Iran may have just re-elected its reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, showing the country's commitment to diplomacy. But that alone isn't enough to President Donald Trump, whose praise for Saudi Arabia and its politics of oppression shows the president only knows the language of war.
Trump says all nations must work together to isolate Iran pic.twitter.com/9XZ9gapDwC— Roxanne Emadi (@roxanneemadi) May 21, 2017
The president's first stop on his Middle East trip was Saudi Arabia. On Sunday, while speaking in Riyadh, Trump said that America under his leadership has a vision “of peace, security, and prosperity,” and yet, he also accused Iran of giving terrorists “safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment.”
Interestingly enough, the president appears to have completely forgotten his comments regarding Saudi Arabia while campaigning for the presidency when he stated the Saudi kingdom, not Iran, had been involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But on top of his lack of short-term memory, the president seems to also have a knack for ignoring what is happening right before his eyes.
While he urged “all nations of conscience [to] work together to isolate Iran,” Iran is the country holding democratic elections, not Saudi Arabia.
Unlike Saudi Arabia, for instance, Iranian women can drive. They have also been able to vote since the 1960s, unlike Saudi women, who were only granted the right to vote in 2011. Women in Iran are also more likely to become actively involved in politics as at least 3 percent of ministerial positions and 5 percent of parliament seats in the country were held by women in 2010. In Saudi Arabia, women have yet to hold any major political role.
Still, Trump promised Saudi monarchs to boost their chances of getting “a good deal” from American arms makers, sending a message to the world (and Iran, of course) that America stands firmly behind its brutal ally as it ravages the impoverished and famine-stricken Yemen.
After the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in New York City, the United States waged wars that destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to destabilize the region. This facilitated the proliferation of terrorism in the region, giving rise to ISIS. But attackers involved in the 2001 tragic occurrence weren't Iranian. They were, in fact, Saudi, according to Simon Henderson of Foreign Policy. And yet, the country was never officially accused of harboring terrorists.
What this shows is that Trump and his minions seem oblivious to the facts, especially as Iranians vote for more reforms, more peace, and less extremism.
What will it take to get America to truly commit to peace in the Middle East? Trump may be trying to show his tone has changed and that he's ready to partner with Middle Eastern countries to fight terrorism. But as long as he continues to be involved in the region like his predecessors, he will continue to only help, not hinder, the proliferation of terrorism in the region, as America's involvement generates resentment and is often used as recruitment tools by terrorist cells.
Fun fact: The US arming Arab regimes & supporting their tyranny over their citizens & minorities fuels resentment and Islamic terrorism.— Nesrine Malik (@NesrineMalik) May 20, 2017
In the current scenario, Iran isn't the threat. As a matter of fact, it's increasingly less of a threat as its people continue to ask for more diplomacy. Unfortunately, Trump is simply too blinded by his thirst for war to notice. But will Americans stay silent?
It's time to let Trump know we will stand against his warmongering rhetoric.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters