Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Can Iran’s Behavior Be Controlled?!

Can Iran’s Behavior Be Controlled?!

Sunday, 10 February, 2019 - 09:00
Salman Al-dossary
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper
As revealed by Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday, the conference on peace and security in the Middle East - to be held in Warsaw this month in the presence of 79 countries - is expected to produce six different committees to “control Iran’s behavior in the Middle East.”

This indicates that the Warsaw conference will be different from all previous unsuccessful attempts to control the aggressive Iranian behavior in the region, which affects the entire world.

This broad meeting is aimed at forming an alliance against Iran that parallels the international coalition against ISIS. It is the most serious step in nearly 10 years, just before the reign of Barack Obama, which was the most beautiful honeymoon in the history of Iran’s relations with the world since Khomeini came to power in 1979.

All the international momentum against Iran in the previous period has not succeeded in pushing for a real change in Tehran’s behavior, with the exception of the sanctions imposed on the country by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Therefore, the Warsaw conference is seen as a dividing line between the continuation of the Iranian regime’s disruptive behavior and world-approved decisive practical steps to stop it.

For example, sanctions on Iran remain without any value if its missile weapons programs are not halted. Only then, can we say that the US sanctions succeeded. Iran is not only fighting Saudi Arabia or the countries of the region, it is also waging a proxy war against the United States, not to mention its direct responsibility for the thousands of deaths in Yemen.

Here we point to an important position by Graham Jones, a member of parliament for the British Labor Party and chairman of the Arms Export Control Committees of the House of Commons, who said that the biggest burden of blame in the Yemeni war lies mainly with Iran, not the West and Saudi Arabia. He added that the cause of the disaster in Yemen was not air raids, but “an economic collapse problem created by the mismanagement of the economy by violent illegal and occupying militia.” Of course, these militias would not have continued to invade the legitimate power without the support they receive from Iran.

Iran’s dilemma is that it operates according to its ideological principles rather than the interests of its people. If the state, any state, acts against the interests of its own citizens, then it can do anything against its neighbors and its surroundings. Who believes that Iran, the oil country rich in resources, rivers and natural wealth, was in the 1970s better than current G20 members Indonesia and Saudi Arabia?

As the country commemorated this year the 40th anniversary of its miserable revolution, around 30 percent of the people, equivalent to 24 million, live below the poverty line, while Iranian oil is looking for buyers, inflation feeds popular protests, the limited resources have been wasted on the nuclear program, and the Iranian riyal has lost about 75 percent of its value since 2018.

Controlling Iran’s behavior will not only benefit its neighbors and help stabilize the region and the world, but will also contribute in improving the Iranian citizens’ living conditions and lifting the shadow of a regime that exploited for 40 years the wealth of the country and tried to export a failed revolution.

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