Barack Obama’s 2013 failure to police his own red lines following the gruesome murder of about 1,400 civilians with chemical weapons is widely perceived as the moment when the course of the Syrian conflict altered irretrievably, an article wrote in the Arab News read.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran on June 13, hoping to ease tensions between Iran and the US. When Abe offered to convey an Iranian reply to a message from President Trump, Khamenei declined.
An extraordinary dispute broke into the public domain last week. The UK’s Foreign Office has long prioritized the case of detained British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, since then-Foreign Secretary (and current prime ministerial candidate, God help us) Boris Johnson made some ill-informed comments that provided Tehran with a pretext for increasing her unjustifiable sentence. It was revealed that the Foreign Office has been quietly lobbying the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to release £400 million ($505 million) paid by the former shah of Iran for a tank sale that was cut short by the 1979 revolution.
People often express bemusement to me about why Iran behaves the way it does: The embroilment in terrorism and militancy, past attempts to build a nuclear bomb, the way it treats its own people, and so on.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi visited Tehran along with a political and economic delegation at the weekend. He had been invited by Hassan Rouhani when he visited Iraq last month for the first time since becoming the Iranian president.
US forces still have not departed from eastern Syria, yet Tehran is already rushing to fill the void. Iranian agents have been offering cash, food, ID cards, public services and free education to war-weary Syrians, particularly in localities near the Iraq-Syria border like Al-Bukamal.
It is bitterly ironic that a leadership rooting its legitimacy in quasi-religious principles governs one of the most corrupt nations in the world, deliberately infecting the entire Middle East with its criminality.
Iran at 40 years old doesn’t have much to celebrate. Last week’s anniversary was a reminder of four decades of regional and global terrorism, and four decades of terrorism against long-suffering citizens whose birthright wealth is corruptly devoured and squandered on overseas aggression.
In his 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, US Director of National intelligence Dan Coats came to the blunt conclusion that: “In Iraq, Iran-supported Popular Mobilization Committee-affiliated Shiite militias remain the primary threat to US personnel.”
Perhaps the most succinct expression of Donald Trump’s attitude to Iran’s regional meddling came during a recent Cabinet meeting, when the US President dismissively told his foreign policy team that Iran’s leaders could “do what they want” in Syria.
I hear cynics in Cairo and across the Arab world claiming that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Egypt speech was no more than a cheap attempt to please his boss by systematically attacking the central tenets of Barack Obama’s Middle East policies.