Iran tightens grip on Middle East 4
While the recent swarm of protests in the Middle East and North Africa may not have “Islam” written all over them, the chances of Iran-friendly Islamist regimes emerging in the end is becoming more and more likely. “None of the revolutions over the past several weeks has been overtly Islamist, bu
by mark libro Wednesday, April 20, 2011
“None of the revolutions over the past several weeks has been overtly Islamist, but there are signs that the uprisings could give way to more religious forces,” wrote the Washington Post. “An influential Yemeni cleric called this week for the U.S.-backed administration of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to be replaced with Islamist rule, and in Egypt, an Islamist theoretician has a leading role in drafting constitutional changes after President Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power last month.”
The Obama administration has also openly acknowledged Islam’s increased role in shaping the emerging governments, stating that Islam and democracy are not necessarily incompatible.
However, this naivety “fails to take into consideration the methodical approach many such parties adopt toward gradually transforming secular nations into Islamic states at odds with U.S. policy goals,” continued the Post.
Even more alarming is the influential role Iran is playing in the emerging uprisings. While the revolutionary road may begin with noble ideas, in the end it is only paving the way for radical Islam—led by Iran—to take over.
An increasing number of commentators and government officials have begun correctly identifying Iran as not just the primary beneficiary of the instability in the Middle East, but as a possible contributor to the cause of it.
In early March, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told Congress that Iran is “doing everything they can to influence the outcomes in these places.”
By backing protests in Bahrain and Yemen and through Hezbollah, which in turn influences Palestinians and Egyptians, Iran is “either directly or through proxies … constantly trying to influence events,” Clinton said.
But while Clinton seems wary of Iran’s growing influence, such observations have yet to influence U.S. foreign policy.
Case in point: Hezbollah ally Najib Mikati is set to become prime minister in Lebanon’s new government, sparking fears that the U.S.’s $100 million in annual aid to Lebanon might fall into Hezbollah hands. Despite her warning of Iran’s rapidly growing influence in the area, Clinton still pushed for Congress to continue the funding.
The idea that Iran could be manipulating events behind the scenes becomes even more convincing in light of which countries have been most affected by the protests. Willian Dove with the International Business Times wrote:
Tunisia before the unrest was widely considered to be one of the better autocracies in the region, while Egypt under Mubarak was, although not a friend of Israel, at least happy to coexist with it, something Iran does not seem so keen on doing.
This brings us of course to Colonel Qadhafi [who] has in recent years started to come in from the cold and into the warm embrace of the Western leaders like [former Prime Minister] Tony Blair and [Prime Minister] Silvio Berlusconi. … He may not be pro-American in the conventional sense of the word, but he is also little used to Tehran’s ambitions.
By contrast, Dove wrote, the comparatively few protests in other totalitarian but Iran-friendly regimes (including, one could argue, Iran itself) have been relatively inconsequential:
Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, are oppressive regimes but they are all of the rabidly anti-Israel variety and to some degree or another, supported by Iran. Yet protests in these locations have been minimal or non-existent.
That Iran would come out on top of any unrest in the Middle East and even be a key player in bringing it about has long been predicted by the Trumpet. Read “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy” for more information on Iran’s emerging victory in the Middle East.
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