Islamic State hates Shia Muslims as much as it hates the west. UK foreign policy needs to reflect the fact that the terror group is a common enemy
The attacks by Islamic State in Tehran on 7 June, apparently perpetrated by two groups of four terrorists, cost 12 or more innocent lives. Forty or more were wounded and at a number of points (the attack on parliament, pictures of children escaping the scene) they echoed recent attacks in Europe and the UK. The scenes were similar enough on a human level to prompt recognition of the fear felt. Isis claimed responsibility, and there is no reason to doubt this, although it’s possible some aspect of the attacks may have been facilitated by dissident groups.
Isis has recently escalated its propaganda against Iran, lashing out as its position in the fighting in Mosul and in Syria has deteriorated. The forces that have beaten Isis back, along with western-backed elements, have substantially been fighters backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – Shia militia and others. Iran’s fight with Isis is essential and inescapable; Isis has a visceral hatred of Shias, at least as great and probably greater than its hatred of the west, and the areas where Isis has tried to establish its ugly caliphate are squarely on Iran’s doorstep – not on our’s.
Rouhani is a moderate – it would be painfully foolish for western governments to snub him or make his job more difficult