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Sydney Morning Herald on the Iranian Hegemony

The Sydney Morning Herald has published an analytical article looking at the developing Iranian regional hemony in a timely echo of sorts to today's PrincipalAnalysis (Iran's Encroaching Regional Hegemony).

The threat that civil war in Iraq might inflame much of the Middle East is real, but for many in the region it pales against one of the more staggering consequences of what they see as America's policy failure in the area - the firming supremacy of non-Arab Iran.

The intrigues and conspiracies of the Arab world often defy Western comprehension. But in a visit to the Jordanian capital, en route to Baghdad, the rising tension over Iran's thrust into the affairs of the region was palpable.

While autocratic Sunni regimes, long propped up by Washington, have used Israel as a bogeyman to justify the oppression and poverty of their own people, Shiite Tehran has positioned itself as a powerbroker in Lebanon, Gaza, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and in Iraq, all on the back of Shiite loyalty and support for the Palestinian cause. [Emphasis added]

To be sure, Iran has long vowed to fight Israel right down to the last Lebanese and Palestinian. With the windfall influence found via a needy Hamas, the rising potential prospects of increased Hezbollah influence in Lebanon and the pledge by Muqtada al-Sadr to be at Iran & Syria's disposal, the Iranian regime is making many influential friends outside its borders.

Inside its borders, the mullah regime has few friends, but those Iranians not enamored with Ahmadinejad and crew are nearly powerless to affect any change. Perhaps if we had not ignored them for thirty years under the oppressive regime...

Washington's pledge to now fund and assist Iranian opposition groups to the tune of $75 million this year is decades too late, as there is not enough time for such slow developing strategies.

The new-found Washington commitment to Iranian opposition represents little more than a desperate grasp for a palatable internal Iranian solution where none exists.

Meanwhile, while Washington plans radio and television broadcasts too late in the game to be immediately effective, Iran solidifies its tangible influence throughout the region from week to week, sometimes from day to day.