Defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria
Transcript of the TV Interview
Trish Regan: First, I would like your reaction to the president's plan for fighting Islamic State. What did you think about his address last night?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: I think, Trish, the president's speech was very solid, very firm, and very decisive; He defined the objective very clearly. What needs to be done is how to turn that into a success.
Some of the elements that the president highlighted is that he emphasized on the need, that in addition to the military actions that the United States is going to engaged in, to rely on the Iraqi people, because at the end of the day, it is the Iraqi people who will have to make the difference.
He also talked about a coalition, who are the
international partners of the United States who are going to
help with that?
In order to better understand how to help with the Iraqi people, we have to look at how we got to this problem.
The current situation in Iraq is a byproduct of Malikiís sectarian policies over the years, particularly in the past four years, with the full backing of the Iranian regime, who fed Maliki with training and weapons and ran their Shiite militia operations that basically suppressed the Sunni population, especially the tribes, eliminating them from the political process, creating a situation that left no options for the Sunnis but to stand up. Of course, that created a vacuum where ISIS jumped in.
So in order to reverse that, in addition to targeting ISIS, you need to strengthen the more moderate voices of the Sunnis, you need to separate the ISIS from the Sunnis.
Yes, understandably. That's something the president has
talked about doing. He really wants the face of this to be
led by the Middle East, as opposed to the U.S. Is that
realistic, though? I mean, can we do enough to arm some of
the government over there? Should we be concerned about who
we are arming, in some cases?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Certainly, that is the concern the United States legitimately has; and it should remain. But look at the experience in the past, by just looking at Iraq itself; In 2007, even when the United States had over 140,000 troops there, at the end of the day it was the Iraqis, the Sons of Iraq, or the Awakening Councils that the United States supported, they got engaged in fighting the terrorists. And that was the key source for success.
The United States needs to do the same thing. Now what then pushed the moderate Sunnis out of the process was Maliki with the backing of Iran.
The last thing you want to do is bring in Iran. Because they are the arsonists, they are the cause for the trouble. You want to keep them out. That is the key for success.
Trish Regan: Thank you very much.
Alireza Jafarzadeh is a FOX News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst and the author of "The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Jafarzadeh has revealed Iran's terrorist network in Iraq and its terror training camps since 2003. He first disclosed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy water facility in August 2002.