Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof writes for the Financial Times on Iran’s involvement in combating the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
As John Kerry, US secretary of state, works to build a coalition to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, the piratical jihadi group presiding mainly over desert straddling Iraq and Syria, he faces demands from Syria, Russia and Tehran itself to include Iran. But if Tehran desires to join others to defeat the bogus caliphate, it must first reverse policies in Iraq and Syria that keep Isis in business.
It is true that Tehran plays outsize roles in both Iraq and Syria. In the former, having disposed of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who with his divisive pro-Shia policies failed to unite the nation against the Sunnis of Isis, it does so by lavishing arms and money on militias made up of fellow Shia.