Newspaper article Roll Call

Collaboration with Iran's Regime Is Self-Defeating

Newspaper article Roll Call

Collaboration with Iran's Regime Is Self-Defeating

Article excerpt

As Iraq teeters on disintegration, some on Capitol Hill are floating the idea of collaborating with Iran in order to defeat the threat posed by the terror group Islamic State (ISIS). But, would this really serve American interests?

The suggestion is that the U.S. and Iran both regard ISIS as an enemy, and therefore are potential allies in the fight against it.

As dangerous as ISIS is, our would-be partners in Tehran present an even greater security threat to the region and America's core interests. Confronting the immediate threat of ISIS would be counterproductive if it also empowers an even greater threat.

The policy's advocates admit that collaboration with Iran and Syria would give these weakening regimes a longer lease on life. It could also prolong the atrocities in Syria.

ISIS needs to be dealt with. But not through forging a dangerous alliance with the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

In fact, the Iranian regime's destructive meddling in Iraq and Syria created a breeding ground for violence and the rise of ISIS.

Tehran encouraged former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to shut Sunnis and other minorities out of government, destabilizing the government that the U.S. had helped put in place, and creating deep Sunni minority resentments, some of which have been hijacked by ISIS. Simultaneously, Iran's influence over Maliki left the Christian and Yazidi communities unprotected in the north, allowing ISIS to ethnic cleanse them this summer.

There is no doubt that the U.S. can help local forces including the Kurdish Peshmerga beat back the Jihadi offensive in northern Iraq. But it needs a broad strategy that is informed by the fact that the regional crisis will not simply end with the defeat of ISIS. The more fundamental threats in Tehran and Damascus need to be countered.

Terrorism and forces of instability will simply find new outlets as long as Tehran continues to meddle and yield control over Iraq. Maliki practically put himself at the service of the Iranian regime, most visibly with his attacks on Iranian dissidents in camps Ashraf and Liberty.

A decision to empower one form of evil against another is based on either a short-sighted misunderstanding of global security issues, or sheer panic. …

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