As a possible nuclear deal continues to limp towards completion, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about Iran’s expanding military presence in Iraq and Yemen. The recent negotiations between America and Iran have undoubtedly increased tension between the two countries, with members of each respective country finding immense fault in the preliminary deal. As hard line elements on both sides feel too much is being conceded, there is a mounting fear these negotiations will negatively impact the growing sectarian aggression on the ground.
Let’s, just for a single moment, think about Iran’s recent actions on the ground: they are doing more to combat ISIS than the United States and all of its allies put together. While the United States and various other countries have thrown tidbits of weaponry and funds in the direction of the Kurds and Iraqis, Iran is actively, albeit harshly, removing ISIS from the second largest city in Iraq. So given the amount of negativity recently seen in the media regarding Iran, does this mean protecting and defending ISIS is the priority of the American People? Our media, both on the left and right, would have you believe this is the case.
Much of the media accurately portrays this sectarian Civil War as a conflict between the Sunnis and Shiites, but little discussion is had over which states are directly responsible for each respective group of radical Jihadists. As previously discussed, Iran has been the major source of funding for Shiite militias engaged in fighting throughout Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The general media, including myself, had repetitively reported Iran’s responsibility for the Shiite militias in Iraq and Yemen, but less coverage is devoted to the other side of the coin, the Sunni side.
In this publicized proxy war, who has been the patron saint of the ISIS driven Sunni forces? The videoed beheadings of Americans, the attempted genocide of the Yazidi people, the complete destabilization of the region has been sponsored by the United States’ allies and trading partners in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. The pan-Arab countries, where completely open forms of slavery are permitted, are as morally deplorable as any radical cleric in Iran – and are the chief protectors and funders of the radical Wahabi Sunni philosophy driven forces known as ISIS. According to the Washington Institute of the Near East, “Saudi citizens continue to represent a significant funding source for Sunni groups operating in Syria. Arab Gulf donors as a whole – of which Saudis are believed to be the most charitable – have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups. There is support for ISIS in Saudi Arabia, and the group directly targets Saudis with fundraising campaigns. Hypocrisy is all that is achieved when one endorses the Saudis over the Iranians, for any reason. The American policy of overlooking the deplorable, wretched actions, all in exchange for improved oil negations, will only lead to further crisis.
While Iranian influence has had a destabilizing effect on recent Middle Eastern affairs, there is little question as to whether the royal family of Saudi Arabia has done far worse. While Iran verbally bashed Israel, the Saudis have unleashed a hell upon the Middle East that has been completely tolerated by the United States. The financial, personal and military aid given by the Sunni Arab states are the chief reasons ISIS is as powerful as they are now. In fact, Saudi Arabia had even released thousands of jailed men so the freed men can pay for their crimes with a jihad against Syria. So please, next time you read an article about how dreadful Iran is, ask why you’re not reading an article about our dear friends and long-term business partners in Saudi Arabia.