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Iran’s Conservatives Are Deceiving Themselves - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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What the Iranian conservatives say to us within the Arab media and at news conferences is not important; what is important is what they say in Iran and their action on the ground.

The conservatives of Iran are practicing political deviousness and trading our issues the same way in which they trade Persian rugs. Whoever spends 10 years weaving a rug knows too well about patience and causing disruption to those who are considered opponents – even if it means disseminating false information bit by bit.

But is the timing in Iran’s interest?

I am writing this because one of the strangest things I read, quoted by the Iranian conservative ‘Kayhan’ newspaper, was the allegation that “the British sent Lawrence of Arabia to bring together Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab and Al Saud in order to set up a unit in support of Britain.” Is there any other nonsense that could exceed this? Is there any greater falsification that can top this or any instigation against the Saudi foundation that is more dangerous than criticising side topics?

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab’s call predates over 270 years when Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab and Muhammad Bin Saud, may God rest their souls, pledged allegiance to one other. The sheikh, according to some accounts, was born in 1115 Hijra/1703 AD; however Lawrence of Arabia lived between 1888 and 1935. Lawrence of Arabia emerged during the era of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali and his battle (the Arab Revolt, 1916) against the Ottomans.

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab’s call did not offer a new religion, group or school of thought. It was a reformative call between a sheikh and a politician, the result of which was the unity of a large nation after much discord, under the umbrella of the Islamic creed, which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The problem with Iran’s conservatives today is that they are lubricating a large machine of deception and confusion in most parts of the Arab world and they continuously target Saudi Arabia, contrary to what they state during conferences or in official statements.

In reality, Iran’s conservatives exert orchestrated efforts in order to mislead and cause confusion. Through information that was leaked by Iran’s conservatives about Saudi Arabia to their newspapers or newspapers affiliated to them in different locations, or even via books subsidized by them; they demonstrate laughable ignorance of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula as a whole.

With the reference to Lawrence of Arabia’s connection to Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab, it appears that the information that the Iranian conservatives hold about Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab’s mission, and the Arabian Peninsula is similar to Ahmadinejad’s information on the poet [Mohammed] Bin Laboun!

Clearly, and unfortunately, Iran’s conservatives will not be able to reconcile with the Arab Gulf, in the past and at present, as long as they are unable to reconcile with themselves within Iran itself. Iran has a civilization as well as prestige; nevertheless Tehran will not be able to establish a distinctive relationship with its neighbours through blackmail and deception.

A Saudi official advised the Iranian leadership with the following words: “If you insist on interfering in Arab issues, our message to you is to intervene in a positive manner.”

I believe that the best action that Iran could take for itself and the region would be to leave the Arab world and its issues alone as it is impossible for those who face real internal crises, such as Tehran, to solve the problems of others.

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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