From an Op-ed in Ynet News, 5 December 2010, by Shoula Romano Horing:
Unlike Arab leaders, American president fails to understand scope of Iranian threat
For the last two years President Obama has been obsessing with “engaging” the Muslim world while ignoring the “moderates” in the Islamic countries who have been imploring the US to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
For two years President Obama and his administration have fabricated a mythical argument that progress on the Israeli–Palestinian issue through the stopping of settlement construction will help get the “moderate” Arab nations in the region like Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf State, Egypt and Jordan on board in stopping Iran.
But the confidential documents from US embassies made public on WikiLeaks reveal that those countries have already been on board, by hounding and begging the Obama administration to take military action, including airstrikes and the use of ground forces, against the Iranians
Moreover, while Obama was wasting time and personally orchestrating public confrontations with Israel over the settlement issue and the creation of a Palestinian state, it seems that Arab Sunni leaders, in private communications with US officials, did not even mention the settlements or the Palestinian issue as their main urgent concern. As one Middle East expert from Cairo told the Los Angeles Times, the official stance in the Middle East led by Arab Sunni states has always been” that it is Iran and not Israel that poses the main threat to the region.”
According to WikiLeaks, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah urged the US to attack ”evil” Iran, saying that “it is necessary to cut the head of the snake.” King Hamad of Bahrain was quoted in 2009 as saying ”the Iranian nuclear program must be terminated by whatever means necessary. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed urged the US not to appease or engage Tehran, referring to it as an “existential threat” and stating that “Ahmadinejad is Hitler.”
Iran is not Soviet Union
It appears that Arab leaders agree with Prime Minster Netanyahu‘s assessment that Iran is the main threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and not the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and that economic sanctions may hurt Iran but military action is the only way to stop it.
It seems that Obama chooses to ignore the concerns about Iran from his friends, and feels compelled to occupy himself with sideshows like the Israeli-Palestinian issue and “settlements” because he does not understand the dangers of a nuclear armed Iran. Obama does not believe in a military solution because he believes it is possible to “contain” Iran as the US contained the Soviet Union. But he does not understand that contrary to the Communist leaders, Iranian leaders are not “rational “adversaries.
To understand Iran’s ambitions it is necessary to understand Iran’s religious ideology. The Iranian regime believes that the right religion for humanity is Islam and the right sect of Islam is Shiite and not Sunni. Iran’s ultimate aim is to establish global Islamic rule, a new Islamic empire, but this time under Shiite leadership.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated in the past his belief that amidst the chaos of a catastrophic war, the 12th Imam, the Mahdi, would make his prophesied Messianic return and establish new order where the whole world would convert to Shiite Islam. This belief lies at the heart of Iran’s ambition to spread its influence and acquire nuclear weapons and this is the reason such ambition is dangerous not only for Israel but for Sunni Arab countries, Europe and the world.
Acquiring nuclear capability would give Iranian leadership even more room for reckless and aggressive foreign policy.
The Sunni Arabs understand the Iranian Shiite ambitions for regional hegemony and the threat to their survival, even though Obama does not. The Israeli government should stop participating in the sideshows of Obama and refuse any requests for a settlement freeze or negotiations over a future Palestinian state until the Iranian threat is eliminated.