Hands On Syria, Hands Off Iran
Israel’s recent threats of military action against Iran have distracted attention from the critical events in Syria. In fact, an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iran would only inflame anti-Western sentiment, and could lead the Syrian crisis to spill over into regional war.
CAMBRIDGE – Israel is daily ratcheting up its threats to attack Iran over its nuclear program. Unfortunately, these threats have come to overshadow more pressing events in Syria, which is the epicenter of a regional crisis that will determine the future of the Arab Spring, as well as Iran’s role in the Middle East.
Throughout 2011, the Arab uprisings were driven by each country’s internal dynamics. Yet the disparate movements were united by the pursuit of freedom, dignity, and economic opportunity. Now this liberal narrative is breaking down.
Chaos reigns in Egypt and Libya, where post-revolution authorities are proving too brittle either to consolidate their authority, or to incorporate more popular forces. In Syria, the situation is far worse, as a year-old civilian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is now producing mass killing on a grand scale.