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A Toothless Region - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Even if Iran has decided to play the nuclear game, it does not mean that other countries in the region should take part in this dangerous race. I was happy to hear Saudi Arabia, for the second time, state that it does not own a nuclear weapon as Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz said, “I reject these allegations and confirm that we are against nuclear armament.”

The Saudi Crown Prince had previously stated, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never been in favor of nuclear armament because it is destructive to humanity. The claims made about Saudi-Pakistani cooperation regarding nuclear armament are false. The allegations have already been denied by Pakistan and more recently by Saudi Arabia.”

I was pleased to hear this denial once again as the Arab world does not only need to be disarmed of nuclear weapons but also to have all its teeth and claws removed. Why? A simple analysis of our contemporary history proves that our utilization of weapons in the wars that have been waged in our Arab and Islamic worlds has harmed only ourselves.

Of course, this is our side countering the numerous violations and attacks at the hands of the Israeli occupation against Arab territories, Palestinians and others. No war had been waged against Israel apart from one launched by the late Egyptian president Sadat who also fell victim to his own weapons as he was killed by Egyptian assassins.

As there are many who are quick to point the finger and make accusations, we must remember Black September when the Jordanians and Palestinians fought each other, Egypt’s war in Yemen, and the civil wars of Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan and Algeria. In addition, there were the puerile wars launched by Saddam Hussein for which we are still paying the price, including the Iran-Iraq war and the Kuwaiti invasion.

Then we have Iran, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause that still occupies three islands of the United Arab Emirates. The enemies of occupation however, have not raised their voices against the Iranian occupation of these islands, let alone against the immoral handling of weapons by Arab states against their own people to suppress them.

The weapons that we have seen have been used in coups that have taken place in many parts of our Arab world. We should not be tempted to react to Iran by wasting our own resources, knowing that Iran’s actions will have serious repercussions for its people. That which we are seeing today of the nuclear fiasco is a flaw in a region, which has fallen victim to mistakes and futile slogans.

No to weapons, even to kitchen knives as these weapons are used against us. Therefore, I express my thanks to every leader who has shown rationality in a region which has suffered from the absence of wisdom for over fifty years, where more money is spent on weapons than on the development of society and individuals.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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