Who actually profits from the provocation of hatred and abhorrence against Muslims in today’s world? And when we see this hatred decrease why does so often a terrorist group rise from the abyss and once again ignite the fire from its ashes? Can a newly formed group only a few years in existence become a force overnight that a united global front is needed to overcome? Is this not a repeat of the fate al-Qaeda went through following 9/11? If terrorism – highly represented by ISIS in today’s world – can be characterized as a snake, Iran would most definitely be the head of this deadly animal.
In 2001 when the United States attacked Afghanistan, a window was opened to make contact with the ayatollahs in Iran. In the meantime, Iran became a safe haven for senior al-Qaeda leaders, the same figures Washington was seeking to annihilate. With the scope of this war expanding, the window of military and intelligence cooperation also escalated, and Tehran took advantage of this opportunity to enter negotiations with the P5+1. Today, Tehran is repeating the same scenario in Iraq after Washington presented it to the ayatollahs in a silver plate following the 2003 occupation. After opening this gate before Iran to reenter the world stage through the nuclear talks, Tehran began taking advantage of the works of ISIS in order to expand its influence as a major regional player. Yemen provides the best such example.
However, if Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab and Islamic states were able to block Iran’s influence in Yemen, unfortunately the international coalition of over 60 states in their war against ISIS has not been able to put an end to this group’s terrorism. The status quo has deteriorated with Russia directly interfering in Syria. Why? Because all this has easily left the doors open for Iran to support this group. A simple look at Iran’s military campaigns in Syria and Iraq shows how the Revolutionary Guards gained the support of ISIS. While major cities in the West are the scenes of chaos with terrorist attacks causing havoc, why have the ayatollahs in Iran remained at ease from ISIS’ wrath, despite the fact that this fanatical group has openly described Tehran as its number one enemy…?
If there is a global cause and intention in the war against terrorism, then the snake’s head must be cutoff. This is only made possible through a coalition of Arab countries with the cooperation of Islamic states, not only to overcome ISIS, but also to cure the cause of this illness, being the ayatollahs in Iran. This is the only method to establish peace in our world.
All this said and done, is it logical to include Iran in any international coalition aimed at tackling terrorism? This is tantamount to asking the arsonist to put out the fire.
Keyvan Salami is a human rights activist and writes for freedom and democracy in Iran and peace in the Middle East.
Keyvan tweets on @salamikeyvan