Iran’s defense chief said on Wednesday that defeating the Islamic State (Daesh) is equal to defeating the United States and its power in the region.
“The defeat of Daesh means the defeat of America’s regional policy and thus we should expect that this defeat would probably mark the beginning of a new era of hostilities and regional tensions,” Brigadier General Amir Hatami said at the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), according to Iran’s state-run Press TV.
During this same conference, Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Shawa reportedly said the United States is trying to gain control over Syrian oil fields and is helping the Islamic State for this purpose.
Washington has “decided to invent various pretexts to justify keeping the illegal presence of their bases and troops on Syrian soil in order to establish control and domination over the oil fields in order to separate Syria,” Shawa said, according to Iran’s Press TV.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered opening remarks at the conference. He reportedly said, “Despite its military defeat, this terrorist group (Daesh) retains its significant destructive potential, it can change its tactics and launch attacks in different countries and regions in the world.”
During a two-day trip to Ankara this week, Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, where he stated that Russia is “founding Turkey’s nuclear sector.”
During the trip, the three leaders held talks about how to end the Syrian war without the United States.
Iranian leaders have consistently claimed that the United States created the Islamic State. In October, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran, “Americans themselves created Daesh.”
In 2016, Khamenei tweeted that America created and is backing the Islamic State, writing, “US aim of making & backing DAESH is to sow discord in Islamic Ummah, defame true Islam & promote Wahabbi Islam which is far from true Islam”:
US aim of making & backing DAESH is to sow discord in Islamic Ummah, defame true Islam & promote Wahabbi Islam which is far from true Islam.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) August 3, 2016
Despite his reluctance to keep U.S. troops in Syria, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump reportedly agreed to keep roughly 2,000 troops in Syria until the Islamic State terrorist group is defeated.
According to the Hill, Trump made the decision during a meeting with top national security officials.
“He wasn’t thrilled about it, to say the least,” an unnamed official reportedly told NBC about the commander in chief’s decision.