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The US Persistently Seeks to Destabilize Iran. Why is Washington So Deeply Concerned about Tehran’s Regional Influence in the Middle East?
By , November 16, 2017
The United States’ persistent effort to destabilize Iran did not begin with Trump’s presidency in January 2017. Rather, it has begun since the 1979 anti-imperialist Islamic Revolution in Iran. Therefore, in late 1970s and early 1980s, deeply concerned with the developments in Iran and its impact on the US-dominated Islamic region of the Middle East, numerous serious studies, think tanks and projects in the US aimed to derail and crush the Iranian revolution.
These US projects targeted the newly fledged revolution with economic sanctions, incitement to lawlessness, violence and crime, military coups and heavily violent terrorist attacks. They even went to the extent of waging war against Iran and occupying the country, as Saddam Hussein did, in September 1980 and most recently, the US incitement to violence at the peaceful protests in Iran, last week. Prominent amongst these studies and plans, were the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) both conceived by the Neo-Conservatives (Neocons) circles in the US.
Examination of these projects clearly highlights the US’ hegemonic and destabilizing agenda in the Middle East and provides a better appreciation of Iran’s outstanding role in the region, and why the US is so deeply concerned about Iran’s regional influence.
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
In the post-Cold War era of 1990s, with the disappearance of the Communist Eastern-bloc as the claimed justification for the huge US military machine operation and expenditures, a new enemy had to be identified. Russia was substantially weakened militarily and economically after the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), and China did not pose an immediate danger to the US hegemony.
The demise of the Soviet Union unhinged the US’ hegemonic dreams and unbridled aggression. In this context, in a most sensitive region in the world, the Middle East, the anti-imperialist Iran having demonstrated its ability for almost two decades to defend its rights and independence in the face of continuous US attacks and conspiracies, and enjoying a fair level of regional influence and high potential to effectively challenge the US-Israel’s unlawful and hostile acts in the region, became the obvious choice of a new ‘enemy’.
Robert Kagan (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
To that end, PNAC, a think tank, with strong ties to the American Enterprise Institute, was founded in 1997, by William Kristol, the founder of the Neo-Conservative ideology and a board member of the Emergency Committee for Israel; and Robert Kagan, a strong advocate of American hegemony and amongst the instigators of the US military action against and regime-change in Iraq.
The Project aimed to promote total American global leadership. PNAC’s policy document openly advocated for American global military domination. The project aimed to establish “Pax Americana” across the globe -a global American empire, through violent and unsurpassable military might. Included among the key points in the PNAC’s defense strategy document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” were the following:
“Need to develop a new family of nuclear weapons” aimed at the “development of safer and more effective nuclear weapons” -in other words, the development of a more usable generation of nuclear weapons; Redirecting the U.S. Air Force to move “toward a global first strike force” -projecting unrestrained and aggressive U.S. power globally; “North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or similar states should not be allowed to undermine American leadership”. “Similar states” clearly meant any state or coalition of states who dare challenge “American leadership”, whether situated in Asia, as in the case of North Korea, Iran and Iraq, or located in Europe, Africa, or Latin America.
In early 2000’s, with George W. Bush Administration in office, the US attempted to push ahead with the implementation of the PNAC. The “rogue states” -also labeled by Bush as the “Axis of Evil”- comprising Iran, Iraq and North Korea, were to be the main targets. Based on plausible evidence, it is argued that the 9/11, 2001, Saudi-originated, al-Qaeda-executed terrorist attacks, that shook the US by their violent impact, was the Neocons’ crucial opening-measure to trigger the Project for the New American Century into action, in an unrestrained fashion. In any case, the event certainly provided the Neocons with a historic opportunity to unleash their force against the gathering tide of Islamic anti-imperialist resistance against the Zio-American ruthless hegemonic designs for the Middle East.
Thus, soon after the 9/11 attacks, there followed a surge in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) lobbying for war against Iran and Iraq. To that end, the US president, George W Bush, declared his oft repeated “war on terror” directed mainly at Iran and Iraq -in spite of the fact that 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks had Saudi-Arabian nationality, two were from United Arab Emirates, and the other two were from Egypt and Lebanon; all were members of al-Qaeda, a Saudi-originated Wahhabi terrorist group; and none were from Iran, Iraq or North Korea, i.e., none were from President Bush’s designated “Axis of Evil”or “rogue states”.
So, the US choosing not to hunt for the actual perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, -Saudi Arabia and its collaborators- one is bound to conclude that the 9/11 event was indeed a Neocons’ making “to trigger the Project for the New American Century into action, in an unrestrained fashion”, as mentioned above. Thus clearly in that vein, Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the US and a collaborator in the highly criminal 9/11 Neocons conspiracy, should not have been and was not pursued.
In all likelihood, the attacks was planned by the Neocons in the US inner state in collaboration with the Saudis at some level, using Saudi and other nationals as executors of the plans. That is exactly why they had not allowed the release of some crucial pages of the 9/11 inquiry for 13 years. The declassified but still redacted 28 pages showed evidence that some of the perpetrators were in contact with Saudi government officials, and it is said that the US did not release the documents not to jeopardize relations with its important ally.
Iran was the number one target on US-Israeli project’s priority list. However, Iran’s defensive capabilities, based on Pentagon’s own war games, acted as the deterrent. It may also be argued that, with the nationally popular and internationally respected government of President Mohammed Khatami –the founder of the Dialogue Among Civilizations- in power in Tehran, an attack by the US, at that time, would have politically backfired on the Bush Administration. Certainly, however, with an assessment of the arrogant US behavior, Iran’s defensive capabilities have been the primary, and one could say the only factor, mitigating against any military attack.
Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a completely different scenario. Iraq had already been disarmed, by the United Nation, of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass-destruction, illegally provided to it by the West in the (1980-1988) war against Iran. Also, based on the eight years of the war against Iran, and Iraq’s fatal blunder in invading Kuwait (1990) which was followed by the US led military attack in 1991 and subsequent 12 years of UN inspections, draconian sanctions, massive bombardments and near total disarming, the US knew everything about the Iraqi army, its devastated, almost non-existent capabilities and its many weaknesses. Hence, as compared to Iran, Iraq presented itself as a much more feasible/do-able US military target.
Therefore, in March 2003, in grave violation of international law, based purely on AIPAC/Neocons’ fabricated pretexts and lies –i.e., Iraq’s support for Al-Qaeda terrorism and hidden WMD- and in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution, Iraq was militarily attacked and occupied. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis lost their lives as a result of the US/UK led sanctions and continued bombardment of Iraq’s vital infrastructure since 1991, and the US coalition’s subsequent invasion and occupation of the country, in 2003.
Although Iran was not attacked at that stage, the US-dominated Iraq and its long borders with Iran, would have provided the ideal opportunity to carry out terrorist and other destabilizing attacks against Iran to eventually bring it back under the US control. However, mainly as a result of Iran’s deep historical ties and regional influence, the post-Saddam developments in Iraq and in the region as a whole, have not fully gone in accordance with the PNAC plan.
The US-Israel-Saudi attempts at tearing up JCPOA (Iran-P5+1 nuclear agreement) with the aim of isolating Iran internationally has backfired. The US and Israel are now facing a degree of international isolation they have not faced before, as evident by the international community’s outright stance in support of the firm legal status of the nuclear agreement in international law and the recent outstandingly high voting figures in the UN against the ill-intended US decision to move its Embassy to Israeli occupied Jerusalem. Their terror plots against Iran, through the most violent Wahhabi-IS terrorist groups, manufactured and supported by the US and its allies, have been foiled and the IS’ fake Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has itself been finally militarily crushed recently, by the region’s Axis of Resistance, led by Commander Soleimani of Iran, in alliance with Russia. Though, as expected, the US is reorganizing the remnants of the IS forces and other extremist groups into new combat units for continued acts of aggression and terrorism in the Middle East and beyond.
These and other important regional set-backs have led to Zio-Neocons’ rage and frustration. Most noticeable is the US-Israel-Saudi’s increasingly frenzied actions all intended, in one way or another, to threaten, destabilize and destroy states and peoples resisting the ever-expanding US domination in the Middle East. These actions, in line with the PNAC’s agenda, have included:
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
Strengthening of the illegal and the inhumane blockade of food, medicine and other living essentials to Yemen, apocalyptically –as assessed by the UN- affecting nearly 20 million Yemenis; imposing an economic blockade on Qatar to force it cut off its political and economic ties with Iran and the Palestinian resistance movements in the region; forcing Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon to read a resignation letter on the Saudi TV, with the intention of wreaking sectarian discord and chaos as a prelude to military attack on Lebanon and Hezbollah; unilaterally renouncing the nuclear deal to isolate and threaten Iran militarily; forming and training the New Syria Army, mostly recruited from Al-Nusrah and IS terrorist groups, at the Syrian Hasakah refugee camp, to fight the Syrian government forces and allies in southern Syria; pressuring the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to surrender to Israel’s criminal and expansionist demands or to resign; and most recently, the outrageous, irresponsible, illegal and outright foolish announcement by Trump of his decision to transfer the US Embassy in Israel to occupied Jerusalem, a decision overwhelmingly rejected in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
(to be continued …)
Farhad Shahabi is a senior specialist in international relations and disarmament in Iran.
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America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO military machine —coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world. The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.
This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history.
It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.
The ultimate objective is World conquest under the cloak of “human rights” and “Western democracy”.