Saleh ِAl-Qallab
Jordanian writer, Former Minister of Information, Minister of Culture and Minister of State. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group

Iran Calls the Shots and Assad is with a Treacherous Organizations

With the exception of Fatah, all of the Palestinian factions and organizations are manifestations of interference on the part of Arab regimes, some would say non-Arab as well, in Palestinian affairs. Despite pretenses to the contrary, Hamas, in its entirety, is unfortunately actually a card in regional players’ hands. Some have gone as far as adding international players as well, and the fact is that this is true.

As is well known, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, like his father Hafez, does not see the Palestinian factions, perhaps with the exception of Fatah, as Palestinian resistance groups. Instead, they are seen as entities and factions with nothing to do, this resistance had been established to allow some Arab regimes to intervene in the affairs of the Palestinian people… in every nook and cranny of their lives!!

Here, as the reader should also know, Bashar al-Assad, like his father Hafez, sees the Palestinian factions, perhaps with the exception of Fatah, as little more than pawns that could be used to intervene in Palestinian affairs. This is in fact obviously true and well-known. It is also clear that Arab regimes, especially those that insist that they are Marxist-Leninist, exert influence on the Palestinian Liberation Organizations mostly through factions that represent their interests.

Thus, the Syrian president, to give one of many examples, saw and continues to see Hamas as an organization that had let Syria down, indeed betrayed Syria. Nevertheless, he was obliged to engage with Hamas and accept it because of Iranian pressure from the Velayat-e Faqih. In fact, it is known that Tehran has come to see itself as responsible for most, if not all, Arab organizations, first and foremost the Palestinian ones.

The Syrian president certainly needs to “use” Hamas despite his conviction that it had let him down. He has to do so because of pressure from Iran… as it has become everything in these matters, which are extremely important. It has attained this status because the Arab world is not in the same state that it had been in. Everything has changed.

To give one example, the decision of Hamas, which the Assad regime had considered “treacherous,” “hostile” and regressive, to return to Syria, was an Iranian decision. The Velayat-e Faqih took the decision against the Syrian president’s wishes, and it continues to do so. This will continue to be the case so long as Iran sees itself as the strongest country in the entire Middle East.

Iran’s interests now come before all else, and Iran is the go-to for everything… We thus saw Hamas return to Syria despite the wishes and desires of Bashar al-Assad. The matter was out of his hands; it was an Iranian decision… Iran calls all the shots. The high-nosed Syrian president merely listens and obeys… History is not linear, and the world is constantly changing…

Like his father, Bashar wanted to stay out of trouble… However, the matter is out of his hands. Velayat-e Faqih makes the decisions, and Iran is now mending ties among some countries in the region. Damascus, the former Umayyad capital, must therefore welcome and support whatever course Velayat-e Faqih decides to take.

For this reason, Bashar al-Assad had to accept Hamas, which Damascus still calls a terrorist group because the regime sees Hamas as an armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood… because the decision at this stage is made by Iran. It is the Supreme Leader who in fact calls the shots in Tehran, and his decisions cannot be challenged in any way.

Of course, Türkiye has come to play a principal role in several issues in the region. Hamas was thus banned from conducting any military operations on Turkish territory and other places. Hamas would be better off going back to being a Muslim Brotherhood faction that has nothing to do with the Palestinian resistance.

The fact is that this region is not what it had been, and its forces are not the same forces that had been around before. The political and economic situation has changed, the parties are not what they had been, and these generations are totally different from those that preceded them.

Even in Europe, today’s societies have no links to previous societies. The story of The Ghoul, The Pegasus, and The Faithful Friend is now irrelevant. It no longer exists, and there is thus no longer a ghoul, a pegasus or a faithful friend… The coming generations know nothing of such matters, and they do not identify with this language and all these issues. Meanwhile, their elders find themselves estranged from the new realities… from these societies and their values.

For this reason, youths returning to their ancestors’ villages now find themselves estranged from their villages and societies. They don’t understand what their grandparents are talking about. Some of them think monsters and wolves are out to get them when they hear goats bleating- better run from these caves and the lines of poetry that their forefathers had stood on… When they hear that “Rushouf” is for dinner, they “burst out” laughing… falling on their chairs!!