Finian Cunningham

US "rewards" Saudi client regime with massive military support: analyst

In the oil-rich Middle East, that US-led order requires the vast natural wealth of the region to be not controlled by the majority of the region’s people, but by Western corporations. The Saudi regime and other Western client regimes function to maintain this hegemonic parasitic arrangement. The “reward” for these client regimes is massive Western military support that props up the elite, anti-democratic clients.


Two years after signing the international nuclear accord, Washington is still pursuing a war of aggression against Iran


by Finian Cunningham*


This week the United States Senate implemented further economic sanctions on Iran allegedly over Iran’s development of ballistic missiles. The Iranian government condemned the US move, saying that it was aimed at thwarting Iran’s legitimate right to defensive capability. This political development from the US illustrates many issues raised recently by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.


In a speech earlier this month, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to Iran’s government as a “government of resistance”. He said that because of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979 and subsequent governance, the nation has been the target of constant attack by its enemies. Those enemies can be identified as, primarily the United States of America, its European allies and Washington’s surrogate regimes in the Middle East region. The latter include Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other [Persian] Gulf monarchies.


The Islamic Republic of Iran is a “resistance” force because it resists the global order that the US and its allies represent and always seek to impose. That order is one that serves elite power interests. That order is antithetical to genuine democracy, justice and peace. It relies on subjugation and dominance over people and their sovereign right to justice with regard to economic resources. The US-led order is a negation of justice and democracy, and in order to maintain such a “disorder” against principles of morality and law, the negation must be enforced with military power, aggression and repression of the inevitable democratic dissent. A perfect illustration of the negation is the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. The latter regime is an abomination of democratic principles, international law and indeed Islam, despite its claim to be custodian of two holy mosques of Islam. The Saudi rulers are a cruel, elitist, barbaric regime that sows terrorism and violence across the Middle East and beyond. This is all well documented. Yet the House of Saud regime is a favored ally of the US, not so much in spite of its evident evils, but rather precisely because of its vile repressive character. That despotic character is essential to maintaining the US-led hegemonic order which is an artificial suppression of natural justice and democracy.


The US and its European allies are proponents of a capitalist global order which serves a global elite of corporate power. That order relies on the suppression of democracy, both at home and abroad. In the oil-rich Middle East, that US-led order requires the vast natural wealth of the region to be not controlled by the majority of the region’s people, but by Western corporations. The Saudi regime and other Western client regimes function to maintain this hegemonic parasitic arrangement. The “reward” for these client regimes is massive Western military support that props up the elite, anti-democratic clients.


Under the former US president Barack Obama, the US sold a total of $115 billion-worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia alone. This week, the new American president Donald Trump is traveling to Saudi Arabia where he is reportedly lining up $3.5 billion of weapons sales over the next 10 years. That amount of $3.5 billion in military gear is what the Israeli state receives every year from the US. This fearsome military power is what is required to prop up the unjust US-led order in the region.


Such reward is an indictment of American corruption, considering the Saudi slaughter against the people of Yemen and the decades-long genocide against the Palestinian people under the Israeli regime.


This is why Iran’s Islamic Revolution is so intolerable to the US and its allies. Iran’s commitment to developing the wealth and dignity of its own people from within as opposed to serving the elite interests of foreign powers is the antithesis of the imperialist order demanded by Washington. Iran is thus a mortal threat to the elite interests of the anti-democratic Western elites and their surrogate client regimes across the Middle East. Iran is the embodiment of resistance to the unjust “order” that the US-led axis depends on. And the Americans have the cheek to label Iran as part of an “axis of evil”.


Ever since 1979, Iran has been targeted for destruction or in other words “regime change”. That is “regime change” back to the client regime status, as existed under the CIA-backed Shah before 1979, and which exists in contemporary form in Saudi Arabia, the other [Persian] Gulf absolute monarchies and under the illegal occupation of Palestinian homeland by the Zionist Israeli regime. Part of the targeting by the US-led axis is to vilify and demonize Iran. Iran is accused of being a “sponsor of international terrorism” – because it supports legitimate resistance movements in Palestine or Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Syrian government. Such defamation is a breath-taking inversion of reality by the real sponsors of state terrorism. But, from the point of the aggressors, it is an essential function to discredit, demonize and delegitimize Iran and what is otherwise its noble position of resistance.


Part of the defamation is to accuse Iran of “destabilizing the region” and trying to spread its “influence” as if the latter is somehow inherently bad. We see this with regard to Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon. The actual destabilizers of the region are the Western-backed client regimes who spread sectarian hatred and conflict, and who sponsor terrorist networks like Daesh in Syria. The real fear they have of Iran is its inspiration to people of the region to rise up and to challenge the unjust, alien, undemocratic US-led disorder. The unwieldy House of Saud is particularly fearful of democratic influence in the region because of its fragile, oppressive hold on dynastic power. Listening to Saudi leaders speak about Iran is a case study of paranoia.


So, under prevailing hegemonic conditions of the US-led imperialist order in the region, Iran will always be viewed as an enemy. Because it is intrinsically an enemy of that order. Iran represents a repudiation of that order. And as such Iran can always be expected to be vilified and demonized, and set upon with aggression.


Two years after Iran signed a historic international agreement to restrict nuclear weapons development in exchange for normalization of relations, Washington is still pursuing an agenda of aggression towards Iran, as can be seen from its Congressional approval for increasing sanctions on Iran this week. The cited reason, ballistic missiles, is only a pretext for this aggression. What the Americans are saying, in effect, is that Iran is forbidden to develop its defensive capabilities. Why? Because the US and its clients want to maintain their aggressive posture of trying to intimidate Iran into capitulating from its resistance to the US-led hegemonic order.


Fortunately, the formidable deterrent power of Iran’s military developed under the government of resistance ensures that the country will not be attacked by its enemies in an overt way.


What the US-led enemies of Iran are endeavoring to do, as they always have done, is to try to assail Iran indirectly. We saw that during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) when the US and its client regimes utilized Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime as a proxy force. We see it through the covert sponsoring of terror groups like Daesh, Al Nusra Front and the MEK inside Iran, by the West and its clients as a way to destabilize Iran.


Ayatollah Khamenei in the above cited speech referred to a hybrid of aggressive strategies employed by the US-led axis. This includes undermining Iran’s deterrent military power by imposing sanctions under the pretext of Iran’s ballistic missile development. It includes sowing political and social unrest inside Iran. It includes undermining the political authority of Iranian institutions and leaders. It includes sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran’s economic prowess and potential. This is a war of aggression in all but name.


All such strategies of attack can work in tandem or in parallel over different time scales. But ultimately, the objective is to destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran for having the audacity to resist the hegemonic desires of the US-led axis.





*Finian Cunningham is a freelance journalist based in East Africa. His articles have extensively been published mainly on international affairs, and in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry with experiences as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England. Cunningham has worked as an editor and writer in news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He regularly appears on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV, as a freelance journalist.




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