Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Washington, the West, Iran and Syria

The United States and the West have taken stances that can only be described as tactical, not strategic, since the announcement that Saudi Arabia and Iran were normalizing relations, through a China-brokered agreement, and with more and more talks being held to restore Arab relations with Bashar al-Assad's regime.

With the Saudi-Iranian announcement, suddenly Washington and London started to make frequent leaks about Iranian arms shipments to the Houthis. They even provided numbers, something that has never happened so clearly before.

I say suddenly because Saudi officials and others from the region have during meetings with American and western officials never ceased warning of the dangerous Iranian armament of the Houthis. The West at the time dismissed the remarks as part of a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran.

I say suddenly because Washington and the West never really took seriously Ukraine’s evidence that Tehran was providing Moscow with drones that are being used in the war there. The issue rose up their list of priorities after what can be described as a long period during times of war.

As for relations between Arab countries and the Assad regime, we now see Washington and London taking sudden action. They revealed the amount of Captagon pills that the regime smuggles and the revenues it generates from it.

Washington also now suddenly retaliated to Iranian militias in Syria. I say now because Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed just last week incredible information related to how his country handles the Iranian attacks. He said that Iran and its proxies have attacked American interests in the region 83 times since President Joe Biden came to office, while Washington has retaliated to them only four times!

Washington just now started to talk about how dangerous the Assad regime is, and we have no doubt it is. But the question is, why now? Wasn't Washington the one who gave the regime a lifeline when Assad ignored the red line drawn by former President Barack Obama in Syria?

Did Obama not view the just Syrian revolution as a civil war? He decided to ignore the Syrian tragedy because he wanted to and so did the Democrats. He went on to ink the nuclear deal with Iran. Washington also ignored the protests in Iran itself to strike the deal with the mullahs.

The story doesn’t end here. When former US President Donald Trump described COVID-19 as a Chinese virus, Democrats were outraged and criticized his disgusting racist remarks.

Now, after China succeeded in mediating between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and after its President Xi Jinping visited Moscow, the White House announced it was lifting secrecy over the COVID-19 file to verify that the virus had emerged from a Chinese company.

To the US and West: Do you have a strategy in how to deal with Iran and the Assad regime? Or do you simply follow tactics? Do you have a clear political foreign policy or just political quarrels? The world is a dangerous place that deserves a better approach than electoral pledges and arguments.