ME Ďstrategicí balance eyed
Posted on 8/19/2006
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

THIRTY years after its Islamic revolution, one would expect Iran to have matured and stabilized as a state. On the contrary Iran has been behaving like an adventurous teenager, trying to export its revolution to the Gulf, Iraq and Lebanon. It appears Iran is aggressively following its goal of spreading its ideology in the region in an effort to become some sort of Islamic Vatican.

Iran is planning to dominate the region in the hope it can establish a new Middle East without the United States. It wants to become a local bully, who can pose a threat to not only the Gulf region but also Iraq and Lebanon. Tehran didnít hesitate to trigger the destruction of Lebanon by Israeli forces to serve its own interests. The possible threats of Iran combined with the weakening of Arab countries have made GCC states to take necessary precautionary measures. Leaders of Gulf countries are aware Iranís ultimate objective is to take over their countries to pursue the US in the region. Tehran thinks this will give it more strength while negotiating its nuclear program with the international community.

As a part of their move to create a balance in the region during these dangerous circumstances, GCC states have started intensifying and strengthening their ties with Turkey. The recent visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to Turkey was not a coincidence. It was a smart move by a wise and responsible leader to tackle the radical ideology of Iranís Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques visited Turkey to balance the equation in the region and face the strong Iran-Syria alliance, which has been the cause of the most dangerous type of terrorism and devastation in Iraq and Lebanon. In visiting Turkey, King Abdullah, the first Saudi Monarch to visit that country, has made an effort to revive the historical authority of Sunnis in the region, strengthen the ties between Turkey and GCC states and create a sense of security which can prevent any nightmare in the future.

Although GCC states have tried on many occasions to establish strong ties with Iran, we canít behave like an Ostrich and ignore the fact that Tehran has been clinging to its ideological objectives and historical Persian greed. The whole world is witness to the quality of Tehranís allies in Lebanon, the sectarian regime in Syria, and the radical and mercenary organizations in Palestine such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Syrian President Dr Bashar Al-Assad, who is a lion in Lebanon but a rabbit when it comes to the Golan Heights, is unashamedly serving Iranís ideology against the interests of Arabs. Al-Assad is following Tehraní policies like an amateur leader, who has lost his integrity and is unaware of current developments.
Those who are on the side of the new Iran must understand GCC states have started taking steps to balance the power equation in the region by establishing a strong alliance with Turkey.