When a nation, which is a founding member of the United Nations, is continuously attacked by another member via proxies, fifth columns and sleeping cells, what is the responsibility of the world community?
My country has been targeted by neighboring Iran for decades. Since the establishment of the theocratic regime on the other side of the Arabian Gulf, we have been on the receiving end of all kinds of meddling in our internal affairs, support of local and foreign terrorists and the execution of terrorist attacks.
When the Khomeini regime took over our eastern neighbor, Iran, it established a constitution based on exporting the so-called “Islamic” revolution to the rest of the world, starting with neighboring “Muslim” countries. The idea is to convert Sunnis to Jafari Shiites (who believe in Khomeini as the Deputy of the Absent Imam, and the new Caliph of all Muslims “Al Wali Al Faqih”).
At the same time, they encouraged Shiite minorities in other countries to follow the same “Reference” instead of their traditional references in Holy Karbala and Najaf, Iraq. In return, their Iranian Supreme Leader would help them revolt, rule their countries, and join the new Caliphate.
No time was wasted. The followers did revolt in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, and later on in Nigeria and Yemen. They succeeded in opening the gates to direct Iranian influence, including military influence in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. They are still in the process of grouping, organizing and evangelizing in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Somalia, Indonesia and anywhere they can. Some governments, such those in Malaysia and Sudan, understood the true nature of Iranian “peaceful” political and religious activities. They eventually discovered the real goals behind such sectarianism and evangelism, and shut them down. (Does this remind you of Marxist cells?)
In the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, right after the revolution of 1979, some Shiites went out in a rampage demonstration, and until today, some followers of the Shiite Caliph receive training and direction, arms and cash, to spy, recruit, sabotage and attack oil and government facilities, as well as security forces. The same has happened in Bahrain and Kuwait, as more and more terrorist cells, and arms shipments and deposits are discovered.
Since the 1980s, our diplomats and diplomatic missions from Turkey to the Philippines have been attacked by Iranian agents. Saudi citizens have been assassinated, kidnapped and threatened everywhere, even including Saudi diplomats and Shiite tourists in Iran. And our society is still targeted by incitement, drugs and arms exports by Hezbollah and Houthis.
For the last three years, Iranian short- and long-range missiles have been threatening our cities and citizens every day. In Yemen, Iranian militias trained by the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, are committing war crimes against us as well as against their own people. As documented by the US, UN and the Security Council, Iranian-made and smuggled weapons of mass destruction are being used by Houthi militias in these attacks, in savage violation of Security Council resolutions.
Protecting our sovereignty
We took all legal means of protestation and went to all lengths of international law. The Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United Nations and the Security Council were all informed and supportive of our position. Yet, here we are, 40 years later, in the same jam, facing the same threats and dangers!
So the questions that have been begging for answers for decades are: Where do we go from here, and what do we do to protect our sovereignty, unity and peace? If the world that vowed after World War II to have a zero tolerance for tyrants like Hitler and aggressors, such as Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Colonial Japan, is comfortable enough appeasing Iran with the nuclear deal, happy enough doing business with them, and lazy enough to provide us with no more than lip service, what are we supposed to do as a law-abiding peaceful member of the world community? Do we just keep protecting ourselves from the attacks as they come? Do we continue to believe in and support world organizations? Do we keep sending more complaints and requests for action in the hope that one day, the world community will respond?
It seems that the world will only interfere when one takes the law into one’s own hands and responds to enemies in kind. Certainly, we cannot wait for more Iranian-made ballistic missiles to rain down on our cities and towns, and Iranian terrorists to attack us on every front. If the world police do not take action, then we must take it!
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi