Peace ... and a deadly chess move

September 15, 2020
Tariq Al-Homayed

Whoever believes that the region has not changed after the announcement of the UAE-Bahraini-Israeli peace agreement, under the American auspices, is mistaken. To explain this scenario, we must be politically unbiased as they say you cannot look at the image when you are part of it.

To begin with, it must be said that a transformation has occurred in our region that contradicts an awareness that was shaped by our imagination and our political culture or at least by the slogans about the Israeli aggression, occupation, and expansion “from the Nile to the Euphrates”.

In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, as well as from Gaza in 2005, or what was known as “disengagement.” But since 2003, after the US invasion of Iraq, and after the assassination of Rafik Hariri in Lebanon in 2005, the scene has changed. From 2003 onward, Israel has not expanded.

But at the same time, the region witnessed several Iranian tactical moves in the form of the 2006 Lebanon war to escape the repercussions of the Hariri assassination and then the Gaza War to reinforce the resistance front and a fake opposition. The one, who carried out expansion and aggression in the Arab territories, is in fact Iran.

Iran has become an occupier, as a partner in the beginning and then an open occupier in Iraq; it has tightened control over Lebanon through Hezbollah; a “shareholder” in the occupation of Syria in cahoots with the Russians and the Turks after the Arab Spring and an invader through “financing, inciting and arming” the Houthis in Yemen.

Turkey followed in the footsteps of Iran in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, while Israel remained in the same geographical space, and without occupation, direct or indirect. And this is what is reflected in the title of this article: “Deadly chess move.”

Iran, like Turkey, through the proliferation of military bases, has tried and is trying to encircle the region from all borders with the help of agents, parties, and militias. For example, Iran consolidated Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, paralyzed Iraq with militias, changed everything in Syria, and is trying to encircle Saudi Arabia from the Yemeni side through the Houthis.

Here, the Gulf Arabs — the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — along with Israel have surprised and checkmated Iran with an amazing political move by establishing peaceful relations with neighboring countries of Iran, and other countries will follow them.

Hence, we are facing two approaches — the first is the encirclement of countries through militias and this is the Iranian approach. The second approach is the political and diplomatic outreach to Israel on the borders adjacent to Iran.

Thus, we face an Iranian gang approach in contrast with a political and diplomatic Arab-Israeli approach that shows the shortcomings and ignorance of the Iranian and Turkish regimes. The new approach called for a change in priorities with interests deciding a policy.

There has been a fatal strategic mistake on the part of the pariah Iran, not only toward Arabs but also toward the Shiites, who are trying to portray themselves as Iran’s followers, whether they are in Iraq or in Lebanon.

All this confirms that the region has changed, and the change is great, and it has implications for the Iranian-Turkish aggression and expansion targeting five Arab countries, apart from the security of the Mediterranean, with armies, militias, and puppet parties.

September 15, 2020
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