The Islamic Republic of Iran's interest in a stable Middle East is arguably greater than that of the United States - after all, this is Iran's neighborhood. For Iran to grow and prosper, it needs secure borders and stable neighbours. A poor and unstable Afghanistan, for example, inhibits trade, and, potentially, increases the flow of refugees and narcotics into the northeastern part of Iran.

Arguably, stability in Iraq may be even more critical to Iran than stability in Afghanistan. The Iran-Iraq war caused enormous suffering to the people of Iran; Iranians will not forget it in the decades ahead. They will also not forget that their suffering was largely because of American and European support for Saddam Hussain - including western support for his acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, which he regularly used against Iranian and Iraqi civilians. There was no condemnation from western governments or even the western media for these cruel and barbaric acts. Iranians believe that western leaders are just as guilty for these crimes against humanity as Saddam Hussain himself.

 

The United States has condemned a "horrifying" massacre by Islamic militants said to have killed hundreds of Iraqi soldiers as they advanced on Baghdad after seizing vast swathes of northern Iraq. The country experienced similar attacks over the last few weeks with the USA and Australia withdrawing their troops. For more analyses on the story we joined by Naeem Jenah who is the director for the Afro-Middle East Centre.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged intense support to Baghdad in the fight against militants. Kerry made a surprise visit to Iraq as Sunni Insurgents led by the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), seized a strategic town in the Northern part of the country. The insurgents also captured the country's biggest oil refinery in Beji, which had been under siege for ten days, Joining us in studio Omar Shaukat is a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa to give analysis on the situation.

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