TEHRAN – Robert Jervis, the Adlai E. Stevenson professor of international affairs at Columbia University, says he doubts there will be “overt cooperation” between Iran and the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq (ISIL).
However, Jervis says Iran and the United States may “adopt policies” that pursue a similar goal.
“I doubt if there will be overt cooperation, but the U.S. and Iran may well adopt policies that work on similar or parallel track,” Professor Jervis tells the Tehran Times.
Jervis also says “the lack of ways to deal with ISIL put the U.S. in a bind.”
This is the text of the interview:
Q: Recently media outlets said it was possible that the U.S. may invade Syria to track ISIL militants, but President Obama said on Thursday that his administration has not yet devised a strategy to confront ISIL. So why is Obama hesitant to confront ISIL?
A: There is no chance the U.S. will invade, and it isn't clear whether bombing will do much good. The lack of ways to deal with ISIL put the U.S. in a bind. (Iran confronts somewhat similar dilemmas.)
Q: How can the United States and other countries defeat ISIL?
A: If there were a good way to do this, the U.S. would have done it.
Q: Do you see any possibility of cooperation between the U.S. and Iran in the campaign against ISIL?
A: I doubt if there will be overt cooperation, but the U.S. and Iran may well adopt policies that work on similar or parallel track.
Q: If Iran and the U.S. cooperate in the war against ISIL, can it affect Iran’s talks with the 5+1 group?
A: I don't foresee cooperation on the scale and intensity of the sort that would be required to produce a major impact on the nuclear negotiations.
Q: Analysts say the U.S., by supporting militants opposed to the Beshar al-Assad government, helped create such terrorist groups. What is your opinion?
A: This is the major problem. The U.S. wants to support moderate and tolerant groups, but they are weak if they exist at all.
Q: Some experts say the U.S. creates groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL. What is your assessment of such remarks?
A: This might be rational, but is far removed from U.S. policy, which may be foolish but isn't this devious.