U.S. President Donald Trump (L) waits for the start of an event with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2-R) and Gulf Cooperation Council leaders at their summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
David A. Andelman, CNN: Trump's anti-Iran aggression couldn't come at a worse time
At first glance, it appears that there are only two clear paths that the US can take when dealing with the Middle East: the Sunni path of Saudi Arabia and the bulk of its Gulf allies, on the one hand; or the Shiite path represented by Iran.
There is the path of dictators -- like Egypt's autocratic Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the blinkered and aging royal family of Saudi Arabia, and the corrupt and helpless rulers of Iraq -- all Sunnis.
By contrast, there is the young and desperately eager majority of Iranians, all Shiites, seeking to drag their nation out from under the yoke of a medieval clerical oppression.
The Trump administration, seduced by an effusive Saudi welcome -- in sharp contrast to anything provided his predecessor, Barack Obama -- may be taking the wrong road.
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WNU Editor: President Obama pursued a policy of engagement with Iran .... and while Iran's nuclear program appears to be on hold .... the jury is still out on how successful that engagement was. In the meantime .... the conflict between Iran and its Shiite allies versus Sunni governments and their Sunni allies is intensifying. As for President Trump .... I can understand why he is not "open" to Iran .... decades of "Death to America" demonstrations coupled with a policy that calls for the destruction of Israel is not a country that you want to be close to. But I must also admit that Saudi Arabia and its support of the supremacy of Islam is also something that I do not feel comfortable with .... the worst terrorism against the West occurred because of the blind eye that Saudi Arabia had with these groups .... and that support is still there. The war in Yemen is also a unmitigated disaster and quagmire, and I am sure the Saudis are hoping that the U.S. will bail them out on that one. Anyway .... for the moment .... President Trump is communicating that he will work with Saudi Arabia and that U.S. ties with Israel are strong .... how this will translate into tangible policy is yet to be seen. A massive arms agreement that has been in the works for years has been finalised between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia .... what comes after that is something that we will have to wait and see. And as for Iran .... enough is enough .... if they want change .... so do it. But as long as the clergy rule that country .... I sincerely doubt that change will happen in that country.