ISIS: Iran's Instrument for Regional Hegemony?

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Pinhas Inbari - Immediately after ISIS emerged in Syria, sources in the Syrian opposition said, "We are familiar with the commanders of ISIS. Once they belonged to Assad's intelligence, and now they are operating on his behalf under the name of ISIS." Why would Shiite Iran support a Sunni jihadist organization like ISIS? Iran wants to be certain that a strong Iraqi state does not emerge again along its western border. The notion that Shiite Iran would help Sunni jihadists was not farfetched, even if it seemed to defy the conventional wisdom in Western capitals. It is unreasonable to expect Iran to fight ISIS. If Iran does so, it would be turning against a movement that has been a useful surrogate for Tehran's interests. The writer is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent and an analyst for the Jerusalem Center.

2014-06-20 00:00:00

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