enough to be thought of as a real concern — until June 7, when the group hit two monumental locations in the capital city of Tehran: the parliament and the tomb of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The attacks were a shock — a wound deep enough to leave a clear scar. The big questions in the aftermath that need to be answered are how they happened — and what will come next.

On Oct. 24, Al-Monitor wrote about Iran’s new challenge: IS in Persia. This was prompted by the killing of Abu Aisha al-Kurdi, who was supposed to be appointed as the emir of the group in Iran. Back then, the country’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi told state TV that the operation took place in Kermanshah province and resulted in the dismantling of an IS cell. Since then, Iranian authorities announced on several occasions the arrest of terrorist groups.

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