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Criticism not Hatred - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Is the campaign that questions the current Iranian policy in the Middle East justified, or is it an exaggerated issue that bears an undercurrent of illogical discrimination and racism?

It seems that such a question is reasonable, well-founded and valid.

The issue is basically focused upon criticizing Iran’s meaningless policy in the region which seems to aim at establishing some sort of rebellion and chaos, destroying the dignity of the state and rule of law, as well as direct interference and blatant support of certain parties. The purpose behind all this is creating disorder and instability (this is the truth regardless of all the claims that aim to justify such actions).

Let us review the “list” of actions and look at Iranian achievements in the region to date. Iran has supported Hamas intensively to the extent that it stripped the movement of its national attribute and turned it into an isolated state, which is a dangerous precedent that may change the course of the Palestinian cause forever.

In Lebanon, the persistence of Iranian support for certain movements by providing them with arms and funding to strengthen their position that abstains from dealing with the government that they were once part of and the parliament which they led, has resulted in a ready-made and fully prepared scenario that was designed for the civil war in Lebanon.

In Iraq, the horrific scenario persists with the dispatching of arms, equipments and elements of the staggering Iranian intelligence army that aim to add fuel to the fire of sedition and to support separatism. Of course, all this does not pardon the responsibility of the American decision to occupy Iraq, which was supported and propagated by neoconservatives. The status quo in Palestine had deteriorated owing to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and its violation of all international laws and resolutions yet the Iranian role in the region remains a serious element and an element conducive to the deterioration of the situation rather than its improvement.

The issue and the stance here is not one against Iran and its civilization, for how can anyone not respect the Iranian people who were represented by many prominent figures such as Omar al Khayyam and Jalaluddin Rumi. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to the prominent Iranian singer ‘Kokosh’, even if we don’t understand her lyrics? Who doesn’t enjoy the taste of ‘Julu Kebab’ the popular ancient Iranian ancient dish? Furthermore, who does not admire the creativity that is manifested in Iranian carpets and pottery? Who isn’t eased by the beautiful sounds of the Santoor? Who doesn’t respect the cinematic productions of Abbas Kiarostami and who could ever forget the skilled footballers Nasser Hejazi and Iraj [Danaeifard] and as well as other representations of Iran?

To criticize Iranian policy does not mean that one hates Iran. To demand that Iran stops its interference and abstains from adding fuel to the fire does not mean that we dislike Iran. Through its revolutionary approach, Iran always warns against the “Great Satan” and it employs slogans and songs for this purpose. However, what must be realized in Iran is that the great Satan is not the only party responsible for creating tragedies in our region, as many of our misfortunes are self-made.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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