Trump's barbed condolences land with a thud in Iran

The World
A boy is evacuated during an attack on the Iranian parliament in Tehran, Iran.

A boy is evacuated during an attack on the Iranian parliament in Tehran, Iran.

Omid Vahabzadeh/Reuters

The lights will go dark on the Eiffel Tower tonight as a tribute to the victims of Wednesday's terrorist attack in Tehran. 

Still, many Iranians say they're not feeling the sort of outpouring of support and sympathy that usually follows an ISIS assault. 

"Honestly, I didn't expect the people of the world to be so quiet about it," says Tehran resident Roya Saadat. "My friends on Facebook, they felt sorry, but we saw on social media that some countries, especially Arab countries, were happy about it." 

In twin terrorist attacks Wednesday, militants stormed Iran's parliament and the tomb of the country's spiritual leader. At least 17 people died. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the assault.

Saadat says in the aftermath of the attack, it feels different to be Iranian. 

"In the last 38 years, we have been isolated from the world. But we could see people were supporting us. Yesterday and today it was like [the people of the world were saying], 'You Iranian people are not important,'" she laments. "I couldn't believe it, that people just thought, 'It serves them right because they're sponsors for terrorists.'"

Saadat took little solace from US President Donald Trump's expression of sympathy. In a statement released by the White House, the US leader noted, "We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times." It continued, "We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote."

On the same day as the attacks, the US Senate voted to proceed with a bill that would impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic because of Iran's "support for acts of international terrorism."

Saadat takes issue with that characterization. 

"We have always been against terrorism," she says. "When Sept. 11 happened, our people in Tehran went to one of the squares and they lit candles, and put flowers for them. You know we are crying for people in Syria, it's not that all Iranians are fighting in Syria. I don't know why they are blaming us." 

Saadat looks forward to the days when "the time of Donald Trump will be over." And she says she's hopeful. 

She says Iranians have increasingly empowered moderates. Saadat notes that, according to reports, when during the siege of Iran's parliament some of those present began shouting, "Death to America!" an official admonished those who started the chant.

"The second speaker of the parliament said, 'Come on! Why are you saying such a thing? It doesn't have anything to do with the US,'" she says. "So people in Iran, they don't consider the US as their enemy." 

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