Iran: Coming out in the Open to Join First Line of Battle against Islamic State
Nikolai BOBKIN | 21.12.2014 | OPINION

Iran: Coming out in the Open to Join First Line of Battle against Islamic State

The Washington-created anti-Islamic State coalition was to set an example of international cooperation in the Middle East torn by internal strife and divided between belligerent alliances. Iran was to take part in a get-together in Brussels where 60 states discussed the ways to fight the Islamic State militants. But it was not invited. Now Tehran decided to act on its own. 

In the middle of October Barack Obama sent a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution, about the campaign against Islamic State insurgents. The President assured him that the US-delivered air strikes have no goal to weaken Iran or its ally Iraq. Moreover, President Obama allegedly offered Iran to join together in the anti-Islamic State effort. Washington has no diplomatic relations with Iran. It continues to say that it would be inappropriate for Iran to become part of the coalition. «I'm not in a position to discuss private correspondence between the President and any world leader. I can tell you that the policy that the President and his administration have articulated about Iran remains unchanged», said Josh Earnest, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary in the White House. According to him, «The United States will not cooperate militarily with Iran in that effort; we won't share intelligence with them. But their interests in this outcome are something that's been widely commented upon and something on a couple of occasions has been discussed on the sidelines of other conversations.» The Press Secretary said joining efforts together with the country supporting terrorism does not necessarily meets the interests of US servicemen. 

In other words deep contradictions remain between the both sides. 

The US administration is afraid that shifting the focus of efforts from the Iranian nuclear problem to fighting the Islamic State would upset Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a nuclear Iran would be more dangerous than the Islamic State. According to many members of US Congress, the fight against the Islamic State distracts the Unites States from the problem of Iran. The existing hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the Tehran’s support of the Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria also evoke concern in the USA. 

The US policy has led to emergence of two forces fighting the Islamic State. The interests of the United States and Iran coincide to further complicate the problem. According to the Pentagon, Iran has already unleashed a war against the jihadists as US-produced F-4 fighter-bombers delivered air strikes against in the Diyala province. Many analysts rushed to conclude that it was a turning point in the Tehran’s strategy. Iran refused to confirm the information about the air strikes but reiterated its view on the situation in Iraq. Iran has stated many times that it’s impossible to defeat the Islamic State by air strikes only. Tehran does not take seriously the US anti-Islamic Stare effort. Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said the Islamic Republic will never trust the US-led so-called international coalition to tackle the Islamic State militants. Addressing reporters on September 15, Rahmani-Fazli said Iran would never trust Americans in the fight against Islamic State terrorists and other issues because they have shown double standards on many occasions. «The Americans have followed double standards on such issues as fighting terrorism, human rights, peaceful use of nuclear energy and tens of other cases», the Iranian Minister explained. Iran came to this conclusion assessing intelligence data which provides a proof that the United States has previously provided the militants with financial, logistic and political aid. By creating the anti-terrorist coalition America simply strengthens its own position in the region. Its fight against the Islamic State is nothing more than propaganda. The Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brig-Gen Massoud Jazayeri said the US is applying efforts to deceive the international community. Ali Akbar Velayati, former Foreign Minister and the current top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has recently made Americans remember that Iran’s influence was widely spread around the region, «Iran has major influence from Lebanon to Yemen.» The Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader pointed to recent developments in the Middle East and said that Tehran has shown that it can and will take immediate necessary actions in the region when needed. 

He mentioned Yemen to prove the point. Evidently Shiites took revenge there for Bahrein, a country with predominantly Shia population, occupied by Saudi Arabia with the consent of the United States. 

The Tehran-supported Ansarullah Shia movement actually has taken power in Yemen. Its formations control Sana'a, the capital of the country, key military installations, oil fields and the main provinces. Ansarullah fights the local Al Qaeda and other radical Sunni groups. The movement opposes the US interference in the Middle East and regularly burns in public US-made goods. Tehran has recently received a HAMAS delegation. Iran maintains close relations with the Palestine Resistance Movement. Moreover, Iran is the only country that has increased its support of HAMAS in recent days. 

Tehran has each and reason to believe that the US plans to redirect the terrorist Islamic State efforts to make it fight Iran. The fact is corroborated by the intercepted documents that belonged to one of Islamic State leaders. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, an America’s puppet, also tries to diminish the Iran’s influence in Iraq. Iran realizes that Iraq turns into a springboard for launching an Islamic State aggression against Iran so it makes no secret of its involvement there anymore. The supreme leader of Iran Ali Khamenei says the activities of the US and its allies lead to split among Muslims instead of eradicating terrorism. Tehran believes that the only way to counter the threat is to make Iraqi Shiites join the fight against terrorists. 

The unparalleled in scale pilgrimage of Iraqi and Iranian believers to the Shia holy city of Kerbela is a telling example of Shiites’ unity. Up to 17, 5 million made the pilgrimage over 40 days this year, more than a million from Iran, and many remained for the ceremony of Arbaeen. Arbaeen commemorates the death of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. The ceremony is held to mark the death of Imam Hussain who died in battle at Karbala. This time Iranian Shiites came in unprecedented numbers. The governor of Karbala Akeel al-Turaihi praised the peaceful conclusion of the pilgrimage. "We think that the success of this visitation (pilgrimage) is one of the chapters of victories that our armed forces and volunteers achieved in the fight against the Islamic State" he said.

Tags: Iran  ISIS   Middle East  US 

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