In a column for The Atlantic, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blames foreign powers and neighbors for, as he states, “a fractured Middle East.”
“The discovery of oil, a drug the West soon became addicted to, only strengthened colonial power projection into our region, and subsequently Cold War rivalry—both major factors in the U.S. and UK decision to overthrow the legitimate and democratic government of Iran in 1953—provided the fodder for further meddling by foreign powers and superpowers.” Zarif writes.
According to Zarif, the “Western allies” are also to blame, as U.S. military presence in the region “aims to counter threats to America’s own interests.”
“The U.S., meanwhile, turned a blind eye to the ideology and funding that led to the creation of Al-Qaeda—and its more recent offshoots of ISIS, Nusrah, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish-al-Islam, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and the list goes on—and to the worst terror attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. The U.S. military presence in the region now aims to counter not just threats to America’s own interests, but also supposed threats to the very same allies that have supported the kind of terror now being visited on the cities of Europe and the United States.” the diplomat notes.
Zarif also states that “Arab affairs are Iran’s business,” adding that although Tehran has become “stronger and older as an independent state than any of its neighbors, but has not attacked another country in nearly three centuries.”
“Still, Arab affairs are Iran’s business. And we are not shy in admitting that non-Arab affairs are their business. How can they not be? We share borders, waters, and resources; we fly through each other’s airspace. We can’t not be interested in how our neighbors affect the part of the globe where we make our homes.” he says.