How Iran tried to play victim by hoodwinking the global community

How Iran tried to play victim by hoodwinking the global community

US President Donald Trump’s recent dealings with North Korea showed the American administration’s serious intent and real power. Iran, however, is a different matter entirely. Tehran depends on terror, with the regime using its militias all over the world to spread its ideology. I believe Iran is more dangerous than Pyongyang, so the first priority must be countering its terrorism.

Tehran has always benefited from conflicts in the region, through its militias and by using them to spread its ideology of sectarian strife. The regime has constructed two well-known, but absolutely fallacious, media narratives. The first is that Iran is fighting terrorism that originates from Sunni countries, which targets the West as well as Iran. The second is that it wants to be an ally of Europe and the West in the struggle against terrorism.

Another of Iran’s familiar speeches is aimed at the entire Muslim world. The regime says that it is fighting imperialism and international Zionism to liberate Palestine. This is an attempt to brainwash hundreds of thousands of Muslims all over the world and convince them to embrace its slogans: "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

Iran has hosted terrorist militias and organizations since the 1980s. Al-Qaeda is one of the militias that moved there, after it was chased out of Saudi Arabia when the Saudi government declared it a terrorist organization.

Al-Qaeda leaders moved to Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban, and then to Iran to find safe haven during the US-led war in Afghanistan. It was a flawed war on terror because the Americans allowed Tehran, the mother of terror, once again to shelter its adherents.

If we look back at the history of Al-Qaeda and its attacks on US military sites in Saudi Arabia, we must remember also that attacks against American Marines by the so-called Hezbollah in Lebanon took place before any attacks by Al-Qaeda. We find that Al-Qaeda followed the lead of the terrorist Iranian militia. Also, if we look at the two attacks by Al-Qaeda on American embassies in Africa, we can see that Osama Bin Laden was copying Iran’s storming of the US Embassy in Tehran. There are many examples that can be given proving that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, controls those terrorist militias and other organizations.

Appeasing Tehran, as the former Obama administration did, was a big mistake that was seen by the regime as a green light for it to continue its terrorist activities around the world

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri

We remember, too, the attack on the USS Cole in Aden Harbor, Yemen, in October 2000, which was carried out by Al-Qaeda. More recently other militias, including the Houthis, have similarly attacked American warships, as well as Saudi oil tankers. Nobody can deny that Iran had a hand in these happenings.

It is time to put an end to this terror and free the world of Iranian slogans that deceive not only foolish people in our region, but also the world by claiming that all Sunnis, and Saudi Arabia, are threats to Western civilization. They do this by endlessly repeating that 15 Saudis were involved in the 9/11 attacks.

We know the originators of this plan aimed to drive a wedge between the US and the Kingdom, and damage the alliance between the countries. Both helped Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet invasion, but I want to focus here on what Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, wrote in his recent article in Arab News titled: "Why Iran’s malign behavior must be confronted – not appeased."

He differentiated clearly between the policies of Saudi Arabia and Iran. We see that Saudi Arabia arrests terrorists and never allows them to escape, because Riyadh is countering terrorism. On the other hand, in Iran we never see the arrest of anybody for terrorism. Instead, it creates and trains militias as part of the regime’s policy, which explains why Iran has never been attacked by terrorist militias.

Saudi Arabia is part of the international coalition to fight terrorism, but Iran is not. Why?

Saudi Arabia is in the Islamic coalition of more than 40 Muslim countries that have pledged to fight terrorism. Of course, Iran is not. Why?

Saudi Arabia is in the Arab coalition to fight terrorism. Of course, Iran is not, and it fights against the coalition.

Iran has tried many times to play the role of victim, though it never respects international law or the sovereignty of any state. Appeasing Iran, as the former Obama administration did, was a big mistake that was seen by the regime as a green light to continue its terrorist activities around the world. We saw how a very bad nuclear deal with Iran never deterred the country from testing ballistic missiles or stopped its intervention in other countries.

Now, with the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the bad deal, we see Iran using its oil revenues not for the benefit of the Iranian people, who are experiencing a lack of basic services such as water, but to fund terror. For that reason, Trump has imposed an embargo on Iranian oil that will take effect soon.

Although we hear threats from Iranian leaders such as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif and the leader of one of the biggest terrorist militias, Al-Quds Force, all of these actions are steps in the right direction that will ultimately lead to compliance and acceptance of a deal ending terrorism and the era of terrorist militias, or changing of the regime, as has been demanded.

  • Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view