web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Why are We Surprised that Iran is Exporting Weapons to Iraq?

The best thing the U.S. could possibly do is strengthen a loose coalition of regional pragmatists in defeating the threat posed by ISIS – and thereby sideline Iran.
Even Muslims -- including a number of groups one might consider to be quite radical -- are distancing themselves from ISIS and declaring the group to be apostate.

Even Muslims -- including a number of groups one might consider to be quite radical -- are distancing themselves from ISIS and declaring the group to be apostate.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are two layers to this question, which is popping up on TV screens this weekend. One is the geopolitical layer; the other is the simple-tracing-of-facts layer.

Starting with the latter, Reuters reported in February that Iraq and Iran signed an arms deal in November of 2013, right after Nouri al-Maliki got home from a visit to Washington (during which he petitioned Obama for more arms to fight off the “ISIS” insurgency waging war across Syria and western Iraq).

The ISIS insurgency – “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” – is often rendered “ISIL” in English, for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In either case, the territorial reference is to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. The insurgents are Sunni jihadists, and their principal focus at the moment has been scoped by the Syrian civil war, in which they are fighting the Assad regime. Most of the ISIS guerrillas come from abroad; a major contingent of them is from the Chechen Caucasus, where Islamist insurgents have waged a war against Russian rule for nearly a quarter century now. (For more on all this, see the last link above to my January 2014 post. The map shows the corridor between Syria and Baghdad where the ISIS insurgency has sought to plant roots.)

ISIS corridor in the Euphrates valley. Google map; author annotation.

ISIS corridor in the Euphrates valley. Google map; author annotation.

The bottom line is that ISIS is fighting to gain control of territory over which radical Iran wants control herself. Iraq, under the current government, has no interest in wielding an outsize influence over her neighbors to the west; the priority in Baghdad is reestablishing control over Anbar Province. But the larger aspirations of ISIS clash directly with those of the mullahs in Tehran.

Tehran is still arming Assad and still seeking to arm Hezbollah and Hamas, as evidenced by the attempt in March to ship advanced artillery rockets to one or the other, or both. Besides the shadowy nature of the shipping route, a key feature of that attempt at arming the terrorists was that it combined arms stocks from both Iran and Syria. That aspect of the transaction is informative on multiple levels. At the most general level, it suggests how Iran sees Syria and the overall fight in the region: as an Iranian military and geopolitical campaign.

The mullahs don’t see themselves as narrowly locked in combat with a single opponent (ISIS). They have a much broader strategic objective of maintaining decisive influence where they have had it, and gaining it where they don’t. They want to turn the same territory that ISIS is after into a quiescent client-region. Much of it had fallen to them already, at the onset of the Arab Spring in January 2011: all of Syria, and the southern portion of Lebanon.

The Iranian leaders know they can’t just make abrupt moves against central Lebanon or Israel; their interim goal is to hold sway over vulnerable territories that border Beirut and Israel. And that’s a hydra-headed problem. Under today’s conditions, the Saudis would spearhead an Arab coalition to fight Iran for Lebanon – and for the West Bank, for that matter. Cairo won’t stand by and let Iranian influence build up – or, more accurately, let it change course or take new initiatives – in Gaza. Israel, of course, will defend her territory.

So Iran’s approach to Jerusalem – where the radical clerics quite literally expect to fight under the Mahdi’s banner (see here for more from Ayatollah Khamenei on the 12th Imam) – has to be incremental and cumulative. Defeating the ISIS insurgency is a step along the way to consolidating an unresisting client corridor across the heart of the Middle East.

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Why are We Surprised that Iran is Exporting Weapons to Iraq?”

  1. A ****es weapon for Hesbollah who fight for Syria

  2. sanction limited its export of oil. .and Iraq is the shortest way to destroy Israel. .and where is daddy america?

  3. Not at all surprised.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.
Israel Watching Northern Border with Syria, Lebanon
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
syria_stratfo

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

After the 2003 invasion: digging out a MiG-25 buried in Iraq before Desert Storm. Saddam’s jet inventory suffered various similar fates.

Another nation – probably Iran, possibly Russia and/or Syria – is entering the fight in Iraq in a new and fully committed way.

There is now NO possible explanation for not evacuating at least non-essential personnel from the U.S. embassy and consulates in Iraq.

ISIS is executing, slowly but surely, a pincer move on Baghdad.

The ISIS guerrillas are a problem for Iran. It arose because of the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war.

To investigate Holocaust denial is to enter into a sick world of darkness and brooding fury.

It would be so catastrophic to not increase the debt ceiling that Senators must have the option of avoiding the people’s scrutiny.

Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/why-are-we-surprised-that-iran-is-exporting-weapons-to-iraq/2014/05/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: