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At a time that we were waiting for Hamas or Hezbollah or certain groups in Iraq or even Damascus, to push for their own interests and causes rather than giving priority to Iranian interests, signs of change have come from within Iran itself.

The Lebanese group did not dare to publicly say no to subordination to Iran, and even General Aoun – who called on his followers to reject those who were saying “Beware of the Wali Al Faqih” – did not dare to react to Nasrallah’s response to the comments made by [Maronite] Patriarch Boutros Sfeir.

Hamas has been avoiding inter-Palestinian reconciliation despite all the efforts made by the Egyptians, and the group is now talking about the letter that was presented to them by former US President [Jimmy] Carter that aims at opening negotiations between Hamas and Washington. Hamas did not take into account the advice of all of those who warned the group to be cautious of the objectives of the regime in Tehran.

[Hamas chief] Khalid Mishal said that the group’s relationship with Tehran has caused them trouble, and that they would not have entered into this relationship had they found [alternative] support, but this is untrue. What about the Mecca Accord that was rejected by Hamas?

This is just one example, for in contrast [to this] what have Hamas achieved with the support of the mullahs in Tehran?

As for Syria, the Arabs, Europeans, and recently the Americans, have moved away from allying with Tehran, having made a huge effort in this regard, resulting in a Syrian – Arab rift which has reached a sad and disturbing stage.

The same goes for Iraq where many politicians draw their power from Iran, playing a game of interests whose only victim is Iraq itself, rather than following up on internal [Iraqi] reconciliation and nullifying the abhorrent sectarianism [that is present in the country].

To be fair, this issue is not limited to those mentioned above, as we have also seen this in some regional countries that openly flatter and even promote the Iranian regime. Other groups are also subject to this, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has long praised Tehran.

So what happened?

The surprise is that change, or at least an indication of change, has come from an unexpected direction, namely from the Iranian interior itself. The Iranians took to the street in a campaign that has shaken the Iranian regime in an unprecedented manner, rejecting the [electoral] reality that their country has reached.

A broad range of Iranians took to the street confirming what we have said repeatedly with regards to the danger that the Iranian project represents. These demonstrations confirmed that Tehran’s actions are not only harmful to our region, but also to Iran itself, increasing the country’s political isolation and economic deterioration.

I have not forgotten some of the responses to my commentary on Hassan Rowhani’s accusations against Ahmadinejad. Rowhani said that Ahmadinejad had “missed a golden opportunity” for developing Iran’s oil production, and asked “Why are the people’s pockets empty…and their dignity lost?” Some people commented [on my article] and joked that I only worry about Iran and its allies.

However today the response came from Iran [itself]; and a large portion of the Iranian population believe that the interests, stability, and prosperity of their own country are more important than controlling the region, validating everything that has been said over the past five years.

Today we say that perhaps these demonstrations will have a positive result in Iran, but what will happen to those [groups and countries] who are betting on the mullahs’ regime, especially since whatever happens in Iran will have major consequences on them?

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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