By Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE/RL
The commander of Iran's powerful Qods Force, Qassem Suleimani, has said that both the Islamic State (IS) group and the United States are "doomed to failure" in Iraq and Syria.
The Qods Force is the branch of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) responsible for overseas operations. In recent weeks, Iran has gone to lengths to demonstrate that Qods Force commander Suleimani (and, by extension, Tehran) are playing an important role in combating IS in Iraq and Syria.
At the same time, Iran has also emphasized that it believes the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State is both ineffective and part of an attempt by the United States and its allies to gain regional power.
In his latest comments, Suleimani effectively dismisses both the United States and IS as being part of the same group of enemies, who oppose both Iran and Shi'a Islam, which Iran considers itself as representing.
Defa Press quotes Suleimani as saying that he was certain "any venture, be it large or small, from America's campaigns to IS's acts of terror, have no other outcome than failure, because since the beginning they lack truth."
Suleimani went on to clarify that all movements that were against "Islam, Iran and Shi'ism" were lacking in the quest for truth, while Iran's success was due to its "inner truth".
Terrorists had always failed in the end, the Qods Force commander added.
Iran's Fars News, affiliated with the IRGC, also quoted Suleimani as saying that the United States' "solution" in Iraq and Syria would "not lead to victory".
"We have all seen in Syria that the measures they adopted were not fruitful," he said.
Suleimani's comments echo those of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly accused the United States and its allies of creating IS in order to sow discord among Sunni and Shi'a Muslims.
Khamenei has said that the West's "creation of IS" is also intended to counter the "Islamic Awakening," a term used by the supreme leader's camp to describe what Khamenei believes is a spreading of the values of its 1979 Islamic Revolution -- including the concept of "resistance" against the West -- to the region.
On October 18, Khamenei tweeted these views:
Fars' English service went one step further in linking Suleimani's comments about the U.S.-led coalition against IS to the Islamic Republic's concept of the "resistance," noting that the deputy secretary of Lebanese Hizballah had previously commented on "U.S., Israeli, and Takfiri plots" against Iran.
Iranian military and diplomatic figures have been quoted as saying that a "resistance" movement similar to Hizballah has sprung up in Syria.
Earlier this month, Iran's ambassador to Syria, Mohammad Reza Rauf Sheibani, praised Syrian "popular militias" for fighting "IS terrorists" and said that Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah had called for such a "resistance" against IS.
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