Can the West Rely on Iran?

(Israel Hayom) Dore Gold - The U.S. outreach to Iran on the nuclear issue has been accompanied by an assumption in parts of the American foreign policy establishment that the two countries were on the verge of establishing a new political partnership covering the Middle East. Would Iran really become a dependable partner for the U.S. in fighting Islamic State in Iraq, allowing Washington to reconsider its older Middle Eastern alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia? While Iran and Islamic State are today at war, their hostility toward one another is not inevitable; the two parties have been able to closely coordinate at certain times in the past. Indeed, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the former commander of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, spent four months under the protection of the Iranian regime. The commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Sulaimani, admitted that Zarqawi had spent time in a Revolutionary Guards training camp and that he had provided military assistance to Zarqawi. After Zarqawi's death, the organization changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and later to ISIS. Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adani admitted in 2014 that the group had not attacked the Iranians since the organization was established. The U.S. would be making a terrible mistake if it believes that it can replace its old Middle Eastern partners with a revolutionary Iranian regime. Tehran's purpose since 1979 has been to reduce American influence in order to pave the way for its own military domination of the region. The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2015-02-16 00:00:00

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