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Iran…Not Our War - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The first stage of war is fought with words, as the saying goes, and what we see today between Iran and the West is a real war of words. As soon as Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz recently, Tehran found itself face to face with Washington in an ongoing and dangerous escalation, and Iran has been dragged into a verbal confrontation with the US, rather than Israel, with the intransigence now coming from the Obama administration. In Washington on Tuesday the White House said that it was not ruling out any option – including a military option – with regards to dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “Iran is the largest supporter of terrorism in the world today” and said that the country is on its way to becoming a “military dictatorship.”

The Iranian response to this was further escalation and Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Clinton of spreading “lies.” What was also noticeable in Iran’s response is what was said by Ahmadinejad, who said that he expects a war to break out in the spring or the summer, and he threatened Israel saying that in the event of a war breaking out, “the resistance and regional states will finish them.” He also threatened that Tehran’s response will make the superpowers “regretful” should they choose to impose new sanctions on the country over its nuclear program. While on the exact same day, and only hours after Ahmadinejad’s statement, Hassan Nasrallah came out threatening Israel, saying that if Israel attacks Lebanon’s airport then Hezbollah will attack Israel’s airport, and that if Israel attacks civilians, Hezbollah would attack Tel Aviv in retaliation. Nasrallah also mocked those who warned of the necessity of “not giving Israel any pretext to launch aggression against Lebanon” as such talk was dangerous “and was an attempt to acquit Israel and presumptively lays all the responsibility on the resistance.”

Some might ask what has one thing got to do with the other; what ties Ahmadinejad’s statement with what Nasrallah said?

This is the crux of the matter, for as we have repeatedly stated, whenever Israel threatens Iran, Tehran responds by threatening the Gulf States, and whenever Tehran raises its voice, Nasrallah comes out repeating Iran’s words as if he were an echo. What is interesting today is that in the event of a war breaking out Ahmadinejad is threatening Israel and the West, and not on behalf of his own country, but in the name of “the resistance and regional countries.”

Firstly, what is the connection between the resistance and the regional countries and Iran’s nuclear program?

The other issue is that if Nasrallah is criticizing the Lebanese people who are advocating not giving Israel any excuse to attack their country, and who are intimating that is not their war, but rather Iran’s war, then why on 28 December 2008, after the discovery of a Katyusha rocket cache, did Nasrallah criticize those who were saying that these rockets belonged to Hezbollah, saying that this would give Israel a justification and excuse to launch aggression against Lebanon?

Therefore this war, should it take place, is Iran’s war, and it is up to Iran – which has not attempted any wise acts – to defuse this. Why should our region and our countries be involved in this? It is not our war, and we do not desire for it to take place, therefore this is solely Iran’s war and that of its agents as well. As for us, we will be victims of Iran should it gain nuclear capabilities, and we will also be Tehran’s victims should a war break out. Can we realize this issue before we lose our minds in the midst of any future war breaking out, God forbid?

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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