Home Global Village Rouhani declares the end of ISIS. What next now for Iran?

Rouhani declares the end of ISIS. What next now for Iran?

News Analysis |

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday announced the end of the Islamic State (ISIS), a brutal militant organization that proliferated in Iraq and Syria from 2014 onwards.

Rouhani, whose country was at the forefront in the fight against the ISIS thanked all the “warriors of Islam” for helping to “put an end to a group that did not bring anything for us but evil, misery, destruction, murder, and savagery.”

“The bulk of the work was done by the people and armies of Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon and we helped them out of our religious and Islamic duty,” said Rouhani. Earlier, in a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, the Commander of the IRGC Quds Force, Major General Qasem Soleimani announced the end of ISIS’s domination over Muslim lands.

Trump’s continuous efforts to undermine the JCPOA are not backed by a viable tactical plan to withstand Iran’s response. Ostensibly, the US, after reverses in Syria and Iraq is pulling away.

The letter read: “Following the historic victory of Iraq and Syria’s resistance movement over the sedition of Takfiri terrorism and the end of ISIS’s domination, which was manifested by lowering the flag of this American-Zionist group at Abu Kamal–the last key area in the hands of ISIS–General Soleimani issued an important message to Ayatollah Khamenei.”

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This comes days after the Syrian Army and its allies assumed complete control over Albu Kamal, Islamic State’s last significant town in Syria. Rouhani said that he would be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday to discuss the future of Syria and the region.

Russia and Iran fought ISIS and also shored up the Assad regime. This brought both countries, especially Iran in direct conflict with the US. Ironically, despite fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the US and Iran were at each other’s throats.

With conspicuous setbacks to the US and Saudi Arabia in Syria and Iraq, Lebanon’s simmering situation is tailor-made to be the new battleground between the two powerhouses of the Muslim World.

So much so that ISIS’s attack inside Iran in June this year drew a sarcastic condemnation from U.S. President Trump. Saudi Arabia and the US have conflated Iran’s fight against ISIS with its yearning to expand its influence in the region.

Analysts feel that though Saudi Arabia wants to make Iran bleed in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s well-entrenched position, both as a military and political force, will preclude such a possibility.

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Iran, for its part, has warned Saudi Arabia not to test its might while vowing to lend support to the Lebanese government. “You know the might and place of the Islamic republic. People more powerful than you have been unable to do anything against the Iranian people. The United States and their allies have mobilized all their capabilities against us and achieved nothing.”

Islamic State’s last significant town in Syria. Rouhani said that he would be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday to discuss the future of Syria and the region.

President Trump, despite his anti-Iranian bent and his willingness to punish Iran is in a tight spot. Trump’s continuous efforts to undermine the JCPOA are not backed by a viable tactical plan to withstand Iran’s response. Ostensibly, the US, after reverses in Syria and Iraq is pulling away.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia, which is now faced with blatant Houthi rebels can ill-afford to get carried away and jump in Lebanon, that too when even the Sunnis are aware of Hezbollah’s might are, therefore, not willing to challenge Hezbollah in ways that can turn the tables in favor of the Kingdom.

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Analysts are certain that the end of ISIS in the region has by no means lessened Iran’s sparring with Saudi Arabia or the US, for that matter.