Has Iran sold out Arab Shiites?

Sawsan Al Shaer
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Iran has started to gradually sell out Arab Shiites in exchange for negotiating to prevent re-instating economic sanctions and get the Europeans and Russians to mediate.

The Shiite groups which were lured by Iranian rhetoric are nothing but an Iranian negotiation card.


Russia has announced that Iran is ready to withdraw from southern Syria, which means it is willing to give up areas close to the Israeli border. Many Hezbollah and Arab Shiite militias were killed to reach these areas, expel Syrians from them and occupy them under the pretext of protecting the shrines! Today, Iran is offering to retreat from these southern areas in return for engaging in negotiations regarding its nuclear agreement instead of re-instating economic sanctions.

On another front, Iran has sold Yemeni Shiites (Houthis) as European mediators announced that Iran is now ready and is offering to pressure the Houthis to accept negotiations.

Now, where are the shrines that it wants to protect? Where are the control, rule and authority these groups promised under the leadership of the Imam? What will they tell the mothers who lost their sons in wars which they told them it will make them go to heaven and please Ahl al-Bayt? How does Iran give up on them so easily?

This is Iran’s real face, and this is Iran’s price of the Arab Shiites. It’s a cheap price in which they’re presented as sacrificial pawns to any side that puts Iran under pressure. When Iran’s interests are in danger, it presents its cheapest flock to be slaughtered by ordering it to retreat so sanctions are not imposed, while it’s negligent to the sacrifices that these Arabs have paid.

Arab Shiites are sacrificial pawns to be presented to any side that puts Iran under pressure.

Sawsan Al Shaer

An interesting question comes to our mind here, why were the Shiites in Azerbaijan not lured by the Iranian discourse, while Arab Shiites were?

Why didn’t Iran succeed in exporting its revolution to the Azerbaijani Shiites? Why did it succeed in exporting it to Arab countries only, although the Imam doctrine is the majority in Azerbaijan as the percentage of Shiites is more than 70% which is about 6 million people?

Iran has tried and succeeded in recruiting the poor and sending them to Syria to fight for small amounts of money after exploiting their living conditions, but it failed at recruiting Azerbaijanis and inciting them against their countries. Iran failed badly because it was strongly resisted as the Azerbaijanis are wary of Iran and does not trust it. Their relationship with Tehran has witnessed several upheavals, especially in disputed regions.

Wouldn’t those who are of our Arab and Gulf countries learn? Wouldn’t a group that was lured by the Iranian discourse and which had believed that the latter is Islamic and wants its interest learn? Don’t they see the reality before their eyes? Don’t they see the miserable situation of Arab Shiite groups which are under Iran’s influence in Arab countries, in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen and in Ahwaz?

I salute the Arab Shiites who have endured a lot in trying times and who are now leading the fight to regain control from the agents of Iran and achieving major successes. They now have the courage to confront and defend their Arabism. The circumstances are suitable for them now, and the whole international community is with them.

The Arab Shiites will always be welcomed by their countries and will always find their fellow brothers from different religions and sects welcoming them and encouraging them to revive the Arab spirit again and restore the dignity of the national identity.

This article is also available in Arabic.


Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer

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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