MIDDLE EAST

The Iran that Europeans do not know of

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has equated the danger posed by Khamenei with that of Hitler, a threat the Europeans realized too late back then. This is an analogy that Europeans, especially the French, can resonate with pretty well.

Yes, we need to expose Iran to the European public opinion, specifically Germany and France. There is another medium through which this message should be communicated well to the Europeans, which is the North African Arabs. They are the most capable of addressing European parliaments, organizations and media outlets in a language that Europeans can better understand, as they are closer to them geographically and historically and are more related to them culturally.

The question I always ask is how did countries that were the cradle of civilizations such as Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen, the countries which I consider as the pearl of human civilization, became a prey to this regime and its destructive practices?

Sawsan Al Shaer

Persuading Europeans

Iran has gotten involved and stationed in areas that are remote from the Arab center in the Arabian Peninsula. It specifically got involved in North African regions like Algeria and created problems that North Africans had not experienced throughout their history ever since they were introduced to Islam.

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They had never witnessed Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict, but it is Iran that has introduced these conflicts and is now seeking to uproot North Africa from its Arab roots as much as it can.

Before visiting France, the Saudi Crown Prince said: “The biggest enemy in the region is the Iranian regime and not the Shiite sect.” He highlighted that Islam is totally different from what extremists are trying to promote. It is a fact that the Arab world with its Sunni majority had no problems with the Shiite minorities before the Khomeini revolution. The Sunni sect peacefully co-existed with the Shiites and granted them the freedom to practice their beliefs in all Arab countries.

We never heard about Shiite-Sunni issues, especially in North Africa, until Khomeini came. Thus, the problem is not sectarian, but it became so after Iran’s involvement.

Algerian-Iranian relations

Former Prime Minister of Algeria and Chairman of the Arab Islamic Solidarity Committee Sid Ahmed Ghozali recently said: “(I am speaking) as an Algerian citizen who does not serve any political trend or movement. The cause which I believe in and commit to is the cause of the people who have been taken hostage by the most dangerous regime in the world.

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The path I am taking is not a theoretical or intellectual one; but rather it stems from my personal beliefs and experiences. It is based on my experience in Algeria with Iran, whether during the Shah’s era or even the new regime, which claims to be ‘Islamic,’ until the phase when we cut ties with it. I have known the Iranians since the Shah’s era. Our relation with Iran back then was cold…I have also known them through (OPEC).”

“After the revolution, Algeria was against the war against Iran and stayed neutral during the Iraqi-Iranian war. Algeria also played the role of an honest mediator in solving the American hostage issue, between the US and Iran. In spite of all this, we later learnt that the Iranians were working through their networks inside Algeria.

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They began to lure and recruit Algerian youths by promoting Nikah al-Mut’ah (pleasure marriage),” Ghozali said, adding that Ali Akbar Velayati, then-Iranian foreign minister, bluntly told him: “You allowed the Salafists from Saudi Arabia to work on promoting Wahhabism in your country so allow us to promote for Shia!”

“After that we knew that they were supporting terrorists with money, training them and politically supporting them so we severed ties. President Boudiaf decided to sever ties as per a suggestion from my government. Ties were severed after Boudiaf was assassinated,” he added.

Iran’s conspiracies

“I have no doubt that the Iranian regime thrives on destabilizing other countries, and pushes all countries to instability. It wants to exploit Islam and Shiites…to control all Islamic countries,” Ghozali also said, noting that “Iran’s theocracy claims to be Islamic, but it has killed the largest number of Muslims, (more) than any other country in modern times. There is no doubt that there is no solution for the Arab and Islamic countries except to eliminate this cancerous tumor which defines itself as wilayat al-faqih regime.”

“The Iranian regime sees itself as a guardian of the Arab and Islamic countries, and it works to flagrantly interfere in these countries and to export terrorism and sectarian wars. Unfortunately, Western policy also supports it in this regard.

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The question I always ask is how did countries that were the cradle of civilizations such as Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen, the countries which I consider as the pearl of human civilization, became a prey to this regime and its destructive practices? When we look at these countries, we see in each, the hand of the Iranian regime behind all ordeals, wars and destruction, as it was in Algeria in the late 1980s and 1990s,” the former PM said.

“Yes, our elites must wonder: how did countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen which were considered as the most important centers of human civilization, turn into an arena for killing, terrorism, wars and tragedies, behind which stands Iran’s theocracy?” Ghozali inquired.

Such a speech knows how to persuade the Europeans and reach their ears, better than our speech does. We have to unite our efforts and arrange meetings with the Arab North Africa who knows Iran as well as us to make their voices heard in Europe.

This article is originally published in Arabic.

_______________________
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets @sawsanalshaer.

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Last Update: Friday, 20 April 2018 KSA 14:29 - GMT 11:29
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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