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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/12/19

Pace Pompeo: What if the US is "Sowing Chaos" in Mideast & Iran is a Status Quo Power?

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Trump in breaching the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed with members of the UN Security Council and Iran has destabilized the whole region in a bid to vastly weaken or destroy the Islamic Republic. That is not a status quo action leading to calm.

The completely one-sided support of the US for the right wing government of Israel in their occupation and human rights abuses against the Palestinians has destabilized the Levant. Trump's unilateral recognition of all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel contains the kernel of decades of turbulence.

So let us consider Iran. It was a mainstay in helping Iraq roll up ISIL and put the radical Sunni genie back in the bottle.

Iran joined Russia in propping up the status quo in Syria and helping to defeat the al-Qaeda affiliate and ISIL there.

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Iran has warm relations with the Ghani government in Kabul and tries to use its influence among Afghan Hazara Shiites (some 22% of Afghanistan) to contain the hyper-Sunni Taliban, against whom Iran almost went to war in the late 1990s.

The US blames Iran for supporting Hizbullah. But Hizbullah began by attempting to expel Israel troops from southern Lebanon, which they had illegally occupied. Recently Hizbullah has mainly been fighting Sunni extremists in Syria that you'd have to have your head examined to want to rule Damascus. It has been acting as a status quo power.

It is not clear that Iran very heavily supports Hamas in Gaza any more, since Hamas dumped Tehran for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 2012-2013. Even if it does, Hamas was elected into power in a US-supported election in 2006, so Tehran would be supporting a status quo.

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So Iran has been shoring up Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The US either deliberately or covertly has taken steps that have the effect of destablizing the eastern reaches of the Middle East, including Trump's destruction of the Iran deal itself.

Who is sowing chaos?

Bonus video:

Majority Report with Sam Seder: "John Bolton Plays Dangerous Game with Iran"

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

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