SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Looking back at the chain of events in the Middle East over the past decade, we can realize a policy trend adopted by the West and especially the United States. The events of September 11, 2001, created a turning point in U.S. foreign policies in the world. Waging two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were the first signs of this policy. Attacking Iraq and planning to re-socialize Muslim people of the region through democratization and cultural reform under the banner of "Greater Middle East Initiative", were some of the main elements of George W. Bush's agenda. The final aim of the plan was the so-called ‘war on terror’.
After Hamas' 2006 victory in the Palestinian election, the U.S. administration understood that pursuing democracy could not achieve their interests in the region. Another important issue occurred in Iraq. Toppling Saddam and shaping a new government in Iraq led by the Shia majority was not good news for the United States due to the special relations between the new Iraqi elites and Iran. The United States tried to influence an Iraqi parliamentary election to bring to power pro-American elites in Iraq, but was not successful.
The United States and its allies have attempted to curb Iran’s sphere of influence through changing the balance of power in the region. Their targets were Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. The West put more pressure on Hezbollah and Syria after the Rafik Hariri assassination in Lebanon. They wanted to disarm Hezbollah and reduce the controls the Syrian Army had over Lebanon. In June 2006 Israel attacked Lebanon and waged a 33-day war against Hezbollah, aiming to destroy its infrastructure and dismantle the Shia group, but they suffered a crushing defeat. In December 2008, the Zionist regime attacked Gaza to save its face but it was again unsuccessful after 22-days of war.
Using hard power could not achieve the West’s goals. So they decided to try soft power against Iran and the axis of resistance in the region. The West wanted to destabilize Iran after the presidential election in 2009 by supporting opposition groups against the government; again they failed.
Another turning point occurred during the Islamic Awakening process in the region. It was really shocking for the West because they were witnessing the collapse of their allies, one after another. The Islamic Awakening put the West’s interests in the region at stake. The greatest loss was the toppling of the Mubarak regime in Egypt.
The West wanted to manage the events after the Arab revolutions in different ways. In some countries it supported the dictators to suppress the people, like in Bahrain. In some countries the West tried to manage the result of the elections according to its own interests. In other cases, the West accepted some superficial changes within the ruling parties.
On account of the changing strategic situation in the region, the West tried to alter its role from reactionist and defensive to offensive. In this regard, Syria was the best place to apply pressure on Iran and its allies to improve the West position.
The U.S. policy is a new kind of "Dual Containment", but this time with Iran and Syria. The U.S. and its regional partners such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Arab micro-states are supporting opposition groups in Syria and attempting to precipitate a collapse of the Syrian government. It is remarkable to note that the aim of this policy is to tighten the screws on Iran. The temperature between the West and Iran has increased dramatically and we are approaching a historical moment, which will determine the strategic map of the region for decades.
All the Iranian-Western disputes, such as the nuclear issue, are part of this broad picture. The West has been doing its best to put pressure on Iran and the axis of resistance which are against the West’s hegemony.
Bearing in mind this chain of events, we can conclude that the West's problem is the ideas behind the Iranian Islamic Revolution which has now been extended throughout region in the form of the Islamic Awakening, endangering Western interests. The main goal of the West is to contain these pure-Islamic thoughts though a strategy of accusing the resistance axis to justify its policies.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: Teheran Times