A terrorist attack in southeastern Iranian city of Chabahar claimed more than 34 lives and left scores more wounded on Wednesday.
Press TV interviewed Professor William Beeman of the University of Minnesota on the attack and speculations that the Obama administration is supporting the group behind the attack - the Pakistan-based Jundallah.
Press TV: We are now joined by Professor William Beeman who is with the University of Minnesota who joins us on the line from Minneapolis. Professor, as always we thank you for joining our broadcast. Now an Iranian lawmaker says the US and UK support Wahhabis who are obviously extremists, and they also condemned terrorism at the same time. Why such blatant hypocrisy on the West's part?
Beeman: Well, it's very curious. You know that President Obama has condemned the attacks in Chabahar about half an hour ago. As in fact the United States condemned the last attacks in Chabahar. But we know that the United States and certainly Saudi Arabia has been supporting Jundallah over the years.
It's a really curious problem for the Obama administration because US support of Jundallah was started under the Bush administration. Although, the Obama administration has declared the Jundallah group as a terrorist organization as far as anybody knows the United States perhaps through Saudi Arabia continues support of this group. There are still individuals within Washington who want to put pressure on the government of Iran.
Nevertheless, to have this attack take place during the Tasuah mourning ceremonies, which is one of the most sacred days of the year, is really quite outrageous. It's something that really should be condemned by everybody.
Press TV: Now in condemning this attack Obama said terrorism has no religious, political or national limits. Yet the US sponsors anti-Iran groups as you mentioned, as one of them being Jundallah, increasing sectarianism. Why?
Beeman: Well, as I say there has been over since the Bush administration functioned within the US government. Especially at the mid-level and in the State Department and also the Department of Defense that believes if you try and create ethnic and religious tension in Iran, that it will eventually bring down the government. During the Bush administration, people supported splinter groups in Kurdistan, in Azerbaijan and also in Baluchistan.
Unfortunately, people who support that position are still very much influential, and in some levels in Washington. I think that the Obama administration has a lot of work to do to get rid of these individuals who still hope they can bring about regime change in Iran through these kinds of tactics.
Press TV: Much has been spent to destabilize Iran while it is accused of supporting terrorism. Does today's attack prove a lack of understanding maybe about Iran on the US's part?
Beeman: I have said so in many publications and quite often: the United States continues to indentify Iran as the chief state supporter of terrorism in various parts of the world, but the accusations have never proven to be true. The United States has gone so far as to say that Iran has been supporting the Taliban and has been supporting Al-Qaida.
All of these things are no more ridiculous if you know the religious beliefs of groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaida that completely condemn Shiaism because of their extreme views in the Islamic world.
The bulk of the Islamic world accepts Shiaism as a legitimate branch of Islam but not these real extremists. So the idea that Iran would be supporting them is really absurd but nevertheless the United States and other nations continue to make these claims I think really in the hopes that they will be able to create a bad impression of Iran among their own people.
Press TV: Alright, we will have to leave it here for now. That was Professor Beeman from the University of Minneapolis. We thank you for your insights here at Press TV Professor Beeman.