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Democratic change needed in Iran to defeat IS, British MP declares

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Islamic State terrorists can only be defeated when democratic change comes to Iran, member of the British Parliament David Jones has written.

The roots of IS can be traced back to the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 – and the terror group only survives now due to the sponsorship of the mullahs’ regime, he said.

Writing on the Wales online website, he said: “The phenomenon of fundamentalism, with all its associated savagery, neither rose accidentally nor expanded spontaneously.

“It is only through the existence of a sponsoring regime in Iran that Islamic fundamentalism has been able to transform itself into a global threat.”

Iran’s Qods Force now uses each of its nine corps to export fundamentalism to neighbouring countries in the region, he said.

Mr Jones, a member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, added: “Thus we see: Shiite militias in Iraq, directed from Tehran, that are virtual mirror-images of IS and are equally disposed to carry out acts of almost unimaginable brutality.

“The Hezbollah of Lebanon, dependent on the Qods Force, and whose financial and policy strings are pulled by Iran; The Houthis of Yemen, who are seeking to take over the country and are sponsored by the Iranian regime.

“And the murderous war against the Syrian people aimed at preserving Bashar Assad’s rule, and fundamentally commanded by the IRGC.”

International sources estimate that Iran spends $1bn–$2bn every month to prop up the Syrian regime, and the mullahs’ regime is the fount of Islamic fundamentalism in terms of ideology, policy, money, weapons and logistical support, he wrote.

He said: “Since 1979, it has provided a role model and inspired the growth of Islamist fundamentalism, both Shiite and Sunni, IS included.

“Without that regime, there would be no intellectual, ideological, or political space, no dependable epicentre, for the emergence and growth of fundamentalist groups.

“There is a baseless narrative that has been developed by those who favour appeasing the Iranian regime: that Sunni fundamentalism is somehow more dangerous than Shiite fundamentalism, and that the former can be defeated with the aid of the latter.

“Therefore, goes the narrative, we must enlist the forces of Shiite fundamentalism, no matter the excesses that continue to be carried out in its name.

“It is this narrative that informs the policy which has steered the world towards the current disaster, and risks the greater disaster of a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Shiites and Sunnis do have doctrinal differences, but today’s manifestations of fundamentalism, whether Shiite or Sunni, are in essence indistinguishable, with both characterised by misogyny and religious discrimination, both seeking to impose belief through brutality and both relying on mediaeval law to justify the most inhumane forms of punishment.

For the West to appease Tehran over its nuclear programme would ultimately be as perilous as to partner with it in the battle with IS, he warned.

He added: “The first would risk putting nuclear weapons in the hands of religious fundamentalists and hugely increase instability in the region.

“The second, as Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the president of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran observed recently, would give looser rein to the Qods Force, making it an even more destructive weapon.

“It is wholly naïve to believe that partnership with Iran in an attempt to stabilise the situation in Iraq, and thereby accord it international respectability, would somehow be an incentive for it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

“If the most pressing foreign policy objective today is to degrade and overcome fundamentalism, Western governments must begin with a realistic, hard-headed re-evaluation of their policy towards Iran.

“They should not give succour to an oppressive, fundamentalist regime, nor should they provide it with legitimacy under the guise of diplomatic dialogue.

“They should, rather, support the Iranian people and their aspiration for human rights, liberty, and rule of law.

“That, ultimately, can only be brought about by democratic change, creating a new Iran, which, freed from theocratic rule, would ultimately be the best hope for stability in what is now a dangerously unstable region.”