Iran News ...


09/04/13

Chemical Catastrophe in Damascus

By Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi, Former Iranian Ambassador to France and the United Nations
Source: Ettelaat Newspaper; translated by: Iran Review.Org

The Middle East region is currently contaminated with blood and violence, horror and hatred. The true nature as well as the reasons behind the ongoing developments should be considered within framework of covert and overt realities of the region.

On the one hand, the government of Turkey, which has become weak and is stalled by the strategic mistakes that it has made during the past two years, has lost many regional and global opportunities. As a result, along with radical Arab regimes in the region, Ankara has unconsciously become the big loser of the regional conflicts. On the other hand, the government of Qatar is seriously involved in regional developments with Sheikh Tamim (bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar) has made the same mistakes of the past.

The radical Arab groups such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front and other Salafi militia forces that are under the command of the Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, have also chosen a dangerous path.

In Egypt, the legitimate, but debilitated government of Mohamed Morsi has been toppled. Following his overthrow, political forces that were under the command of the radical tribal prince of Saudi Arabia, managed to reorganize militarily. As a result, the new militia forces had a new opportunity to enter Syria through the country’s common border with Jordan. This is why the ongoing massacre and crimes on the southern suburbs of [the Syrian capital] Damascus is directly related to developments that are currently under way in the region. [The Syrian President] Bashar Assad has denied any role of his government in the latest chemical attack [near the capital Damascus]. His forces were making relative headways in [clashes with militants in the suburbs] of Aleppo while Al-Nusra Front was busy reorganizing its military forces in and around Latakia when reports of this ominous chemical attack broke out to divert the world public opinion in another direction.

The mass murder of the Syrian people by forces that are supported by the Saudi Bandar bin Sultan and other security establishments of the region, has created a sudden bloody atmosphere within the international community. As a result of that atmosphere, a huge global propaganda campaign has been launched against the government of Syria. Meanwhile, the US State Department along with the United States National Security Council and the White House are apparently falling prey to the apparent influence of Bandar.

It seems that a special ground had been already laid in the United States and Europe in order to create global consensus ahead of a military strike against Syria. [Senator John] McCain and certain other radical American politicians are holding up war rhetoric against Syria at a time that [US President] Barack Obama, in his usual patient mood, is talking about the need for more scrutiny of the incident while drawing attention to the crisis in Egypt and possible crossing of the red line by the Syrian government.

While showing high regard for human sentiments, he has been hesitant about what interests the United States may seek to be met by entering a new war with conspicuous prospects. The evil and inhuman move of launching a chemical attack is, in fact, a staged plot which has been hatched by illegitimate powers in the region. The militia under the command of Bandar bin Sultan is actually trying to fan the flames of crisis in Syria and Egypt in a bid to curb Iran's influence at the current juncture. Therefore, for them, preventing further increase in Iran's regional clout is the foremost priority.

This is why [former US Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger has been quoted as saying that the crisis in Syria will continue until 2014 elections.

Analysts have asserted that a recent visit to Moscow by Bandar bin Sultan and failure of his secret negotiations with [the Russian President Vladimir] Putin, has been related to the chemical attack in Damascus. They also allege that during the meeting, Bandar has told Putin that new developments are in the offing across the Middle East. It was immediately after his return from Moscow that the deplorable chemical attack occurred in Syria.

There are three suspicious elements with respect to the chemical attack in Syria which should be taken into consideration here:

1. At the beginning of the past week, Prime Minister of Jordan Abdullah Ensour talked about receiving technical aid from the United States by Jordan due to concerns about possible breakout of chemical conflicts in the region. It took only 48 hour after that revelation that the photos of the Syrian chemical attack victims were published by news services worldwide.

2. The new militia force, whose members included up to 25,000 voluntary militants, entered Syria secretly under the cover that had been provided to them by Saudi Arabia’s intelligence and secret services led by Bandar bin Sultan.

3. The chemical attack on the suburbs of Damascus took place only a few days after the failure of secret talks between Bandar and Putin in Moscow and Bandar’s threat that a catastrophic incident was expected in the region.

[Following the attack, the French President Francois] Hollande and [his Russian counterpart] President Putin expressed concern about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but emphasized the need to forgo a military option on Syria. In this way, Hollande stepped back from the position he had taken two days earlier when he announced that France will go to war with Syria.

According to a new plan, which has been formulated by Israel and Bandar bin Sultan in cahoots with the Western intelligence and military bodies, they seek to kindle the flames of a proxy war in the region in a bid to control the regional clout of Iran and Shias.

Therefore, Al-Qaeda as well as Al-Nusra Front and other radical Sunni groups have been seriously present in Syria developments. In Egypt, certain tribal forces waged a proxy war [against the legitimate government] in cooperation with the [Egyptian armed forces that launched] the coup d’etat. The new plan drawn up by Bandar and the secret service of Saudi Arabia aims to create a so-called “Sunni Hezbollah” as counterbalance to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement. The main goal of a meeting that Bandar held with Samir Geagea [a senior figure in the March 14 Alliance], Walid Jumblatt [the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party], and Saad Hariri [a former Lebanese prime minister] was to form military resistance forces against the Lebanese Hezbollah.

All told, the Achilles’ heel of the Middle East crisis has been already clearly seen in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The government of Turkey has also lost its influence on regional developments and even developments inside Turkey as a result of the strategic mistakes that it has already made. Therefore, in addition to international sanctions, the containment of Iran [by the anti-Iran front] is sought through introducing a new security structure for the region.

In the meantime, the Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign policy officials should remain vigilant and know that at the core of the ongoing crises in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, is a joint conspiracy by Saudi Arabia and Israel whose main goal is to contain Iran in the region.

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