Ex-Ambassador: New US President has to end IS, contain Iran expansion
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The former US Ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday said the newly elected president of the United States had to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, and stop the expansion of Iran.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, the US diplomat and former Ambassador to Iraq James Franklin Jeffrey said there were two main things the new US administration had to accomplish.
“First, it will have to finish the defeat of [IS] in Mosul, possibly and certainly in Raqqa, Syria,” Jeffrey continued.
“Secondly, it will have to deal with the expansionist tendencies of Iran,” he added. “That’s very worrisome to us, to many of our allies in the region, for example, Turkey.”
He mentioned the expansion of Iran was a concern to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “We have to ensure that Iran does not try to capitalize on any vacuum in the region,” Jeffrey stated.
Moreover, the diplomat said President Barack Obama had “pivoted away from the Middle East to some degree towards Asia.”
He claimed Obama did not “play the traditional role” of Washington, DC in balancing forces and responding to terror and aggression in the region.
Jeffrey believed the problem in the Middle East was not Syria itself, but rather Iran who he said destabilized the region and needed to be contained.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Abbas Zangana conducted this interview from Washington, DC)