Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

‘Attacking Iran Could Backfire Badly’

July 22, 2008

[Shipping Lanes in the Strait of Hormuz]

Comment: The Iranian problem: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

“But Moshe Ma’oz an Israeli Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem… told The Middle East Times that any attack on Iran would be an “absolute disaster.”

“I doubt very much that Iran will attack first. All the Iranians need to do is close the Gulf of Hormuz and thereby threaten the West’s supply of oil if they want to flex their muscles. They will not strike first but if attacked their ability to retaliate on a significant scale is worrying,” explained Ma’oz…” Click for full article


‘Keeping Iran away from ‘members-only’ Arab club’

March 29, 2008


No, the Iraq war didn’t spread freedom, democracy and stability like a tidal wave across the Middle East, as we were told it would. But let’s not be overly critical here — it succeeded in precipitating the spread of other things, like millions of refugees, terrorism, suicide bombings and Iranian influence.

(Haaretz) — “But it is not the Lebanese crisis only that shows signs of Iranian involvement: Iraq is also under Iranian influence, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia have virtually no leverage there, and Sudan also maintains close ties with Iran. Egypt’s fear is that Iran is building a web of diplomatic influence among Egypt’s neighbors, and thereby building itself up as a rival to the Arab club – and especially to members of what is known as the moderate axis…” Click for full article

Relations Warm Between Iran and Gulf Arab Neighbors

December 20, 2007


(The Economist) — RELATIONS between Iran’s Shia revolutionaries and the rich, Sunni-dominated, American-protected Arabian monarchies of the Persian Gulf have never been easy. After America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, and Iran’s election of the fire-breathing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president in 2005, they grew markedly worse. Arab fears of Iran’s regional ambitions, its influence over Shia minorities and its nuclear programme have lately been matched by Iranian worries about the loyalty of its own Arabs and the possibility of an attack launched from the American bases that speckle the opposite shore.

But recent events signal a possible change. On the same day on which a new American National Intelligence Estimate overturned previous assertions that Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons, President Ahmadinejad made a first-ever appearance as a guest at the annual summit of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), a body created in 1981 largely with the goal of containing revolutionary Iran. Soon after the summit meeting, Saudi Arabia, the biggest by far of the GCC‘s six member states and long the most hostile to Iran, invited Mr Ahmadinejad to take part in the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Another Arab heavyweight, Egypt, has also joined the charm offensive, sending its first high-level delegation to Iran in several years… Click for full article