Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Spoiled merchandise! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Recently, a piece of news quickly circulated through various agencies reporting that Saudi border guards had seized a naval vessel with 12 Iranians onboard, near the shores of Saudi Arabia’s eastern province and deep within the Kingdom’s territorial waters. This was followed by successive news reports that the detained men most likely belonged to the Revolutionary Guards, although so far there has been no official Saudi confirmation on the matter. Yet this piece of news will not seem surprising to many in light of the development of Iranian interference in the affairs of most Arab states, in a highly crude and blatant manner, which has become difficult for Tehran to deny or put a positive spin on.

There is no Arab country that hasn’t been infringed upon or touched by the flames of Iranian interference at the heart of its internal affairs. The issue is not limited to the Gulf States such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with Iran currently occupying islands belonging to the latter, but complaints also come from Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, and of course Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

Iran is no longer able to hide its “strategic” intentions to intervene in Arab countries in order to mobilize sleeper cells or deploy new ones. Iranian religious figures and politicians have been explicit in this regard on various occasions. For anyone observing Iran, it has become clear that all its efforts, military production and ammunition are certainly not to confront Israel or to liberate Palestine. Rather, we are returning to the scene of Saddam Hussein, who wanted to “liberate Palestine” by occupying Kuwait and other Gulf States.

It seems that Iran wants the same thing, for it promotes itself to the people as a symbol of resistance and opposition, supporting the goal of liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation. It has exploited this issue well over the past years, but its most important goal has always been to “control” the Gulf in any form. Hence it seized upon the consequences of the US occupation of Iraq to tilt the balance of the political process there fully in favor of pro-Iran groups, and after that Iran’s appetite was whetted for more political achievements in the Gulf region. Tehran began meddling in the affairs of Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE in various ways, and of course it also interfered in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

The severity of Iran’s presence on the Gulf scene increased with the massive Syrian revolution and Iran’s blatant and shameless support for the criminal al-Assad regime. This support was not only by political means, but Tehran also provided, as is well known, limitless logistical, military and financial support, in spite of the economic crisis that Iran is going through as a result of global economic sanctions.

Iran has realized that its most important ally, the al-Assad regime, is collapsing and has begun its death throes. It can no longer be saved, so Iran’s interests have been reduced to harassing, embarrassing, inconveniencing and fatiguing the Gulf States with all the problems it fuels, supports, masterminds and incites. This could be called a policy of changing the subject and diverting attention. Today the idea of Israel and America striking Iran as a means of deterring it from its nuclear program has been extinguished globally, although not many were convinced this would happen in the first place. Iran’s attention has turned to its neighbors who have now become its priority enemies, not Israel or the “Great Satan” America!

As the Iranian scene continues it reveals the truth of Tehran’s orientation, and the truth behind the idea of resistance that the Iranian regime long promoted. This attractive façade has been exposed to reveal corrupt merchandise beneath!

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.

More Posts