CFR President Richard Haass: Baghdad And Southern Iraq Are Now Part Of "Greater Iran"


MSNBC's Morning Joe features an original report from Vocative Media's Lindsey Snell about the large network of Shi'ite militias backed by the Iranian government currently fighting ISIS for the city of Tikrit in northern Iraq. Vocative's Snell spoke with Hadi Amiri, the commander of all the brigades, which are collectively referred to as Hashed al-Shaabi

HADI AMIRI: The people of Saladin province and Tikrit asked us to free their area from ISIS. Iran is good at fighting ISIS.

LINDSEY SNELL: Have the Americans given you any help?

HADI AMIRI: The Americans just sit in the Green Zone in their palaces. Believe me, even you now [the reporter] have better experience than the American advisers. God forbid, if ISIS wins, that means they'll be bordering Iran. That is why Iran's interest is maybe bigger than the Americans'.

[Head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard] Gasem Soleimani is here on Iraqi soil as part of an agreement between Iraq and Iran.

Following the clip, Council of Foreign Relations president Richard Haass joins the panel to discuss what Iran's domination of Iraq means for American foreign policy.

RICHARD HAAS: [Iran] will win the battle, but after that the Sunnis in the area will say what we've essentially done now is taken ISIS, who at least were Sunni, and now we have Shia militias and we have Iran who in control. This does not help you win the long term battle for the hearts and minds in the cities...

JOE SCARBROOUGH: ISIS would be in Baghdad if it wasn't for Iran.

RICHARD HAASS: I think we have to understand, Baghdad and the south are now part of Greater Iran. That is what this is...

"Iraq" is over. Rest in peace. The era where you had an intact Iraq and an intact Syria is over. So what you're looking at is an Iraq where part of it is an extension of Iran, you're going to ultimately have an independent Kurdish state, what we're really doing now, increasingly, is fighting for the Sunni areas.

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