American Insouciance toward Iranian Mayhem Puts Its Alliances at Risk

March 29 2022

Even as Washington continues to pursue an agreement with Tehran in which it will offer the ayatollahs sanctions relief in exchange for their putting parts of their nuclear program on pause, Iran-backed Houthi guerrillas in Yemen launched rockets at a Saudi oil-production facility—one of several similar attacks in recent weeks. Mohammed Alyahya comments:

When President Barack Obama negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran [in 2015], we Saudis understood him to be seeking the breakup of a 70-year marriage. . . . Sold disingenuously to the American public as an arms-control agreement, the deal is an assault on the regional order that the United States established in the aftermath of World War II. Explicitly hostile to Saudi Arabia—to say nothing of America’s other greatest ally in the region, Israel—the deal replaces the former American-led regional security structure with a concert system in which Iran, backed by Russia and China, becomes America’s new subcontractor while America’s former allies—the Gulf States and Israel—are demoted to second-tier status.

Instead of friendship, America seems more inclined to use its old friends as human shields for Iran. Earlier this month, when Iran conducted a ballistic-missile strike near the U.S. consulate in Erbil, Iraq, it falsely claimed to be targeting an Israeli facility. A senior Biden official then confirmed the Iranian claim. While other officials later denied it, the damage was done. An American official had assisted Iran in getting the most out of its propaganda by action.

In Riyadh, it is not forgotten that the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 was followed swiftly by the rise of a Russian-Iranian alliance in Syria that leveled most of the major cities of that country and awarded Moscow with a military base on the eastern Mediterranean—cementing Russia’s first foothold in the Middle East since the collapse of the Soviet Union. When the Saudis protested Obama’s passivity, he told them they must “learn to share the region with Iran.”

Why should America’s regional allies help Washington contain Russia in Europe when Washington is strengthening Russia and Iran in the Middle East?

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy