Insecurity for Iran not translated into others' security

TEHRAN, Jul. 12 (MNA) – Referring to efforts being made by the US and Tel Aviv to create an anti-Iran alliance in the region, Prof. Entessar advises some regional kingdom regimes to be aware that they are living in glass houses.

US President Joe Biden’s first trip to the Middle East since taking office will run from Wednesday, July 13, through Saturday, July 16. It serves as an opportunity for the US administration to improve relations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh, which Biden initially vowed to make a “pariah state.”

While Biden took a hard line with Saudi Arabia in November 2019, vowing to make Riyadh and MBS “pay the price” for approving the 2018 killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the global fuel crisis may lead the US president to adopt a more diplomatic approach in dealing with the oil-rich kingdom’s leadership.

Biden will also travel to the Occupied Lands of Palestine and the West Bank to discuss a number of “challenges” facing the Middle East, including stalled US-Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, food crises exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, the Syrian civil war, and “human rights standards,” according to Biden’s July 9 op-ed in the Washington Post.

It is also reported that a new anti-Iran regional alignment between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries is going to be discussed during the upcoming US president’s regional tour. 

To shed light on the issue, Mehr News has reached out to Nader Entessar, professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama.

Here is the full text of the interview with him:

We have never seen a successful alignment among regional Arab countries during the past decades. For example, Arab League was created to defend Palestine but failed to do so. Why?

The full answer to your question requires extensive analyses and an exhaustive answer. However, the short answer is that unity has long eluded what is referred to as 'the Arb world." Even during the height of Arab nationalism and Nasserism, fissures among the Arab states prevented these countries to form a cohesive bloc. The term "Arab world" is a misnomer because we are talking about countries that have different, and many times, contradicting agendas. Charles Isswi, the late prominent Egyptian economist and historian of the Middle East who taught at Columbia University and Princeton University in the United States, compared the Arab world to Latin America where the common language and geographic contiguity do not translate into cohesion or unity of purpose. This disunity has been manifested in the history of the Arab League.  In the early years, the member states tried to use the tragedy of Palestine as a unifying force and paid lip service to the Palestinian cause. They have now abandoned their pretensions and Palestine has become a footnote to the Arab League's agenda today. In fact, the Arab League is, for all intents and purposes, moribund and is a skeleton of its past.  

Now, with the help of the US, Tel Aviv is trying to create an anti-Iran alignment with some Arab countries. Don’t you think that this initiative is dead-born? Why?

Establishing a workable anti-Iran regional alignment has been in the works for some time now. With the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and countries like the UAE, and Bahrain, steps are being taken to solidify the anti-Iran front.  Although Saudi-Israeli relations have not been formalized officially, there is a question that Riyadh is an important member of the anti-Iran initiative. Such an initiative will help Israel carry out its regional ambitions much more than it will help the Arb states of the region. The Arab states will serve as conduits and facilitators of Israel's grand design, a design that will redound to their own detriment in the long term.

As Iran considers any alignment with Israel a threat, do you think that some regional Arab countries are ready to antagonize Iran?

Some Arab states (e.g. UAE, and Saudi Arabia) have already engaged in hostile acts against Iran's national security in a variety of forms.  So, they have already been well on their way to adopting policies and positions that are designed to antagonize Iran. What they have failed to realize is that they live in glass houses whose tenuous foundations are built on shifting sands.

Generally, can such a provocative move help maintain regional security or it can aggravate the fragile stability in the region? 

Some Arab regimes have developed a zero-sum view of regional security.  That is, they have defined their security in terms of Iran's insecurity. This is a misguided and dangerous view that has added tension and insecurity in the region.  What these regimes need to recognize is that creating insecurity for Iran cannot translate into long-term security for themselves.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 188988


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