slamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Monday that the U.S. is using ISIS to tarnish the image of Islam.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami believes that the U.S. led coalition against the Islamic State is completely fake.
Salami said at a ceremony in Tehran the existence of ISIS is nothing more than a U.S. attempt to tarnish the reputation of Islam, which the West deems necessary because its own population is converting to Islam en masse, reports FARS News, an Iranian news agency with ties to the government.
Salami noted in Britain, about 50,000 people convert to Islam every single year, a trend which has Western powers worried.
“The US-led coalition against the IS is fake and the Americans seek to destroy Islam’s attractions through Takfiri and terrorist groups, including the ISIL and al-Nusra Front,” Salami said.
In 2015, Iranian Ground Force Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan delivered similar remarks, alleging the U.S. actually created ISIS and al-Nusra for the purpose of eliminating threats to Israel and ruining the attraction of Islam.
“The ISIL, Boko Haram and al-Nusrah have been created in line with the US strategy of religion against religion, which seeks to impair the divine face of Islam,” Pourdastan said.
“The American and European people’s high tendency towards Islam and (the necessity for) protection of the Zionist regime’s security have caused the US to create the terrorist groups,” he added.
Conspiracy theories in the Middle East regarding U.S. military activities abound. Many Iraqis believe the U.S. is secretly working with ISIS, since as far as they are concerned, it’s the only plausible explanation as to why Washington’s military effort against the terror group appears so incompetent. These Iraqis say the reason Washington is working with ISIS is to secure access to oil.
This belief is common enough across the sectarian divide in Iraq that Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, was forced to comment on the issue, deriding it as patently absurd.
“It’s beyond ridiculous,” Warren said, according to The Washington Post. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”