Destroying the Islamic State militant group could lead to an “Iranian radical empire,” former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned.
The 94-year-old former senior diplomat made the remarks in an article titled ’Chaos and order in a changing world’.
“In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy,” he wrote in an article published on CapX.
“The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions.
“The outside world’s war with ISIS can serve as an illustration. Most non-ISIS powers – including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states – agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran?” he questioned, using an alternative acronym for IS.
“The answer is elusive because Russia and the NATO countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire,” Kissinger added.
Iran has had a heavy influence in several conflicts across the region.
In Iraq, the Popular Mobilisation Forces – more commonly known in Arabic as al-Hashed al-Shaabi – are financially and militarily backed by Tehran in the fight against IS.
Meanwhile, in Syria, Iran sides with the embattled Bashar al-Assad.
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