Iran Weary of Trump’s Plans in Iraqi Kurdistan

“Changes in the region’s geopolitical borders mean constant tension and a drawn-out war between the four countries with the supposed future [Kurdish] state that is intended to be established, and this insecurity and tension is what the Zionist regime and Americans want in order to have a permanent presence in the region.”

Despite these claims by Iranian officials, Washington has been clear about its policy of preferring a united, federal and democratic Iraq. But the situation is rendered further complex by the Donald Trump administration’s expected designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Tehran is furious about this, with some IRGC officials going as far as calling for the targeting of the US military across the region and the world.

“If the news about the foolishness of the American state in designating the Sepah [IRGC] as a terrorist group is true, Sepah will also consider the American army across the world and in particular in the Middle East as equal to Daesh [Islamic State, or IS],” said IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to the terrorist group that the IRGC is fighting both in Iraq and Syria.

Such a scenario would further complicate the situation for Iraqi Kurdistan given the large presence of US forces within the region, with some as close as 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the Iranian border. While the official task of these forces is to fight IS, some in Tehran are concerned that Washington is there for the long haul to keep a close eye on Iran.

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