For years before the attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities last weekend, much of the international community had been convinced that Tehran represents a serious threat to the world.
Concerned countries have been hoping, however, that a way would be found to solve the problem without a war. They dream of the Iranian regime collapsing as a result of pressures from inside or outside the country, or that it can be persuaded to change for the better.
But nothing has changed. This is now clear even to the US, which is leading a blockade strategy in an attempt to force Tehran to change course because Washington does not want a military confrontation.
We have been aware for decades that Iran poses a serious threat to the very existence of Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region, including Iraq and Egypt. This danger extends far beyond the Middle East, however, and is not blocked by the borders of a country or continent.
In just two years, between 2011 and 2013, 30 terrorist attacks linked to Iran were documented in Kenya (Nairobi), Nigeria (Lagos), India, Thailand and the US. These included a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington and bomb embassies. It should be noted that, during these two years, Iran was engaged in peace talks and presented the image of a friendly relationship with the US government.
The continued aggressive approach employed by Iran is not practiced by any other country in the world; not even regimes labeled as dangerous, such as North Korea or Venezuela. The closest equivalents to the conduct of the supreme leader’s regime can be found in the actions of Al-Qaeda and Daesh. All three, headed by Ali Khamenei, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi respectively, are similar in that they are based on an aggressive religious ideology and the rejection of the international status quo with all its restrictions and laws.
Iran, Al-Qaeda and Daesh are similar in that they all aspire to expand and spread violence, employing religion, power and chaos to do so. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the world united and eliminated the Al-Qaeda state. Then the world chased and demolished the “caliphate” of Daesh. However, no one has dared to confront the supreme leader in Iran. The most likely reason for this has been a fear of the consequences of a serious confrontation, which might be greater than the capabilities of any one country to bear, even if it was a superpower like the US.
This is why Washington has resorted to a complex and slow strategy: An economic blockade of Iran, depriving it of dollars and preventing its oil exports. This has hurt Tehran financially and, in response, it has attacked oil tankers belonging to four countries, used militias to carry out hostile operations in Iraq, and attacked Saudi oil facilities. Iran has also arrested Australian, British and American citizens in an attempt to blackmail their governments by threatening to execute them over spying and other charges.
Iran is a global nightmare that has not been dealt with seriously enough to deter it. The international community has done nothing more than voice warnings and postpone action, while Iran has grown stronger.
American and European leaders have tried, and failed, to reconcile with and appease the regime in Tehran; including the signing of a fragile nuclear deal. Tehran’s response has been increasing its involvement in wars and acts of terrorism by planning assassinations and bombings, even on European soil.
It is difficult for the Western political mind to understand Iran because it is still regarded as a “state” — a republic with a seat and flag at the UN. In fact, it is nothing but a terrorist religious organization, similar to Al-Qaeda and Daesh.
Iran will continue to pose a deadly threat to the security and stability of the world for years to come unless the rest of the world agrees to confront it.
Source » arabnews