As the US misadventure heads for total debacle in Iraq, Iran's soft power is winning hearts and minds in the Middle East.
The Western countries, and above all the United States, have now come to the realization that the Iranian handling of its soft and hard powers is so effective as to make everyone of their plans obsolete and irrelevant in this vital part of the world.
In full recognition of this fact, a commentary by Derek Sands, carried by the United Press International, says, "At a time when the United States is widely regarded in the Middle East as a military aggressor and faces plummeting popularity around the world, Iran is taking advantage of the situation to boost its own image and forge closer ties with its neighbors."
In a world where the United States is seen as the aggressive superpower, Iran uses its soft power to forge closer ties with neighboring countries. Iran is contributing millions of dollars to the reconstruction of Lebanon and Afghanistan. It is also helping Iraq to overcome the effects of the devastating US aggression, the UPI commentary says.
According to a survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, the majority of people across the world consider the US-led invasion of Iraq to be a greater danger to world peace than Iran. Those in predominantly Muslim countries also hold similar opinions.
Tehran has contributed over $560 million to the reconstruction of Afghanistan in health, agriculture, road and building projects.
Much to the dismay of Washington, Iranian diplomacy has been remarkably effective. A prominent case in point was Afghan president Hmid Karzai's comment during a recent visit to Washington last week, where he praised Iran for its reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, as well as its anti-narcotics campaign.
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