I was trying to clarify the positions of the Gulf states on main Middle Eastern issues, and to explain the differences of opinion in some areas, such as Egypt and Syria, when my Algerian friend announced: The Gulf position is one … regardless of details! Unlike in the Maghreb union and other Arab regional blocs in modern history, GCC states are but one entity!
I confirmed the validity of her impression, and reminded of the European Union, which, despite the occasional divergence in some policies, they are one big family. The mechanisms they created would take care of opinion or interest differences in orderly fashion.
Yes, the Gulf is one entity, and perhaps it is on the way to full unity. Times prove this fact to our friends and foes at every turn. Those in Tehran who betted on the breakup of our alliance and tried to penetrate it by drawing closer to some of its members, thought at some point that they succeeded.
The Arab Alliance in Yemen woke them up. So was the unified position on all issues, such as the unity of Yemen and the legitimacy of its leadership, and the solidarity against the coup forces and the advocates of separation. They were also shocked by our success in building up Islamic and international coalition in the face of their threats to global peace and security. The alliance is getting stronger by the day, as more evidence exposed Iranian sponsorship of terrorism. It is clearer now who was creating and supporting terrorist organizations, whether Sunni or Shiite, from Daesh (the so-called IS) and Al-Qaeda to Hezbollah and Al- Hashad Al-Shaabi.
Those who believed in Iran’s good intentions after the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, or were fooled by its “doves and falcons” play, “reformers and hardliners” act, came to realize later the truth about its schemes and true intentions.
Actions test words, and facts expose lies. Iran’s behavior in the region was enough evidence, but fortunately its leaders helped too with their arrogant declarations and hasty policies, after believing their mission was succeeding in controlling four Arab capitals—Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.
Thus, it is clear to those who betted on reforming the Iranian regime from within that the Constitution of the Republic and Khomeini’s commands do not allow for any leader to break away from the Safavid ultimate project. This is a project formulated by a clearly defined ideological doctrine, stipulating that Islam is confined to the Twelver Jaafari school of thought. The rest of us are infidels who must adhere to the their sect. The Muslim world, including Makkah and Madinah, must be united under the leadership of the supreme leader and the deputy of the absent imam. Their mission is to prepare the world for the return of the “savior imam,” who has disappeared in a tunnel hundreds of years ago, and should reappear before the end of time.
A sign of the international community awakening and resolve is how the United States ended an eight-year “secret understanding” with Iran to conclude an agreement that gave the rogue nation a free hand in the region. Instead, the Trump administration has decided to rehabilitate its time-tested alliance with the Gulf and allied Arab and Muslim states, such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey.
This shift was manifested in stronger cooperation with the Arab Alliance in the liberation of Yemen and the securing of international waterways in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The latest manifestation of this change of track was the announcement by US President Donald Trump about his choice of Saudi Arabia as the first stop of his first tour since taking office. During the visit, he is to meet with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Gulf, Arab and Islamic leaders. The US president emphasized the importance of Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Arabism and Islam, and its leading role in the Arab and Muslim world, as well as, in global politics, economy and security. He rightly decided that the Land of Islam is the most effective platform for communicating with the Muslim public, especially the youth, and for combating terrorism.
Yes, our Gulf is one… It is about time our bully neighbor puts its hopes and doubts to rest! We will face them as one! And as one we shall prevail!
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi