Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Iran's Strength Has Grown - I Wonder Why?

Following on from the news that the US administration is aiming to increase military aid in the Middle East, Condoleeza Rice has been in the region meeting America's allies. The whole thing is entirely laughable, were it not for the fact that some in the administration are after another war. According to the BBC:

The US will help its allies in the Middle East meet their security needs and counter the growing power of Iran, the US secretary of state has said.

Condoleezza Rice met key Arab allies a day after announcing arms deals worth $63bn (£31bn) for a host of Middle Eastern states.

There are two questions one must ask in response to this. Firstly, why has Iran grown in power in recent years? The answer is found in recent US foreign policy. Iran has grown in power because the US has eliminated its main adversary in the region. The removal of Saddam coupled with the ongoing chaos, has meant that Iran no longer needs to worry about a hostile entity on its border. With its main rival out of the picture, Iran has been able to grow in confidence and flex its muscle across the region. Which leads me neatly on to the second reason for Iran's strength. Israel's assault on Lebanon last year left only one real winner. Iran. As we know, Hezbollah has ties with the Iranian regime and its victory last summer has shown many across the Middle East that Iran is a key player in the region. The defeat also did much to undermine whatever strength the US had in the region (given that Israel was acting as America's proxy). Little wonder Iran's confidence is soaring. Almost makes you wonder if the current administration had planned for this particular outcome in preparation of a new wave of tub-thumping. But then I wouldn't want to put forward any world conspiracy theories. Still, it makes you wonder.......

The other question one must ask is why is the US funding Sunni regimes? It was Sunni Muslims behind the attacks on the US on September 11th, 2001. I don't recall Shia Muslims being implicated in any way. So the question remains, why is the US funding increased militarisation of nations who have far closer ties to those attacks than Iran? Isn't it the Sunni Muslim countries that we should be worried about?? Guess not if you want to foment a new war in the region and shift the balance of power in your favour.