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Iran: Has the Ghost of Military Action Returned? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Iranian response to the international community regarding negotiations on the nuclear issue did not provide any answers. Instead of Tehran providing answers on its nuclear file, it presented a package of proposals and ideas to solve international problems and issues and to solve current regional issues. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a few days ago that “the nuclear issue is finished and there will be no discussion of it.”

Iran showed that it was willing to take part in helping solve the problems of terrorism, the Palestinian issue, Iraq, and also Afghanistan. In other words, Tehran is presenting itself as a leader of the entire region and the proof is that it wants to solve our problems. Perhaps this explains some important matters for us. When Iran is demonstrating its willingness to help solve the pending issues then this means that it has a hand in what’s happening in the region. When Iran talks about being willing to help solve the problem of terrorism, this explains why some members of Al Qaeda go to Iran, for example [Fawwaz] al Otaibi who handed himself in to Saudi authorities. Iran’s willingness to help in Afghanistan also explains the discovery of an arsenal of Iranian weapons, including rockets, detonators and the like, which belonged to Taliban fighters. The same happened in Iraq where there are supporters of Iran, or Hamas in Palestine or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

This all suggests that Tehran is not serious about responding to the fundamental issue; the Iranian nuclear file. This represents a great danger to regional states firstly because of the intentions of Iran’s Mullahs and secondly because it opens the door to nuclear armament in a region that is already full of violence and conflict.

It seems that we’re back at square one. If there are some states in the international community willing to accept a nuclear Iran like [a nuclear] India and Pakistan for example, Israel will certainly not be one of them. This would explain the confusion that overcame everybody when asked: where did Netanyahu disappear to for nine hours? Was he in Moscow or somewhere else?

Israel is in a race against time in preparing to deal with Iran and preventing it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Israel might carry out a swift and fatal blow in order to prevent nuclear armament.

This is how ideas about war returned to the region, and we must now monitor Israel’s actions and the actions of Iran’s allies in the region, including Hamas, Hezbollah and others. We must remember that the internal Iranian conflict is having a negative role as Tehran will try to move forward for the sake of uniting internally. The internal battle threatens the Iranian regime and its legitimacy, and the West has now begun to talk about a weak Iran or an Iran that has no internal capabilities. As a result, Ahmadinejad’s regime wants something to justify continuing oppressing the opposition on the grounds that the country is going through a critical situation and any internal opposition will be considered treachery and aiding the enemy. This is the mentality of dictator states.

With regards to Israel, there is no doubt it will exploit the political failure of US President Barack Obama’s extended hand for dialogue with Iran and this would explain the numerous military maneuvers that Israel conducted and continues to conduct and its overt and covert diplomatic actions.

The end result is that the ghost of war has returned to haunt the region in its entirety.

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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