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Iran: More than a Freudian Slip! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Iranian officials of various backgrounds continue to make Freudian slips. They express their feelings towards the Kingdom of Bahrain and how it was a “part of Iran.” This statement has been repeated time and again, so much so that this continuous repetition can no longer be considered a slip of the tongue or an error in speech but rather a hidden message to those receiving it.

The truth is that a decisive stand must be taken towards such repeated nonsense and there must be a stop to the historical reference upon which Iran relies to justify the idea that it has some sort of right over Bahrain.

If we look back at Islamic history, which brings Iran and Bahrain together, we find that Prophet Mohammed, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, sent separate messages to convey the message of Islam to Iran (known as Persia) and Bahrain (known as Dilmun). In other words, it is clear that these were two separate states, each with its own identity just like Greater Syria and Iraq and Egypt and Yemen. This is in the case of Islamic history, but if we refer to regulations, charters, laws and the international system, we find that they all clearly acknowledge that these are two different states with distinct qualities and this is something that both countries accept. Therefore, Iran’s recent comments can only be interpreted as offensive comments with ill intent.

Bahrain is hypersensitive (and rightly so) to such thuggish comments that rely upon the close examination of individual maps and the empty talk of the political regime that presents pretexts and justifications claiming the country’s right over a certain land or state. We have seen this before when Baathist Iraq, represented by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait and set the wheels in motion using pretexts and justifications to support the brutal occupation of an independent state.

The saying goes once bitten, twice shy and Gulf States have the right to be extremely cautious especially that Iran has a long past of occupying UAE islands. Furthermore, one can only interpret the silence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Guide Ayatollah Khamanei regarding these comments as approval and support of such ideas. This is a dangerous political warning and will only add to tension in a region that is already sitting on a minefield and could blow up any time.

Let us assume that Iran’s silence is part of an intimidation campaign that on one hand threatens attacks and on the other is consoling, how then should we interpret the silence of “intrepid” figures who are looking out for Iran and its policies in the region, such as Hassan Nasrallah, Khaled Meshaal and Mehdi Akef who raised the flag of resistance and victory? How will they explain to the world their silence on the clear threat to the land and people of an established and independent state? It is simply a case of double standards.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz spoke clearly to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to the Saudi capital. King Abdullah said, “We welcome cooperation and investment but we will not tolerate interference in internal affairs.” It seems that the Iranian President did not get the message; otherwise a statement of this kind would not have been issued by Iran and its officials. This explains and justifies Saudi Arabia’s strong statement, which was released in response to Iran’s comments about Bahrain, and the visits of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah to Bahrain.

The Arab Gulf is sick and tired of interference in its affairs based on weak and destructive pretexts. Iran must retreat from its position quickly because the magnitude of hatred towards Iran’s intentions and fear of its intentions has increased tremendously among nations in the region. Because of Iran’s behavior and comments, this fear is now justified.

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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