Sunday, June 22, 2014

Khamenei: Iraqi Conflict Not a Religious War - U.S. Manufactured

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in Tehran on Sunday that he opposes U.S. intervention in Iraq, and strongly hinted that Iran will support Maliki for a third term as prime minister.

“We don't support any foreign interference in Iraq and we're strongly opposed to U.S. interference there,” Khamenei said. (IRNA, 22 June)
“The United States is dissatisfied with the result of elections in Iraq and they want to deprive the Iraqi people of their achievement of a democratic system, which they achieved without U.S. interference.
“What is happening in Iraq is not a war between Shiites and Sunnis. Arrogant powers want to use the remnants of Saddam’s regime and takfiri (ISIL) extremists to deprive Iraq of stability and tranquility,” he added. “The real fight is between those who want to bring back a U.S. presence and those who want Iraqi independence,” Khamenei said.
Commentary: The remarks by Khamenei are the latest manifestation of his attempt to recast the conflict in Iraq in terms of the West against the Iraqi nation, allowing the Iranian military to intervene in Iraq without being seen as entering a religious war against the Sunnis, and especially for the Quds Force not being seen as Shia mercenaries.

Notwithstanding Khamenei’s wishes, the reality on the ground is that the ISIL has taken advantage of the feeling of disenfranchisement among the Sunni population to get the support of other Sunni groups and putting itself in the leadership of an emerging social movement in the Sunni areas against the central government. The Sunnis will regard Iranian military intervention in Iraq as the entry of a Shia army into a religious war against the Sunnis. This is a trap for Iran, especially in the larger Persian Gulf/Levant region with an overwhelmingly Sunni population.
Photo credit: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressing Iraqi crisis. Tehran, 22 June 2014 (Mehr News Agency)


Unknown said...

Uskowi, what you seem to be suggesting is that Iran shouldn't intervene in Iraq and allow the ISIL to take more territories and maybe even border Iran itself! You're analysis that " ISIL has taken advantage of the feeling of disenfranchisement among the Sunni population to get the support of other Sunni groups" is undoubtedly true, but it's too late to learn from "past mistakes". There is now a hostile takeover by an organization that doesn't care whether Maliki marginalizes the Sunnis or not.

There is a viable military and terrorist threat on Iran's borders with Iraq, and the situations seems only to be getting worse. What would you do if Iran's national security was in your hands today with openly anti-Shia, anti-Iran groups building up on your borders?

Anonymous said...

This is again another biased article by the author on Khamenei and Iran. What Khamenei says is what has come to light to western analysts as well. The author would know this if he wasn't so eager in criticizing Khameini all the time.

The facts are that the western media have been portraying this war as sunni vs shia and in some cases they (e.g. bbc) had had to change their headlines in wrongly doing so ( Also, as the Syrian envoy has mentioned the western media doesnt refer to ISIS as terrorists. The media is thus fuelling the goals of its government as it has done in the past.

Another fact is that USA trained ISIS in Jordan ( and that US is allies with those who are funding ISIS and other terrorist organisations such as Saudi and Qatar and is silent in this regard. Not exactly the same reaction they show for Irans backing of Hezbollah. Why such bias?

Also US, Israel and Saudi backing ISIS is in line with what they have been doing in the gulf in the past decade or so (sponsoring terrorism for their own benefit). Refer to the following article (

Nader Uskowi said...

It is not the Western media that is deciding that nature of the crisis. Unfortunately this is a sectarian conflict. ISIL wants to establish an Islamic state in Iraq (as in Syria) based on their understanding of Islam, and the Shia government in Baghdad and the Shia Iran are their enemies. And the ISIL is opportunistically using the widespread feeling of disenfranchisement among the Sunni population to get the support of other Sunni groups and puts itself in the leadership of a social movement in Sunni areas.

Are foreign actors, like Iran and Saudi Arabia in particular, trying to use the situation to get to reach their own goals? Yes. This is what happens when a religious war starts, it draws many internal and external actors.

Nader Uskowi said...

The Quds Force is increasing being regarded as Shia mercenaries fighting the Sunnis. My word of caution for Iran was that it cannot afford that its military to be seen as the Shia army involved in an all-out religious war against the Sunnis. This does not mean it cannot help the government defend against ISIL advances in Baghdad or the Shia south. But there is a fine line between defending a people under attack, and fighting the Sunnis in Sunni-dominated areas in the north and west of the country to help a Shia government. That's not Iran's fight. But Khamenei, in his usual "revolutionary" zeal, wants to recast the nature of this conflict and use it, as opportunistically as the ISIL, to define the West as the enemy.

Unknown said...

Forget Khamenei. Are you saying Iran (or the Iraqi government) shouldn't try to take back the Sunni territories and leave them to ISIL rule, which will not stop advancing anyway?

Can Iran really ignore immediate threats from a terrorist organization building up on its borders just for the sake of "not being regarded" as a pro-Shia nation?

Anonymous said...

You have ignored all evidence in my comment and are sticking to your own opinion without defending it or criticizing my arguments.

Yes your opinion is that the conflict is sectarian. I brought facts that ISIS is 'manufactured' by USA. I also brought evidence that western media is pushing to show this a sectarian. Also what is happening is what USA has been doing for years.

The truth is USA and Co have created and are supporting the ISIS entity to destabilise Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraq and they're using their media machine to make it out as Iraqi sunnis vs Iraqi Shias even though this is not the case, just like BBC Persia played a part to fool Iranians in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état.

The truth is t

Gurney said...

Right, it is precisely due to the fact that this war is absolutely a 100% sectarian/tribal in nature that the US should stay out of it!! Shias and Sunnis have been at each others throat since the 600s AD. Not a single precious American life should ever be given up for this 1000 + year old feud. It's not gonna stop just because we wedge ourselves right in the middle of it!!

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to Khamenia the liar. It is a religious war. Syria is a good example where Quds,Sepah and Hezbollah are fighting Sunni. Now this war has arrived on Iran's doorstep Iraq.Partially thanks to islamic non-republics sectarian policies against non-Shia moslems and its support of Maliki and Syria's Assad.

Nader Uskowi said...

I didn't say that about the Iraqi government. But you see the Iraqis are an independent nation, and not a satellite of Iran. Their interests and those of the Iranians are not necessarily the same. Iran needs to worry about its own long-term interests in the regions. And the Quds Force acting as Shia mercenaries fighting against the Sunnis to keep Maliki (or Assad) in power is not in those long-tern interests in the region. Iran, as is, has enough forces to defeat ISIL if it were fool enough to attack the country.

Nader Uskowi said...

Just by saying ISIL is manufactured in the U.S. does not make the statement a fact! And if what is going on in Iraq is a religious conflict, then of course the western press, and the Chinese or the Russian press will call it a religious war. I guess you need to read what ISIL says, and what it does. They are after creating an Islamic caliphates and are not shy about it, pretty much like what Taliban did in Afghanistan. If you don't call that part of a religious movement, then that's your opinion, but only that!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this. Enjoy watching them kill each other

Unknown said...

This still doesn't address the problem. No sensible leadership would just sit and wait for a terrorist organization (that is too "terrorist" and "radical" for Al-Qaeda itself) to attack the country directly. When the Soviets placed missiles in Cuba, the Americans moved Heaven and Earth to take them out, one way or another.

Again, the ISIL is building up a viable threat on Iran's borders, and nothing suggests that they wouldn't be foolish enough to attack Iranian interest directly. What should Iran do?

Independent or otherwise, Iraq is not a stable country, which means someone has to do their work for them before its too late, be it Iran or America. And since the U.S has demonstrated a lack of interest in helping the Iraqi government, Iranian intervention is the only solution. It would be nice, of course, to have Iranian leaders bring all Iraqi political factions to the table and lay out the foundation for a more inclusive national government, which I don't think Khamenei is interested in, however more immediate threats need to be addressed now.

You understand better than anyone else that Iran's regional influence is one reason the country is still in the game. Our line of defense has to be (not just "is", but has to be) beyond our geographical borders, just like America's line of defense isn't limited to U.S territory, but the Persian Gulf itself!

Again, what would you have Iran do? It is out of the question that today, Iranian and Iraqi interests are the same (fighting the ISIL).

B.M.A said...

He is never a liar !!,either YOU have issues with the English language ! or a common big mouth.

fact -
in syria Iran and the Hezbolla are not fighting Sunni! ,what a waste of words from you!-In the Syrian Army there are more Sunni commanders than Shites and President Assad has a solid support from among the majority sunni. Hizbollah is fighting militants which happen to be sunni.

Anonymous said...

B.M.A, I have "issues" with the turban tyrants of Tehran. But YOU seem to have "issues" with posters that don't tow the dictatorships line by using diatribes and personal innuendos.
If as you claim Assad "has a solid support" among the "majority sunni" then I have a bridge here for sale.

Anonymous said...

"Not a single precious American life should ever be given up for this 1000 + year old feud" ==> and what about the hundreds of thousand Iraqi lives that were lost to American aggression that also happened to be the very root cause for such sectarian instability to begin with ? Besides, care to remind us who created the beast that is now Al-Qaeda and its splinter groups such as ISIL in the first place ?

Gurney and his contractions of history... my gosh it never stops digging deeper in insolence and baffling me by its ignorant and dishonest character...

Anonymous said...

Nader u really don't know that isil is supported by the US through saudi arabia?
U really dont know that all of this what happens by isil and nusra are not tolerated by the US??? Come on...your comments looks much wiser than that

Nader Uskowi said...

No need for compliments, but thanks anyway. The Islamic world is undergoing a historic struggle defining what Islamic governance means in the 21st century. The fundamentalist trends both among the Sunnis (ISIL and Taliban) and Shias (hardliners in Iran) are part of this struggle, as are moderate interpretation of Islam, again among both the Sunnis and Shias. You need not look for the hand of U.S. in controlling the islamic world. These questions should and will be settled among Muslims in Islamic societies.

Please put conspiracy theories aside, and take a hard look at Islamic movements and the questions they need to answer. Let's hope fundamentalist answers will not win at the end of the day, and this will be a long struggle, and Iraqi crisis is just a part of it.

Anonymous said...

Robert Fisk disagrees with you Nader
and he states the US is helping Al-Qaeda

Seymore Hersh, Pulitzer prize winning Sy Hersh has this to say:;_ylt=A0LEV0gSXKpTglsAsNZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzOHZ0NGlwBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNgRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDA3N18x

What do you think of this video of Zbigniew Brzezinski
and here's him now

Even Bill Maher is saying the US is using al-Qaeda to topple Assad

The Assads have always been unpopular yet tolerable for the last 50 years, yet spontaneously overnight all these groups armed to the teeth with American weapons, night vision, RPGs etc...are revolting in Syria. Do you think they just rubbed a Magic Lamp and a genie armed them because they made a wish.

Just like with Lawrence of Arabia, just like with arming the Afghan Mujahideen, just like arming Saddam and now using KSA and Qatar to arm these Jihadists in Syria. Don't even get me started on McCain posing with terrorists in Syria which got him in a lot of trouble when he came back home.
If it was just Assad, Khamenei and Putin saying this, you'd have a point, but more and more people in the main stream US and UK are even saying this.

Anonymous said...

If sectarianism is the problem then how come Assad is still in power in Syria? The bulk of SyAA consists of Sunnis imagine for a second that they all decided to defect to the opposition if really this is a sectrian conflict, do you honestly think Assad could last a week even with all the foreign support he is getting?

I am not saying there are no grievances held by the Sunnis, but I should be seen within the context of power dynamics. Before 2003 invasion of Iraq what was the relationship between Sunnis and Shias? If now there is a conflict we should be objective enough to see the root course of such actions from where it originated from which is the shock and awe policy of Bush Jr. This is a divide and conquer policy with less concern for the humanitarian cost.

Nader Uskowi said...

the most dangerous thing for the Iranian government is to base it foreign policy on mis-information and mis-calculations. You see if Iran's starting point is that the ISIL's advance in Iraq is being supported by the U.S., they will have tough time to understand the battle space in Iraq, and wrong policies follow wrong intelligence/analysis. Iran's intelligence is much stronger in Iraq to make such non-sense analyses on ISIL.

Nader Uskowi said...

I agree with you that the situation in Syria was different from Iraq. In Syria a popular movement against four decades of Assad-family dictatorship started as part of the Arab Spring. Assad decided to crush the movement, instead of finding a common ground, and by doing so weakened the unarmed opposition and opened the space for extremists. On the Sunni side, the ISIL and al-Nusrah and the like, on the Shia side, Quds Force-sponsored Shia militias and Hezbollah, transforming a democratic movement into a sectarian one.

Assad is not the victor of that conflict. He is now a caricature of its former self. If the Iranians wanted to have him in power so he could be a shield against Israel, that Assad is finished. He is in no shape to be the part of the "resistance axis" anymore. This is what happens in religious wars. They are vicious and when started it would be hard to stop, and all rational parties, including Assad's moderate opposition, will also lose.

Brig. Gen. Basrawi (IQAF.ret) said...

Assad and the majority of the Sunnis in Syria adhere to the Ba'athist ideology, just as Saddam. What matters to them is the concept of Arab nationalism. It's all secular. Most of the Syrians want to keep the country together, prevent it from splitting up into pieces.

Nader Uskowi said...

Just responded to a similar comment below: The most dangerous thing for the Iranian government is to base it foreign policy on mis-information and mis-calculations. You see if Iran's starting point is that the ISIL's advance in Iraq is being supported by the U.S., they will have tough time to understand the battle space in Iraq, and wrong policies follow wrong intelligence/analysis. Iran's intelligence is much stronger in Iraq to make such non-sense analyses on ISIL.