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General

De-Trumping Persian Gulf

– Besides the issues of US return to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and termination of illegally-imposed, unjust sanctions, which are Iranian officials’ present-day concerns, Donald Trump’s heritage in West Asia, and especially in the Persian Gulf is in need of planning to encounter, deep contemplation, and farsightedness.

Those developments are taking place under such conditions that the world is shocked by the antagonist transfer of power in the United States, occupation of the US Congress by Trump’s supporters after his intriguing them to do riot, talks in Congress about impeaching Trump and how to end his tenure at the White House that has gained momentum following those developments.

But it seems as if there are more serious concerns for Iran. Two major developments that started during the last months of Trump administration and under his direct guidance aimed at further tightening the ring of pressure against Iran in the Persian Gulf region included providing for a comprehensive peace between the Arab world and Israel, ending the siege of Qatar and the imposed sanctions against that country.

One of the most important developments in the Middle East during Trump’s tenure was the issuance of the joint communique of Israel and the UAE on Aug 13, 2020, alias the ‘Abraham Agreement’. Emirates and Bahrain were the first two countries in this new round of normalizing ties with Israel, and Donald Trump was the mediator in a ceremony held at the White House on that occasion.

During the course of the past few weeks, too, Trump increased pressure on countries involved in the siege of Qatar to end it, and Saudi Arabia that has lost its strong supporter at the White House is now worried about the policies of the new US President Joe Biden against Riyadh, and therefore, it rushed before the other countries for normalizing ties with Doha.

Last Tuesday on Jan 5, the 41st Meeting of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council hosted by Saudi Arabia was convened and atop the agenda of the meeting there was reconciliation among all PGCC member states. Six countries participated in that meeting that was held in KSA’s Al-Ula city.

Saudi Arabia that does not care much either about its international prestige or about its national pride imposed its will over the other countries that had cooperated with it in the siege of Qatar and had devised a 13-article list of conditions for Qatar for lifting the siege in the year 2017, forcing them all to end the siege and the entire sanctions unconditionally!

Although none of the Saudi regime’s partners dared to express opposition against that illogical approach fearing falling prey to new segregation, but the immediate departure of the Egyptian foreign minister, whose country once claimed to be the leader of the Islamic world, from Al-Ula, showed that behind the scene of this illogical retreat there was not quite an amicable and free atmosphere from bitter complaints.

At any rate, besides the details of the abovementioned developments, the important point is the aftermaths of those two developments in the Persian Gulf in the near future for Iran. There is no doubt that both agreements reached in the course of the past couple of months have been devised against Iran and aimed at strengthening the Persian Gulf Arab states’ solidarity against Tehran. Particularly, the Abraham Agreement that has been reached in direct contrast against the joint Islamic World ideal, and of course Iran’s basic strategy, and has besides opened the path for Israel, Iran’s number one enemy, to the Persian Gulf security system and the sensitive and strategic gate of the Strait of Hurmuz.

Although these threats are quite serious it seems as though the Islamic Republic of Iran has numerous ways for countering them.

First of all, it is not Iran, alone that is opposed to Arab countries’ comprehensive peace with Israel. The pressure of the Islamic World public opinion, staging numerous anti-Israeli demonstrations in those countries that have signed peace treaties with the Zionist regime, and fear of those US allies, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from normalizing ties with Israel shows that despite the cold silence on the part of the heads of most Islamic countries in this respect, normalizing of ties with Israel is still considered a type and taboo in the Islamic World.

Therefore, it is the Islamic World public opinion, and not merely Iran’s will, that is the greatest obstacle in the way of normalizing ties with Israel, especially now that both Donald Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are among the main designers of this plan are no longer at the scene of the US political developments.

That is while if president-elect Joe Biden will intend to follow suit of his predecessor, he will put the focus of his admiration’s attention on peace between the Palestinians and Israel, ignoring Tel Aviv's never-ending, problematic, expansionist tendencies.

Therefore, the Islamic Republic can adopt a cultural and media diplomacy, aimed at supporting the Islamic World public opinion and the regional nations’ will for severing ties with the Zionist regime thru the means of imposing soft power, thus blocking the path for continuity of the Persian Gulf sheikdoms and other Islamic countries’ tendencies for normalizing ties with Israel.

But regarding the Al-Ula Agreement and Qatar’s return to the Arab countries embracing arms, we must admit that this peace, despite its objectives behind the scene, is not something against Iran’s regional policies. The Islamic Republic of Iran has throughout the past decades always emphasized the need for détente and ending tension among regional countries.

Iran had also proposed the establishment of a Comprehensive Persian Gulf Regional Peace Council and can now get bonuses from its contributions to Qatar during its three years of being sieged.

Under the current conditions Qatar, Kuwait and Oman are the three counties that observe greater lenience in encountering Iran, and show greater potentials for regional tension-decreasing negotiations. Iran’s policy during the course of the next few months should be focused on holding negotiations with those countries aimed at halting the process of naturalizing ties with Israel in the Persian Gulf region, and instead, designing a regional security system for this very strategic passage.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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