Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

From Dividing the Palestinians to Threatening Bahrain | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Some people still think that all that is said about Iran is mere lies. However, Iran’s latest hostile claim to Bahrain has made the picture all the clearer, and that Iran is a big problem for the Arab region in all the sense of the word. Iranian officials have again made statements claiming that the Kingdom of Bahrain is part of Iran and that it is the 14th province of Iran. It is as though Iran’s occupation of the three UAE islands is not enough. That is not all. Iran has done so much [harm] to the region, dividing the Palestinian ranks into two states in an already fragmented and occupied territories, thanks to the “ruler of the faithful,” as Khalid Mishal, the leader of Hamas in Damascus, has described him, when he went to Tehran to congratulate the Iranian leaders on the new divine victory. Iran is not content with supporting the division it created in Beirut between Sunnis and Shiites; it is now seeking to support the Al-Huthists’ secession in Yemen. It had earlier sought to do the same in Iraq, but fortunately it failed in the latest Iraqi elections, as the majority of Shiites in southern Iraq voted against Iran’s candidates.

Those looking for any excuse to believe that Iran is a positive factor in the region will, as always, say that the Iranian statements were blown out of proportion, or that they do not express the views of the Iranian leadership. We too want to believe that the Iranians have no designs on our region, harbor no bad intentions, and do not seek to sabotage the Arab region. However, the public statements issued in Tehran do not at all help those who believe in its good intention. Furthermore, the capture of the latest Iranian terrorist cell in Manama has put the Iranian statements in clear perspective. We are now faced with a red map that shows Iran’s involvement in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, and now in Bahrain.

The Iranian statements were not blown out of proportion; they were made by Akbar Noori Zadah, who is a senior official in the bureau of the highest authority in Iran. The statements said that Bahrain is an Iranian province. This was not said in jest, particularly after repeated sinister events in Bahrain. The Iranians may believe that by waging a new battle, they put more pressure on the new US president, Barack Obama, believing that he is a president who makes concessions, unlike President George Bush, who waged wars.

Iran will eventually fail to foment sedition between the Shiites and Sunnis in Bahrain, just as it failed in Iraq and earlier in Lebanon. It will also fail to foment sedition between the Palestinians. Every time Iran opens a front in the Arab region, it gives a new proof of its involvement in a plan to fragment the Arabs. Iran besieges itself by the very Arabs it plans to dominate. Iran’s policy focuses on influencing the Arab region in the belief that this region represents an additional strategic depth as well as a key bargaining chip with the United States. By kindling intrigues and wars in the region, Iran has a long list of wishes it wants the United States to meet. It wants to complete its military nuclear project, to impose itself as a nuclear power, and to obtain privileges and clout that enables it to install the leaders it wants and to determine the future of the region as it pleases.