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If I Were Iranian! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The first thought that came to me after reading Mithal al-Alousi’s interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, regarding his second visit to Israel and his justification for attending the 8th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Tel Aviv was: How will the Iranians feel about this?

Of course, if I were Iranian I would have jumped for joy after reading al-Alousi’s arguments and excuses, and the accusations he levied at Tehran during his Israeli visit.

During his latest trip al-Alousi said is that he was there to warn against the danger that Al Qaeda and Iran pose to his county, and that he went there openly, unlike Iraqis who travel to Tehran covertly to meet Qasem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guard and Quds Army officer on the Iraqi-Iranian borders.

Despite the truth in these statements, they are metaphorically-speaking, like selling high-quality products in a poor market. The Iraqi MP seeks to highlight the dangers that Al Qaeda and Iran pose to his country in Tel Aviv, and defends that by saying that “by being in Israel, Iraqi politics is being progressive and superior”!

Undoubtedly, the Iranians and their agents in Iraq and the entire Arab world will ask their supporters: did you read what Mithal al-Alousi said? ….Your enemies are Israel’s friends! This statement is like ammunition to the Iranians, who have often used it the past.

We are all familiar with the Iranian threat in Iraq, Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world. The Kuwaitis recently arrested elements within their territories cooperating with Iran’s Intelligence apparatus, despite what is said about Tehran not harboring any animosity towards the Gulf countries.

So, the question is: what is Mr. al-Alousi gaining from his visit to Israel? Haven’t we had enough of these “clandestine” and “Official” visits to Tel Aviv that do not yield any true gains on pressing issues?

I do not oppose the drive for peace; the Egyptians and Jordanians have earned that right through their experience in times of war and peace. Likewise, the Palestinians and the Syrians who we wish will see the day when they achieve peace with the return of Golan Heights, but what is in it for Israel’s “Crisis” visitors, even if there were Arab and Muslim participating countries in this conference, as al-Alousi claims?

Regarding Iraq al-Alousi said,” Let’s be a civilized state, do we want to drown Israel in the sea?”

No one is saying that, but at the same time don’t walk the extra mile without a guaranteed return, and don’t give your country’s enemies a pretext.

In this regard, it can be argued that Iran would not have been able to control elements within the Iraqi state, if it wasn’t for the absence of patriotism in some Iraqi figures, and the lack of poise and political rationality in others. I am not referring to the concept of “rationality” in the same vain as Iran’s collaborators do. What I mean is the rationality that gives priority to interests that ensure the unity, stability and sovereignty of Iraq, with all spectrums and doctrines, without excluding anyone; interests that ensure that Iraq is not transformed into an Iranian province, or any thing else.

The same applies to Lebanon and any other country where Iran’s collaborators work to execute its agenda at the expense of their own country. So, if I were Iranian, I would have said to Mr. al-Alousi: Thanks. We couldn’t do it without you!

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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