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What if a war broke out? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What would happen if a regional war broke out between Israel and Iran?

I’m not here to talk about who would be the “devil” or the “angel” in this political context. I will not enter into the issue of who is right and who is wrong, nor will I touch upon the overwhelming state of hostility towards Israel or the hostility that the majority of Arabs currently display towards Iran. Rather, I will focus my attention on answering the big question.

Yes, what if a war broke out? What stance would the Arabs adopt towards such a catastrophic occurrence in the region between two military forces, each with a highly-destructive, unconventional arsenal, and between two hardline and extremist governments that lack political wisdom and are ready to blow up the entire world in the name of sectarian nonsense or for the sake of limitless religious obsession?

If this war did break out – God forbid – the skies, seas and lands of the entire Arab region would come under fire. The structures, achievements and residents of the Middle East would all come under serious threat.

Here some may say: “Come on, be optimistic. Nothing bad is going to happen, God willing.”

One might hear such an argument from an old man sitting in a coffeehouse smoking shisha, and it may indeed turn out to be true. Yet history has taught us that an important element of crisis management is to be prepared before the event happens, no matter how faint the possibility of this crisis might be.

If a war erupted would the Arab League adopt a collective stance? What would happen if some Arab League members sought to side with Iran or – believe it or not – other members took a stand against Iran by offering logistical support to the Israeli air force?

What stance would the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states adopt if Iran decided not to aim at Israeli targets, but rather at targets and sites within the Gulf States themselves?

What stance would the Arab states bordering the Red Sea adopt if the Iranian navy closed the Strait of Hormuz? If the Strait was closed, how would this affect oil shipment and global oil prices?

There are dozens of questions that could arise from the possibility of a war breaking out.

Here some will undoubtedly say: “Come on, let us focus on the massacres being committed today in Syria, and let us prevent these from extending to Lebanon.” These people would argue against speculating over future events, saying: “Leave creation to the Creator.”

I would respond by saying glory be to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who alone is capable of doing anything. Yet, once again, I must ask: What would we do if a war broke out?