Iran Interfering, What Else? |
Al Hayat - 27 July, 2012
Author: Abdullah Iskandar
Most of the Arab states have complained and are still complaining about Iranian interference in their domestic affairs. Some went as far as stating – or hinting to the fact – that this interference took many shapes, ranging from financial support to internal parties and mobilization, instigation, the spread of the Velayat-e Faqih sect and the use of espionage cells working directly with the Iranian authorities and especially the Revolutionary Guard.
Iran is flaunting some of this support, namely in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, under the pretext of confronting Israel. It is also proclaiming it in Iraq under the pretext of confronting the American influence, particularly after the invasion, while deploying troops and carrying out maneuvers in the Gulf under the pretext of facing the American troops in the region. And although such claims do not justify any interference in the domestic affairs of the states of the region, complaints against the Iranian policy are also emerging in Sudan, Egypt, Mauritania and Morocco.
In other words, this Iranian interference is affecting the entire Arab region, without it necessarily stopping at its border. Indeed, these same complaints are being reiterated in Iran’s non-Arab surrounding, from Pakistan to Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, not to mention the presence of similar Iranian networks in many areas around the world, from Southeast Asia to Europe, going through the African continent and reaching Latin America, where they are accused of conducting many illegal activities, including smuggling, instigation and acts of terrorism.
In the face of all these accusations and suspicions, Iran keeps repeating that this campaign is being launched by the American and Israeli circles, because Tehran is the only one standing in their face. And in light of all the evidence pointing to Iran’s implication, Tehran has no other option but to deny its responsibility in a way that is not convincing anyone.
Moreover, this general Iranian behavior in dealing with the world and especially our region falls in the context of Tehran’s comprehensive policy which aims at accumulating military power in all its forms, possibly including nuclear power, in order to control what it dubs its vital interests in the region and around the world. In other words, the Iranian networks carrying out interference around the world and in our region do not only fall in line with this strategy, but are also among its important tools.
Tehran has tirelessly repeated there were American and Western attempts to render Iran the Arabs’ enemy instead of Israel, and that these attempts aim at ensuring normalization with Israel and fueling hostility towards Iran. But at the same time, it does not miss an occasion to show political and field aggressiveness against the Arabs, while refusing to grant any real guarantees and actual reassurances in regard to its intentions, whether at the level of political hegemony or its nuclear program. This puts the doubts, suspicions, and sometimes even hostility, among the characteristics of Iranian-Gulf relations.
A few days ago, Sana’a announced the uncovering of an Iranian network and the Yemeni president provided all the evidence to back up his claims, and a while ago, an Iranian network was accused of planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. In the meantime, other Iranian networks were uncovered in Kuwait and Bahrain and those accused of being involved were prosecuted, in parallel to hinting to the presence of networks in other Gulf countries.
Iran is interfering in Arab affairs in general and Gulf affairs in particular, so what else is there?
In all these cases, statements were issued by the Gulf Cooperation Council to condemn the Iranian policies and express solidarity with and support toward the targeted countries, without this preventing Iranian interference even further.
Hence, it would be legitimate to wonder about the purpose of the condemnations and the expressions of solidarity if they failed to cause the discontinuation of these interferences, but also about the purpose of the statements to begin with.