Obama, Iran and cold peace

The US-Gulf summit ended coldly as usual. President Barack Obama is reaching out to Iran and is passionate about supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The former has sent two letters to secretly meet with the latter.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration agreed to purchase from Iran 32 tons of heavy water, a key component in developing nuclear weapons.

This is a blatant American submission, with US House Speaker Paul Ryan saying the deal “is yet another unprecedented concession to the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism.”

Obama speaks of “cold peace” between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and an understanding on the basis that there is “neither winners nor losers.” The Obama administration’s problem is that it thinks Gulf countries are a consumer of American power.

The Obama administration’s problem is that it thinks Gulf countries are a consumer of American power

Turki Al-Dakhil

Saudi resolve

However, Saudi Arabia helped the United States topple the Soviet Union via a solid alliance and participating in organized confrontation against Communist expansion. Riyadh also helped manage the battle against the Soviets via oil.

The talks in Kuwait with Houthi rebels show that Saudi Arabia wants to achieve goals on the ground and commit to legitimate decisions such as disarming militias in order to pave the way for a secure and safe Yemen.

This is not about ideological dominance, which Iran exploits and which Obama supports it in. It is about establishing a civil region where the logic of the state and institutions prevail, not militia and gang destruction and bloodshed.

This article was first published in Okaz on April 25, 2016.
Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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