Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sunnis will not be persuaded that Iran is their real enemy

Washington's attempt to pave the way for another invasion by fomenting anti-Shia sectarianism in the Middle East will fail

Azzam Tamimi
Wednesday March 7, 2007
The Guardian

"Despite the horrific failure of its adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, the US is now said to be preparing to attack Iran. Meanwhile, all disputes in the Middle East have suddenly turned into sectarian conflicts and Iran is portrayed as the main culprit. Nothing now seems comprehensible to the western media and political establishments unless seen through the prism of Iranian ambitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and even more distant conflicts such as Somalia and Darfur. Opponents of Iran and of whomever Iran is thought to support in the region no longer want us to see US interventions as the main issue - let alone the primary cause of the mayhem enveloping the entire Middle East.......

Now the Americans and their Arab allies in the region seem convinced that their Iranian adversary is the real winner from the occupation of Iraq. The threat to US interests has been compounded by the refusal of the Iranians to abandon their nuclear programme. The US-Shia alliance in Iraq has backfired on America. Now, as the fourth anniversary of the invasion approaches, a US-Sunni alliance seems to be in the making to pave the way for an attack against Iran. It is widely believed in the region that the meeting in Jordan on 20 February between Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, and the intelligence chiefs of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates was aimed at preparing the ground. The idea appears to be for the Sunni world, which until recently would have been opposed to any attack on Iran, to see the merits of a US strike. The role of Washington's friends in the region would be to portray Iran as the real threat to both Arabs and Sunnis. The best climate for achieving such an objective is sectarianism not only inside Iraq but across the region.

But the new US-Sunni alliance is likely to backfire, as the US-Shia alliance did. If one of the latter's repercussions was a Sunni backlash, wait and see what an Iranian-backed Shia explosion of anger will do to our world. And the anger will not be confined to Shias. The US-Sunni alliance is in fact a coalition with the corrupt regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan - which falsely claim to represent Sunni Islam and are loathed by their populations - along with their backers in the west. If Iran is attacked, it is highly unlikely that the Sunnis will be indifferent; just as they stood by Hizbullah last summer, they will stand by Iran. The attempt to create a US-Sunni alliance has already failed to convince most Sunnis that Iran - rather than the US - is the real enemy."

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