After a US federal judge in New York ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars to the families of victims of the September 11 terror attacks earlier this month in a largely symbolic default judgement, Iran is reportedly prepping to sue Washington for terror attacks carried out against Tehran within the last year.
Iran says the US is responsible for the rise of ISIS, and is therefore indirectly to blame for twin terror attacks that rocked the Iranian parliament building and a popular religious shrine in June 2017, which left 17 civilians dead and 43 wounded, according to Iranian media figures.
“During the presidential campaign, Trump clearly spoke about the performance of his rival, Mrs. Clinton, saying that the US has created the ISIL,” Abolfazl Aboutorabi, a member of parliament’s judicial commission, announced on Tuesday in comments carried by Iranian state media. “The public prosecutor has also filed a lawsuit in this regard,” Aboutorabi added.
Iran hopes the initiative will shine an international spotlight on the Obama administration's role in facilitating the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria — something President Trump repeatedly affirmed while on the campaign trail.
Trump also famously blamed then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for the rapid rise of ISIS, especially in relation to policies she oversaw in Libya and Syria as Obama's Secretary of State.
Trump first told his supporters in January 2016 that “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama.” And in a CBS 60 Minutes interview that aired July 17, 2016, he said again, “Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies.”
Trump: Obama and "crooked Hillary Clinton" are the "founder" and "co-founder" of ISIS:
It's the first time in history that a candidate who would go on to become president has blamed his predecessor for founding a terrorist group.
A fairly consistent theme of Trump on the campaign trail was that Obama and Hillary's massive covert aid program to Islamist "rebels" in places like Libya and Syria facilitated the terror group's rapid growth. He also blamed Obama's hasty troop pullout from Iraq.
Long before joining the Trump campaign, former Defense Intelligence Chief under Obama Michael Flynn told Al-Jazeera it was a "willful decision" to support jihadists groups in Syria that included ISIS:
Indeed one surprisingly frank editorial in Britain's premier mainstream Guardian newspaper concluded the same a full year before Trump first made the statements. The Guardian article, titled Now the truth emerges: how the US fulled the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq went viral after it was published in June 2015, and analyzed a then newly declassified Pentagon intelligence document which had been released as part of a watchdog group's FOIA lawsuit connected to the Benghazi diplomatic compound attack.
The Guardian summarized the Pentagon memo as follows:
A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” – and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria.
Raising the “possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality”, the Pentagon report goes on, “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”.
It appears that Trump's provocative charge of Obama and Clinton being the "co-founders of ISIS" — statements made a year after the Pentagon intelligence memo's initial release — were likely the direct result of his reading the Pentagon memo and accompanying media commentary.
In June of 2016 Trump tweeted a story linking to the Pentagon memo which opened with: "Hillary Clinton received a classified intelligence report stating that the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State." Trump said of himself concerning his accusations against Obama and Hillary made that summer: "But he's right".
At the time, multiple Iranian state media outlets also featured the Pentagon document, while also highlighting then candidate Trump's statements blaming the Obama administration.
It is this past commentary that Iran will utilize to make its case that the US is to blame for the 2017 ISIS terror attacks inside Iran, which it plans to file with the international court, according to FARS News Agency. The 2012 Pentagon memo, which has since 2015 been available to the public, will likely play a central role in Iran's presentation of the case.
Iran's parliamentary judicial committee spokesman noted, "there is nothing more reliable than a claim raised by a country's president."
In the summer of 2017 Trump announced that he shut down the CIA's covert program to train and arm anti-Assad militants in Syria after he reportedly saw a video of "CIA vetted rebels" beheading a child in Aleppo.