Iran's Nuclear and Syria's Iraq Adventures.

Author:Abrahamson, James L.

The two parts of this article by Barry Rubin, director of Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA), focus on Iran and Syria, whom he describes as joined in a de facto alliance with Hamas and Hizbollah. Despite the four parties' many differences, Rubin maintains that they interact in ways that pose a fundamental threat to Middle Eastern interests of the West and the United States.

Though Arab leaders privately express dread of a nuclear-armed Iran, Rubin believes they will do "almost nothing" to block that outcome, which means they will seek safety in appeasement--unless the West, the United States, or even Israel acts to disrupt Iran's nuclear plans. Nor does he think that the region's Sunni governments will restrain Syrian efforts to destabilize Lebanon and Iraq, regain control of the former, and establish in the latter an anti-American government under Syrian or Iranian control that becomes an active participant in conflict with Israel and a sponsor of international terrorism.

Rubin therefore offers readers several dire predictions: An Iranian "bomb" would enable Islamist forces throughout the Middle East to "grow rapidly in numbers and boldness." Syria would become...

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