July 8, 2015 | Quoted by The Tower
Experts: U.S. Legitimizing Iranian Hegemony Across Middle East
Citing comments made by White House officials as well as actions taken by the United States, Tony Badran, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, concluded that the administration has “recogniz[ed] Iranian zones in the Levant as legitimate spheres of influence” in an analysis published today in Lebanon’s NOW media.
Badran explained how this policy has shaped the administration’s approached towards Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is heavily supported by Tehran.
“Having rejected the recommendation of its traditional allies that it help them remove the Assad regime, the White House has settled on a Syria policy that accepts an Iranian sphere of interest. On the one hand, the administration has opted to work with the Syrian Kurdish forces in the northeast of the country, enabling them to consolidate and connect two of their non-contiguous cantons. However, this policy is not borne of a commitment to Kurdish autonomy in Syria. Rather, it is a convenient option that enables the White House to sidestep the needs of Turkey and the Gulf states. But most importantly, it allows Obama to keep his commitment not to cross Iranian red lines pertaining to Assad and his enclave.”
“What are those red lines? Since 2012, Iran’s Plan B in Syria has been to secure core strategic territory in western Syria, and maintain contiguity with Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon. Though Obama’s policy has long recognized this Iranian zone of influence in Syria tacitly, the administration is increasingly signaling this recognition publicly.”
Badran quoted an administration official, whose comments on Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal inadvertently confirmed his own observation.
Badran also notes that, in March, CIA director John Brennan “expressed the administration’s opposition to Assad’s collapse in Damascus.”
When the administration recently approved an arms package for Lebanon, it said that the arms would help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) “enforce United Nation’s security council resolutions 1559 and 1701.” However, as Badran noted, the LAF is actually working against those resolutions by “helping Hezbollah secure its lines of communication with Iran’s Syrian satrapy, and ensuring Lebanon remains joined at the hip with it.”
Badran also mentioned that the administration’s acquiescence to Iran’s hegemony “has long been obvious in Iraq.”