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Iran and the Fearful Arabs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Amidst the political classification in the region and talk of the moderate and extremist states, other states seem to have been overlooked – and they are the states that deserve to be called the ‘fearful Arab’ states. Clearly, they have come to the forefront of the events in Lebanon once again and those who attended the exceptional summit in Cairo are aware of that.

The fearful Arab states are making it difficult for the moderate states in the region to carry out their tasks, and they also send wrong messages to all parties. Such states are the ones affirming, without conviction, that the Lebanese crisis is an internal matter and they are calling against confrontation with Iran.

The fearful Arab states are unaware of the fact that the conflict with Iran will prevail and that it will not just end in Beirut. Iran is an actual occupier in Iraq and it also occupies three islands that belong to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and moreover supports Hamas and drives it towards igniting a crisis with Egypt to preoccupy it.

The Iranians are stirring up trouble for the Yemenis and threatening the Kuwaitis and Bahrainis. And all of this is achieved through funding, some agents and the exploitation of some foreign organizations whilst facilitating their missions – and this also applies to Al-Qaeda.

Thus the question is: How long will these Arab states continue to be afraid, after Beirut fell into the hands of the Iranians and Fouad Siniora’s government continues to be held under siege in much the same way as the legislative Lebanese leadership? Moreover, the Palestinian cause is no longer under Arab control after Hamas has become a puppet in the hands of the Iranians and Syrians.

Confrontation is the only option that the Arabs have with Iran and the lesser degree of confrontation is to hold steadfast onto political positions without retreating or lagging behind through inaction. What they fear today will happen tomorrow since Iran is expanding in all the Arab states; it is critical for the Arabs to counteract the collapse of the Arab nation and prevent it from being ripped apart internally.

Furthermore, the Arab states must face those seeking to occupy other Arab states – or else why was Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait rejected and confronted by arms and yet today, some accept Iran and Syria’s occupation of Lebanon?

Iran is interfering in Arab affairs without a right and is consequently a threat to our national security – and this is the message. This is why the Saudi-Egyptian action to confront the Iranian expansion must prevail and Tehran’s attempts to seize control of the Arab world must come to grinding halt.

The fearful Arab states must know that it is their duty to protect their countries against Iran’s tampering and to not be afraid of its agents. Those who respect the rights of citizenship must respect and protect their rights, and those who conspire with Iran against their country must bear the consequences.

This is not unfounded hostility towards Iran nor does it seek to back one group against another or one sect over the other; rather it is in order to preserve Lebanon so that it can remain to be a homeland for all the Lebanese people, with all their communities and religions, and the same thing applies to Iraq and the rest of the Arab world.

This is why it is crucial that the Saudi-Arab position remains firm and it is important that the fearful Arab states become aware of the fact that their fear will not protect them and that they will face an endless night as a result of the Iranian expansion. The more the Arabs cringe in fear, the more the Iranians will expand in the region.

Suffice it to point out that we are faced with the second coup carried out by an armed group against a legislative government in less than one year; first Hamas and now Hezbollah.

Fear does not protect and neither does it guarantee safety for the Arabs.

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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