Sunday , December 16 2018

Iran … carrot or stick?

Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

FOR the first time in many years, the inhabitants of the Middle East felt the seriousness of the United States of America in ending threats to regional and international stability — away from anything pertaining to oil and temporary interests.

This seriousness is manifested in the series of measures taken by the administration of President Donald Trump against Iran, which is described as the top terrorism sponsor in the world. For decades, the past US administrations measured their positions on regional issues based on two things – oil price and its impact on US voters and the regional interests of Israel.

In fact, those administrations gave preference to the interests of Israel over other allies. But this image changed along with the political disposition – both populace and official — in the region after years of the bloody test imposed by Iran on nations where it has forsaken every form of sanctity through the instigation of creedal and sectarian sedition.

The inconsistencies between Arab capitals and their allies in Washington became more obvious when the former felt that the administration of former US president Barack Obama was striving to rescue the Mullah regime from the cliff by signing the nuclear deal which contained deadly flaws. The deal gave Tehran a lung which terrorism could breathe through in terms of billions of dollars pumped into its treasury.

The Arab nation perceived this as an almost clear alignment on the side of the Mullah regime and ditching its historic allies. Because of the unified stance against the omnipresent regional enemy that continues to expand its scope towards Israel, the United States of America found confrontation as the only course to take — directly or indirectly, especially after the wave of terrorism sponsored by Iran swept through Europe, US and the Arabian Peninsula.

This is similar to what transpired in 2003 when these countries found that Saddam Hussein’s regime became a threat to the world’s stability by brandishing weapons of mass destruction to burn Israel and other Arab countries.

The seriousness of the US was put to test at the extensive diplomatic meeting in Washington when its foreign affairs ministry called about 200 diplomats to explain to them the reality of the Iranian regime supported with evidence of its threats, especially concerning the uranium enrichment for military use and long range ballistic missiles. In the past four decades, the US has been turning a blind eye to the terrorist activities of Iran in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and the eastern side of Saudi Arabia — as well as funding mercenaries and its scheme to propagate ‘Shiasm’ by spreading terror in several countries.

Despite inclusion of gangs affiliated to Iran on the terrorism list, the measures taken so far have not reached the stage of drying the source of funds. This started recently when the link of hired guns between al-Qaeda, DAESH, Hezbollah and others became evident as all of them receive commands from the same Operation Room in Tehran. Yes, confrontation between the US and its allies in the Middle East on one hand, and Iran on the other hand, seems to be approaching.

Everything depends on Tehran’s position on the US demands. Iran will either get the carrot as a reward or a stick as a severe international punishment in a bid to get rid of this ogre, which feeds on slogans and methods inherited from Khosrows’ era. Finally, Tehran would have saved itself and its people from all these troubles if it only established friendly relations with its neighbors and the world; but as the adage goes: “Every ailment has cure, apart from foolishness which has defied cure.” If this is the case, how about the group of fools ruling the fate of 80 million people?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
ahmedaljarallah@gmail.com

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