The Islamic Republic has recently warned the Turkish government over its military presence in Syria and for “Turkey’s dangerous policies” in Syria and Iraq. The head of the political bureau of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, pointed out that “the crisis in Iraq and Syria will move to Turkey if Ankara does not modify its behavior.” Amidst the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Iranian leaders appear to have successfully and forcefully made their point to the West and regional state actors regarding Tehran’s red lines: Iraq and more significantly Iran’s long-time protégé, Syria.
The professionally taken photos of General Qassem Suleimani in Iraq, the commander of Iran’s Quds force who normally keeps a low profile and the projection of these pictures on Iran’s TV outlets suggests a significant strategic shift in Iran’s policies to publicly project its power. According to the Guardian, Amirali Hajizadeh, the airforce commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, stated on Iran’s national TV that “if it wasn’t for Iran’s help, Iraq’s Kurdistan would have fallen into the hands of Daesh (ISIS).” Further, Iran is attempting to send a message to the Iranian people that Tehran can tackle any regional threat.
Currently, for Washington and Western allies, the battle against ISIS is at the top of their foreign policy agendaMajid Rafizadeh