Thursday, May 23, 2013

  • Thursday, May 23, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Nice insight from Abdullah Al-Otaibi writing in Asharq al-Awsat:

The stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the Syrian crisis has exposed many slogans that it used to attract political Islamic movements, such as the Palestinian issue, or to attract some idiot Arab nationalists, such as the resistance. It was exposed to a number of Arab writers and intellectuals, but their voices were never heard and their ideas were faulted in a recognized religious and nationalistic demagogy.

I used to think, like others, that Iran used the Palestinian issue as an ideological tool to cover Iran’s internal problems and desires to expand and have greater influence in the Arab region only after the revolution in Iran. However, I discovered while I was reading My Life, the memoirs of former Iranian president and current candidate Hashemi Rafsanjani, that this is an old trick.

Talking about the establishment of the Maktab Tashayyua Shi’ite School, which was part of the clerics’ opposition to the Shah’s rule, Rafsanjani says, “We have benefited from this process in presenting the Palestinian issue, which was forgotten, and we were able, through this process, to find new relations with the outside world and develop them.” It was an issue they adopted for two reasons, according to the former president: one was to “benefit” from it, and the other was to “find relations with the outside world,” meaning it was simply a means adopted to strengthen the position of the clerics who opposed the regime.

He confirmed the issue once again when he talked about Khomeini‘s “desire, from the early years, to adopt the Palestinian issue, and his desire to take the battle to the region, and to the world.” It was, therefore, a weapon used in an internal war that Khomeini wanted to expand through the Palestinian issue to reach the region and the world as a whole.

This historic depth of the Islamic Republic’s policies is useful for shedding light on these policies and their deep objectives, which continue until today. Their use of religion for political aims is known. The exploitation of the Palestinian issue to deceive Muslims was the same, and the deception of Arab nationalists by the resistance slogan is again the same.

These Iranian policies reflect an old, continuous and unchanging strategy, and not just a president’s impulse or the desires of the religious leader. Therefore, the results of the sham Iranian elections, regardless of who wins, will not change much in this strategy—except in the difference between a big, rough stick and a smooth one.

When drawing strategies, making long-term plans and managing crises, each crisis is an opportunity and every event is a weapon. Iran today is no longer satisfied with lifting sectarianism as slogan: it also uses it as a weapon to kill and destroy. It participates with expertise and weaponry, and with personnel and equipment, and with policies in Iraq. It also participates by inciting parties such as Hezbollah, Al-Fadl Bin Al-Abbas Brigades. It even has complicated and unending links to Al-Qaeda— something that contradicts the very foundations of the Islamic Republic.
Guess what? The Arab states care about their Palestinian brethren exactly as much as Iran does.

(h/t Zvi)

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