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The Iranians Envy Saudi Arabia! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Glory to God! The supporters of the Iranian regime are eager to attack Saudi Arabia from Lebanon, Iraq and Syria and when we tell them that Tehran is heading towards the abyss they heap insults at us and cast accusations against us, describing us as sectarian.

But today, Iran’s friends have been dealt a blow from Tehran itself, no one else. How? Hassan Rowhani, the senior security advisor to Iran’s Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directed severe criticism against the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who he accused of “wasting a golden opportunity” to develop the Iranian state and to improve its standing.

Rowhani stated that “thoughtless, unstudied and uncalculated remarks and slogans have cost the nation and the country a great deal.” He added that Ahmadinejad’s policies have not helped to improve the internal situation in Iran. “All this is very harmful to Iran…why are people’s pockets empty and their dignity on sale?” asked Rowhani.

Hassan Rowhani demanded that the Iranian president look at the oil surplus in Saudi Arabia at a time when Iran has little currency deposits and uses imports from other countries instead of dealing with inflation, as witnessed by one of their own!

Political rationality has a price just as foolishness comes with a price tag. States are like individuals; they must decide the route that they wish to follow. Do they want construction and to become active members of the international community or do they want to be revolutionists and continue to bang their heads against the wall?!

Iran is in a serious and stifling economic crisis; Tehran, which planned its budget three years ago based on oil prices of US $20 per barrel, finds itself in a dilemma today even though it is selling oil at US $120 per barrel.

The question here is: what will Iran do if oil prices drop to US $40 since it is expected that its Gulf neighbors will trade at this price? For Tehran, this will be something of a crisis.

Of course, the average Iranian citizen will not care about what Hassan Nasrallah is doing in Lebanon or Khaled Meshaal’s actions in Syria, or even about seeing Ismail Haniyeh donning a turban and saying ‘Amen’ after every supplication at Friday prayer in Tehran.

The average Iranian is concerned about how to cover the costs of living and improve the standard of living regarding education, health and work just like any other citizen in any other country. And that is quite the contrary to what Ahmadinejad is doing as he wants to quarrel with the entire world.

Iran’s biggest enemies, without doubt, are Iranians who put the interest of their country at risk and tarnish its reputation around the world with statements that do not enrich and do not relieve people of hunger, just as the fiery statements of Saddam Hussein in the past were futile.

Instead of Tehran launching privatization projects and opening the doors of investment, many of its companies and banks have been subjected to huge international sanctions, the very sanctions that Ahmadinejad described as “as worthless as the paper they’re written on.”

In Iran today, and through the comments made by Hassan Rowhani, the advisor to Iran’s supreme guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, we see that contrasts are being made between the situation in Iran and the situation in neighboring Saudi Arabia. This is a lesson and a message to the friends of Iran to whom the following saying applies: With friends like these, who needs enemies!

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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