Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Bahraini Member of Parliament has launched a scathing attack against Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad saying he is being “provocative” and “contradictory.”
The attack followed a statement by the Iranian president in which he said that his country was prepared to recognize Israel as an independent state. In a statement by telephone to Asharq Al-Awsat, sheikh Jasim al-Saidi, deputy chairman of the Bahraini Parliament’s Legislative and Legal Committee, expressed surprise at the Iranian president’s statement. He said that Ahmadinejad’s statement demonstrates that Iran’s dealing with the Arab and Muslim countries “is extremely contradictory; for one day he wants to wipe Israel off map, and the next he extends his hand to Israel in peace. What diplomacy is this in dealing with Israel?”
It is worth mentioning that Iranian President Ahmadinejad made a statement to the New York Daily News in September in which he hinted at his country’s preparedness to recognize Israel. He told the US paper that “if the Palestinian leaders agree on a two-state solution, Iran can live with an Israeli state.” Sheikh Al-Saidi described this statement as “provocative to the feelings of Muslims, as he said that his country was prepared to recognize Israel as an independent state though he always said that there was no such thing as Israel. He did not even mention Israel, calling it the Zionist entity. What has happened?” The Bahraini MP warned the Arabian Gulf governments against Iran’s attempts to toy with the foreign policy of their countries, “which would expose the region to destruction and ruination.” He also warned of what he called “the forthcoming blow from the Iranian leaders,” saying that the region must not be dragged into wars in which the regional peoples would be the losers. Sheikh Al-Saidi said: “We have repeatedly warned that the Iranian officials are prepared to give up our crucial issues if the need arises, for they see that their higher interests are above everything. They will not hesitate to do anything, even to unmask their true face. So beware of what is coming which will inevitably be more serious. Matters will then become clearer and those who defend the Iranians will be silenced.”
Sheikh Al-Saidi added: “We are absolutely not surprised by the Iranian president’s statement. We have always revealed the truth about those deceivers who play on the feelings of the public and use resounding terms to win the hearts of people. They say one thing and hide their true intentions to win the sympathy of some who are deluded by their talk.”
Discussing Bahrain’s call for establishing a regional origination, including Israel, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry stressed that this call does not at all mean normalization of ties with Israel. Bahrain’s position on the Palestinian cause is clear. The Bahraini Foreign Ministry clarified the details of the proposal put forward by Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs sheikh Khalid Bin-Ahamd Al Khalifa. The proposal called for the establishment of a regional organization bringing together all parties in the Middle East and north Africa, including the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, and Israel, as the foreign minister outlined in his speech before the UN General Assembly at its 63d session last week. Hamad al-Amir, ambassador at the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the call outlined in Foreign Minister’s Al-Khalifa’s speech “does not at all mean what reports in some local papers said. The speech was clear and can be summed up in that it called for including all parties without exception in one organization that would undertake addressing and solving all historical and emergency problems among all countries of the region and establishing security, stability, and peace in this vital and strategic region of the world.”
Ambassador Al-Amir stressed that the Bahraini proposal does not involve any cession of the legitimate Arab rights in any issue, most notably the Palestinian issue. In this respect he said that sitting together and holding dialogue [with Israel] is a principle to which the Arab peace initiative is committed. He pointed out that numerous Arab countries have followed and continue to follow this principle in their negotiations with Israel, which resulted in concluding peace agreements on a number of tracks. He also stressed that the GCC states emphasized this principle in several situations, the latest of which was their support for the resumption of Syrian-Israeli peace talks under Turkish auspices, as the statement released by the GCC Ministerial Council’s 128th session on 2September emphasized. Al-Amir affirmed that his country has adhered and continues to adhere to its position in support of the Palestinian people and “their legitimate leadership in their struggle for obtaining their full legitimate rights through the ongoing peace negotiations with Israel with the aim of establishing an independent Palestinian state with holy Jerusalem as its capital.” Al-Amir underlined that in light of the fast pace of developments in the region “the Arab countries should not lose the initiative in dealing with their fateful issues. They should hasten to put forward realistic and practical solutions to safeguard their rights and render unsuccessful any effort that undermines the Arab position and threatens the Arab countries’ security and stability.” He stressed that Bahrain is more than ever keen on and committed to all Arab issues and will not hesitate to defend them in every situation and under any circumstances.