Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Qatar, Kuwait’s Relations with Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Qatar Embassy (Reuters)

The brothers in Kuwait always need to find the truth themselves and they are very sensitive to any Gulf or regional warnings. Their relations with Iran is not the first in regard of this matter.

Luckily, Tehran’s damage to Kuwait was soon over when Hezbollah’s cell was discovered and its members escaped. The Kuwaiti government took actions by itself, without being advised or incited, ordered all but four Iranian diplomats of the embassy to leave the country, and closed all attaches that were proven to be organizing terrorist operations.

It is not strange for Iran to continue with its terrorist activities from Iran to Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and even Latin America. But the surprise is that Iran targeted Kuwait, one of the Gulf countries closest to it.

Three years ago, Emir of Kuwait visited Iran despite it being a bad time for the Gulf. Three top officials in Kuwait sent telegrams to Tehran congratulating it on the nuclear agreement considering it a positive turning point.

Later, Kuwait welcomed Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s visit which was also praised by Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait. Several cooperation and friendship committees were formed at a time Tehran’s relations with Riyadh were declining and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were fighting in Syria.

Four months after Rouhani’s visit, the Iranians cooperated with Houthi militias Sanaa, Yemen.

After a year of openness and positive Kuwaiti policy, security forces uncovered a large amount of weapons in possession with a Kuwaiti terrorist cell of over twenty persons affiliated with Iran. Their intentions were to target Kuwait’s stability, knowing that Kuwait was never involved in any hostile act against Tehran, not even a verbal one.

Whether it was done because of politics naivety or its attempt to test the credibility of the Iranian neighbor, Kuwait proved that it is impossible to deal with the regime there without being cautious or detecting potential threats.

Then came the escape of the Iranian cell from prison; it is named as such, however its members are not all Iranians: infact one is Iranian and the rest are Kuwaitis. The operation was run from inside the embassy in a blatant aggression against Kuwait’s sovereignty. IRGC’s wings in Iran’s embassy in Kuwait planned the prisoners’ escape and transferred them on speed boats towards Iran.

Today, Kuwait is aware that it is being lenient in dealing with Iran, and its affiliated power. This is what gave Tehran the power over it and facilitated achieving the targets they failed in Bahrain when Iran tried to release terrorists detained there and smuggle them from prison. But, Bahraini forces thwarted their plan during a marine battle at the beginning of the year.

Iran’s dangerous interventions in both Kuwait and Bahrain brings everyone back to square one. Every GCC country should be aware of the fact that only when they are united they can face Iran which won’t stop targeting them.

Qatar should realize this fact before Kuwait because Doha served Iran’s policy by allying with it for long years now. It supported extremist opposition groups in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

That is precisely why those country can’t remain silent about Qatar’s irresponsible behaviors which paves way for Iran to incite regime change.

What Doha is trying to do today, strengthening ties with Turkey from one side and reproaching Iran from the other. It will be a burden for Qatar more than it is for others.

Qatar made its choice to take risks by dealing with powers that it will not be able to get rid of in the future and it only did so because it does not want to cooperate with the four countries that asked it to end exporting chaos and inciting against them.

Kuwait tried to maintain a reasonable political distance from Iran, and the result came out as we saw.

So, what will happen to Qatar which chose to throw itself into the arms of those who bear in mind ambitions in this rich region?