Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

God will send them to us! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What a paradox! For whilst the Iranians are preoccupying the region and the world by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, the US Navy announced that it had secured the freedom of 13 Iranian sailors captured by Somali pirates. Therefore, despite all of Iran’s naval capabilities – which Tehran has been playing up these days – the Iranian authorities were unable to secure the freedom of their sailors, but rather it was the Americans who were able to do this!

Since the worst misfortune is the one that makes you laugh, last week Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, General Ataollah Salehi, warned the US Navy, particularly Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis, against returning to the Gulf, however it was this same Aircraft Carrier that was responsible for rescuing the Iranian sailors from the Somali pirates. Commenting on this, official Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman [Ramin Mehmanparast] describes the US Aircraft Carrier’s actions as being a “positive humanitarian gesture.” So after all the threats and intimidation, this US Aircraft Carrier – which could break the back of the Iranian regime whenever it feels like it – has now carried out a “positive humanitarian gesture”!

It does not stop here, for one of the Iranian sailors rescued by the Americans, 28-year-old Fazel Ur Rehman, greeted the US Aircraft Carrier by saying “it is like you were sent by God. Every night we prayed to God to rescue us. And now you are here.” So now the US presence in the region is an answer to one’s prayers, and a divine mercy. Iran constantly describes the US as the Great Satan, but the US Navy has now carried out a “positive humanitarian gesture”, and so dealing with the US is no longer treasonous or disloyal!

Therefore, based on this same Iranian logic, we must also look at the presence of US forces in the region, and particularly the Arab Gulf – whether we are talking about navy or air forces or others – as a kind of positive humanitarian gesture, particularly as these forces are protecting the region, its stability, and even its oil, which is the catalyst of the global economy, from Iranian aggression. How can this be viewed otherwise when Tehran is constantly threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, whilst over the last week Iran carried out naval maneuvers in the Gulf, and even test-fired missiles? This is not to mention the provocative statements and announcements issued by Tehran, whilst prior to all this, Iran planted its cells and spies across the region.

Therefore, utilizing the logic of Iran, God will respond to the prayers of the region’s people, and send the US to protect them from the ongoing Iranian actions which are akin to piracy and which are in full swing in our region – on land and sea – and which has even reached the point of Iran utilizing abhorrent sectarianism to incite division. These [US] forces will restrain the Iranian pirates, in the same manner as they dealt with the Somali pirates. Should this happen, we must look at this situation as being a positive humanitarian gesture from the Americans – and this would not be treason – for the US presence in the region is the result of God Almighty responding to the prayers of the people, in the same manner that He responded to the prayers of the Iranian sailors.