Iran News ...


7/30/07

Is Persian Gulf becoming U.S. arms bazaar?

By Hassan Hanizadeh

TEHRAN, July 29 (Mehr News Agency) -- The White House's decision to sell $20 billion worth of high-tech weaponry to Saudi Arabia will push the Middle East into a dangerous arms race.

Since the United States has made commitments to provide military support to the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf, such arms sales are in no way justifiable.

To sell its arms, the U.S. has been attempting to estrange the nations on the two sides of the Persian Gulf by disseminating propaganda claiming that Iran's nuclear activities pose a threat to regional countries.

Washington is demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran and issuing warnings about a "Shia Crescent" supposedly forming under Iran's leadership and the alleged threat of Iraqi and Lebanese Shias in order to drag Arab states of the Persian Gulf into a dangerous arms race, which will eventually end only in Israel's best interests.

On the other hand, given the Arabs' attempt to reach a peace agreement with Israel within the framework of various Arab initiatives, starting such an arms race would be the most unwise thing to do at this point in time.

However, an agreement between Arab countries and the Zionist regime would decrease the six decades of Arab-Israeli enmity and would make it totally unjustifiable for Israel to threaten the region's security with its arsenal of 250 nuclear weapons and would compel the Zionists to dismantle them all.

It is obvious that an arms buildup by the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf would also threaten Iran's national security because the U.S. would surely try to provoke them to act against Iran's interests in the future.

In addition, such an arms buildup would allow the United States to send more military experts to the Persian Gulf region under the pretext of training Arab armies.

After failing in its attempt to implement its new Middle East initiative, the White House felt compelled to change its strategy and began fomenting conflicts in the Persian Gulf region.

But will such arms provide the Arab states of the Persian Gulf security against foreign threats?

Saudi Arabia and other regional Arab countries will definitely face internal challenges because of their cultural backwardness and refusal to democratize, but no foreign power is going to threaten them.

The dictatorship and repression in Arab countries will provide fertile ground for the formation of terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, which arose from the closed society of Saudi Arabia.

Such terrorist organizations would threaten not only the security of the Persian Gulf, the U.S., and Europe, but would also pose an existential threat to regional Arab regimes, and guided missiles bought from the U.S. would not be able to save them.

The fall of the monarchist regime in Iran after five decades of dictatorship and repression should be a lesson for regional Arab countries because the shah's regime had even more high-tech U.S. arms and was much more advanced than Arab countries in terms of human resources.

Moreover, if the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, believe that their long-range missiles will frighten the Iranian nation, they are seriously mistaken because Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime had an array of ultramodern arms and weapons of mass destruction but eventually was defeated after eight years of war with Iran.

The proposed purchase of U.S. weapons will certainly foster distrust between the countries on the two sides of the Persian Gulf and will also undermine their economic development.

The actual winner of this dangerous game will be the U.S. military-industrial complex, which takes advantage of discord between Islamic countries to profiteer.

(July 30 Tehran Times Opinion Column, by Hassan Hanizadeh)

... Payvand News - 7/30/07 ... --



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