Spectator: Iran is our natural ally, not Saudi Arabia

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John R. Bradsley in The Spectator:

The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya’s entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions.
More than a dozen Shia, including a three-year-old boy, were killed. Hundreds of young men were rounded up. At least 500 homes were flattened, and 8,000 residents were forcibly removed from those that remained. Saudi soldiers recorded themselves dancing and singing amid the rubble of the town’s once-beautiful old city. They stomped on a poster of a revered Shia cleric from the eastern province, Nimr al-Nimr, beheaded last year for sedition. And they denigrated the town’s ‘cleansed’ local Shia as ‘rejectionists’ and ‘dogs’ — language identical to that of their fanatical Wahhabi brothers in Iraq and Syria, who rejoice in slaughtering Shia in the name of Isis. The mass beheading of 14 local Shia activists, including a severely disabled teenager, is said to be imminent.
In the wake of this sectarian carnage it seems preposterous that Donald Trump stood next to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh in May at the launch of a new centre to combat Islamic extremism. In a keynote speech, Trump had, just as bizarrely, singled out Iran and its Shia proxies as the instigators of terrorism and sectarian bloodshed in the region. In the past, such Saudi duplicity was laughed off in the name of selling the infantile princes billions of dollars in arms (from which they take massive kickbacks) and heightening their borderline-insane obsession with the supposedly existential threat posed by Iran to Israel and the latter’s despotic Sunni allies.
The joke isn’t funny any more. Last month, the former head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, warned that Britain will face an Islamist terror threat for at least 30 years. Only the most blinkered observer would find it difficult to understand his concern. For with the near fall of Isis, thousands of jihadis steeped in the caliphate’s Wahhabi ideology are returning to Britain and Europe, determined to keep alive the dream of massacring infidels. It is our own civilisation that faces the real existential threat. The wave of terror attacks in Spain, Finland, Britain and Belgium has happened in a year in which Europe has witnessed at least one serious jihadist incident every week.
A recent report, suppressed by the UK government, revealed the majority of funding for UK mosques that promote Islamist extremism, and which play a crucial role in radicalising homegrown jihadis, originates from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries that also embrace the odious Wahhabi ideology. These findings tally with other exhaustive studies on the expansion of Islamist extremism, both here and in Europe, which have singled out the spread of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism as the gravest threat to our security and values. All were similarly ignored by those who rule in our name.
Saudi Arabia is thus being given the green light by our treacherous political elite to ensure that, as the dream of the caliphate in the Middle East fades, murderous jihad will grow with increasing fury on our doorstep. The argument that intelligence from Saudi Arabia helps prevent attacks sounds increasingly hollow, given how many terrorist acts are being carried out regardless. The defeatist rhetoric about how jihadist atrocities are something we must learn to live with, like mudslides and hurricanes, is no less infuriating. Terror attacks are not a natural phenomenon; they are the result of circumstances fomented by politicians’ decisions. If we have any hope of combating the Islamist menace, politicians must wake up, first and foremost, to the fact that mass immigration of mostly young Muslim men into a Europe where Saudi-funded Wahhabi Islam dominates mosques and madrassas is cultural suicide. Political understanding of the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East, and how that relates to the Islamist terror threat, must likewise be re-evaluated. The atrocities in Awamiya demonstrate nothing if not the absurdity of the notion that the Wahhabis are our friends in the fight against extremism and that the Shia are our mortal enemies. By any objective measure, the exact opposite is true.
Like Saudi Arabia, Shia-dominated Iran is a backward theocracy ruled by vicious old men who wrap themselves in the cloak of religion to limit their people’s freedom and steal their country’s wealth. Both countries are gross human rights abusers. There, though, the similarities end. In Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are forbidden from practising their religion in public, while Iran’s constitution protects the rights of Christians and Jews. (One of my fondest memories of the region is hanging out with the Jewish communities in Tehran and Isfahan.)
Like the Jews, and very much unlike the Wahhabis, the Shias have no interest in converting everyone else to their religion; and the Iranians even have the decency — if that is the right word — to distinguish between Israel and Jews in anti-Zionist government rhetoric. Saudi Arabia promotes the kind of anti-Semitism the Nazis would have been proud of, while damning the Shia as collectively evil. Iran has a democracy and a vibrant press that, while hardly comparable to what we take for granted in the West, puts to shame anything found in Saudi Arabia. Iran has never invaded another country; Saudi Arabia is presently destroying Yemen.
Moreover, when geopolitical pragmatism has dictated, Iran has offered to work closely with the West, while at every turn, by funding its jihadist proxies, the Saudis and their allies in the western intelligence communities have been working against us. After the September 11 attacks, carried out by mostly Saudi nationals, Iran — which of course has no sympathy for al-Qaeda — rounded up hundreds of Arab terrorists and provided intelligence to Washington to aid the war on terror. In 2009, Tehran was publicly offering to help Washington rebuild and stabilise Afghanistan; two years earlier, both countries held (ultimately unproductive) talks on Iraq.
None of that is to mention the elephant in the room. Without the heroic military sacrifices of Iran and its Shia ally, Hezbollah, on the front lines in the crumbling caliphate, Isis would not today be in its final death throes there, and al-Qaeda jihadists (whom we funded, trained and armed) would not be running for their lives. The US has also worked alongside Iranian generals in Iraq in the joint fight there against Isis. Even today, US special forces are working with the Lebanese army as it launches a simultaneous push with Hezbollah against Islamist terrorists created by Saudi and other Sunni countries that are still causing mayhem on the other side of the Syrian border.
Why do we never hear this other side of the story? One reason is that almost all the ‘experts’ on the region, who contribute countless op-eds to US newspapers, brief US intelligence officials and appear as pundits on TV, work for think-tanks funded by the Arab monarchies or Israel. Former British and American diplomats who were based in Riyadh and Jeddah are notorious for retiring on the Saudi gravy train. And our Foreign Office, as always taking its orders from Washington, continues to stand uncritically alongside Israel. The latter fears the mullahs in Tehran are building a nuclear arsenal to make good on its repeated promise to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
But here, again, a pragmatic reassess-ment is in order. Israel, after all, is a nuclear power, and has the best-trained and equipped army in the region. If it cannot fight its own battles now, it will never be able to. And truth be told, the only thing the mullahs really care about is maintaining their rusty grip on power. Even the Iran-hating, Israel-loving White House grudgingly accepts that Tehran is abiding by the internationally brokered nuclear treaty. The bottom line is that Iran poses absolutely no threat to us.
In fact, the only people that Isis foot soldiers are more determined to slaughter than westerners are the Shia. With that knowledge, we should be embracing the maxim that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Let us fully let the Saudis know we have had it with their terror funding by launching a ferocious crackdown on all manifestations of Wahhabism. Let us simultaneously do away with the sanctions imposed against Tehran. In this way, we can build on Iran’s extensive shared intelligence and close military cooperation with the US — the most effective way of convincing the country to abandon any lingering nuclear ambitions it may have. Let Britain finally break free of Washington’s disastrous Middle East military interventions and duplicitous alliances with Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi proxies. Only by doing so can we face down the real causes of Islamist terror. We would also be in prime position to benefit from post-sanctions Iran’s $600 billion foreign investment opportunities.


 

co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

Filed under: conflict zones, latest

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co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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jag37777
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Hmmm, this is yellow journalism. The Sauds aren’t being ‘tolerated’. They are clients doing the western capitalist class’ bidding.

rtj1211
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rtj1211

For years the BTL comment at the Spectator was coruscating in its damnation of the litany of nonsense published by paid scribblers about the Middle East i n general, Islam in particular and the Russia-Ukraine denouement. It is a sign of the utterly principle-free nature of the UK Press that journalists never get sacked for writing rubbish but may often be sacked for telling unpalstsble truths, which is why the mortgage-paying scribblers no longer rise above the parapet to tell the truth. This one sounds like things are finally changing. No reward for all the true commenters BTL, but continued… Read more »

rehmat1
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rehmat1

American Spectator magazine was founded by R. Emmette Tyrell Jr., on of Rupert Murdoch’s media boy.
Tyrrell traveled to Kazakhstan in 1999, along with several other neocon journalists, with his travel expenses paid for by the Carmen Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm headed by David Carmen, a Zionist Jew.
https://rehmat1.com/2012/06/17/alastair-campbell-murdoch-pushed-blair-into-iraq-war/

mohandeer
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Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Zabastovshchitsa
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Zabastovshchitsa

We non-Muslims should be aware that the Saudia regime and religion is not Sunni, which is the “original flavor” of al-Islam. The Saudi religion is something like Scientology, in that it was invented out of whole cloth, though not by a failed SF writer. Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab was an 18th-c. religious fundy nutcase who didn’t like the rather humanistic Sunni practices and thought women were a mistake and everyone would be better for having their feet held to the fire, in some cases literally. He managed to convince an early Saud that there was power to be had… Read more »

rehmat1
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rehmat1

Some corrections dear ….. The first person who accepted Islam was the Prophet’s wife Khadija and his teenage cousin Ali ibn Talib. The divide between Sunnis and Shi’ites is political and not religious. There were no Sunnis are Shi’ites until 60 years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). Imam Abdul Wahhab was a Sunni reformer while the Saudi ‘royals’ have Iraqi Jewish family roots. The Wahhabis and Salaafis consider the rest of the 33 Sunni sects as heretics. Sunnis make 85% of the 1.9 billion Muslim population as compared to 15% Shi’ites. Sunnis have a long history of collaborating… Read more »

Big B
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Big B

There are two reasons why Trump was the worst wooden dance partner in history (and did that weird thing with a glowing orb): arms and ARAMCO. The same two reasons why the money behind Treason May will ignore this article, and continue to fawn over the al-Sauds (rumour is that Muhammad is the main man, now his father is senile). There is something rotten in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: and it’s called Dutch Disease (lack of economic diversification away from oil). So the plan is to diversify and ‘normalise’ the economy (read neoliberalise): how do you suppose that will… Read more »

mohandeer
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BigB. I’ve been reading how the Poles are willing to pay 15% more for LNR oil from the US rather than the cheaper Russian supply. Putin has massive reserves all ready to export to Europe, but our neoliberal dinosaurs in governance will likely opt to buy the more expensive US supplies unless certain German politicos make a damn big fuss about it. If the huge reserve Iran shares with Qatar can get the investment(more than $90 billion) they could flood the markets, along with Russia and Qatar which would see the US have an even lesser share and unable to… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

@Susan – re: Qatar. You are absolutely right about flooding the market. The recent Washington-Riyadh Chicken coup and blockade against Doha will push them into a cooperative situation with Tehran – which is against American interests. Doh(a)! Qatar is already the worlds largest LNG producer; is upping its future production capacity; and Iran is beginning to develop its half of the gas field [with France (Total) and China (CNPC)]. The big difference is that Qatar is already established as the world leader in the market; and has all the infrastructure in place. America does not. It only has one export… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Susan: no, I think the Poles paid 50% more for their LNG (watch this) – to much Russian hilarity! Not only that, but the UkroNazis took a shipment of coal from Baltimore at God knows what price, to replace their own coal from the Donbass. Talk about carrying coals to Newcastle! Trump, by way of sanction, rhetoric, and M$M bullshit, is making noise about supplying Europe with LNG to break the Russian chokehold on natgas supply: at what cost? If the US are serious, they would have to cut off their own nose, slit their economic wrists, and stab themselves… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Whoops, I seem to have turned my whole comment into a hyperlink. Not sure what I did wrong – any chance of an edit, OffG? Many thanks.

rtj1211
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rtj1211

The Poles have a long history of selling themselves for lucre and influence: Mrs Thatcher stockpiled Polish coal to smash the miners in the 1980s. The quid pro quo was UK/US smashing the Eastern Bloc……

rehmat1
Reader
rehmat1

Historically, the title of the article should read: “Iran is our natural ally, not Israel”. The Saudi ‘royal’ only started considering Iran as an enemy after the 1979 Islamic Revolution – because America’s Zionist media start filling their hatred toward Shi’ites Iran which supports anti-Israel Hamas and Hizbullah. In June 2017, 18 Israeli fighters jets and two Gulfstream aircrafts landed in Saudi Arabia to prevent any hostile or military moves by supporters of recently deposed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, 57, by Saudi King Salman. After firing his nephew, the king appointed his son prince Mohammed bin Salman,… Read more »

DarkEyes
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DarkEyes

Do remember, please, Saudi Arabia is an arabian country.
Iran is certainly not an arabian country and, here is the big difference, Iran is an asian country.
It belongs to Asia.

Arrby
Reader

Are regions in the eye of the beholder? Here’s some worthwhile thoughts about it: https://youtu.be/u-PFx2lJvUI
Google is hindering my uploads, so the above link might not work. You can find Mahdi Darius Nazemoaya’s vid about regions and more here: http://tinyurl.com/y9v94b2d

Arrby
Reader

“All were similarly ignored by those who rule in our name.” Jihadi terrorism ignored by those who rule in our name? In a sense. But only in a sense. “Terror attacks are not a natural phenomenon; they are the result of circumstances fomented by politicians’ decisions.” And who are those politicians? They are the political partners of the unaccountable private tyrannies called corporations, the real rulers of the world. They are more responsible than anyone for the destruction, the terrorism, the godlessness, everywhere, as Paul Kellog makes clear in this presentation for the Geopolitical Economy Research Group: http://tinyurl.com/y9v94b2d Google has… Read more »

Joerg
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Joerg

@DarkEyes No, it’s the other way around: Saudi-Arabia is an “asian country”, and “arabian”s are “asian”s or ‘africans’ – while Iran is an Indo-EUROPEAN Country. Why are Your eyes so dark, You can’t even see: Saudi-Arabia is an artificial project and foundation of British policy of the 20th century. It has no history. Iran on the other hand is as old as Europe and it’s history and mentality was and is deeply intertwined with Europe. The ancient Greeks would never had known what “Saudi-Arabia” was, but they certainly knew their “Persia” (a lot of ancient Greeks worked for the Persian/Iranian… Read more »

rehmat1
Reader
rehmat1

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, etc. are all part of Middle East except that majority of Iranian don’t speak Arabic language. Iran (Persia) is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It’s also the home to the oldest Jewish community in the world. Persia is even mentioned in Jewish Holy Talmud. In March 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu while addressing the American Knesset in Washington DC invoked Persians’ hatred toward country’s Jewish community over 2500 years ago. “Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy… Read more »

rtj1211
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rtj1211

My Netanyahu bears grudges for a long time…..

james bate
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james bate

Do you rate this bloke then ?

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Rhisiart Gwilym

About 5 out of 10. The basic thesis – to dump the barbarous homicidal knuckle-draggers in Riyadh, in favour of Iran – is sound. Some good stuff on that. But fails completely to mention the persistent suspicion that the ‘islamic’ atrocities in Europe bear an uncomfortable smell of the sort of false flag attacks that Gladio was doing in Europe some time back; he just accepts tamely that they’re all authentic, ‘unpredictable’ jihadi attacks. He does the same thing about 11/9/01, calling it’s perpetrators mainly Saudi nationals, when in fact the evidence – if anyone bothers to study it as… Read more »