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Despite the presence of so many transnational problems, Iran’s nuke program and the Syrian dilemma are by far the most controversial issues on the international political theater. Navigating away from discussing over again the machinated failure of the international community to stop the first massacre of the 21st century (the terrorizing civil-sectarian-regional war in Syria) and contain its long-acting disastrous consequences on world peace, toward another Middle Eastern hot water: Iran.
The crucial issue presently in dispute across the world is whether the recent nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 will really end the ongoing nuclearization process of the Islamic Republic of Iran or not. Here and there, most of the roaming queries revolve about the applicability and continuity of such touch-and-go bargain. Though the mainstream questioning is pertinent to Iran’s deal, the primary question should rather be about why Islamic Iran is overeager to acquire superior capabilities, nuclear and conventional alike.
Western countries at large ideate the Geneva agreement as the best peaceful way to defuse Iran’s nuclear operations and impel the unruly state to play in accord with international rules. While, almost all Middle East governments, including Israel, are very skeptical about Iran’s intent, much more about its full abidance of this penalty-free agreement in the long run. They reason out this deal as an Iranian tricky chess move or game timeout upon which they can inject more oil dollars into their dry economy. This incredulity, however, is because Middle East top policy makers reckon that Iran’s stealthy goal is all about establishing a Persian pan-Shiite empire through which they can have dominance over the Middle East.
Considering such contradictory viewpoints, truth seekers find themselves stimulated to conduct an extensive research so as to verify the verity of these serious suspicions. During that search, they come across many political leaders and intelligence analysts who argue for and against Iran-west nuclear deal. However, they also find that only few leading politicians and political theorists have openly discussed the possible motives behind the current wild militarization process and nuclear programs of oil-rich Iran. Likewise, a small number of political analysts and observers have explored whether there are ideological reasons for this unprecedented Iranian political and military interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries—let alone digging up why Iran interferes in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
While piles of scratch-the-surface analyses about Iran’s strategy overfilled the media, Iranian leaders and senior mullahs were those who delivered straight answers about their long-term objectives. With a brief chronological review of Iran’s public declarations, as of Khomeini’s revolution in 1979 as yet, one can find that Iranian leaderships and dominant mullahs have always proclaimed one Islamic rationale or another for their confrontational political track and militarization process. They clearly declare, now as then, that they aim to cleanse Jerusalem of the Zionists, obliterate Israel from existence and recapture Muslims’ land (Palestine) from the infidels. Distinctly, Iranian officials and religious leaders correlate Iran’s strategy with some divine notional battle of combating anti-Muslim satanic powers (namely as declared: the “Great Satan” (U.S.,) and its diabolic godson (Israel) along with many masked Arab coconspirators), who are sought to undermine the rise of true Muslims—Islamic Iran, first of all.
Within that context, it is not hard to conclude that the Islamic Republic of Iran has religiously obligated itself to acquire overpowering force (from developing nuclear capabilities, heavy weaponry, long-range missiles, etc. to the mobilization of pro-Iranian groups abroad) in order to overmatch anti-Iran forces. Toward that goal, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard do all tricks to fund and support rebellious Arab-Shiite factions, most of whom are ideologically primed to follow the Iranian Shiite path and, most importantly, Ayatollah’s commands. On top of that, they heavily arm a number of Arab militant groups and paramilitary Shiite parties—like the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas brigade, for example, and provide unlimited military support to the two Shiite-led Arab regimes—Syria and Iraq.
On the face of it, Iran’s proponents argue that it is a power struggle between two regional rivals—mainly between Iran and Saudi Arabia— owed to some national interests. Other advocates foresee Iran’s activities as unavoidable response to guard the interests of Arab Shiite minority from the injustice and intimidation of Arab Sunnite majority. It might also surface as an Iranian struggle to ensure political independency, maintain national security and preserve territorial integrity. Keeping in mind that Iran’s diplomats tend to argue that the nuclear process is meant to provide their country with the necessary alternatives in order to avoid depending on oil-based energy resources.
However, Iran’s opponents argue that none of those considerations is valid. For them, it is so, firstly, because the Islamic republic is practically in conflict with almost all Arab countries, not with one or two states—let alone all western countries.
Secondly, it is so because modern history of Arabs and Iranians demonstrates that Arabs were relatively moderate in dealings with their fellow Shiite minorities (92.5 % Arab Sunni to 7.5 % Arab Shia) compared with Iran’s documented oppression of their Sunni citizens (9% of Iran’s population). It is worthy to add that Shiite Arabs still enjoy much more relaxed settings than Iranian Sunnis do, even after the harmful Iranian meddling in Arab affairs,
Thirdly, apart from discussing how and who triggered the Iraq-Iran war, opposers of Iran affirm that no Arab state has ever posed a threat to Iran’s national interests and territories, or instigated and armed the underprivileged Iranian Sunnis or sent out militant groups to fight for Sunni’s confiscated rights on Iran land. Whereas, it is the Islamic Republic who actually emplaces out its revolutionary guards and/or commands pro-Iran armed militant groups to fight Iran’s nonaligned Arabs in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Bahrain, for example. Taking all into account, it is the Iranian side which incessantly reasserts historic claims for Bahrain, and dauntingly precludes United Arab Emirates from extending its sovereignty over Abu Musa, as well as the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands— not to discuss Iran’s dormant claims for parts of Iraq and Kuwait.
Fourthly, it is mind numbing to listen to Iran officials and propagandists proclaim having a fight with the so-called “Great Satan” and devilish Israel, while Iran forces are taking a lead part, directly and indirectly, in fighting only Muslims (in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, for example). This is also because in reality Islamic Iran has never fought by its own forces any of its alleged diabolic enemies when it had a chance. Instead, it eased up and made way to U.S “satanic” forces to invade Iran’s neighboring Muslim nations (Iraq and Afghanistan)— let alone why the “Islamic” Iran retains covert ties with most “satanic” western countries (Irangate and the Israeli connection was just a warm up).
Last not least, it is naive to believe that the world’s fourth largest oil producer and home for 10% of the global proven oil reserves is in urgent need to acquire nuclear capabilities just to divert their energy resources. In addition to that, it is irritating to hear Iranian officials relate their nuclear program and provocative strategy to the quest for national security and independency; meanwhile they jeopardize the national security and infringe the sovereignty of other countries.
A systematic analysis of the actualized facts should lead us to question why the Iranian mullahs hold this aggressive will to power. More precisely, what is the Islamic Republic of Iran really wants to achieve from such an obsessive militarization process? And, why Iran is in constant confrontation with the Arab world? Could it be because they intend to actualize their 1300-years-old Shiite dream of mastering the Arab Muslim world?
A look at the cancerous elements of the historic Shia-Sunni conflict and its aftermath, the hostile undertakings of Shiite Iran and Arabs’ uncertain status quo, one has to conclude that it is an undeclared war between political Shiism and political Sunnism–though by proxies. To name things by its name, it is all about the ascendency of Shiism, thus and so the dominance of Persia over the Middle East. In any political setting, it is a power struggle between Shiite extremists and moderate political Sunnis, now turned into a war between pro-Iran paramilitary Shiite radicals and a complex of combatant Salafi movements, which will blow out the entire region.
Alas, if the current craziness is not to be brought to a safe ending soon, this sectarian wild fire will spread in all directions to burn down all, even those who think they are safe.
Perhaps Muslims, Shia and Sunnis alike, should read the history of some flourishing nations to realize that they will never overcome their general backwardness as long as religious fanaticism, hatred and violence are their walk of life. Be it Persians or Arabs, none will rise again as long as racism and vengeance are what they live for. Taking that into consideration, secularization, democratization and human development should be the means and objectives to discontinue living in dark ages. Otherwise, living in the dark ages they will continue.
Author’s Note: This article is also published at Arabian Gazette