Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Has the Shiite star set? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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When Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned of the danger represented by the Shiite crescent in the region, Iran’s allies – at the time – reacted by suggesting that the crescent had become a full moon. This was a clear case of arrogance on the part of Iran’s agents in the region, whether in Iraq, Lebanon or pre-revolutionary Syria. So is the Iranian moon still full?

I do not think so, but we seem to have entered a phase where the Iranian star is setting in our region, whether we are talking about Syria, Lebanon, or Iraq, and indeed there are clear indications of this. Today Iran is facing a severe external test; namely the collapse of the Bashar al-Assad regime, at the hands of the Syrians and not outside forces. Iran is feeling the threat that this represents, as evidenced by its clear irrational behavior in the region, whether with regards to its dealings with Turkey or others. The Iranian concern is justified of course, especially as the revolution to overthrow Bashar al-Assad has raised unprecedented slogans condemning Iran and its allies. For example, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah can now hear insults hurled against him in broad daylight from the Syrians, and the Syrian revolution is saying: “No Iran, no Hezbollah, we want a leader who fears God”. Thus, in the event of the collapse of the al-Assad regime, Tehran will not only lose an ally, but it now seems clear that the majority of the [Syrian] people detest Iran and resent Hassan Nasrallah and his organization.

The same thing now applies to Iran’s agents in Iraq, whether we are talking about the Sadrists or those who are hijacking the country in the name of its government. The stances taken by the Iraqi government has revealed its abhorrent sectarian façade. This means that the government has now been exposed to nearly half of the Iraqi people, not to mention the honorable Shiites of Iraq who do not accept their country’s subordination to Iran, and this is something that will have consequences sooner or later.

More important than all that is the fact that the Iranian axis has not only been exposed in Syria and Lebanon, but in fact in most of the Arab world, for it has also been exposed in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Bahrain. Today, any statement released by Hassan Nasrallah has no value, just as any stance adopted by [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who has long been silent, has no value. Even Iran’s Supreme Leader has become preoccupied with dealing with Iran’s internal affairs, rather than external events. This is justifiable because Iran itself today is living amidst a genuine internal conflict at the highest level between the Supreme Leader and the President, alongside the remnants of the Green Revolution which is still burning under the ashes. Tehran today must face up to its foreign dues, which may result in it facing military strikes. There are many indications in this regard, including the systematic targeting of crucial domestic Iranian targets, and the accuracy of this suggests that this targeting is the result of external operations with the objective of disrupting Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

There is a tense international escalatory stance towards Iran, whether regarding the plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, or the Iranian mob that recently stormed the British Embassy in Tehran. The latter incident seems to be the behavior of the Iranian axis par excellence, because what happened to the British Embassy in Tehran is very similar to what happened to both the Saudi Arabian and Qatari embassies in Damascus. In the same manner, what happened in Qatif in Saudi Arabia recently is precisely the same thing that happened in Bahrain. Therefore, all of the above poses the following question: Are these irrational acts and the display of mob justice carried out by Iran and its axis an indication of the setting of the Shiite star in our region? I think that this is the beginning of the end.