How Tehran uses ISIL to get close to Washington

ByMohammed Alsulami

Iran created a bogeyman called ISIL, or at least has had a hand in making it. Now Iran is proposing itself as the only country, which can help to get rid of it.
I formerly proposed that ISIL and Tehran chant empty slogans against each other—each one claiming to fight the other. However, when we go beyond these allegations and slogans, we see that ISIL has offered invaluable assistance for Iran’s destructive expansionist plans in the region. Perhaps the best example and evidence for this is what is happening in Sunni regions of Iraq in particular.

In this article, I will try to show the way in which ISIL has provided valuable services not only to Iran but also to the West, including the United States. Looking at the Iranian regime’s stance towards the Syrian revolution in Syria, we see that the establishment in Tehran and its supporters and followers depicted the Syrian revolution as a “Zio-American conspiracy”—a plot targeting the self-proclaimed ‘Axis of Resistance’ over its alleged defense of its borders against Israel. This stance, however, suddenly changed following the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear deal reached between the Iranian regime and the 5+1 group in Geneva in 2013.
Since then, Iran’s narrative on Syria has changed to one of Syria being targeted by terrorism, with Iran being an essential ally in the regime’s efforts to block and fight this terror threat. More precisely, Iran began deploying a more Western-friendly War on Terror narrative, talking about “global terrorism,” instead of putting the blame on “arrogant powers” and “Zio-American” conspiracies. Tehran’s recent claims more closely echoed the superpowers’ concerns — particularly those of the United States — over the current issues in the region. To serve its geopolitical interests, Tehran has not hesitated to spread false accusations against the Sunni countries of the region –especially Saudi Arabia—claiming that they support and stand behind ISIL.
Moreover, it is not surprising that Iranian media enthusiastically support and fuel such claims, given that they are essentially organs of the regime at the service of its plans, and reflecting its pragmatism when its interests and narrative change.
Nevertheless, it is horrifying when such slanderous claims are not only widely repeated but are given wholly unmerited credibility through further repetition by Western media and think tanks – think tanks, which are themselves in the hands of a group of Iranian lobbyists in the USA who had, ironically, fled Iran due to the regime’s great injustice and the limitations it imposed on them and succeeded in obtaining U.S. citizenship.
One such lobbying group, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), recently sent a 42-page report to President-elect Donald Trump. This report — signed by more than 60 carefully selected experts—was published under the title ‘Maximizing the Opening with Iran: How President Trump Can Secure American Interests in the Middle East.’
Having studied this report thoroughly and scrupulously, I found that many of the claims it makes are questionable in the extreme, and may return to analyze these in a future article. In the meantime, however, the most important issue to focus on is why seven whole sections of the eight-part report prepared by Iranian regime lobbyists deal with the need for cooperation between Washington and Tehran to eliminate ‘ISIL.’ The report also noted some regions of the world where ISIL has been inactive to date, asserting that U.S.-Iranian cooperation is essential to prevent the group from penetrating these areas.
In fact, the NIAC has omitted one very vital fact from its supposedly exhaustive report, which effectively exposes its ludicrous claims and shows up its efforts to make Trump’s policies more closely resemble the regime-friendly policies of Obama; the CIA lists Iran as the primary global sponsor of terror. Indeed this status is the reason for the US imposing sanctions on the country. ISIL cannot be considered realistically a serious threat to Iran and its interests in the region; indeed, it has offered the Iranian regime a pretext and done it a service in ways that the IRGC could only dream of. Al-Baghdadi has been far more invaluable to the Iranian regime’s expansionist regional objectives than Qassem Suleimani ever could be.
However, instead of giving priority to serving Iranian immigrants in the U.S., the NIAC follows and supports the Jurist Leadership’s regime, with NIAC members who have U.S. citizenship preferring to serve the Iranian regime’s interests over those of the USA.
The Iranian regime’s and its lobbyists’ insistence on claiming that Washington and Tehran should merge their anti-terror efforts raises more questions than answers, over the regime’s real relationship with ISIL, and its leveraging of its supposed opposition to the group as a means of improving the regime’s image in the West and of justifying occupation and war under the pretext of “cooperation with the West to combat ISIL.”
Iran made a bogeyman called ISIL, or at least had a hand in making it. Now is the time for Iran to propose itself as the only country, which can help all get rid of ISIL. To put it concisely, based on what was said, it is evident that Iran starts a fire in the region, but in the next step, it will introduce itself as the only one that can put it out!

Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Founder and President of Rasanah