Analyst: Iran’s influence common concern for US, Saudis, Israelis

IRNA – US-Canadian anti-war writer Robert Fantina said on Saturday that Iran’s influence in the Middle East region is cause of common concern for the Washington, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

On the current developments in Lebanon, Fantina told IRNA in an exclusive interview that President Trump sees any development in the Middle East through two lenses: how it impacts Israel, and how it can profit him. To understand Trump’s view, we will first explore these two developments separately.

First, the resignation of Saad Hariri was, in all likelihood, orchestrated by Saudi Arabia to discredit Hezbollah. It must be remembered that Hariri has citizenship in both Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, so it is no surprise that he chose to make his unexpected announcement in that country, the analyst said.

Lebanese law mandates that the President of the country be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni, and the Speaker of the Parliament a Shiite Muslim. This is to ensure representation of the three major religious groups in the nation, he said.

Randa Slim, director of a conflict resolution program at the Middle East Institute in Washington, who also believes that the resignation was directed by Saudi Arabia, said that ‘by going after Hezbollah, by denying Hezbollah a credible Sunni partner in governance, it thus weakens Hezbollah on the home front’.

If Lebanon can be weakened, it compromises, at least to a limited extent, Iran’s influence in the Middle East, which is a Saudi goal, and certainly a US one. The US wants Israel to have hegemony in the Middle East, and Iran’s growing influence threatens that power, he pointed out.

This resignation was quickly followed by an ‘anti-corruption’ sweep of major players in Saudi Arabia, which included the arrest of one of the richest men in the world, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Prince Alwaleed has close ties to major US businesses, and close personal friendships with many of their CEOs, including Citigroup Chairman Michael O’Neill, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, Disney’s Michael Eisner, Apple’s Tim Cook and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. His arrest may cause some awkwardness for Trump, since these corporate giants are his peers.

Trump, of course, thanked Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for ‘fighting terrorism’, and, of course, for agreeing to purchase $350 billion in weaponry from the US, the hypocrisy in these statements is astounding, but typical for any US president. Saudi Arabia was instrumental, along with the United States, in supporting terrorists in Syria who were attempting to overthrow the democratically – elected government of Bashar Al- Assad, and who killed countless thousands of innocent people in the unsuccessful process. But as long as profits flow to US arms manufacturers, how those arms are used is of no consequence to the US, he said.

These recent actions in Saudi Arabia help centralize power in the ruling family, thus removing any pretense of reform.

This disrupts the master plan of an all-powerful Israel. The US and Saudi Arabia supported ISIS because it was destabilizing Syria. Unlike the illegal and immoral US invasion of Iraq, which mainly destroyed that country, the US’ corrupt leaders thought they had found a way to accomplish the same thing in another Middle Eastern nation, without the worldwide negative publicity and hostility that the invasion of Iraq brought with it. However, with assistance from Iran and Russia, Syria was able to defeat the foreign-introduced terrorists. Additionally, Iran is helping to rebuild Iraq, which will naturally bring Iraq into a closer relationship with Iran. The same is true about Syria, due to Iranian support for the government there.

For those who support the brutal regime of Israel, the growing power and influence of Iran, whose leaders support Palestine, simply cannot be countenanced, Robert Fantina said.

On Zionsit’s stands on these developments, he said Netanyahu will do and say anything that will distract a world that is beginning to pay more attention, from Israel’s brutality, human rights violations, and violations of international law. To say that support of allies, such as Iran’s assistance to Syria, is ‘aggression’, is to dissemble to an astonishing degree, especially coming from a nation that seeks the overthrow of the Syrian government. Additionally, Netanyahu and his wife are currently being investigated on corruption charges, and these statements against Iran, seen as an ‘existential threat’ to Israel by hysterical Israeli leaders, can help draw attention from that investigation, at least temporarily, the analyst said.

Lastly, Iran’s growing power and influence in the Middle East is beginning to eclipse that of Israel, and the government of the Zionist regime cannot allow that to happen.

On involvement of Saudi and Zionists in Hariri’s resignation, he said Saudi Arabia and Israel are both powerful countries in the Middle East; they share a complete disdain for human rights, and, with the encouragement and complicity of the United States, seek to order that region to their own preferences. That this involves the subjugation of millions of people is unimportant to them.

Since it is likely that Hariri’s resignation was directed by Saudi Arabia as an intended blow to Iran, it is also probable that Israel was informed about it before it happened, he underlined.

The US press is proclaiming that Hariri’s resignation has plunged Lebanon into a major political crises; time will tell if this is the case, or if a new Prime Minister will be appointed, enabling the government to continue functioning with little difficulty.

On recent missile attacks to Saudi Arabia by Yemen, he said If Saudi Arabia were to fabricate some reason to attack Iran, the US would proclaim that Saudi actions were justified, and rush to assist, he said.

A unilateral attack on Iran by the United States would certainly bring Russia into the conflict, but the US and Saudi leaders may believe that they can portray a ‘legitimate’ reason for attacking Iran, which may cause Russia to remain uninvolved.

This thinking is delusional. While some people, mainly US citizens, still accept the ‘false flag’ reasons for US invasions that the US manufacturers, it is unlikely that Russia’s leaders are quite so gullible.

Also, Saudi Arabia’s leaders must know that Iran is a powerful country on its own, and that strength is increased by its allies with other powerful nations. What is being contemplated by the United States and Saudi Arabia, along with Israel, in any invasion of or attack on Iran, is the risk of a devastating war that will kill millions, and which the aggressors cannot win.

Robert Fantina is an author and journalist whose main interest is in human rights. He has written extensively on the oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel. He is the author of Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776 – 2006, a detailed history of desertion from the US military; Look Not Unto the Morrow, a Vietnam era, anti-war novel, and Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of US Foreign Policy. After moving from the United States to Canada in 2005, Mr. Fantina now holds dual citizenship.