Assets released after sanctions’ removal can serve Iran’s foreign policy objectives

Politics Materials 6 October 2015 13:35 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 6

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran will likely use a portion of whatever resources it gains from lifting of sanctions to support its foreign policy goals, including providing financing to Palestinian Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah groups as well as the Shia militias in Iraq, Daniel Serwer, a US former diplomat believes.

"That could mean more terrorism against the United States and Israel," Serwer told Trend Oct. 6.

Speaking on what Iran can offer to fight regional terrorism, the expert said that Tehran is supporting Shia militias in Iraq that are fighting the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL) as well as the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria, which is doing little to fight the Islamic State.

"I don't think fighting terrorism is really the Iranian goal in Syria. It is protecting a friendly, autocratic regime that helps Iran in maintaining strong links with Hezbollah."

The former vice president for centers of peace building innovation at the US Institute of Peace also believes that Iran has a good deal to fear from terrorism, though of course it has also sponsored terrorism, sheltered terrorists (including members of Al Qaeda) and provided support to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

" Iran's attitude seems to be that terrorism is a tool it is prepared to use when it suits its purposes and oppose when it doesn't. At the moment, the Islamic State poses a serious threat to Iran, but that is because it is anti-Shia, not only because it employees terrorism."

It should be noted that Iran and the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, France, UK, and Germany) announced a final accord, curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions last July. Following the deal some senior Iranian politicians have expressed interest to cooperate with the US in regional issues, in particular in fighting terrorism.

Speaking at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Hassan Rouhani said that the Islamic Republic is ready to root out the international terrorism.

Edited by CN

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