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Fight against ISIS- Letter to President Hollande: Iran must not be included

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:38

Hon. François Hollande
Président de la République

15 September 2014

Mr. President
I would like to wish you every success in the efforts of your Excellency and the French government to combat terrorism in Iraq and Syria and in the forthcoming Paris conference.
My colleagues and I have more than ten years of experience regarding the situation in Iraq and I think it is quite timely to bring to your Excellency’s attention the indisputable fact that the creation or at the very least the thriving of ISIS has been a by-product of measures by the Iranian regime and its cohort governments in Syria and Iraq. These governments, with the active encouragement of the Iranian regime, have committed repeated atrocities against their own people, in particular the Sunnis.
Silence and ignorance on the part of the West, especially the United States, concerning the tragic bloodbath in Syria and the West’s support of Nouri al-Maliki’s dictatorship has strengthened extremism. Likewise, any fight against ISIS that is not accompanied by eradicating the religious fascism ruling Iran and ending that regime’s interference in Iraq and Syria, will never yield the desired results.
Reports indicating that the Iranian regime has been invited to the Paris Conference are very troubling. Allowing a role for the Iranian regime in the fight against ISIS will simply aggravate the catastrophe. In the past eight years, Nouri al-Maliki took Iraq to the edge of the precipice by his pursuit of sectarian and suppressive policies and by the systematic violation of human rights. Sunnis were driven to take up arms to counter the genocidal campaign he launched against them. During all of this time Maliki was acting under direct instructions from the Iranian regime and the IRGC General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the terrorist Quds Force (QF). Maliki also gave dominion to the vicious militias such as the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and 9th Badr who officially introduce themselves as followers of the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Khamenei and as part of the IRGC and QF.
Regrettably, on many occasions, following airstrikes by the United States, they are the militias affiliated with the Iranian regime that replace ISIS on the ground, leaving the beleaguered population still subject to terror and violent abuse.
Henri Kissinger put it squarely on September 6th in his interview with NPR when he said: “I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can became a strategic, permanent reality. I think a conflict with ISIS — important as it is — is more manageable than a confrontation with Iran.”
And on September 10th, The Washington Post quoted different regional experts when it wrote: “Arab concerns about expanding Iranian influence elsewhere in the region, including Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain,” and concluded that: “in a strategic sense, the Islamic State does not pose a strategic threat to the Gulf states the way Iran does”.
The New York Times wrote on September 11th: “Israeli fear is that the Iranians, finding themselves on the same side of the fight against ISIS as the United States, would use it as leverage to extract concessions from the president….. ‘ISIL is a five-year problem,’ Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s strategic affairs minister, said a few hours before Mr. Obama addressed the nation on Wednesday night, using the acronym the Obama administration employs to describe the Sunni extremist group. “A nuclear Iran is a 50-year problem,” he said, “with far greater impact.”

We believe that France and your Excellency will understand that the fight against terrorism cannot succeed unless we deal first with the religious dictatorship in Iran.

Respectfully

Struan Stevenson, Chairman of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014) and President of European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)

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