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Onus on Iran to dispel Trump’s claims

Jun 17,2019 - Last updated at Jun 17,2019

Iran may feel that the US and Israel are ganging up on it and are looking for a fight with it by charging it with various violations that could be exploited as pretexts for launching an attack on it.

President Donald Trump started this campaign against Tehran when he withdrew his country from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that eased sanctions on the country in return for halting the militarisation of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel has been calling Iranian officials all sorts of names, and accused them of preparing for a war against Israel that aims to destroy the country and remove it from the face of the Earth.

Most recently though, Iran has been giving ammunition to Trump’s claims that Iran is behind much of the mischief in the region. The attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the UAE last month, followed by last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, reinforced the conviction that Iran aims to increase tensions with Washington and precipitate an armed conflict with it because of the increasing pressures applied by the US on the country, especially over its oil exports with a view to curtail its main sources of income.

Feeling that it is being pushed against the wall, Tehran may have wanted to get back at the US by escalating tension with it in its own backyard by attacking oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Yet, the record of Iran in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen reinforces the charges that President Trump has been making against Iran. The profile of Iran in the entire region gives rise to the belief that Iran aims to increase its hegemony in the region by supporting surrogates to perpetrate its designs in the region.

As much as President Trump could be wrong when exaggerating the dangers emanating from Tehran, the leadership of the country is doing nothing to allay the fears and anxieties of several countries in the region about its designs to control much, if not all, of the region.

Actions speak louder than words and the role of Iran in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen all lends support to Trump’s conviction that Iran is bent on wreaking havoc on regional stability. The onus is, therefore, on Iran to dispel this belief by amending its profile in the region by deeds rather than by words.

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