While leaders from across the world have sent their messages of condolences to the French people and to the French President Francois Hollande, the Supreme Leader of the Islamist state of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been silent, not issuing a single statement.
But usually his mouthpieces – meaning the senior official of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the state media outlets, the intelligence and the Judiciary officials – speak for him. And his representatives have been exploiting the massacre and Paris catastrophe to the fullest extent.
For example, instead of sending a message of condolences, the Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, the deputy head and a senior IRGC commander, despicably blamed the French people and implied that they deserved such catastrophe. He stated, “The French have paid the price of their government’s support for ISIS and terrorism.”
The Obama administration continues to depict Iran as a country that other countries should partner with in order to fight the Islamic State. The administrating fails to understand that Iranian leaders in fact use the Islamic State to advance their own ideological, hegemonic ambitions, and pursuit of regional preeminence, and supremacy. The White House is playing right into the hands of the Iranian leaders by legitimizing their foreign policy.
What the Iranian leaders are also trying to do is establish a deep sense of fear within the Western people and convince the West that they have to support President Bashar Al Assad, otherwise they will witness more terrorist acts like the shootings and bombings in Paris. In addition, they are telling the West to support Tehran’s military interventions and assistance for the Syrian dictator.
Quds online, linked to IRGC wrote,
“The U.S. and European countries support terrorists under the pretext of confronting Syria’s legal president, and they have allowed them to carry out crimes against humanity. The byproduct of such an approach is seen in the Paris terrorist attacks, and currently ISIS is like a dog that has bitten its owner’s leg, and the countries of Italy, United Kingdom and United States are threatened with similar attacks. If Western countries are seeking to prevent being engulfed in such human catastrophes, they must uproot terrorists without meddling in the internal affairs of other countries such as Syria. For this objective it is necessary for the West to leave the fate of Bashar Assad up to the Syrian people and focus their efforts on uprooting terrorism [resistance forces and the Free Syrian Army.]”
When it comes to the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic has utilized it to consolidate its geopolitical and strategic in the Middle East. Before the rise of the Islamic State, Iran had a hard time legitimizing its role in Iraq and explaining its support of the Syrian president.
The Islamic State has provided the excuse for Tehran to “legitimately” dominate Syria and the Iraqi political establishment through military force, intelligence and politics.
Tehran also uses the Islamic State, as well as other Sunni extremist and terrorists groups, to strengthen its Shiite militias, which have played crucial roles in several countries, including Iraq and Lebanon, by dominating their domestic politics and pushing other forces out of the country. For example, Iran masterfully used its militias during Lebanon’s Beirut Barracks Bombings, which killed 299 American and French citizens, to push US and French forces outside Lebanon and allow Tehran to dominate the country. Iran used the same tactics in Iraq as well. As a result, The Islamic State seems to fit perfectly in Iran’s narrative and Tehran knows how to use it to advance its hegemonic ambitions.
The Islamic Republic might show effort to some extent to fight the Islamic State in order to protect the power of the Syrian President and the Iraqi Shiite coalition, but it is also in the interest of Tehran to keep the organization of the Islamic State operating in order to preserve Iran’s aforementioned advantages and in order to project Tehran to the West as the only reliable alternative and partner in the region for fighting the Islamic State.
How low the Islamist leaders and politicians of Iran must be to exploit the Paris attacks and suffering of the French people and to utilize the Islamic State’s terrorist acts for advancing their own ideological and geopolitical interests. Should one partner with such leaders?
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