A political analyst based in London hailed Iran’s “critical role” in the collapse of the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group in the Middle East and said Iranians proved, with their blood, their commitment to fighting terrorism.
“Iran has played a very critical role in the fight against Wahhabism in Syria and in Iraq,” Marcus Papadopoulos said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“The Iranian Government and the Iranian people have proved, with their blood, their commitment to fighting Wahhabi terrorism,” he said, adding, “I wish the same could be said for the governments of America, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”
Papadopoulos is an expert on Russia and the publisher and editor of Politics First, a non-partisan publication for the UK Parliament. He earned his MA in Modern History and his Ph.D. in Russian history from Royal Holloway, University of London. His comments and interviews have appeared in various news outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, Rossiya 24, TASS and RIA Novosti.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: As you know, the resistance forces and the armies in Syria and Iraq have recently liberated last strongholds of Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group in the Arab countries. What do you think about the recent military achievements? Do you have a positive perspective on the security situation?
Papadopoulos: It must be said, first of all, that ISIS still has a presence in Syria, albeit a very small one. There are ISIS pockets to the east of Palmyra, on the eastern border with Iraq, in the Golan and to the north-east of Hama. As long as ISIS has even the smallest of a presence in Syria, a diabolical threat to the Syrian people, from this abominable terrorist group, will remain. Hence, those pockets must and will be liquidated by the Syrian, Russian and Iranian militaries, together with Hezbollah and the Kurds. Now, the near destruction of ISIS in Syria has saved the Syrian people, and all other people in the world, from one of the most barbarous of forces that the planet has ever witnessed. However, the conflict in Syria is not over yet. Because there remain other Wahhabi terrorist groups which are, ideologically speaking and in practice, the same as ISIS. The so-called Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra still occupy lands in the south and north-west of Syria. Once again, those groups must and will be liquidated. And who will liquidate them? Well, the same forces which have all but destroyed ISIS in Syria: namely, the Syrian, Russian and Iranian militaries. Generations to come, from all over the world, will be grateful to Syria, Russia, and Iran for how they came together to destroy the malevolent forces of Wahhabism.
Tasnim: Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), recently declared the collapse of the Takfiri terror group in Iraq and Syria. What is your assessment of Iran’s role in the anti-terrorism campaign in the Middle East region?
Papadopoulos: Iran has played a very critical role in the fight against Wahhabism in Syria and in Iraq. The Iranians have provided soldiers, equipment, training and logistical assistance to the Syrian and Iraqi governments in their fight with Wahhabi terrorists. Iran has also allowed its airspace to be used by Russian strategic bombers to attack terrorist positions in Syria. Many Iranian soldiers have died in fighting alongside the Syrian and Iraqi armies, while some have been brutally executed by ISIS. The Iranian Government and the Iranian people have proved, with their blood, their commitment to fighting Wahhabi terrorism. I wish the same could be said for the governments of America, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Tasnim: Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement Hassan Nasrallah said recently that despite the US claims about fighting terrorism, it spared no effort to help Daesh forces in the Syrian town of Albu Kamal. “The US helped Daesh as much as it could in Albu Kamal short of directly engaging forces that fought to liberate the town from Daesh,” the Hezbollah leader noted. What do you think about the remarks?
Papadopoulos: In its heyday, ISIS constituted a formidable fighting force, which conquered large swathes of Syria and inflicted grievous defeats on the Syrian army, one of the best trained and equipped armies in the world. So how was ISIS able to do that? The answer is that ISIS was (and still is) supported by some very powerful countries; only global players could have made ISIS the potent force that it once was. So I would like to see the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution for an independent investigation into the following: Who armed ISIS? Who trained ISIS? Who financed ISIS? Who provided logistical support to ISIS? And who purchased ISIS oil? Now, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that if such a resolution was to be put before the UNSC, America, and Britain, together with France, would veto it. And that would help to answer the above questions. Because it is the case that America, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were absolutely complicit in the rise of ISIS in Syria. It is they who armed ISIS, who trained ISIS, who financed ISIS, who provided ISIS with logistical support and who purchased ISIS oil. People in the Middle East and enlightened people from across the world know the truth about who was supporting ISIS. We, the enlightened ones, who understand the reality about how the West and its allies operate globally, are morally duty-bound to tell the truth about ISIS...and to keep on telling this truth until the people of the world know that ISIS' backers (and, indeed, the backers of all of the other Islamist/Wahhabist terrorist groups in Syria) are to be found in Washington, London, Paris, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha. I am not a religious person but may God damn those politicians in the West and in the Middle East for having aided and abetted the evil that is Wahhabism.