On December 14, Iran denounced US claims that Tehran had supplied a missile fired at Saudi Arabia last month in Yemen. The statement called the US allegations irresponsible, provocative and destructive, saying that the evidence presented was fabricated. Radio Sputnik spoke with political analyst Lawrence Davidson about this issue.
“I think that the US with this particular government and this Congress is engaged in an effort to destroy the credibility of Iran particularly in terms of the American public’s view. My feeling is that this is just a propaganda campaign and it fits in with their desire to somehow undermine the nuclear deal and this sort of thing. So any chance they get, whether it’s true or not, to destroy the credibility of Iran they’re going to take it,” Lawrence Davidson told Sputnik.
Sputnik: Why do you think this current US administration has such negativity and an anti-Iranian outlook with regards to the current geopolitical situation?
Lawrence Davidson: I think the key here is the influence of Israel and the Zionist lobby . The Zionists both Christian and Jewish Zionists here in the US have an enormous leverage particularly in Congress and also with the political parties. So if you are going to try and maximize your political position here in the United States which takes a lot of money, you are going to play to those who give you the money and the Zionists both Christian and Jewish are very heavy donors. So I think Obama saw himself in his second term as sort of a lame duck and he was not going to run again and so he did what he thought would actually be in the national interest. But others who want to get elected rather than looking to leave office don’t worry about the national interest, they only worry about their own political interests and that means you cater to those who can help you get elected. So it’s really not as complicated as it appears.
This Congress and both parties are essentially bought and bullied by lobby groups. The Zionists aren’t the only ones but in this particular case with reference to Iran they are the principal lobby group that influences policy.
Sputnik: How provocative are the accusations by Washington to the Iranian authorities now?
Lawrence Davidson: They are provocative obviously to the Iranians. It’s just propaganda. I mean no one is going to go to war with the Iranians. I think that there are some people who would like to do that but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s a lot of hot air and it hurts feelings, it hurts relations and it does no good.
You might also look at it another way. I mean say hypothetically the missile did come from Iran, hypothetically. So what? I mean what you have got is a country that has been invaded by someone else, and those who are resisting have the right to resist and so they get their weapons where they can. One remembers the Vietnam War where the American government which was Democratic at the time, made a big deal about the Viet Cong getting their weapons from North Vietnam, North Vietnam getting the weapons from the Russians. So what? I mean we are invading the country; they have the right to get the weapons and get them where they can and use some for resistance. This is not something that any media outlet in the United States ever frames in that kind of context. So it’s very frustrating if you are aware of these angles.
Sputnik: Could the US be trying to divert attention away from its decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem by accusing Iran?
Lawrence Davidson: Sure, that’s part of it but I mean they have been accusing Iran of anything and everything for a very long time. So they will use it for what they think is their advantage for this issue but I don’t think that the announcement about Jerusalem is what caused them to start pointing fingers at Iran, they have always been doing it anyway.
Professor Lawrence Davidson is the author of “Islamic Fundamentalism” and “Cultural Genocide”. He is also an expert in US foreign relations with the Middle East.