Monday, October 25, 2010

And the real enemy is ...

The US will continue to fail to convince Arabs that Iran, not Israel, poses the greatest threat to regional stability.

By Lamis Andoni

"...Washington wasted no time in seeking to counter what it views as Iran's growing influence across the Arab world and Ahmadinejad's message of resistance to Israel....

A sectarian formula

This does not mean that Iran's agenda in the region has been entirely palatable to Arab states. It has been complicit in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, where its position remains opportunistic and deeply sectarian.

But Washington has no issue with that aspect of Iranian foreign policy. It was, after all, the US invasion that fed sectarian divisions within Iraq. And Washington has been happy to champion Shia political parties within the country in order to suppress its rich pan-Arab identity - all while being opposed to the Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah.....

Vying for influence

This is not to say that Iran is not also vying for regional influence - something stressed by an Iranian parliamentarian who declared that Ahmadinejad's visit asserted "Iran's supremacy". And there is no doubt that Iran's agenda is not always compatible with Lebanese or, more broadly, Arab interests. But its support for Hezbollah in its battles against Israel has elevated its status among the Arab public in a way that no anti-Iranian Arab axis can deny or top....

But Washington is truly delusional if it thinks it can defeat Iran by convincing Arabs that its pro-Israeli agenda could bring peace and stability, let alone justice to the region."

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