Iran and tensions in the region

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
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US President Donald Trump took a historic decision of withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran. He proved that the US is undoubtedly the most powerful country in human history. The president is also scheduled to meet the North Korean president in Singapore, although the date is not finalized yet.

Crown Prince exposes Iran’s crimes

Trump has crushed one of the worst agreements in history. It was an unfair agreement for both the US and Gulf countries, which were not part of it from the beginning although they are the ones who were the most affected. It was part of the many adverse policies of the Obama administration against several Arab countries as it granted the Iranian regime, which is the most evil regime in the world, an opportunity to strengthen its manufacturing of ballistic missiles and interferences in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

It was only natural that Saudi Arabia will support this decision especially that it has spearheaded international efforts to expose the Iranian regime and its crimes. The Saudi crown prince played a major role in the US taking the decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, a move that paves the way for a real confrontation with the largest terrorist regime in the world.

Iran’s earlier expansionist phase was overlooked by regional countries and the world. For the world to get rid of the madness of terrorism, the balance of power should be set right.

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

Saudis have historically held their stakes with the Western world. They have forged strong ties with US, right from the time of the historical meeting between King Abdulaziz and President Roosevelt after the end of World War II, till the recent visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US — an unprecedented visit by any leader of the world, be it with regards to the enormity of the issues or the extent of strengthening the partnership. The US decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal thus takes relations to a whole new level.

Friend of the West

Saudi Arabia’s enemies lie to the east, not to its West. Saudi Arabia was never invaded by any Western country. However, it was invaded twice by an eastern state — Turkey. The modern Saudi state was not military attacked by any Western country, but was attacked by planes in Abdel Nasser’s era and by Saddam Hussein’s missiles. Even Libya and Qatar tried to assassinate the former Saudi king. Now, the kingdom intercepts hundreds of Iranian ballistic missiles fired by the Houthi militia against its highly populated cities.

Just as Western countries, Israel never attacked Saudi Arabia militarily. Its political relations are governed by international treaties such as Camp David Accords, Wadi Araba and Oslo, for Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. The rest of Arab countries unanimously agree with the Arab peace initiative, which is originally a Saudi initiative. Consecutively, no one in the Arab world talks about a war against Israel or desires to expand and impose influence, while the opposite applies to the Iranian regime whose officials brag about their occupation of four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a, and which has not stopped sending Sunni and Shiite terror cells to Saudi Arabia and some Gulf countries. And now it seeks to expand in Africa while its devastating operations also reach as far as South America and other corners of the world.

Aside from the empty slogans and speeches by some Arab nationalists, the widows, orphans and those injured by the brutal Iranian militias in Iraq, Syria, Beirut and Yemen wish that Israel destroys every arm of the Iranian regime, its organizations and proxies as they have suffered from their crimes of forced displacement, genocide, torture, killings and use of chemical weapons.

Even citizens of Gulf countries wish that Israel wins against Iran in every battle and location, not because they love Israel, but because they hate Iran, and they are more aware than other Arabs about its policies and terrorism.

Restoring balance of power

For the balance of power to stabilize in the region, all that was overlooked in the nuclear agreement with Iran should be completely eliminated. Thus, Iran should not have the right to possess nuclear weapons not just for ten years but for another 100 years. It should completely abandon its ballistic missiles and its dream to expand. Iran should be forced to go back to looking after its citizens, and it must stop violating other countries’ sovereignty and using proxies for fighting.

Trump’s historic decision comes as a culmination of Saudi moves on various tracks that aim to confront Iranian influence by all means as part of major political, military, cultural and other historical decisions. The Iranian regime thus suffers even in the areas which it believes it has them under its control in the four Arab countries mentioned earlier. This is in addition to restraining the regime via soft and hard power.

Throughout history, powerful states have avenged from their weak leaders. This is what happened in the US with Obama and Trump. After the humiliation which Obama was forced to experience around the world, Trump came to end it, without any use of force, but only through politics. Trump has used the threat of force in all the negotiations around the world — with Russia and China, as well as with the European countries that have stayed in the nuclear agreement. The same applies to his dealings with North Korea and Iran and to the forces in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. This is proven by the fact that Americans recall images of their soldiers being publicly humiliated by Iranians, when the latter stripped them of their military uniforms and humiliated them.

The looming war

The region today is quite tense. The drums of war are beating and countries are preparing for any approaching war. No one wants a comprehensive war – although they are all getting ready for it in all means possible – and this is a prudent perspective. Eliminating Iranian terrorism needs all the power, vigor and determination.

Iran’s earlier expansionist phase was overlooked by regional countries and the world. For the world to get rid of the madness of terrorism, the balance of power should be set right. Re-ordering is necessary and there is no other option. Only the foolish fail to read major historical transformations, like the current ones, be they small or major countries around the world.

North Korea’s abandonment of its arrogance and its evil, if completed, presents a model that could be followed by Iran. It will become a model for reclaiming rogue states and compelling them to respect international laws, states’ sovereignty and international peace and security. While announcing US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, Trump hinted at the North Korean model and that it’s Iran’s only salvation in the future hence it should follow it.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

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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