Tehran, Iran, Dec. 5
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Tehran is incapable of carrying out sustained airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State (Which at times is also referred to as ISIL or ISIS) positions in Iraq, due to the fact that its warplanes are decades old and lacking spare parts, said an Iranian military expert.
"Iran cannot conduct air strikes without the U.S. permission, because Iraq air zone is under the control of U.S. forces," Hossein Aryan, a former officer in the Iranian Navy told Trend Agency on Dec. 5.
For instance, F-4 Phantom is 40 years old dating from the time of the shah.
He went on to note that Iran currently offers military training and consultation services to Iraqi army.
"The country can help fight the IS through such measures," Aryan said.
"Iran and the U.S. have common interests in Iraq. Fighting the IS serves the interests of both countries. But, in Syria the two countries' interests are against each other," he explained.
"The IS threat will remain in the short run, because the U.S. does not intend to use its full military power against IS. Bribery and corruption are rampant in the Iraqi army. It does not have the required experience for a war. So, Iraq cannot defeat IS for at least a year. But, it may be possible in the long term," the expert noted.
He further ruled out any possible link between Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks, and the recent reports about Iran's airstrikes in Iraq.
"I do not think the extension of Iran nuclear talks is related to Iran's war against IS. Zarif and Kerry may have held negotiations about IS, as well. But nuclear talks are tough enough. And I do not think the two sides link it to IS threat," Aryan said.
The U.S. Defense Department reported earlier this week that Iranian F16 fighter jets have attacked IS militants in eastern Iraq in recent days.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, however, said on Dec. 3 that Tehran's policy of providing military assistance based on international regulations has not changed.