Iran and its priorities of hostility

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During the end of the 1970s, the region was faced with two sharp contradictory models: the Egyptian-Israeli peace, and the Khomeinist Revolution creating a “turban” state and transforming politics in the region from the art of possible into a fatwa of halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden.)

At that time, the Arabs boycotted Egypt in defense of the Palestinian cause, but they found themselves boxed in with fetters around them as the Khomeini regime unleashed his ambitious political Islam coupled with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and that was labeled then as “jihad.”

At that time, the region was facing an Iranian revolution that claimed to be Islamic, the resurgence of political Islam, the jihad in Afghanistan, the Iraqi-Iranian war, and the trading with the Palestinian cause.

It was a distinctive phase, dealing a big blow to political rationality and it continued until the fall of Saddam’s regime, and before that, there was the wave of international terrorism, sponsored by Tehran. But Iran did not fight Israel, in fact, it didn’t even fire a single bullet. On the other hand, Iran invaded our region with militias, unleashing the hateful sectarian virus.

Iran encircled the Gulf with unnatural border issues with regard to Iraq and Yemen, and created an outlet for itself along the Mediterranean through Hezbollah’s weapons, and despite all that, Iran has not fired even a single direct bullet at Israel!

But what happened was quite the opposite. Iran was filling the void of every Israeli withdrawal with groups and militias in Lebanon and Gaza, and trying to do in the West Bank too. Despite all this, Iran did not fight Israel, because it does not want to confront the enemy, but it rather used it as an excuse to expand in the region.

The reason for this is the Iranian conviction that this expansion would force Israel and the West, as did former President Obama, to negotiate and divide the region.

Of course, Iran does not want any Arab-Israeli war, because that weakens its position. Likewise, Iran does not want any Arab-Israeli peace process, because that amounts to the encirclement of Iran. Hence, it is in its interest to keep the region in a state of no war and no peace that would allow it to go out and outbid the Arab countries.

All of the above are glaring facts and not analytical reading. The tumultuous period was followed by the Arab Spring and the Iranian-American nuclear agreement, the straw that broke the camel’s back. It led to a strategic shift in a region that was confused about its real enemy, Iran, or Israel?

The answer is clear today in positions taken by countries in the region, and not in the analysis. As for the Palestinians, their fatal mistake was always to allow themselves to be used as cards in the hands of Iran, Gaddafi, Saddam, and now Erdogan and the Qatari childish ambition.

Therefore, Iran’s options are now limited — either cooperate with Turkey to attack the region — and this is costly — or achieving peace with Israel, which will end the legitimacy of Tehran and its militias in the region.

And Iran cannot stand alone. Consequently, Iran’s logical choice is to achieve an agreement with the US, but for that, there is Israel between it and the US. In fact, the region is changing and expanding the areas of peace and normalization. In a nutshell, Iran does not have any easy options, which proves that the rope of lies in our region is a long one.


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