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Tyranny and terrorism — Late Iranian president’s legacy is crystal clear


Daily Caller News Foundation

For Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi — who died in a helicopter crash — the question was not whether terrorism was good or evil, but who perpetrated it against whom.

Raisi condemned the terrorist attack that the Islamic State launched this January against Iranians who were commemorating the death of Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in January 2020.

Soleimani had commanded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which itself engages in terrorism, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“The IRGCF-QF,” says the DNI’s website, “is one of the Iranian regime’s primary organizations responsible for conducting covert lethal activities outside of Iran, including asymmetric and terrorist operations.”

“Iran views terrorism,” says the DNI, “as a tool that it can use to support its efforts to deter and counter its perceived foes, assert leadership over Shia Muslims worldwide, and project power in the Middle East.”

In its 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department described how the IRGC-QF supported terrorist activities outside Iran. “Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Force (IRGC-QF) to provide support to terrorist organizations, provide cover for associated covert operations, and create instability in the region,” said the report. “[T]he IRGC-QF is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorist activity abroad.”

In 2019, the State Department officially designated it as a terrorist organization.

This Jan. 3, when a group of Iranians gathered in the city of Kerman on the anniversary of the IRGC-QF commander’s death, two Islamic State suicide bombers infiltrated the crowd. They killed themselves and 89 Iranians.

Two days later, speaking at the funeral for these victims of terrorism, Iranian President Raisi praised Hamas for its Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

“Hailing Hamas, Iranian president says October 7 massacres will destroy Israel,” said the headline in The Times of Israel.

“Speaking at the funeral, Raisi hailed Hamas for its deadly October 7 onslaught, in which thousands of terrorists attacked more than 20 communities across southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 240 hostages,” said the report.

“We know that ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ operation will bring about the end of the Zionist regime,” Raisi told the crowd assembled for this funeral.

“The mourners,” reported the Times of Israel, “waved the national flag as well as the yellow flag of Tehran’s ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, along with portraits of Soleimani, amid shouts of ‘revenge, revenge,’ ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel.’”

Like the Islamic State and the IRGC, Hezbollah is also a State Department-designated terrorist group — and it is also supported by the Iranian government that Raisi served as president.

This “Lebanon-based radical Shia group takes its ideological inspiration from the Iranian Revolution and the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini,” says the State Department’s 2022 Country Reports on Terrorism. “The group generally follows the religious guidance of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. Hizballah is closely allied with Iran, and the two often work together on shared initiatives, although Hizballah also occasionally acts independently.”

Then there are the Houthis.

“Since the October 7, 2023, Hamas attacks and Israel’s military response in Gaza, the Ansar Allah/Houthi movement, an Iran-backed force in Yemen, has targeted Israeli territory and commercial and naval vessels near the Bab al Mandeb Strait, a key maritime choke point,” said a Congressional Research Service report released this month.

“In January 2024, the Biden Administration announced that the Houthis would be redesignated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists,” said the report.

While promoting terrorism against foreign nations, Iran — during Raisi’s presidency — routinely violated the human rights of its own people.

In 2022, as this column has noted before, Mahsa “Zhina” Amini died in the custody of Iran’s “morality police.”

“On September 13, police detained Amini for her alleged ‘improper hijab’ while she was visiting Tehran from her home in the Kurdistan region,” the State Department said in its report on human rights in Iran in 2022.

She “died after reportedly being beaten while in the custody of the morality police,” said the report.

“Authorities claimed Amini had suffered a ‘heart problem’ while in custody and was pronounced dead on September 16,” it said. “A photograph was later circulated showing Amini lying in a hospital bed with apparent severe facial injuries.”

Last year, Iran detained Amini’s father and imprisoned her family’s lawyer and journalists who had covered her story.

“According to IranWire, on the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Zhina Amini’s death, September 16, Amini’s father Amjad Amini was temporarily detained by authorities and prohibited from visiting his daughter’s grave or leaving his residence,” said the State Department’s report on human rights in Iran in 2023.

“In October, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported that Saleh Nikbakht, lawyer of the family of Mahsa Zhina Amini, was sentenced to one year in prison for propaganda against the regime,” said the State Department report.

“In October, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, two of the first journalists to report on Mahsa Zhina Amini’s death, were sentenced to 13 and 12 years in jail, respectively,” the State Department said. “They were charged with collaborating with the ‘hostile American government,’ colluding against national security, and spreading propaganda against the regime, according to the government’s judiciary news website.”

What did President Joe Biden’s State Department say when Raisi, the president of this tyrannical and terrorist-supporting regime, died in that helicopter crash?

“The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran,” said a statement from department Spokesman Matthew Miller. “As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The Biden State Department refrained from stating the fact that Raisi was among those responsible for denying Iranians their rights and freedoms — and it has been justly criticized for it by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the investigative editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation. To find out more about Terence P. Jeffrey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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