By Ilya Tsukanov
Iran has spent years accusing the US of helping to create and nurture Daesh.* In 2018, Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani urged Iranian diplomats to go to the UN and “slap” the West “in the face” with evidence of US collusion with the terrorist group. Soleimani was later killed in a US missile strike in Baghdad in 2020.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani waded into the US presidential politics on Friday, offering praise for Democratic hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for confirming Tehran’s long-stated view that the Daesh/ISIS terror group was created by Washington.
“There was no doubt the US is the creator of #ISIS, but for those who deliberately closed their eyes to the truth, the statement of Robert F. Kennedy, the nephew of John F. Kennedy saying ‘WE created ISIS’ reaffirms the fact that the American regime is the godfather of Daesh/ISIS,” Kanaani tweeted.
The spokesman followed up the message with a Farsi-language tweet featuring a video excerpt from RFK Jr.’s speech in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday in which the politician pointed out how US intelligence agencies have repeatedly lied Americans into pointless foreign wars, destroyed nations and given rise to terrorism, including Daesh.
“My uncle came into office, two months later he was fighting his intelligence apparatus and his military because they wanted to invade – they wanted to do the Bay of Pigs. He was totally against it [but] he let them roll over them. And in the middle of the Bay of Pigs he realized they were lying to them and he realized that the function of the intelligence agencies had become to provide the military-industrial complex with a constant pipeline of war. And he came out during the middle of the night during the Bay of Pigs catastrophe and he said ‘I wanna take the CIA and shatter it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds’,” RFK Jr. said.
“And George W. Bush had the same problem. George W. Bush says the worst mistake he made as president was listening to CIA director George Tenet telling him it was a ‘slam dunk’ that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And so the neocons and the CIA got to go into Iraq and…do regime change. Now we’ve spent $8 trillion and what did we get for that $8 trillion? Nothing. Worse than nothing. Iraq is now much worse off than it was when we went in there. We killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did. We may have killed a million Iraqis, nobody knows the number…We created ISIS. We drove two million refugees up into Europe, they destabilized democracy for a generation in Europe, they caused Brexit. This is the cost of the Iraq War,” the politician said.
RFK Jr. is not the first candidate for president to accuse the United States of “creating” the terrorist group. In 2016, then-Republican candidate Donald Trump repeatedly called then-President Barack Obama literally the “founder of ISIS,” and dubbed former Secretary of State “‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton” the “cofounder.”
Iran has spent years blaming the United States for creating the regional instability which gave rise to Daesh, and has accused Washington of using its battle against the Sufi jihadist group as an excuse to justify its illegal occupation of Iraq and Syria. Some Iranian officials have gone further, accusing the US military of providing Daesh with weapons and funding and even facilitating the transportation of jihadist leaders aboard US military helicopters. Iran’s Syrian allies have made similar allegations. Pentagon officials have vociferously denied these claims.
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* Daesh, aka ISIS or ISIL, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.