The Price of Empowering Iran

(Independent-UK) Mohammed Khalid Alyahya - Since the Biden administration's decision to reverse the designation of Yemen's Houthi militia as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) on Feb. 12, drones and ballistic missiles have targeted Saudi Arabia 48 times. It is a fallacy to understand the region's politics as a contest between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Seen from Tehran, the central contest in the region is between the American alliance system and Iran's self-styled "resistance alliance." Biden's misconception leads to a number of erroneous ideas: that the U.S. can play a neutral, mediating role between Riyadh and Tehran; that by distancing itself from Saudi Arabia, it creates opportunities for regional stability and understanding; and that it is the Saudi role in Yemen - and not the Iranian role - that has perpetuated the conflict in that country. Iran has waged a forty-year war to spread its control across the region - not to compete with Saudi Arabia, but to undermine the American alliance system. Iran's network of terrorist groups in the region chant, "death to America," not "death to Saudi Arabia." Iran's attacks on Saudi Arabian civilian infrastructure, via its proxies in Yemen and Iraq, are reactions to U.S. policy - not Saudi Arabian policy. Appeasing Iran, and punishing U.S. allies, will come at the expense of the entire region. The writer is the editor-in-chief of

2021-03-15 00:00:00

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