Henry Kissinger has warned that destroying Isis could lead to an “Iranian radical empire”.
The former diplomat has suggested that once Isis is defeated, if Iran occupies the free territory, the result could lead to the emergence of a new empire.
The 94-year-old, who was the Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, also spoke about the complications of taking sides in Middle Eastern conflicts.
“In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions,” he wrote in an article for CapX.
“The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers — including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states — agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran?
“The answer is elusive because Russia and the Nato countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire,” Mr Kissinger added.