Iranians swayed by leader's rhetoric believe United States invented Isis

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei claimed 'we have evidence, we know'

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The Independent Online

Many Iranians think that the United States is behind terrorist organisation Isis.

Ordinary Iranians are beginning to believe their leader's rhetoric that Isis was created in order to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.

Last week Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said he considers Isis an America ploy to regain a foothold in Iraq and fight Iran’s ally Syrian President Assad.

Speaking to a gathering of clerics he said: “We have evidence, we know”.

In the piece, published yesterday, The New York Times’ Tehran bureau chief Thomas Erdbrink drew on his decade of experience based in Tehran, citing numerous examples of ordinary Iranians’ belief in America’s involvement.

Yesterday state television, often the main tool for spreading propaganda, claimed to show images of Senator John McCain, a right-wing Republican, meeting with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the caliph of the self-titled Islamic State (IS).

However, sceptical Iranians such as English literature student Mehdi Mirzaei, 27, said to Mr Erdbrink: “It is essentially a terrorist group of the extremist Muslim sects of the region against the other sects.”

“I am pretty sure that America is not support Isis. That is all nonsense.”

Yesterday, President Obama promised to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” Isis on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Iran has previous on this count. Mr Kamenei has insisted that al-Qaeda was a creation of the CIA and that the Taliban were created by western powers as a means to thwart Iranian ambitions.