Brussels, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) press release- In recent days, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior officials of the Iranian regime have explicitly declared the United States and the coalition rather than ISIS as their arch enemy, warning them not to take action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
On October 13 Khamenei said: “The United States and its allies are attempting to sow sedition and enmity amongst Muslims while falsely calling it confronting ISIS. Anyone adherent to Islam and the rule of Quran, whether Shia or Sunni, should know that the US-Zionist policies are the genuine and principal enemy of Islam and Muslims.”
Speaking on the same day, the parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated: “The way we see it, this coalition they have currently formed to fight ISIS looks more like a security show.” Next day he added: “The United States is playing with gunpowder in the region. It should take note that it cannot attack the Syrian government on the pretext of [fighting] ISIS.”
Two days earlier, on October 12, the Associated Press quoted Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, who stated in a blunt threat: “Iran has warned Washington that if the US and its allies go after overthrowing President of Syria Bashar al-Assad under the pretext of fighting against ISIS, then Israel’s security will be threatened.”
In private meetings, the regime’s officials have gone a step further saying that ISIS is no threat to them, that they shall never fight ISIS and that the United States is looking to divert them and divert Iran from its arch enemy.
All this comes at a time when the presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria is growing every day and as reported by the Iranian media, last week an IRGC general was killed in the city of Aleppo in a clash with Assad’s opposition.
Concurrently, the IRGC has initiated another destructive war in Yemen. The Saudi Arabian and Bahraini foreign ministers announced on October 14 that Iran has occupied Syria and Yemen and the international media reported on a joint Iranian-Russian espionage and surveillance station in Syrian territory near the Israeli-Lebanese border (CNN – October 8).
EIFA once again emphasizes that the Iranian regime is the foremost cause of the growth and expansion of fundamentalism and extremism in the region and throughout the Islamic World. The international campaign by the United States and the international coalition against ISIS will surely fail unless the Iranian regime is completely ejected from Syria and Iraq. Silence regarding Tehran’s meddling in the region and the activities of the IRGC and its terrorist militias will simply fan the flames of war in the region.
Struan Stevenson, Chairman of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014) and President of European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)