1) Who created ISIS?
The issue of ISIS and other terrorists, who have spread throughout the region using the name of Islam, is not an ordinary and natural issue; rather, these terrorists have been created and are supported by other elements.
Years ago US officials created ISIS, and current officials are strengthening ISIS or groups like them
The U.S. and its client regimes, in the region [Western Asia], do not seek to eradicate and destroy ISIS: ISIS was created with their support and their money; and, they prefer to maintain--in Iraq--an ISIS which they can carry in the palm of their hands.
The takfiri orientation and the governments that support and advocate for them move entirely in the direction of the goals of arrogance and Zionism.
In the present times, they claim that they have formed a coalition against takfiri groups. Of course, even right now, they are not doing anything against them. According to the reports that we have received, they even help them in some places. However, the creation of these groups goes back to America. Some American officials have acknowledged this. They have acknowledged that they have helped create ISIS in order to create discord inside the Islamic Ummah and in order to promote Umayyad and Marwani Islam. This Wahhabi and takfiri Islam is the same as Umayyad and Marwani Islam! It is a kind of Islam that is miles away from real Islam. They have made Islam disreputable. Of course, they themselves are suffering from the consequences of their actions. It is well-known in Farsi that “Anyone who plants a wind will reap a storm.” Now, they are gradually reaping that storm. But this is their fault, anyway. It was they who began this.
The creator of ISIS – this active and militant takfiri orientation – is the US. This has been openly acknowledged by the same person in his presidential campaign [Donald Trump]. One of the criticisms he made against ‘Democrats’ was that they had created ISIS. He has acknowledged this, himself! Well, now, do you expect them not to be furious with the force that has prevented ISIS? They created ISIS for a specific goal. Now, you see that he [Trump] delivers his speeches, and he is yelling at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps because of their achievements in defeating ISIS. Well, this is completely natural. When you gain a complete understanding of the other side, this will seem quite natural to you.
2) Was U.S.’s and other Western countries coalition against ISIS, a real one?
Who created ISIS? Who strengthened it? Today they claim that they have established the anti-ISIS coalition. This is a lie. This coalition is a lie! Of course, they are opposed to an uncontrolled ISIS, but they like to have a controlled ISIS in their hands; and, if someone decides to destroy and annihilate this spectacle, they will strongly stand against him.
An anti-ISIS coalition has, apparently, been formed; but, news and information show that this coalition is not a real coalition; and, this fight is not a genuine fight; rather, it is a mere formality and a feigned course of action.
And when they want to speak about these deviant and corrupt groups, in their propaganda, they refer to them as the “Islamic State.” In other words, those who treat people like this, who kill and deceive children in that horrible manner and make them enter the arena for suicide missions, are known members of the “Islamic State.” This is an example of Islamophobia.
There is well-documented and precise information about American assistance of ISIS and other terrorist groups. Even now that the anti-ISIS coalition has been formed some American organizations are helping ISIS in other ways.
3) Why did defeating ISIS take so long?
As you see, presently, the American planes bombard the Syrian forces, which face ISIS and groups similar to it.
The same thing has happened in Iraq. It was ISIS who were selling Iraq's oil. A government official – a well-known international personality who was once our guest – said to me that the Americans knew about ISIS trucks, which were stealing oil from Iraq and taking it to another country to sell it there, but they did not drop one single bomb on them! They never tried to prevent them from doing so! This was being carried out before their eyes, but they claimed that they were against ISIS. However, if they are really opposed to someone, they do not support him like this. But they helped ISIS. Well, it is these people who have created instability in the region
The Americans are not willing to witness the complete defeat of takfiri terrorists in Mosul and in Syria: at that time, the Americans were merely watching the movement of oil tankers and they did not target them; therefore, the Americans should not be trusted.
4) What was the role of Iran in the destruction of ISIS?
They do not know what power lies in having faith in God and belief in jihad. Of course, they have seen the results of this, but they cannot comprehend it: that is why they resort to irrational measures. The problems arising from ISIS, takfiri terrorists, and other such groups are all examples of their irrational measures.
In fact, they created these terrorists in order to defeat the Islamic Republic. Iraq was an introductory step. Shaam [Syria and Levant] was also an introductory step. They were introductory steps towards exerting their influence on our country. This was their goal. However, our power from within the country led to their defeat as well. A person who travels from Iran to Iraq and to Syria in order to stand up against these takfiri orientations, in the name of defending the Ahlul Bayt’s (a.s.) shrines, is, in fact, defending his own city. Of course, they do so for the sake of God, but this is the truth of the matter. This is an act of defending Iran and the Islamic community.
This is not particular to Shias. Those takfiri elements do not differentiate between Shias and Sunnis. They strike at Sunnis as well. We have so many Sunni ulama in our country – such as the late Sheikh ul-Islam in Sanandaj, the late Hussein-Bor in Baluchistan, and other ulama – who were assassinated by these takfiri elements. These terrorists shed blood in an oppressive manner. They do not differentiate between Shias and Sunnis. They strike anyone who is with the Revolution and anyone who is against arrogance and opposed to America. But, they refer to this as a “war between Shia and Sunni.”
You’ve witnessed that the continuous plots hatched by the US, Zionism, Arab reactionaries and others, in the region, were all destroyed and annihilated by the power of the Islamic Republic. One of those plots was that of the takfiri and inhuman group ISIS, which was, thankfully, destroyed and annihilated with the determination of youth, pious men, and all those who believed in the Resistance Force.
Well, this is not a minor task, rather it is a great accomplishment. Even some of our neighboring countries did not always believe that one can achieve this and launch such a movement, but they were encouraged to do so. They entered the arena, they succeeded, and they believed. The message of the Islamic Republic and the message of the Revolution reaches nations and the peoples' ears like so: it reaches them with action.
5) Did the U.S. have any role in the destruction of ISIS?
On the basis of the first viewpoint, the Americans do not have a plan for uprooting ISIS. Like the English who have kept the wound of Kashmir open since the era of colonialism--in the Indian subcontinent which has resulted in two neighboring countries, India and Pakistan, to have discord on this matter until the present time--the Americans, too, want to use the issue of ISIS in a way that this problem continues to exist, in Iraq, without ever being resolved.
On the basis of the second viewpoint, the Americans are willing to resolve the issue of ISIS, but the situation has developed in a way that they are not able to do so. Of course, the result of both viewpoints has been the same until today.
Of course, the US and its allies committed many crimes in Syria. Their hands are dirty – up to their elbows! – with the blood of the Syrian people. There is no doubt about this. They created DAESH. They created takfiris – the Nusra Front and other such groups – and they massacred the people in that sense. They did this, but they could not achieve their goals.
Notice that, currently, the issues stirred up by DAESH are actually coming to an end. Takfiris are completely isolated. The state of affairs that they wanted to put an end to, in order to replace it with another state of affairs, has gained more vigor. What has happened is the exact opposite of what the US wanted to happen. When the Americans take a good look they find Iran to be an efficient factor in this matter. They blame Iran for this [overcoming DAESH], and this is why they are angry.
Well, as the late Mr. Beheshti pointed out, "Be angry and die of your anger!" They can be angry: this is the main point. This [Iran’s victory] is the source of their enmity. No one should make the mistake of thinking that a strong power is confronting Iran: this is not the case. Their reaction is a sign of weakness, ignorance, and anger stemming from defeat and failure. They have been brought to their knees, and that is why they are angry. That is why they make such statements, deliver such ridiculous speeches and carry out such tasks.
6) What is Iran's policy in fighting terrorism?
Today, the Americans claim that they want to fight against terrorism. This is while they [the USA] have created the most dangerous terrorist groups--which are very large in number. Who created DAESH? They [USA] acknowledge that they have played a pivotal role in creating DAESH. Who pitted other small and large groups, like DAESH, against Iraq, Syria, and other areas? Where did the bullets, weapons, and dollars that end up in the pockets of these criminal assassins come from? Where does such money come from? Who are the people that support these numerous and dangerous terrorist groups at USA’s command? Is there any doubt that the hand of arrogance has played the largest part in creating terrorism and in strengthening, helping, and supporting terrorists in the region?
When we take a look, at all regional areas, we see that the malicious fingerprints of the enemies are imprinted in the production of terrorism. Who’s assisting the fake Zionist regime, which exerts massive pressure on the Palestinians, in Gaza and in the West Bank? Who supports them? Who clears the road for them? Who stands behind them? It is western powers -- headed by USA -- that are doing so. This is while they say that they are opposed to terrorism and DAESH: they are lying. They say things which are not true. This is jahiliyya. This is the kind of jahiliyya that exists in today's world.
We should be alert. You, dear brothers, dear people of Iran, Muslims in the great Islamic Ummah and officials of various countries, should know that we can stand up against this jahiliyya. Today, the vicious policy of arrogance, in our region, is to wage indirect wars with a purpose of safeguarding their interests and to provoke regional countries, or certain groups inside countries into killing one another; so, they can fill their pockets with factory weapons and repair their economic policies--which are on the verge of bankruptcy. This is their goal. Therefore, we should be alert.
They speak about the Persian Gulf region:--ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf region is to the advantage of all countries surrounding it. We, in countries surrounding the Persian Gulf, have many common interests: we are neighbors. Therefore, ensuring the security of this area is to the advantage of us all. If the Persian Gulf is safe, then all of us will benefit from this security; and, if it is insecure, it will be insecure for all. There are people who already own the Persian Gulf: the Persian Gulf belongs to them and it is their home. What business do Americans [US officials] have, in a particular region, which gives it the right to express their decisions regarding Persian Gulf issues and to gather more allies? They are not concerned with security; rather, they are concerned with their own interests. If they deem it necessary to create an insecure environment, for one area, they do it or they support those who do so.
Furthermore, Yemen has become insecure. It has been turned into an arena for killing children and women. Is this not insecurity? Who is backing this insecurity? It is America; unfortunately, American agents are in some regional countries that call themselves "Islamic,” but they have been deceived. The main supporter and architect [of regional insecurity] is America; it’s the Americans who promote terrorism.
This is while they say that Iran is supporting terrorism. We have fought against terrorism! We have knocked terrorism upside its face! Terrorism rose inside our own country, with our enemies' money and with America's plotting, but the people of Iran gave terrorism--inside the country--a serious blow! From now on, too, they will act in the same way.
We have cooperated with certain people who fought against terrorism in our country and in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. We helped them, and we will continue to do that. We are opposed to terrorism. The most dangerous and vicious terrorists in the region are the Zionists. We are faced with and opposed to the Zionists. They say to us that Iran supports terrorism. It is USA who supports terrorism! It is USA that supports the terrorist Zionist regime. It is USA that has created DAESH. You [referring to USA] supported those terrorists in Syria, who slaughter innocent people, burn individuals alive, tore open a dead man's chest and pulled out his heart and ate it!
It was you who supported such terrorists. It was you [USA] who encouraged them. Your drones destroyed the homes of people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They turned wedding ceremonies into funerals -- this occurred in Iraq. It is you who are doing such things. Terrorism belongs to you, USA. It is you who are terrorists. This is while you say that Iran supports terrorism. Terrorism is your job. We are opposed to terrorism, and we fight against every single terrorist. We will support every single innocent and oppressed person.
7) What is your advice to all young Muslims throughout the world?
I insist, do not neglect the enemy's mischief. Those who plotted and funded this sinister conspiracy will not sit still; and, they will try to revive it in another part of the region or in some other way.
Maintaining motivation, staying alert, preserving unity, removing any dangerous elements and maintaining culturally insightful work: in sum, all-encompassing preparations must not be forgotten.
Shia and Sunni youth should know how important this issue [The enemy’s mischief] is. Today, the enemies are using differences and tensions that sometimes emerge – either from this or that side. The likes of DAESH, takfiris, and other such groups are using these differences [to divide], too. We should prevent them from using these tactics. However, this is not possible unless young Shia and Sunni know what is going on today – the cooperation, co-existence, unanimity and harmony that exist among them – is a great phenomenon. This [Unity] is the greatest tactic against the enemy of Iran, Islam, and the Holy Quran. They should know and preserve this. We should instill these ideals into the minds of our young and addressees in a tangible manner.
Certain individuals feel that proving oneself as Shia should be done through insulting and cursing the great personalities of Sunni Islam and other denominations. But this is not beneficial. This is against the tradition of the Imams (as). When you witness that certain radio and television channels are launched, in the name of Islam, whose task is to insult the great personalities of other denominations, under the title and in the name of Shi’a Islam, it is clear that this is funded by the British Treasury. This is funded by the British Treasury. This is British Shi’ism! No one should feel that developing as a Shia, developing Shia ideology, and strengthening Shia faith is dependent on such insults and such a manner of speaking. This is not productive, because such a course of action produces negative results.
When you say offensive things, a wall is built around those who materialize anger and hard feelings. Under such circumstances, they cannot even stand listening to the truth. We have many cogent and logical ideas. We have many ideas that are cherished by anyone who listens and has the opportunity to hear them. You should allow these ideas to be heard. You should allow these ideas the chance to infiltrate the heart of those on the other side. When you swear and when you insult others, a dam is built around him/her--the result is that your ideas are not heard at all. They will no longer listen.
Under such circumstances, malicious, dependent, and mercenary groups, who receive money from America, from the CIA, and from other intelligence services – groups such as DAESH, Jibhat al-Nusra, and other such groups – create situations as seen in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. And they do so by using plenty of ordinary, foolish, and ignorant individuals. This is the enemy’s job. He is waiting for an opportunity. In fact, he uses every opportunity. But, we have many truthful, logical, and firm ideas [to prevent the enemy].
Take note, that if a person issues a fatwa, as a religious mufti, saying that fighting against Zionism is haram, or that helping some entity fighting against Zionism is not allowed, this is really a disappointment: to witness that some people in the world of Islam are acting against the interests of Islam and have friendly relations with the enemies is a travesty. This is the exact opposite of the Quran's clear ayats: "Those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, but compassionate among each other" [The Holy Quran, 48: 29]. However, those people are strong against Muslims, but compassionate among disbelievers. They are on good terms with them, but notice what they are doing to Muslims. For example, they create discord and they plant the vicious tree of DAESH and the likes of DAESH in Iraq, Syria, and other areas.
Of course, this tree was uprooted in Iraq and Syria, but one cannot be sure. They might plant it somewhere else. The US will not stop showing enmity towards Islam. We should be alert. We should be vigilant. We should preserve our preparedness. We should not be taken by surprise. The Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) says in Nahjul Balaghah:"By Allah, I shall not be like the hyena that feigns sleep on the continuous sound of stone-throwing," [Sermon 6]. We should be more like this [alert]. We cannot afford to fall asleep. We cannot show negligence. We cannot ignore the enemy's deceptions. We should be awake!