US Poses Greatest Threat to World Stability: American Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political commentator based in Norway slammed US President Donald Trump for accusing Tehran of “destabilizing” the Middle East and said Washington itself is the biggest threat to world stability.
“..., what is clear is that the US poses the greatest threat to world stability,” John Steppling, said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
Steppling is a well-known author, playwright and an original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, a two-time NEA recipient, Rockefeller Fellow in theater, and PEN-West winner for playwriting. He is also a regular political commentator for a number of media outlets around the world.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: As you know, US President Donald Trump, who faced an Oct. 15 deadline to tell Congress whether it will continue to certify the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), recently refused to certify the multilateral deal. Now, the US Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions against Iran. What would the US withdrawal from the deal signal to the international community?
Steppling: I think if the US Congress does go along with Trump, there will certainly be an increased disillusionment in the European Union, and elsewhere. In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Israeli advisors feature very prominently in the current White House. Also, General Mattis, aka Mad Dog, is likely the man really calling the shots on much of foreign policy right now. And Mattis is hysterically anti-Iranian. But then he is a delusional man on all sides and a war criminal (Falujah). But that is the state of the US leadership right now. I suspect Congress may not go along with Trump, however. And if that is the case, it will be for purely business reasons. Trump's well-established xenophobia is based on almost nothing tangible. So again, this comes from Israeli advisors I suspect, and from Mattis.
Tasnim: Trump’s stance against the JCPOA is in stark contrast to other parties to the deal. Envoys from the European Union, Germany, France and Britain have declared that the JCPOA is working and Iran is complying with the agreement. What is your assessment of the comments?
Steppling: Trump is listening to Israel and to the Pentagon, and in particular to Jim Mattis. Also remember the CIA’s Iran operations chief is now Michael D'Andrea, nicknamed the Undertaker. So we have a group of virulently anti-Iranian zealots making decisions. That said, there will be tremendous blowback from the EU, and probably even other places. But this all begs the question of why Iran is not supposed to have a nuclear program. I mean Israel does, Pakistan does, China does, etc. Who decided and when that Iran is somehow not allowed to? The whole premises of this discussion, if examined very deeply, becomes ludicrous.
Tasnim: Trump also announced sanctions on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). He accused the security body of destabilizing the Middle East and threatening American interests in the region. However, it is evident to everyone that the IRGC is playing a leading role in the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, like Daesh (ISIS or ISIL). What is your opinion about the sanctions and what are the reasons behind Trump’s harsh remarks?
Steppling: Well, what is clear is that the US poses the greatest threat to world stability. But this sort of disinformation (Washington’s accusations against Tehran), this sort of revisionism had gone on for decades. I mean we can back to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, or to the US policy for decades in Central America, or its current role in destabilizing Venezuela. Or the pure propaganda that demonizes Russia. It is really not at all unexpected. Trump himself could not find Iran on a map even if it was labeled. He knows nothing. NOTHING. So this is coming from the usual old Pentagon advisors and from the CIA. I mean, Mike Pompeo is another anti-Iranian hardliner, which is a nice way of saying zealot. Will some voices of sanity intercede? I do not know. I hope so, but it is hard to imagine who that might be.