Paris, 15 May (IPS) Iranians are known to be among the world’s most extremist peoples, if not physically, but certainly verbally, making them no body’s real friends, but sometimes real enemies.
Take the case of the present Iranian regime’s support and backing for the Palestinians in the one hand, an instance not to be confounded with the Arabs, whom the Iranians, including the ruling ayatollahs, hates --and its verbal onslaught on the State of Israel -- and not to be confounded with the Jews -- on the other, as expressed by the fanatic President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“If the Saudi Minister is serious, why not creating an Arab force and send it to Iraq, an Arab land that is occupied by foreign armies. If His Excellency is serious about the forming of a common Arab army, he should have done it 60, 30, 10 years ago to liberate Palestine, an Arab and holly Muslim land, where innocent Palestinians are being slaughtered in the ...”, Iranian President suggested.
If at the beginning the support for the Palestinian cause coupled with denunciations of Israel’s “atrocities, manslaughter, massacre” of the “Muslim Palestinians” and America’s “blind support” for “Israeli occupation of Muslim lands” was popular among both the Arabs and the Muslims, the daily repetition of the rhetoric and accusations made everyone sick, above all the Palestinians themselves, whom, as Arabs, continue to regard the Iranians as their eternal “enemies”.
“We know full well that the Iranians do not like the Arabs, because they think that we invaded their lands, crushed their empire, imposed on them our language and religion and destroyed their civilization. The same, we don’t like the Persians because we think they are friends of the Jews, who were liberated by the Persians, who are as arrogant as the Jews. This said, I have to add that at present, in our situation, where we are totally abandoned, even by our Arab brothers, any support that comes in any form, even from our historical enemies, are welcome”, a Palestinian historian analysed “in honesty” at the sidelines of a recent conference held in Tehran in support for the Palestinians, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He agreed that the support of the “Persians” for Hamas does not help the Organisation. “From a popular, independent Sunni Palestinian movement, HAMAS is now more and more regarded by the Arabs as another (Lebanese) Hezbollah, a tool in the hands of the Iranians, eager to become the dominant power of the Middle East, equal, if not superior, to the Israelis”, he stressed.
The recent outburst of sheikh Saud al Faysal, the usually soft-spoken Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister against the Islamic Republic of Iran and his denunciation of the “coup” staged in Beirut by the Iran-backed Hezbollah must be seen as the result of the Iranian “extremism” and translates the “saturation” of the patience of the Arabs with the unwanted Iranian “interferences in the Arabs affairs”, from Iraq to Palestine to Lebanon, and elsewhere.
“Beirut had been occupied by (Ariel) Sharon in 1982 and by Hassan Nasrallah in 2008”, the Saudi Minister is reported to have said during the recent meeting of the Arab League held in Cairo in regard with the situation in Lebanon, where Shi’a militias of the Hezbollah for the first time used their mainly made in Iran arms against supporters of the anti-Syrian Government of supporters of the Government of Mr. Fouad Siniora, backed by Saudi Arabia and other Anti-Syrian, anti-Iranian forces, mostly Sunni Muslims.
The fact that Hezbollah, in a show of force, went as far as occupying most of the Capital, including predominantly Christian and Sunni areas and shutting down the international airport had alarmed most Arab nations, afraid to see Iran expanding “dangerously” its domination on the Arab lands through Sh’ism, already in control of Iraq.
The usually soft spoken Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister, Saud al Faysal, is leading an anti-Iranian "crusade".
Actually, the fact that most of present Iraqi leaders are Shi’a and pro-Iranians explains the distance almost all Arab countries have placed between themselves and Iraq, their visible diplomatic absence in Baghdad and their cool relations with the Government of Mr. Nouri al Maleki, a vacuum Iran has gladly filled with its massive presence, seconded to that of the United States, plus its “generous” financial and economic assistance to the development and reconstruction of the war thorn neighbour.
To Saud al Faysal’s apparent ill- received proposal for the dispatch to Beirut of a common Arab army to be installed all over the nation and disarm all armed militias, Mr. Ahmadinejad responded by observing that Lebanon “is not occupied by enemy forces”.
“If the Saudi Minister is serious, why not creating an Arab force and send it to Iraq, an Arab land that is occupied by foreign armies, for, as far as we know, Lebanon is not occupied by foreign forces. There are Lebanese of different ethnic and religious that have some minor differences between themselves and one has to help them solve the problems”, he said on Tuesday 14 May, speaking to reporters during his first major press conference in the present Iranian year of 1387.
“If His Excellency (Saud al Faysal) is serious about the forming of a common Arab army, he should have done it 60, 30, 10 years ago to liberate Palestine, an Arab and holly Muslim land, where innocent Palestinians are being slaughtered in the hundreds and hundreds by Zionist occupiers”, he added cynically, as some 150 basiji (volunteers) students stage a demonstration in front of the British embassy in Tehran, protesting the “creation of the Jewish State” by Britain.
"If the Saudi Minister is serious, why not liberatingIraq and Palestine, occupied by America and by Israel?", Iranian President responded to Mr. Saud al Faysal.
For some Iranian political analysts, the confrontation in Lebanon between the Government of Mr. Siniora and the Hezbollah, backed respectively by Riyadh and Tehran, has become a show of force between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“Despite the fact that Iran’s official policy is to keep good relations with Saudi Arabia, but media close to the Government have launched an anti-Saudi campaign since the mysterious assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, the leading Intelligence Chief and commander of Hezbollah in Damascus, with some of them going as far as accusing Saudi Arabia to have a hand in the assassination in collaboration with Israel”, commented Mr. Ahmad Zeydabadi for the Persian service of the BBC.
In response, the Saudis, known for their very subtle, conservative foreign policy, launched a massive campaign against Iran in the Saudi-owned media, highlighting the “negative role” Iran plays in the region.
In fact, says Mr. Zeydabadi, the Iran-Saudi antagonism is “part of a much greater game” played in the region.
“The Arab countries allied to the United States are on the believe that Iran, benefiting and using the vacuum created in the region following the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime by the Americans and the anti-American, anti-Israeli sentiments of the Arabs in particular and Muslims in general due to the occupation of Iraq and the continuation of the occupation of Arab territories by Israel, is expanding its influence in the Middle East and is aiming at becoming the dominant power of the region, imposing its desired system on the Arabs”, wrote the outspoken, pro-reform Iranian journalist.
Iran rejects vehemently these accusations, insisting that its support for radical Palestinian groups and the Lebanese Hezbollah is part of its desire to defend Arab interests and helping the Palestinians recovering the rights they had been denied by Israel.
Nevertheless, to counter the Iranian plans for the region, moderate Arab nations are trying hard to find a peaceful solution to the Palestinian tragedy
“It seems that the logic of Tehran for supporting Palestinian and Arab radical forces is not convincing the bulk of the Arabs and the more time passes and the more Iranian officials insist on their policy of more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves, the Arabs become more and more suspicious of the Iranians”, he pointed out.
So far, the Saudis have not been able to create a more or less united Arab front against Iran, not only because of the opposition of Syria, Iran’s main “strategic ally” among the Arabs, but also because of the fear of other countries, including Egypt, the most influential and powerful of all of them, from their public opinion, one that regards Iran’s Ahmadinejad as a hero.
“The game that is ongoing in Beirut, the by proxy confrontation of Iran and Saudi Arabia can lead to a very dangerous situation in the Middle East”, Mr. Zeydabadi concluded. ENDS DANGEROUS GAMES 15508