| 17.01,16. 08:24 PM |
To overcome ISIS, first deal with Assad in Syria
By Heshmat Alavi
2015 has been described as a very difficult year for the Middle East, with the region engulfed with bloodbaths throughout Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The world witnessed ISIS and their Dark Age-style rule gain strength, and also suffer major setbacks, setting the grounds for 2016 to be used as a catapult to launch a completely new era in the fight to actually defeat and conquer Islamic fundamentalism. The international community has a golden opportunity and it simply has to understand that the prerequisite to conquering ISIS is defeating the Iran-backed murderous regime of Bashar Assad in Syria. Such measures will also allow the targeting of Iran as the main root of extremism and terrorism.
The civilized world today is facing numerous challenges in embarking against the dangerous threat of Islamic fundamentalism. At the epicenter of this very real threat lies the regime of the ayatollahs ruling Iran, loathed by all Iranians.
The ayatollahs actually rejoiced over the horrific November 13th massacre of innocent civilians in Paris by ISIS. And yet it’s deceptive, “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani attempted to superficially condemn the attack. However, this is nothing but a role division aimed at fooling and deceiving the international community.
Under his tenure more than 2,000 people have been executed in Iran since the summer of 2013, and Rouhani is a staunch supporter of Bashar Assad, strongly backing the Revolutionary Guards war machine. Recently he ordered the expansion of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
In 2015 the mullahs suffered major setbacks, and this trend has to continue in 2016 in order to tackle ISIS. The formation of an Arab-Islamic coalition of countries in the region spearheaded by Saudi Arabia has isolated Iran more than ever before. This was a major development and advance for the world to unite against extremism in the name of Islam as the heart of this phenomenon lies in Tehran.
The more the world focuses on the root of fundamentalism, meaning Tehran and its allies, the more our world will inch closer to peace and security. ISIS can be defeated. Yet we have to understand that there are steps to be taken in preparation, and most important is to rout the Assad dictatorship that has cradled ISIS with support provided by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The international community must adopt a decisive policy aimed at expelling and completely evicting Iran from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, bringing an end to the so-called “Shiite Crescent” in the Middle East.
This is a policy pioneered and championed by the charismatic Iranian opposition Maryam Rajavi, herself a renowned Muslim woman. In the early years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq she boldly described the threat of Iran’s meddling in the region as 100 times more dangerous than its quest for nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the horrific scenes seen in the past decade in the current imbroglios of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and … have proven her all too true.
ISIS took advantage of the atrocities committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people, all blessed by the ayatollahs in Iran. The world, led by the United States, has spent billions in the fight against ISIS for over 18 months now. It is high time to realize that this strategy is not working, and it has actually allowed Assad to remain in power. If the free world is serious about insisting Assad must go, then it has to become serious in its campaign in this regard. If Assad is taken out of the equation in Syria, the Syrian people can unite and be supported to defeat ISIS. To this end, this will ultimately deliver a crushing blow to Iran’s aspirations in the entire Middle East, providing a much needed boost to nations of the entire region suffering from Iran’s lethal meddling in their internal affairs.
Peace in the Middle East, this vital corner of the globe, depends on a strong will to rid Syria of Assad, annihilate ISIS and bring an end to the ayatollahs’ rule in Iran.
Heshmat Alavi is a political activist and supporter for regime change in Iran. He writes on Iran and the Middle East.
He tweets at @HeshmatAlavi