Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said in an interview on Tuesday that the idea of Iran being the main cause of instability in the Middle East is a "simplistic" approach, stating that other countries in the region are just as interventionist as Iran.
"I mean every decade, we have had our chosen Boogeyman. Whether it was Gaddafi in the 80s, and in the 90s of course it was Saddam Hussein. And, you know, for a brief period, it was Assad in Syria and then back to Iran," Parsi said while appearing on Hill.TV's "Rising."
According to Parsi, this approach to the Middle East in which the problems of the region are placed on one bad actor is "simplistic," and far from the truth.
"The picture was dramatically different," Parsi said of what he found in a joint investigation with Matthew Petti.
"First of all, Iran is an extremely interventionist country, one of the most interventionist countries in the region, there's no doubt about that. But so are almost all of the other major powers," Parsi said. "The six countries we focused on are roughly equally interventionist. There's essentially two tiers, the top tier of Iran, Turkey and the UAE and the lower tier of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and in the middle you have Israel."
Parsi stated that in the past five years, Turkey and the UAE have in fact been more interventionist than Iran has.
"Five out of the six most interventionist countries in the region are armed and politically supported by the United States. That's a dramatically different picture than the rather simplistic view that we have had in Washington about the Middle East for the last 40 years," Parsi said.