Iranian Foreign Ministry officials confirmed today that recent airstrikes in eastern Iraq were indeed carried out by them, and were done at the request of the Iraqi government.
Deputy FM Ebrahim Rahimpour insisted the strikes were carried out without any direct coordination with the US, which is also conducting airstrikes on ISIS inside Iraq, but were coordinated exclusively with Iraqi officials.
As with the US using other nations as go-betweens for coordination with Syria, It seems Iran is using Iraq as a go-between for coordination with the US in the war on ISIS, as directly coordinating would be unpopular in both the US and Iran.
Both sides are still trying to be coy about information sharing because of decades of acrimony, stretching plausible deniability beyond all plausibility.
As the ISIS war continues to escalate for both nations, keeping the other out of their respective domestic conversations seems to be job one, as the fact that they’re both on the same side of the war is a potentially uncomfortable admission.
Rahimpour defended Iran’s involvement in new strikes, insisting the nation is going to do everything possible to prevent Iraq becoming another Syria, their other close ally which has lost massive territory to ISIS. At this point, however, it seems as though Iraq already is another Syria, and airstrikes aside, ISIS is carving up both.