A manifesto purportedly written by one of the Islamic State’s senior military commanders details an unlikely plan that would see the brutal Sunni Islamist group gain Iran’s nuclear secrets with Russia’s help, London’s Sunday Times reported.
The document, which has been attributed to Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, said to be a member of IS’s “war cabinet,” was captured by Iraqi commandos during a raid in March, Sunday’s report (paywall) said.
The report said that the manifesto, which Western security officials have deemed authentic, proposed offering Moscow access to an IS-held gas field in Iraq in exchange for “Iran and its nuclear program.”
Russia, a close ally of the Islamic Republic, built and helps operate the nuclear power plant at Bushehr in Iran. It is also already in possession of the largest proven gas reserves in the world.
The proposal also reportedly stated that in order to gain access to the gas field, located in Anbar province, the Kremlin would have to start backing the Sunni Gulf states against Shiite Iran and another Kremlin ally: the embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Islamic State document was also said to discuss a series of additional steps, including “Nazi-style eugenics,” and an intelligence gathering operation that monitors the organization’s political leaders as well as outside targets.
IS’s ultimate goal was to strip Iran of “all its power,” the document said, killing Iranian teachers, diplomats and businessmen and even destroying the Iranian caviar industry and “exterminating” its famed carpet industry by flooding the market with Afghan rugs.
Al-Meshedani, the author of the manifesto, also called on Islamic State warriors to kill Shiite Iraqi officials — Shiite Muslims are a majority in Iraq — military leaders and members of Iranian-backed militias.
In all, the Islamic State document listed 70 proposals, many of them outlandish and seemingly unrealistic, in its plan to consolidate IS’s power base in the Middle East, the report said.
Iran has warned that it will attack Islamic State jihadists inside Iraq if they advance near its border.
“If the terrorist group (IS) comes near our borders, we will attack deep into Iraqi territory and we will not allow it to approach our border,” Iranian ground forces commander General Ahmad Reza Pourdestana said on September 27.
The Sunni extremists of IS control a large territory north of Baghdad, including in Diyala province, which borders Iran.
The US, which has been leading an international airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has held discussions with Iran about counteracting the Sunni extremists, although the two countries, long at odds, deny direct cooperation.
In a sign of the overlap of Iranian and US interests, Iran said in late September that one of the Islamic Republic’s most senior generals and 70 Iranian soldiers helped Kurdish fighters defend Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq that has been a focus of the American military.
The city is home to a US consulate and offices of numerous Western companies, and the approach of Islamic State militants to its outskirts prompted American airstrikes in August.
On Saturday, the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, the fourth such video showing the killing of American and British hostages in two months.
News agencies contributed to this report.
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