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Iran…Sustained Bleeding - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Over the past ten days whilst traveling between Riyadh, Delhi, Mumbai, Bahrain, and Dubai, the debate has been over Iran; will it be attacked or not and will it be able to withstand [an attack] and so on. There is no doubt that Iran is suffering sustained bleeding both externally and internally; the regime is isolated and has no solid ground domestically to stand upon. US Vice President Joe Biden was right when he considered the Iranian regime “fragile” and said that it is “more isolated than ever before” both domestically and regionally. There are many examples [that support this view].

Within Iran, we have Mir Hossein Mousavi saying that the regime is facing a crisis and we have US intelligence turning Iran into a theatre, as it is infiltrating it to implement what it calls a process of “brain drain” by smuggling scientists [out of Iran] and accessing information that is pouring out of Iran, some of which demonstrates internal confusion. For example, it was revealed that Iranian intelligence apparatus inspected the home of physician Masoud Ali Mohammadi and gathered documents and notes from him before he was killed the next day. Tehran then accused Western and Israeli agents of being responsible for his murder!

Externally, it is enough to look at the regime’s ties with regional and Western states and international organizations. The sanctions are imminent, and it seems that they will be very strict. It is also enough to look at the surge of Western warnings issued to Iran. On the Arab level, we have [UAE Foreign Minister] Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed responding to the Iranian rebuttal to his comments on the Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands, which Bin Zayed likened to Israel’s occupation of Arab territories. It is noteworthy that Sheikh Abdullah responded to the Iranian response from Ramallah [West Bank], and that has important connotations, the most important of which is that Arabs have begun to take action on grounds that are sensitive to Iran i.e. the Palestinian Cause, which represents the one of the most important Iranian playing cards in the region. Also we must not ignore the positive comments made by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit about Damascus and the negative comments about Tehran that he made from Lebanon, the stronghold of Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah!

Moreover, the isolation of Iran, and its sustained bleeding, is apparent from Iran’s attempt not to miss a thing in order to show cohesion of its alliances in the region, especially after it received painful two blows in the form of the Lebanese and Iraqi elections. The clearest example of this came a few days ago when the official Iranian news agency broadcast statements attributed to the Syrian president about Iranian-Syrian ties, but what was striking was that the Syrian media did not broadcast any of those statements!

The danger of the Iranian regime’s sustained bleeding can be summarized in the words of an Arab official, citing another Arab official who has excellent ties with Tehran following the Iranian presidential elections and the emergence of demonstrations against Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Guide. The Arab official told me that the Iranian rulers and the Supreme Guide have now turned into a wounded lion and this poses a threat to everybody considering that Iran will not get through this stage peacefully. This is accurate as it has become apparent today that Iran is bleeding a lot, which might lead to a major collapse, or lead towards committing a fatal error and there is not much difference between the two as “whoever does not die by the sword will die by other means,” in the words of the Arab poet!

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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