“In the Western view, an aggressive Iran seeks to create a Shia Crescent under its control, stretching from Lebanon through Syria, Iraq, and into Bahrain and Yemen.
“The US, Britain, Israel, and other Western powers point at Iran providing arms to the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backing Houthi rebels in Yemen, and controlling some Shia militias in Iraq.
“Yet Iranians see their national security in exact opposite terms. They are the victims and the West supports terrorism. As a result of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has stationed troops in countries along Iran’s borders. The US backs Saudi Arabia’s aggressive actions against the Houthis in Yemen.
“According to this view, the West has laid the ground work for turning Syria into a failed state. Any arms shipments or political support offered by Iran is purely in self-defense, according to Iranian officials.”