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Abqaiq Attack: The End of a Lie

Abqaiq Attack: The End of a Lie

Thursday, 26 September, 2019 - 10:45

A lot has been said about the dual attack that targeted Saudi oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais.

This is something natural and expected; not only because the Gulf’s oil is vital for the global economy, to which the attack was some kind of a ‘message’, but also because those behind it had threatened such attacks more than once.

Such threats came from Tehran, the decision-making Iranian capital, and sometimes, from its henchmen and puppets in the Arab lands that it boasts of controlling. Indeed, just after that, Iran’s Yemeni puppets claimed responsibility according to a ‘scenario’ of testing the reaction.

Moreover, the new aggression is part of a continuous escalation since Iran began to sabotage then hijack oil tankers, in a clear two-fold message to the world:

First, that it is now the dominant force in the Gulf region despite the presence of Western fleets, as well as foreign bases there.

Second, that it is not worried a bit about any reaction against its escalation. In fact, it wants its enemies to know that it desires confrontation that would end with a result similar to the JCPOA’s; i.e. giving it a free hand to dominate the Arab Middle East.

No doubt, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA – signed jointly by the Barack Obama administration, the major European powers, and Russia – was a setback for Tehran. However, even with the US sanctions that followed, it remained what it really is, just a setback.

Actually, it is a setback that Tehran seems quite confident would overcome; especially in the light of the following:

1-    There is divergence of interests between the European powers and Trump’s Washington; thus, Tehran feels that it is more than capable of shaking the Western ‘alliance’, more so, it makes costlier any future military confrontation.

2-    Russia continues to be in partnership with Iran, at least as a means to trouble and blackmail the US whenever and wherever possible. Added to this, is the Chinese dimension; bearing in mind that future Chinese-Iranian joint business projects reach tens of billions of US dollars.

3-    Iran has already managed to neutralize Turkey in what looked like an inevitable confrontation between the two neighbors at a certain period during the Syrian conflict. The Iranians have benefited significantly from Ankara’s U-turn towards them following Washington’s active support of Kurdish secessionist aspirations, and Moscow’s pressures on the Turkish leadership and later pulling it to its ‘camp’ in the aftermath of the downing of the Russian fighter above the Turkish-Syrian border in 2015. Finally, yet most importantly, Iran has managed its coalition with some Sunni political Islam movements, like Hamas, even as it was fighting against radical Sunni groups inside Syria!

4-    Tehran has exploited skillfully the division and confusion within the Arab world. It has managed to succeed even in the Gulf, and made inroads with some Arab regimes who are willing to normalize relations with Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria although it has turned Syria into a base for Iranian expansion.

5-    Tehran realizes that the Israeli strategic and political ‘establishment’ is not unhappy with Iran’s destructive role in the region. With loud rhetoric and fiery slogans aside, and given the ‘real’ Israeli position towards the Syrian regime, Tehran knows that what it is perpetrating in Syria since 2011- including, sectarian displacement - serves Israeli and Western strategic aims.

All the factors above have encouraged the Tehran leadership to go further in implementing the political side of its nuclear strategy. It is imposing its political and economic hegemony over its Arab ‘neighbors’ and turning them into subservient satellites, and transforming their political regimes into copies of its own system based on the twin pillars of ‘The Supreme Guide’ and his IRGC (The Revolutionary Guards).

This was underlined recently by the Friday sermon of the Ahmad Alamolhoda, the Imam of the holy city of Mashhad, when he said: “Iran’s domain is now larger than its geographical area… Iran today is not only Iran within its geographic borders; the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq is Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon is Iran, Houthis in Yemen is Iran, the National Defense Forces militia in Syria is Iran, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine are Iran…”.

Here and now, the whole world faces an unquestionable reality. Any talk of “changing the Iranian regime’s behavior” is ludicrous; and the insistence of some European leaders to gamble on such change, let alone expecting Moscow and Beijing to drop a blackmailing card against Washington, is worse, more dangerous and more ludicrous.

The result of such a gamble has been what we have seen in Abqaiq and Khurais!

Therefore, despite the centrality of Saudi Arabia’s national will, and the Gulf and Arab security and strategic interests, the threat of the Iranian challenge goes beyond the Gulf and the Arab World. The whole world has to deal, not only with militaristic regime that encourages and instigates, but also with a future arrogant nuclear power that threatens to control the world’s largest energy reserves.

We are now at that juncture; and any reluctance in adequately confronting that challenge means acquiesce and handing over the region to Tehran, regardless of the untold reaction such a policy would have.

No one in the Arab Middle East is drumming up war, least of all the Gulf Arab countries; because conventional wisdom dictates containment as a first step, followed by deterrence. However, it is no more possible that the world continues to delude itself about “the need to avoid pushing the region into war’!

The stark truth is that we are already there. Real wars are being fought, destroying countries, tearing up societies, displacing millions, and sowing the seeds of hatred and deep historical grudges.

What is required is ending these wars, and defeating those fueling them.

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