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Riaz Karim: Riyadh Afraid of Awakening in Arab States

TEHRAN Riaz Karim, political analyst and activist, says Saudi Arabia seeks support from the US and Israel to avoid an uprising in the Arab countries, offering opportunity to Washington and Tel Aviv to drive a deep rift between the Sunnis and Shias and create an irreparable division among Muslims.

In an exclusive interview with FNA, Dr. Karim said Riyadh would fail to unite the Muslim countries against Iran and its hostile efforts would deepen the rifts in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

Riaz Karim, PhD, is the director of the London-based Veritas Centre for Strategic Studies. He is also director and co-founder of the Mona Relief Organization (Yemen Organization for Humanitarian Relief and Development.)

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: At Islam's holiest of sites, the Saudi monarch makes statements against another Islamic country namely Iran. How do you assess the Arab countries' summit in Mecca?

A: This summit was demanded by Washington and specifically by President Trump's son in law and aide Jared Kushner who sees himself as the expert in Middle East issues. The axis of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel want to ratchet up the rhetoric against Iran and what better way than to get the Sunni Bloc together in a summit at one of Islam's holiest sites under the auspices of the (P)GCC and the Arab League. With Israel playing a vital role in the background, This is a show of unity by the bloc to directly send a message to Iran that we are united against you; however, one kingdom has broken ranks with the league to register its dissatisfaction and that is Qatar, because the same nations who have come together to threaten Iran are the very same nations who have put a blockade on one of their own and because in its time of need Iran was the only country which defied all odds to send vital supplies to the tiny kingdom, Qatar has broken rank with the rest of the Sunni Bloc. One of their biggest fear remains that Iran may be successful in creating a Shia awakening in these Arab countries; thus they want to quash any potential uprising as well as keep their ties with Israel and the US intact. The sad part of this entire exercise is that these Arab countries do not realize that the US and Israel have successfully been able to drive a deep rift between the Sunnis and Shias which was fragile to begin with, but now the divide in Islam is irreparable.

Q: The Mecca summit called for stopping Iran from "interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbors. However, there is significant body of evidence showing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE armed and nurtured Takfiri Terrorists such as Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, waged war on Yemen and suppressed Shias in Bahrain. How do you view this contradiction?

A: Yes Indeed the Takfiris are a manufactured entity and so are the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya. The Takfiris have the same extreme ideology and when it comes to the Shia or any other religious denomination, brutality and sadism was and are the order of the day. If Bahrain is any indication, then the Shia will always be second class citizens and oppressed at will. The US National Security Adviser and 'War Whisperer' John Bolton said he was sure that Iran was behind the attacks on the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, the US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, "[Persian] Gulf unity is essential to confronting Iran's malign influence, it's essential to countering terrorism and, of course, in securing a prosperous future." "Tehran's support for Houthi rebels in Yemen is proof of Iranian interference in other nations' affairs, and this is something that Islamic countries should reject," Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said. Despite targeting Iran explicitly, as part of the policy of switching the rhetoric to firmness, it does not really matter if they themselves are involved in destabilizing various countries. This is the highest order of 'Hypocrisy'.

Q: Do you believe if Saudi Arabia will be able to unite the world against Iran?

A: Despite the firmness emphasized in Saudi Arabia's stance, it is not likely that the kingdom's struggle to convince every Muslim country to unify against Iran will succeed. As long as Saudi Arabia continues attacking countries through lobbying efforts in the West and employing means for economic sieges and attempts to undermine the credibility of other countries that disagree on regional policies, the division in the [Persian] Gulf and the Middle East will likely deepen and the discord between these countries will continue to the advantage of the US and Israel who sit ready to take advantage of this very opportunity.

Source: Fars News Agency