Mideast ‘axis of terror’ forms againts West
Mideast ‘axis’ forms against West Iran is forging closer ties with countries and groups in the Middle East that share its hostility toward the US and Israel.
By Nicholas Blanford | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
BEIRUT, LEBANON – Rising tension between the West and Iran is coinciding with the emergence of a loose anti-Western alliance – Israel now dubs it an “axis of terror” – spanning the Middle East, presenting a new challenge to the US’s regional ambitions.
Centered on Iran, this alignment has hardened in recent months, analysts say, with Tehran shoring up old alliances and strengthening ties with countries (Syria and Iraq) and with groups (Hizbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad) that share its hostility toward Israel and the US.
“The alliance that is emerging in this part of the world is a creation of Iran,” says Sami Moubayed, a Syrian political analyst. “It wants to bolster its position by allying itself with countries or groups that can temporarily enhance its regional role and influence.”
On Tuesday, Israel’s UN envoy Dan Gillerman dubbed this alliance the “new axis of terror” following a suicide bombing claimed by the Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad in Tel Aviv the previous day that killed nine Israelis.
“A dark cloud is looming above our region, and it is metastasizing as a result of the statements and actions by leaders of Iran, Syria, and the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority,” Mr. Gillerman said.