Iran’s Renewed Threats to Take Over the Gulf States

Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi, JCPA

* Recent Iranian implied threats to “liberate” some of the Gulf states, and an Iranian editorial calling Bahrain a district of Iran, have caused great consternation in the Gulf states. In Bahrain there have been demonstrations at the Iranian embassy, and an official protest was submitted to Tehran. An additional Iranian article by the same author again disparaged the Gulf states and made further territorial threats.

* Iran has territorial ambitions in the Persian Gulf and does not hide them. In its view, every region of the Gulf is essentially Persian and not Arab; moreover, a large Shiite population lives in the Gulf.

* The tireless Iranian endeavor to build a large, powerful military and develop a civilian and military nuclear capability is a central part of a strategy aimed at transforming Iran from a regional power to a global one that can contend with the United States and the West. The closer Iran gets to nuclearization, the bolder it is likely to be toward the West and its neighbors.

* Iran’s prophetic vision is already being translated into practice in the propagation of the Shiite faith in many Muslim countries including Pakistan, India (Kashmir), Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, and others. Senior Sunni theorists keep warning of the Shiite “missionary” campaign that is spreading in the Arab world.

* The Sunni world has tended to support Iran in its confrontation with the United States over the issue of nuclear development. Now that the situation is getting critical, there is a basis for strategic cooperation between the United States and the Sunni world aimed at stopping Iran.

* In the eyes of the Arab states, the threat to wipe the Sunni world from the map is graver than the Iranian promise to annihilate Israel. Paradoxically, Israel and the Arab world are in the same boat, with similar interests; moreover, it is in fact Israel that can save the day for the Arabs.

July 20, 2007 | Comments Off on Iran’s Renewed Threats to Take Over the Gulf States

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