I spoke with Monocle 24’s The Briefing on Wednesday about Iran’s airstrikes inside Iraq against the Islamic State.
After assessment of the military purpose of the attacks, complementing Iranian ground support of Iraqi forces, discussion turned to whether Iran will cooperate with the US in its operations. The brief answer: No.
The problem with asking, “Are the US and Iran cooperating?” is that it is too simple a question.
The Iranian Supreme Leader has vetoed the President’s proposal of cooperation with the US….The Supreme Leader does not trust the Americans, and there is no way he is going to work with the US if he feels the Americans are not recognizing Iran’s nuclear program.
However, when you fly into a country and carry out bombing, you don’t want to be accidentally fired upon. So when the American began aerial operations in August, they notifed the Iranians. I suspect when the Iranians moved into eastern Iraq, they let the Americans know.
And will there be cooperation in the future?
It hinges on whether there is a nuclear deal.
There was also discussion of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on Wednesday that the Islamic State is being defeated, but that it will take years to complete the mission.
That’s political flannel. The reality is that the Americans, cooperating with local forces on the ground, has had some success in Iraq….However, the Americans have failed in Syria to do that much about the Islamic State, because their aerial operations are not coordinated with anyone on the ground.