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Iran and Syria in Imperial Crosshairs

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December 22, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -  There’s no difference between the National Transitional Council and the Syrian National Council. The first overthrew and lynched Moammar Gaddafi in Libya and second is following a similar agenda against Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The uprising in Syria is as ‘indigenous’ as it was in Libya – both within the same year. Evidently, the imperial powers are in a hurry to install their marionettes in Muslim countries to control resources and to dominate the region. In the game called ‘Regime change’, Britain takes the lead by propping up the opposition in Syria and simultaneously raising the temperature against Iran with the tacit support of France and the US.

Simon Jenkins of the Guardian once wrote, "The British Empire may be dead, but a nagging desire to rule the world or at least tell it how to behave, is embedded in the genes of every British politician". Perhaps to satisfy that desire, Britain froze $1.6 billion of Iranian assets in the UK, which resulted in provoking violence by the mob at the British embassy in Tehran. In a tit-for-tat, Britain ordered the Iranian embassy in London closed down and its diplomats expelled. When expelling Iranian diplomats, British foreign secretary, William Hague, said: "If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."  

Mr Hague's assertion is cockeyed as operations of British embassy in Tehran are not the same as working of the Iranian embassy in London – no sabotage. Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed; an Iranian general has been assassinated and above all, Iranians haven't forgotten the Mossadeg era of fifties. An old Persian proverb "If you trip over a stone in the road, it was put there by an Englishman" is symptomatic of Iranian paranoia running deep against Britain.  

While the western powers are proceeding against Syria overtly, they’re moving against Iran covertly. Unfortunately, the 22-member Arab League is playing a leading role in the hostilities orchestrated by the West against the two Muslim states. When the Saudi King said Assad's removal was in Saudi Arabia's interest, the Arab League quickly revoked Syria’s membership and asked Assad to step down. How can the Arab League, consisting of repressive monarchies and dynastic emirates, pronounce one of its member countries in the region tyrannical? SNC and Free Syrian Army are set up under Turkey tutelage. Henceforth Turkey will likely play a dominant role of a proxy in the imperial plan of regime-change in Syria. Turkey has a bit of identity problem. It has always aspired to be recognised as a modern westernised state part of Europe but the Europeans have been reluctant to accept it.  

Saudi Arabia not only wants an end to Assad's rule in Syria, it equally detests President Ahmadinjad's government in Iran. The imperial powers are successfully using the sectarian card by playing upon religious prejudices of one sect against the other. If Saudi Arabia didn't consider Iran its archrival, why would it buy 60 billion dollars worth of US military hardware? To add to the suspicion between the two, a treacherous plot to kill Saudi Ambassador in the US was hatched in which an Iranian citizen, a used car dealer, was to hire Mexican hit men to assassinate the Saudi envoy in Washington. The plot was so incredulous that not even the American public, which is generally considered gullible, bought it.  

However, it’s confounding why the Muslim rulers allow the West to use them against their own kin. Is there any precedent of Christian nations aggressing against each other at present? None. Why does Saudi Arabia want to isolate Iran and bring down President Ahmedinejad’s government, while undercurrents of public discontent run deep in the kingdom itself? If the CIA has so far failed to instigate an uprising in Iran, despite having poured in millions, why should Saudi Arabia abet in the same against a brother Muslim country is for the House of Saud to answer.

Iftekhar A. Khan - Freelance columnist for The News-Pakistan

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