OIL: the Common Denominator Leading the Fight Against ISIS

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Next on the list: Iran. On December 3, Iran, just like the United States and its coalition of allies, launched airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq; in other words, they joined in on the fight against ISIS. What is Iran’s main reason for joining the fight? Iran’s position is religion; whereas, it’s underlying interest (just like all parties involved in Iraq) is oil. For centuries, Iran and Iraq have consistently been at odds because of their religious differences and geographic proximities; Iran is dominantly Shiite and Iraq is dominantly Sunni. Iran, being the dominant Shiite power in the Middle East, is scared of ISIS’s  extremist militant power if they were to take control of the country. As ISIS’s war wages closer to the borders with Iran, extremist state militants could endanger Iran’s security, including its oil riches. A recent study conducted by the International Energy Studies, a government research center, concluded that a “threat of ISIS’s advancement to Iran’s borders [will lead to a] possible disruption in oil fields production and development in western Iran.”

Similarly, the Kurds, who have been the target of a systematic cleansing, have been strategically designated as the newest crutch to the current Iraqi government. What was the deal breaker that ended years of political deadlock? Oil! The pact was based on the sharing of oil and the country’s national budget.  Conveniently, the Kurds, currently residing in the North of Iraq, also sit on a large oil bank. For this reason, the Iraqi government will get to export the oil in the Kurdish territory, in exchange for the availability of resources. This new relationship will also lead to a coalition against ISIS.

In conclusion, what does the US, the French, the Australians, the British, the Canadians, the Danish, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Saudi Arabians, the Emiratis, the Jordanians, the Bahrainis, the Kurds and the Iranians all have in common? They are all partaking in the fight against ISIS. Interesting how politics always has a different agenda, never taking into consideration society and media’s accentuating disparities between different religions and polar opposite governments. Iran’s attack on ISIS shows their regional strength and dominance, but also highlights common loopholes that exist in the world as we know it, bringing together two countries who have consistently been at odds since 1979. Each country’s political agenda is driven by resources, most importantly access to oil and water. If only we were to unite over a more common goal. I leave you with one last question: are the enemies of your enemies, your friends?

Sources: L’Orient Le Jour

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