Arab states in Washington’s Iran strategy after ‘death of ISIS’

Arab states in Washington’s Iran strategy after ‘death of ISIS’

Tehran, Iran, October 22

By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Saudi Arabia to make fusion between Riyadh and Iraq in a new push to counter Iran’s regional influence.

On Friday the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin will also take a trip to the Middle East Arab states in coming weeks to further promote the United States’ anti-Iran policies.

These come as follow-up to President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip in May which took him to the Arab kingdom.

All of these come as in recent weeks Iranian military authorities, especially General Qassem Soleimani who has been the leader of Iranian advisory missions in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State (ISIS), said the death of the terrorist group is imminent as developments point out that ISIS is losing ground to governmental forces in Syria.

Iran says it is entitled to having brought about the end of ISIS, calling the terrorist group’s formation a US-led plot to ensure the region sees no rest. Tehran has also been accusing Washington of helping rebels in Syria to topple the country’s president.

Elsewhere, Iran has been working closely with Baghdad to end ISIS sway on parts of the Arab country, to the improvement of ties between Tehran and Baghdad.

In recent weeks, nevertheless, news outlets reported that Iran had efficiently prevented the pursuit of a cessation process in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Tehran denied participation in on-ground operations in this regard, but Iranian news outlets quoted a Kurdish representative as having talked highly of General Soleimani for helping put an end to the pursuit of an independence referendum.

General Soleimani and his respective organization, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, seem to have been the real pain in the neck for Washington in Iraqi and Syrian developments over the past few years.

Maybe that’s why President Donald Trump announced on October 13 that, as part of his new Iran strategy, he will be putting specifically tailored sanctions on the Guards.

As Tillerson’s diplomatic mission seeks to mend bonds between the Shia Iraq and Sunni Saudi Arabia, Mnuchin’s upcoming trip will definitely serve to restrict the Iranian Guards in terms of financial resources.

Washington has especially put the Guards’ missile program on note, pushing the European Union as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency to seek a way to stop it, even threatening to designate the forces as a terrorist organization.

In response, the Guards have announced that if they are put in the terrorist list, US forces will not be immune in any place within their 2,000-km missile range.

All these said, Trump’s new Iran strategy can be said to boil down to two things: to press the Guards financially, after an unsuccessful confrontation on the ground, and to make allies of Baghdad and Riyadh and therefore put some distance between Iraq and Iran.

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