Obama, 2015: “Iran will be and should be a regional power”

Yes, Obama actually said that. The video is below.

Ezequiel Doiny

OpEds Turkey's PM Erdogan, US Pres. Obama
Turkey's PM Erdogan, US Pres. Obama
Flash 90

On January 3rd, 2020 the media reported "...The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.

An airstrike killed Soleimani, architect of Iran’s regional security apparatus, at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iranian state television and three Iraqi officials said, an attack that’s expected to draw severe Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests.

The Defense Department said Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

A statement released late Thursday by the Pentagon said the strike on Soleimani “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans...”

On November 1, 2017 Robert Windrem wrote in NBC news "A document seized the night Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden suggests that Al Qaeda and Iran had a relationship more complicated and intimate than previously known — one that included threats and kidnappings, but also occasional cooperation.

The document was among a massive trove of material released Wednesday by the CIA following a request by the Long War Journal, a website that has chronicled the U.S. war on terrorism..."

The document above was seized during Obama's government but he ignored it and continued negotiating with Iran, admitting its existence would have prevented him from withdrawing US troops from Iraq, signing the nuclear deal with Iran and embracing the view that Iran "should be a regional power"...

In an interview recorded in the video below on Jul 14, 2015 Obama said : “Iran Will Be And Should Be A Regional Power.”

On April 4, 2015 Michael Kelley wrote in Business Insider "Iran’s military mastermind also directed 'a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq,' as detailed by Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker."

"Consequently, the idea of working in parallel to Suleimani was one that the Obama administration does not want to acknowledge.

“'There’s just no way that the US military can actively support an offensive led by Suleimani,' Christopher Harmer, a former aviator in the United States Navy in the Persian Gulf who is now an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, told Helene Cooper of The New York Times in March. 'He’s a more stately version of Osama bin Laden.'

"Nevertheless, the US was actively supporting offensives led by Suleimani while also allowing any atrocities committed by the dominant Shia militias.

"Suleimani’s Iraqi allies — such as the powerful Badr militia led by commander Hadi al-Ameri (pictured below) — allegedly burned down Sunni villages and used power drills on enemies.

"Reuters correspondents reported on the gore after the victory in Tikrit, where they saw 'a convoy of Shi’ite paramilitary fighters – the government’s partners in liberating the city – drag a corpse through the streets behind their car.'”

"And despite Suleimani leaving the front line before US planes got there, Iranian fighters were on the ground at the end.

“'I am proud to participate in the battle to liberate Tikrit,' an Iranian fighter with a picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pinned to his chest told Reuters. 'Iran and Iraq are one state now.'

 "An advisor of Khamenei said something similar last month: 'Iran is an empire once again at last, and its capital is Baghdad,' Ali Younusi told a March 8 seminar.

"The Obama administration publically asserts that a nonsectarian central government in Baghdad gives the country the best chance for success. In late March, The Journal reported that 'US officials want to ensure that Iran doesn’t play a central role in the fight ahead. US officials want to be certain that the Iraqi military provides strong oversight of the Shiite militias.'

"That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore, as Iran will be leading the most capable ground forces. For better of worse, it seems that the US is either consciously or inadvertently taking a part in Iran’s project in Iraq.

"Adding to the intrigue, all of this is occurring while the Obama administration denies aspirations of a grand detente with Tehran amid high stakes nuclear talks."

Did Obama enable the Iranian takeover of Iraq to implement his vision that "Iran should be a regional power"? Obama was being advised by Erdogan, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. As documented by the Intercept's 700 leaked documents Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood were holding meetings while Iran was taking over Iraq. 

On October 31, 2013 Meira Svirsky wrote in the Clarion Project "Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan used a hand signal to show his support for the Muslim Brotherhood on October 23. This is the second time he has done so since August, not including the time he cried after hearing a pro-Brotherhood poem..., he flashed the 'Rabia' hand signal that shows solidarity with Muslim Brotherhood protestors that the Egyptian government cracked down on..".

"The Islamist Turkish government was openly dismayed at the popularly supported military intervention that toppled the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to the Arab newspaper Al-Arabiya, Turkey has since “become the regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization.”

"That includes the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, Hamas, a group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Israeli intelligence has discovered that Hamas has a command post in Turkey.

"An Arab newspaper reports that Hamas is so dependent upon Turkey that Erdogan exercises significant control over its actions. The Turkish government even had Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh change one of his speeches and stopped the group from trying to reconcile with the new Egyptian government.

"Turkey told Hamas that it was not time to make amends with Egypt. Erdogan believes the Muslim Brotherhood can still be victorious in Egypt with help from Turkey, Qatar and the international Brotherhood apparatus."

Ted Belman reported in Israpundit how Obama gave preference to Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood linked groups during the conflict in Syria  “On August 2011… I wrote, “To my mind, the alliance between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood is the cornerstone of Obama’s New Middle East policy.”.

The most damning bit of evidence was reported by Herb London in his article U.S. Betrays Syria’s Opposition:

“In an effort to understand and placate Syrian opposition groups, Secretary Clinton invited them to a meeting in Washington. Most of those invited, however, have links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Missing from the invitations are Kurdish leaders, Sunni liberals, Assyrians and Christian spokesmen...One organization, the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), an opposition group composed of diverse ethnic and religious organizations, including Alawis, Aramaic Christians, Druze and Assyrians was conspicuously — and no coincidentally — omitted from the invitation list.”

“[Ted Belman continues]…Sherkoh Abbas is Secretary General of the Syria Democracy Council and President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.  I first met him when he invited me to be a Director of the American Kurdish Friendship League some 5 years ago.

“Recently, he confided in me that in all his dealings with the State Department over the last two years, no interest was shown in his coalition and instead he was continually pressed to support the Syrian National Council made up of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists...

“For the last six months at least Obama has been cultivating a relationship with PM Erdogan of Turkey. The budding relationship prompted Barry Rubin to ask, Why Is an Anti-American Islamist, Obama’s Favorite ME Leader?...”

On January 19, 2012 Josh Rogin wrote in Foreign Policy “For years, the Washington foreign policy community has wondered about President Barack Obama‘s world leader best-buddies — the international figures he’s become close to personally as he sets out to rule the free world."

In an interview with Time‘s Fareed Zakaria, Obama named his international BFFs and the surprising list includes: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and British Prime Minister David Cameron…”

On January 23, 2012 Jonathan Tobin wrote in Commentary Magazine “…I think the most distressing aspect of Diehl’s defense of Turkey as a reliable American ally is the fact that he says its leader has become one of the few foreign leaders with whom Barack Obama has a strong relationship. Obama has, according to the Post, spent more time speaking on the phone with Erdogan than any other ally. Indeed, in a cover story interview with Time Magazine, Obama told a fawning Fareed Zakaria that Erdoğan was someone with whom he had become friends and forged “bonds of trust.” It speaks volumes about the deplorable state of American foreign policy that Erdogan is someone with whom Obama is most comfortable…Under the tutelage of Obama’s buddy, Turkish democracy is in a free fall with journalists and opponents of the ruling party being jailed…”

In 2009 Sahar Zubairi wrote in the Foreign Policy Association ”In the Muslim world, Turkey and Iran are usually perceived as standing on opposite sides.  Turkey stands for secularism, while the Shia clerics dominate the Iranian politics.  Turkey is a 'friend of the West', and is also a Muslim country that has normal relations with Israel. While Iran, if it is not in the news for its controversial nuclear program, is in the news for its leadership’s polemics against the West and Israel. In Turkey, you can be renounced for wearing a hijab, while in Iran, you are required to wear it by the law.  Due to their antipodal attitude towards religion and politics, it is hard to imagine the two countries having a cordial relationship. Yet this is the case."

An analysis by Yigal Schleifer in the Kuwait Times details the relationship between the two countries:

"Trade between the two countries, for example, hit $10 billion in 2008, compared to a level of $1 billion in 2000. Iran also supplies close to a third of Turkey’s gas supply. Turkish officials, meanwhile, were among the first and only to congratulate Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad after his recent controversial reelection. Turkey and Iran share a 499-km border, and both Turkish and Iranian diplomats like to point out that the two Muslim neighbours have been at peace for centuries.

'Iran and Turkey also share one common threat: their receptive Kurdish separatist movement.  Growing collaboration between PKK (Kurdish rebels fighting against Turkey) and PJAK (Kurdish rebels fighting against Iran) has led Iranian and Turkish military to cooperate to attack the rebel group’s bases in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"Recently, their relationship made headlines when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan supported Iran’s right to a nuclear program.  Erdogan was quoted as saying that Iran’s nuclear program 'is an energy project with peaceful, humanitarian purposes.' He said talks between Tehran and world powers in Geneva on October 1 showed that it 'can work with' the United States and Russia on uranium enrichment.  As Al Jazeera reported his latest remarks came after an interview in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper in which he accused Western powers of treating Iran unfairly and referred to Ahmadinejad as a 'friend'"

Ezequiel Doiny is author of "Obama's Assault on Jerusalem's Western Wall"

Obama: “Iran Will Be And Should Be A Regional Power”