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US blames Iran for Mideast instability, while ‘conflicts rest at Washington doorstep’

US blames Iran for Mideast instability, while ‘conflicts rest at Washington doorstep’
Iran said it had to go into Iraq and Syria because it is facing a direct threat from terrorism, and prevent radicals from hitting the country. The US said the same thing before invading Iraq and Afghanistan, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday slammed the nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration with Iran.

He said that although Iran has met its obligations under the agreement, it is still threatening US interests, the region, and the entire world.

Tillerson said, "Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods."

His statement came shortly after Defense Secretary James Mattis said Iran was playing a destabilizing role in the region. He added that the US needs to overcome Tehran’s influence to reach a solution to the conflict in Yemen.

“Everywhere you look if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” he told reporters in Riyadh after meeting senior Saudi officials, Reuters cited.

RT:  The US admits Iran is complying with its nuclear obligations. What is Washington actually worried about here?

Michael Maloof: Trump during the campaign said it was the worst deal that was ever negotiated. Other than that, the administration is required to give about an every 90-day update to the Congress, particularly on whether or not it is going got relief of sanctions. This report was expected, and Mr. Tillerson said Iran is compliant. The question then comes around: do they ultimately relieve sanctions and of course the agreements that sanctions would be relieved. This is something Congress and the administration are going have to deal with. I doubt that the administration ultimately after these 90 days review, that the President has called for, will ultimately just discard that agreement.

You’ve got five other countries from the UN Security Council that agreed to it. It is also in Iran’s benefit to adhere to it, and it has. It is a good sign. In terms of what it does ultimately in the future – hopefully, relations can improve over time; and Iran, even though it has a legitimate right to re-enrich it has never gone up to the level of 90 percent enrichment is required for a nuclear weapon.

RT:  James Mattis said, “wherever there's trouble in the Middle East, you find Iran.” Is it fair to blame Iran for all the conflicts and instability in the region?

MM: The conflicts ultimately rest at the doorstep of Washington. If it weren’t for going into Iraq back in 2003, it wouldn’t have created the conditions that laid bare for the creation of ISIS. Then you had Saudi Arabia that has been the chief sponsor and financier of Jihadi Salafism and they continue to do it through their Mosques and preach it through their Mosques even now. Iran has an interesting perspective, just as the US and George Bush said they were going to go into Iraq and also Afghanistan to stop terrorism, so it doesn’t come to the US. Iran has basically said the same thing: that they had to go into Iraq, Syria, even Lebanon to prevent ISIS and even Al-Qaeda from hitting Iran. That is a very serious threat since there is a threat to their country directly, as opposed to the US, which is oceans apart. So when you look at it from their perspective…it is not necessarily that Iran was to create a Shia Crescent per se. But it has influence in the Middle East, and it has had it for centuries. And for Saudi Arabia, which is only 200 years old, to say otherwise is ridiculous.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.