The confrontation between Washington and Tehran has been going on for almost half a century, but Iran – a country that any superpower can neglect in its calculations – is only increasing its potential by challenging the United States throughout the Middle East and above all in Iraq and Syria. Against this background, the question is pertinent, either the White House is so skillfully playing up to Tehran, or he simply uses Washington as a useful idiot in his own interests, Jeffrey Aronson writes in an article for the American edition of The American Conservative.
So, thanks to the US-led overthrow of the regime in Iraq, Iran has a historic opportunity to regain influence in Iraq for the first time in a very long time. This unplanned development was predictable, since until the Bush administration junior could think beyond the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Iran showed more significant and lasting interest in the affairs of its neighbor, so Tehran played in Iraq for a long time. The same situation has developed in the case of Syria. In both countries, due to Washington’s shortcomings, Iran has a historical opportunity to exert its influence on the Arab countries, which, if not Iran’s enemies, have at least maintained a cool relationship with it.
In particular, Syria was forced to make close ties with Iran, but now, in the conditions of war against official Damascus, the Arab Republic was even more drawn into the cold embrace of the Islamic Republic. At the same time, Washington did not understand the whole duality of the relations between Damascus and Tehran, thanks to which he could reduce Iranian influence on the post-war structure of Syria. Now that the war is coming to naught, the value of Tehran’s military contribution is shrinking. At the same time, Damascus is becoming more interested in reducing the influence of its longtime friends of Russia and Iran in determining their own destiny.
Despite the fact that Damascus and Moscow were pleased with Iran’s critically important contribution to the defeat of the opposition, they are not interested in the fact that Tehran in one way or another carried out its agenda after the victory in Syria against Lebanon and Israel. Neither one nor the other is also delighted with the attempts of the Islamic Republic to reformat the Syrian armed forces about its image and likeness. In this respect, Iran is confronted by an actual coalition, including Washington, the EU, Israel, Moscow and the “Syrian regime”.
But instead of seeing in the end of the war in Syria an opportunity to weaken Iran’s importance for Damascus and limit its presence in the country, Washington continues to foolishly pursue its failed policy. While the US is using its deployed troops in the north-east and southeast of the country to prevent the establishment of Damascus control over the entire territory of the country, Iran will not leave Syria, and international sanctions against Damascus will only further push the country into Tehran’s hands.
Such a short-sighted assessment of the consequences of its own policy by the US in Iraq and now in Syria makes one think: either Washington is genius in collusion with Iran, or it is simply played out by weak players who look at the events more clearly.
Aronson, who leans toward the second version, notes that in addition to the fight against ISIS, in all other aspects, US policy was a failure. And now all that remains for Washington is to act as a pest side, putting obstacles on the way to the inevitable restoration of Damascus’s full control over the territory of Syria.
Earlier, after leaving the summit in Brussels, US President Donald Trump said that now Iran has more respect for the United States, so one day we can expect a proposal for a deal from him.