Small Wars Journal

So Long As Iran Dominates the Middle East, a New Baghdadi Will Rise

So Long As Iran Dominates the Middle East, a New Baghdadi Will Rise by Tzvi Kahn – The Hill

On the day after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death, President Trump identified an unlikely partner in the global fight against ISIS. “Iran is right there,” he said, along with Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, all of which maintain close ties with Tehran. “They all hate ISIS,” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

It’s a familiar refrain. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump argued that Iran, along with Syria and Russia, has played a positive role in combating the terrorist group. “I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS,” he said. “Russia is killing ISIS. And Iran is killing ISIS.”

The Obama administration adopted a similar view. In 2014, as nuclear negotiations with Tehran proceeded in earnest, Obama sent a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that floated the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation to defeat ISIS if the two could reach a nuclear agreement. “The fact is,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the UN Security Council, “there is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran,” in defeating ISIS…

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