On November 6, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that U.S. President Barack Obama had secretly written a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei asking and encouraging him to join America’s alleged fight against the Islamic State.
The Wall Street Journal’s report was based on information provided by “unnamed sources” who indicate that the letter was sent in Mid-October and that it “described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria … [and] appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.”
In addition, the reporting journalists also state that the letter stressed “that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program” ahead of the meeting scheduled to take place on November 24, regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Although the White House is not officially confirming the letter’s authenticity, the fact is that Barack Obama and the Ayatollah have had communication on the subject of the Islamic State before.
However, this previous communication, also taking the form of a “secret letter not acknowledged by the Foreign Ministry,” was initiated by the government of Iran suggesting that the United States and Iran work together in order to defeat the Islamic State. This suggestion was promptly rejected by the U.S. State Department.
Indeed, it was reported by the BBC in September, 2014, that the Ayatollah Khamenei had “authorised his top commander to co-ordinate military operations with the US, Iraqi and Kurdish forces.”
While the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the veracity of the reports about the letter at the time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani subsequently stated that Iran was open to the idea of working with the United States to combat extremism. As The Daily Beast wrote in September, 2014,
Well aware of its new position, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told the General Assembly on September 25 that Iran’s promises of help in the war against ISIS depended on Western concessions in the nuclear talks. “We are determined to continue our confidence-building approach and our transparency” in the nuclear negotiations, Rouhani said. “If our interlocutors are equally motivated and flexible,” then Iran and the West can start cooperating on “very important regional issues, such as combating violence and extremism.”
Even before Rouhani’s statement to the General Assembly, however, the United States made it clear that the U.S. was not interested in cooperation with Iran against IS. “We are not going to coordinate military action or share intelligence with Iran and have no plans to do so,” said State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf. She was also insistent that the two countries would not be “coordinating our action together.”
Yet the United States did, in fact, request assistance from Iran to combat ISIS, a request that was relayed by none other than Secretary of State Skull and Bones John Kerry himself. This request was reported by the LA Times on September 15, 2014. The report states,
Iran has rejected direct overtures from top U.S. diplomats, including Secretary of State John F. Kerry, to cooperate with Washington in the battle against Islamic State extremists in Iraq, Iran’s supreme leader said Monday.
In his most extensive comments to date on the crisis, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad had requested a meeting with his Iranian counterpart to discuss “coordination” between the two nations to confront the threat of the Al Qaeda breakaway faction. The U.S., for its part, says it is not coordinating military efforts against Islamic State with Iran, though it has repeatedly discussed the issue with Iranian officials.
“I opposed [the U.S. request] and told them we will not cooperate with the Americans on the issue because their intent and hands are not clean,” Khamenei said after being discharged from a weeklong hospital stay during which he underwent prostate surgery, reported Press TV, Iran’s official English-language news outlet. “How is it possible for us to cooperate with the Americans under such circumstances?”
According to Khamenei, Iran also rebuffed a request from Kerry for “cooperation,” as the Obama administration seeks to build an international coalition against the Islamic State group. The request was conveyed “personally” from Kerry to the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Khamenei said.
“Iran has voiced its opposition to being a party to that coalition from the very beginning,” said Iran’s supreme leader. “The Americans’ coalition is nonsense.”
So why are two countries, who both allegedly oppose ISIS and who are both allegedly fighting ISIS, entirely unwilling to coordinate with one another in order to defeat ISIS?
While one could admittedly complicate the issue, the answer is actually quite simple. The reason for the inability of the two countries to coordinate against ISIS is because one of the countries does not want to defeat ISIS. That country, of course, is the United States.
Khamenei, for all his very obvious faults as dictator, is absolutely correct when he suggests that the hands of the U.S. are not clean and that its intent is not genuine. The truth is that the U.S. and NATO would prefer that Iran join a “coalition” that sees Iran following the orders and dictates of NATO, all while being crushed under sanctions and unfair pressure over its non-existent nuclear weapons program. The United States and NATO do not want a partner against ISIS, they want a dupe.
It should also be pointed out that, while the United States has targeted Syrian civilians, Syrian government oil refineries, and Syrian grain silos among other forms of Syrian infrastructure, Iran has committed a small fighting force of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops inside Iraq for the purposes of defeating ISIS. Whatever Iran’s internal situation may be like, it is clear that the Persian nation is entirely serious about destroying the Sunni terrorists funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States.
The U.S., of course, has armed, trained, directed, funded, and assisted those very terrorists since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. When airstrikes did finally commence against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it was immediately clear that the strikes were aimed at protecting Big Oil’s infrastructure and destroying the infrastructure belonging to the Syrian government, not defeating ISIS. A process of bomb-induced death squad herding also followed in which death squad fighters appear to have been driven out of certain positions for the purposes of overwhelming others.
In the end, the reality is that the United States does not want to partner with Iran in order to destroy and defeat ISIS. The U.S. does not, in reality, want to defeat ISIS at all. It does, however, desire to continue to use ISIS as its Arab legion against Middle Eastern governments that America seeks to overthrow. Interestingly enough, one of these target nations is Iran.
Secret letters or not, the United States’ olive branch of cooperation is nothing more than a veiled attempt at duping Iran and/or providing itself with the cover of attempted diplomacy. Iran, so far, has been wise enough to resist such cooperation and it would be wise to continue to do so.
Khamenei is absolutely correct to reject the American offers of “engagement” on the grounds that America’s hands are dirty. But, unfortunately, as history demonstrates, America’s hands are not just dirty. They are poisoned.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.