Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Open-Ended Crises and Safeguarding Arab Identity

Open-Ended Crises and Safeguarding Arab Identity

Saturday, 27 March, 2021 - 12:15

Iran and Turkey are the Arabs' neighbors. We do not undermine their civilization and history, and we respect their peoples and their beliefs. However, what happens sometimes is that this nation or that, for a period, may face problems and tribulations with the arrival of new leaders at the helm, as they come to control the fate of these peoples, who are left helpless.


The Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the mullahs' regime in Iran are two manifestations of this kind of situation par excellence. Today, they are toying with the politics of their two countries and plunging them into problems and disputes, harboring evil intentions and hatred for the Arab nation.


We don't need to demonstrate the extent to which Persian nationalism has infiltrated the Arab social fabric. We have repeatedly heard Iranian regime officials declare that Tehran has succeeded at exporting its revolution, that it is increasing its influence and has come to control political decision-making in four Arab countries through sectarian militias subordinate to it.


Let us focus on one part of foreign interference in Arab affairs. Whenever we come close to reaching a solution to a regional issue through international consensus, things suddenly become complicated. Here, you must search for the obstacles placed by Iran, which carries out the actions it condemns publicly in secret as it seeks to ensure its presence and influence in the countries it has destroyed. We don’t need to look very far.


We can take the Saudi initiative for the Yemen crisis, which the international community received with unprecedented enthusiasm. It reveals, very clearly, that the Houthis do not make their own decisions, as there are no legal or moral grounds or convincing arguments that justify the rejection of ending the war and opening the airport.


Indeed, it is the decision-maker who refused, as the Iranian military commander in Sanaa has said. It was rejected because perpetuating the status quo is in the Iranian regime's interest par excellence since this is a negotiating chip that cannot be squandered because that would prevent Iran from exploiting it without a care for the interests of Yemen and its people. If we are being honest, this confirms that Iran was and remains the main reason for the persistence of the war.


This leads us to that problem, by which I mean managing crises/alliances, whether they are within the Arab world or in the regional and international arenas. Our Arab world, for example, as is becoming increasingly apparent, has never since its liberation from colonialism been as exposed as it is today. The Arab world, in all of its 22 countries, is facing challenges - some internal and others external - that vary from country to country.


Some countries lack civil peace, while others have been infiltrated and are suffering from foreign interference by Turkey and Iran, which, with the help of abhorrent local leaders and figures, tamper with the peoples' resources and homelands. Some leaders, with their unhinged behavior, have put their ideological convictions and factional concerns above their homelands' interests, dragging their countries towards the specter of civil war and instability. Astonishingly, when Arab conflicts and problems are put forward for discussions, debate and settlements, we witness the interference, comments and presence of many parties, participants and actors, but, unfortunately, none are Arab, because the Arabs do not play an effective role.


The Arab League comes at the forefront of such ineffectiveness. It does not have the capacity to solve this or that crisis. Even though the majority of Arab countries agree on their mutual challenges and common threats, they do nothing consequential about them. This is evident in the lack of Arab strategy for dealing with challenges and threats in a manner that pushes toward a resolution or reconciliation.


The absence of an Arab strategy has deepened rifts and provided those powers, be they international or regional, with the ability to establish strategic depth to further their agendas, by putting pressure on Arab regions or areas close to them, or by deepening inter-Arab disputes and conflicts.


Observers can see that the Arab League, in its current form has shown itself to be inept, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has been eaten away and eroded. The current Arab regional system has failed to perform its basic functions, such as ensuring collective Arab security, economic cooperation or even foreign policy coordination, thereby opening the door to those regional forces to rush to fill the void.


The time has come for the international community to wake up to the dangers of Iran's actions by clipping its regional claws spread across our Arab world and standing up more forcefully to the threats they pose, in such a way that guarantees compliance to UN resolutions. It is not a question of condemnation in as much as it is a phase for weighing the dangers of Iran's actions and their severity, a phase when political pressure and economic sanctions are crucial for holding it accountable on the one hand and, on the other, waking up to the need for safeguarding Arab and national identities in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. For there is no real allegiance to the ideas of the revolutionary Shiite imam in Iran; rather, loyalty is based exclusively on material and economic benefits.


Safeguarding Arab national security can be done by confronting the projects being plotted, which would create a balance of power in the region. Thus, the presence of effective policies that can fill the gap is crucial, as is moving seriously toward internal Arab reconciliation through a road map that achieves the peoples' aspirations.


Other opinion articles

Editor Picks

Multimedia