The White House must really be scrambling for an ally in the Middle East.
During his address on Iraq on Tuesday, President Barack Obama both encouraged Iran to play a constructive role in the Iraqi conflict, but also warned the terrorist-ridden nation that any misstep could lead to increased conflict on their border.
The president essentially told Iran that their best interests were the interests of the United States of America, whether they liked it or not.
“Iran can play a constructive role, if it is helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we’re sending, which is that Iraq only holds together if its inclusive. An that if the interests of Sunni, Shia and Kurd are all respected.” Obama said.
In addition to this forced message of equality and inclusivity, Obama warned Iran not to simply act as an armed force on behalf of the Shia, as this could likely worsen the situation and the prospects of government formation.
“I think that just Iraq’s leaders have to make decisions I think that Iran has heard from us,” Obama said, “We’ve indicated to them that it is important for them to avoid steps that might encourage the sectarian splits that would lead to civil war. “
Although Obama hopes that Iran touts the same message as the United States, the American government has not forgotten the deep differences that lie between the United States and Iran—especially in regards to the current situation in Syria.
These sectarian divides in the Middle East will inevitably lead to further division and violence, if left unaddressed. Obama warned that these divides would only hurt the Iranian economy and people over the long term.
“An Iraq with chaos on their borders is probably not in their best interest.” Obama warned, “But old habits die hard. And well have to see if they can take what I think would be a more promising path over the next several days