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Javad Zarif’s “Sophisticated” Plan to Influence American Voters and Policy Makers

In a recent opinion piece published in The Atlantic, Iran’s American-educated and Machiavellian foreign minister writes that the Middle East is in disarray because of foreign powers’ regular intervention in the region.

There is no doubt that foreign countries have contributed to the chaos in the region, but so has Iran. One of the reasons Afghanistan continues to be in such turmoil is because of Iran’s constant interference in the affairs of Afghanistan. Iran also supports, arms, and trains groups that regularly stage attacks against the government and people of Afghanistan.

Mr. Zarif enumerates the sins and atrocities that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have committed in the region, such as spreading Wahabbism, supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and funding al-Qaeda and its offshoot outfits. Zarif writes, “[Saudi Arabia and UAE] spend billions more of [their] wealth spreading Wahabbism—a medieval ideology of hate and exclusion—from the Far East to the Americas. They support organized non-state actors who wreak havoc through terror and civil wars. In the case of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE went as far as officially recognizing the Taliban as the government—becoming two of only three countries in the world that did so.”

What Mr. Zarif ignores is that his country is equally responsible for the instability and chaotic situation in Afghanistan and many other parts of the Middle East. Iran has regularly not only interfered in the affairs of Afghanistan, but has also backed the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Iran has engaged in such behavior to retaliate against the United States military presence in Afghanistan and to ensure it remains a key player in the affairs of the country. Iran continues to maintain a rapport with the Taliban leadership and has provided them with weapons, equipment, training, and funding.

This is not all. Herat, a province in the western part of Afghanistan where I grew up, is under the domination of Iran in many ways. Iran regularly supports anti-government groups in various districts throughout the province to attack and kill employees of construction projects and kidnap owners of factories so that Herat cannot ever become self-sufficient and stop importing goods from Iran. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is also behind supporting mafia and gang groups who engage in subversive activities, including kidnappings and political assassinations in Herat.

For Mr. Zarif to say that his country is a broker of peace and stability in the region is not only bogus but also deceptive. By penning this article for The Atlantic, Mr. Zarif wants to transmit an image of Iran that is rational, democratic, free, and a force for good in the region. What Mr. Zarif fails to mention is that his government is one of the most repressive regimes on earth. Iran regularly persecutes, imprisons, and tortures journalists, political dissidents, and religious minority groups. Reform begins at home. Before blaming foreign powers for the chaos in the region, Mr. Zarif should first have tea with the ayatollahs and their lackey IRGC and get them to cease being stewards of death and destruction in Afghanistan and beyond.