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Us against the game of axes

Sometime before World War II, it was said that tensions and conflicts in the Middle East were due to colonizing over 60 percent of its areas. After WWII and after most colonization ended, the severity of conflicts worsened and most of the blame was cast on the struggle between the western and Soviet camp during the Cold War.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in the beginning of the 1990s and when only one superpower remained, new wars happened in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. Crises also surfaced in Egypt, Algeria, southern Yemen and Eritrea. Back then, it was said all this was due to political vacuum.

Later on, the vacuum ended with Moscow’s return to the arena. Wars expanded and became more dangerous than ever as borders and red lines were no longer respected. Many were killed, injured and displaced as a result. The civil wars’ destruction was worse than the destruction of all of the wars in the past 50 years.

The region’s crisis

We can therefore conclude that the region’s crises are not a result of one model of international conflicts and that the region itself has a high tendency for wars and crises. East Europe’s wars ended as a result of the two camps’ agreement during the Cold War. When the Soviet camp collapsed, the situation – via European cooperation – was rearranged with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Before that, there were also arrangements in Southeast Asia following the Americans’ defeat in Vietnam. The situation in the entire region, including in Indonesia and Malaysia, was rearranged. This is in addition to supporting South Korea. A unified Vietnam even returned to cooperating with the West.

What does the Middle East region need to become more stable? The region still poses a threat to itself and the world! Ever since the 1980s, there has been a belief that Iran is the primary source of regional tension and chaos while Saddam Hussein’s regime came second. The latter was toppled and Iraq was rid of the formula of regional evil. Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi was also toppled but Iran remained the number one source of chaos.

What if the world succeeds and the Iranian regime is forced to alter its behavior and end its hostility? In this case, there is no doubt that the region will have a better chance for comprehensive peace

Abdulrahman al-Rashed


Consecutive American administrations sought to reassure the Iranian regime that despite the disagreements between them, they aim to contain its hostile activities and end its spread of extremism and terrorism, i.e. discipline its behavior and not alter its political regime like the case was in Iraq and Libya.

Axes shift

What if the world succeeds and the Iranian regime is forced to alter its behavior and end its hostility? In this case, there is no doubt that the region will have a better chance for comprehensive peace. The major source of chaos and terrorism which has funded organizations for decades will thus be eliminated.

For the first time in its modern history, the Middle East may have its first chance to live without disturbances. Most of the chaos today is directly or indirectly linked to Iran, like the case is with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Iraq’s extremist militias, Houthi militias in Yemen and other groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bahrain.

Can regional and international powers agree to confront the truth which is that Iran is the source of failure, chaos and wars in the region? Will they realize that it’s absurd to pursue Iran’s small agents and that it’s best to directly confront the machine of evil?

One of reasons the Tehran regime succeeded was playing on regional contradictions. It claimed to defend the region’s Islamic and humanitarian causes; however, it consumed them all and it’s now the most hated state popularly.

Tehran, in alliance with Russia and by blackmailing China, still plays the card of international conflict in the region. Fortunately, the region’s countries are aware of the problem. They don’t want to revive international camps and they’re trying to convince Moscow of not being dragged behind Tehran’s regime and of not getting engaged in the game of axes; the Washington axis and Gulf countries against the Moscow axis with Iran.

If countries in the region succeed in obstructing these axes currently being formed, they will finally defeat Iran and will thus lead Iran to the right path. Without alliances, Tehran’s absurd game which harmed the Iranian people as well as the region’s communities will end.

This article is also available in Arabic
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Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 25 April 2017 KSA 14:51 - GMT 11:51
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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