Uncle Sam Of The Middle East – OpEd


By Andrei Smirnov

Washington does not exclude the possibility of a military attack on Iran in order to force it to stop its nuclear program. Such was the statement of the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs who supported Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in his positive views on active preventive measures against Teheran.

At the same time Wendy Sherman noted that a diplomatic solution to the problem is still possible. Experts are now figuring out whether a new war in the Persian Gulf will take place.

The exchange of threats between the US and Israel on one side and Iran on the other is an old story. However, in the past months, especially this week, the “dialogue” has become especially intense. At first Israeli Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai declared that his country was ready for a 30-day war with Teheran and was later supported by Prime Minister of Israel. Washington supported the Israeli position. In return, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be “wiped out of the face of the world”.

According to Israeli analyst Moshe Slav, the regional territory has become an arena for the big game. And Washington’s position in the game is not clear even to Tel Aviv.

The US position is indeed hard to understand. Right now Washington is playing the role of good old Uncle Sam who is trying to keep his overly active “cousin” from getting into a fight too soon. At the same time from a more global perspective it seems like the US is slowly implementing its “big Middle East” strategy, Central Asia expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Azhdar Kurtov says.

“This development became clear already at the beginning of this year with the events in Egypt and Libya. It is not a secret that the US had long developed a plan for the transformation of the region under US patronage; and Americans have been acting in accordance with that plan.”

The US “achievements” with that respect are Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and partially Syria. But there is still hope that it won’t come to military action in Iran. If there are still any “cool heads” left in Washington, they should understand that war with Teheran would mean the beginning of military action all over the region, an expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies Boris Dolgov notes.

“This is a serious threat. But still, I think that this psychological war will not lead to a real one, because a real war in the region is dangerous both for Iran and Israel, and the American bases. Iran would have Syria on its side as well as Hezbollah and a number of Shiite and Palestinian militant groups.”

Washington’s “concerns” over Israel’s well-being are no more than bluff in this game. If the US really cares about the future of Israel they should better forget about their attempts to democratize the Arab world and admit that other countries have the right to exist even if they’re different from the US.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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