Makkah summits and Arab alliance

Makkah summits and Arab alliance

SO how would Saudi Arabia respond to Iran’s peace overtures?,” asked the host of a BBC Arabic program show.

As a matter of fact he is not alone, I face this question quite enough these days from journalists after Iran’s “peace gestures” in response to the recently held Islamic, Arab and Gulf summits in Makkah and the crippling US sanctions.

“Iran is part of the problem, and it cannot be part of the solution,” I told him. “Why is Iran so concerned about Arab issues, like the Yemeni conflict, which is being dealt with by legitimate organizations — the UN Security Council and the Arab League?

“Iran never showed so much concern for the half a million people it helped kill in Syria and displace six million people. Why the cries and tears are reserved just for one country where it claims to have no interest or involvement?,” I wondered.

“If human suffering and freedom aspirations really concern Iranians, then why do they continue to occupy and oppress the Ahwaz Arabs for 90 years? Why don’t they present peace initiatives to solve the conflict between their immediate neighbors — Azerbaijan and Armenia? Why are they siding instead with one against the other?” I argued.

“But they say Saudi Arabia’s goal is to occupy Yemen?” asked others. “Why now?” I retorted. “We have been neighbors for ever, and Saudi Arabia has never ever sought to occupy Yemen.

Instead, Saudi Arabia has given tons of help and support to all governments, including that of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saudi help is evident in development projects — road networks, hospitals, ports, airports, schools and universities — in the country.

On the other hand, what is Iran’s contribution? Other than guns and cash to their stooges, what else has Tehran provided? Show me one bridge, school or clinic built with Iranian money?

“Lets be more specific and ask who started this war? Who revolted against the legitimate government and imprisoned the democratically elected president, then tried to assassinate him?

“If that’s OK with Iran, then it should be OK if we support similar groups and militias in their country against the government of President Hassan Rohani using the same pretexts — unfulfilled election promises, the exploding economy or yearning for change — they use against the Yemeni president. Principles are principles, no double standards! What you apply to others may apply to you.”

Hasan Nasrallah is so loud these days, but nothing he says is about Arabs or Lebanese. He copies Iranian leaders’ statements, and defends Iran, in every speech.

If we were to believe him, the Iranian government was all about helping Arabs. They support the Palestinian cause and fight Israel. They fight with Syrians and Iraqis against terrorists. They sympathize with poor Yemenis and try to protect them against Saudi-led attacks. They help them prosper without any conditions!

What is wrong with this picture? It is too rosy! Everywhere Iran admits involvement, we see big troubles.

Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza and Lebanon are not enjoying promised peace and prosperity. Millions are in agony, cities and town are destroyed, wars and conflicts between Arabs and Arabs, Muslims and Muslims, are waging.

Our world is on fire, whenever Iran extends its “helping hand” in. So much so for the “greatest angel” portrait Nasrallah is painting.

Historically, Iranian empires use others to fight for them. Unlike Greeks and Romans, they prefer to use soldiers from the areas under their occupation — Arabs included. Today they are no different.

Their Shiite militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, are all Arabs with some Afghanis and Pakistanis.

Iraq for them, as the president’s consultant Ali Younsi explains is part of their Sassanian Empire and Baghdad is their new capital.

This, as Lebanese leader Walid Jumblatt explains, is why they settled in Iraq and Syria.

“They use the likes of Nasrallah, who announced that Ali Khamenei is his supreme leader, in recruiting Arab soldiers to serve the Persian empire,” according to Shiite leader, Mohammad Ali Alhusaini, Secretary General of Arab Islamic Council.

It is no different in Yemen, says Jumblatt and Alhusaini, the Persian empire is using Arab recruits under Shiite banner to overtake legitimate governments, threaten them with ballistic missiles, in order to force them to accept the empire’s terms.

After 30 years of building up to this finale, announcing victory when Sanaa joined Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut under the Farsi wing, came Operation Decisive Storm, and the whole carefully, smartly and expensively built structure came down like a pack of cards.

This is why Iran and Hezbollah are panicking, kicking and shouting, says Jumblatt.

The Arabs have come out of their Spring’s nightmare strong and aware. They are allied now against your schemes and dreams. It is your turn to live your overdue nightmare.

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi