The State Department made the accusation in its annual survey, which has previously named Iran as the world leader in terrorism. The six countries where Iranian meddling — overtly or through proxies — is said to be stirring up conflict and terrorism are: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and Afghanistan.
The year 2018 has seen enormous change in many parts of the Middle East, however. The Syrian war is dying down, and Iraq’s elections saw the rise of a leader: Muqtada al-Sadr, a former anti-US fighter who was, prior to the elections, characterized by Western mainstream media as being likely to win on an anti-Iran ticket and after the elections said to be forming a pro-Iranian government.
Lebanon remains stable with a Hezbollah military presence larger than its army and members of Hezbollah in its government. Bahrain remains stable with its Shia majority and Sunni monarchy, with a little help from Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan remains unstable, with the US government on track to have dropped more bombs than ever on the country since it started keeping track in 2009.
But in Yemen, the conflict is only getting worse, with more and more civilians killed by US-made bombs dropped primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
If you read the Western press, it becomes difficult to sort out fact from fiction. Is al-Sadr pro- or anti-Iran? Is Iran really backing the Houthi government in Yemen? Is Hezbollah really a terrorist…