January 31, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4468

Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim: 'U.S. Policy Is the No. 1 Security Threat' to the Gulf States; America Has 'Realized the Dreams Of Iran' in Iraq, 'Is Now Embracing' the Muslim Brotherhood, and 'Is No Longer An Ally'

January 31, 2012
Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 4468

In a January 19, 2012 address at the GCC national and regional security conference in Bahrain, Dubai's longtime chief of police Dahi Khalfan Tamim gave an assessment of security threats to the Gulf states. He said that the U.S. was the main security threat, had realized Iran's dreams in Iraq, was "embracing" the Muslim Brotherhood, and was no longer an ally. His remarks prompted U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain Thomas Krajeski, who was attending the conference, to walk out.

The day following the address, he defended his statements, saying, "The U.S. has granted Iran many of its dreams in the region, including the toppling of Saddam [Hussein], active presence of Iran in Iraq and the exporting of the revolution into the Arab world." He added, "I was not solely targeting the U.S. policies but was giving my reading to the security threats to the Gulf, and they included several factors. I talked about corruption and abuse of power, especially in law enforcement apparatus, on Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood as well."[1]

Tamim, who has been in his post since 1980, is credited with keeping Dubai one of the safest cities in the world, complete with extensive video surveillance. Dubai police officers have received training from the FBI and other leading agencies.[2]

"U.S. Policy In the Region Is the Number One Security Threat... [The Americans] Have Adopted the Path and Ideology Of Khomeini"

Dahi Khalfan Tamim: "Allow me to avoid diplomatic language. I am not a diplomat. I am a security official, and I will talk about the domestic and foreign security threats. My words might be embarrassing to people home and abroad, but I have come to this conference in order to say what I feel as a security official. With no further ado, I will try to present to you 38 different threats to the security of the Gulf. [...]

"Let me begin with threat number one. In my opinion, U.S. policy in the region is the number one security threat. Our American friends might not like this, but experience has taught us that the Americans do not have friends. On the contrary, they are quick to wash their hands of their friends.

"Therefore, U.S. policy in the Gulf constitutes a threat, because they have ulterior motives: to overthrow the regimes. In the past, they used to talk about imposing democracy, but when they failed in their efforts to impose it on Iraq and Afghanistan, they took a new tack – to export the revolution. They adopted the path and ideology of Khomeini. They embraced the same idea, and began to export the revolution.

"It is not me who says this, but American writers and thinkers say so themselves. They say: We are exporting the revolution to the Arab world. If their aim is indeed to export the revolution, they subscribe to the same mentality as Khomeini."

"Bringing new regimes to power is in keeping with the American doctrine regarding the transition of power. It began in Tunisia, was exported to Egypt, and from there to Libya, to Yemen, and now to Syria – and who will be next? That is the reality of things."

"The U.S. Has Realized the Dreams Of Iran" in Iraq

"Let us now examine U.S. policy in the region. Iran failed in its efforts to topple Saddam, but America realized this dream for the Iranians. Iran failed to gain influence in Iraq, but America generated a significant Iranian presence in Iraq. Iran failed in its efforts to export the revolution, but America was successful in exporting the revolution in the region. It seems that the U.S. has realized all the dreams of Iran. Imagine that!

"U.S. policy is based upon the realization of interests, not upon the realization of rights. They say: We want the people to obtain their rights. No my brothers. If that is indeed the case, [they should demand] the rights of the Arab Palestinian people, which are violated more than the rights of any other people. So how come the U.S. does not take action, and recognize the right of the Palestinian people to establish a state? The U.S. has declared its rejection of a state for the Palestinian people. When the U.S. says it has good intentions towards the peoples, it is not speaking the truth, I am sad to say."

"The Iranian Nuclear Program Presents a Second Threat to the Security of the Gulf"

"The Iranian nuclear program presents a second threat to the security of the Gulf. They say that this program is for peaceful purposes. I don't believe this. I might be wrong. But even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, the Iranian nuclear program could experience a malfunction. They are no better than the Russians when it comes to technology and science, and the Russians suffered a huge nuclear leak. The [Iranians] lack spare parts for their airplanes, which crash into their cities, so what is to be expected if they build such huge plants?

"Indeed, they pose a threat to us, even if their program is for peaceful purposes. We are talking about a threat to the Gulf region. As you can see, Bushehr is very close to us. Moreover, Iran has [territorial] aspirations in the Gulf. This is another threat. Their designs are endless. [...]

"Why use diplomatic language and say that all the threats to the Gulf are external ones? No, there are people who threaten the Gulf from within. I'm referring to those who act on their own. Don't ask me who. You all know who I am talking about."

Other Threats Are "Iraq's Subordination to Iran... The Deteriorating Situation in Yemen... Iran's Confrontation With America"

"Iraq's subordination to Iran is the fifth threat to us as Gulf states. [...]

"The sixth threat is the deteriorating situation in Yemen. The Yemenis were wrong in staging a revolution against Ali Abdallah Saleh. I don't know the man, and I have nothing to do with him, but I was hoping they would stage a revolution against qat [plant chewed for its stimulant properties], which is the number one killer that holds them back. If you go to Yemen during work hours, you will see that the people do not work. As long as they use qat, Yemen will continue to be a burden on the Gulf states. Do not give them aid, unless they declare a revolution against qat. Otherwise, our money will be going down the drain.

"The seventh threat is Iran's confrontation with America. If it turns out that America intends to start a confrontation with Iran, we, the Gulf states, must avoid at all costs being dragged after the U.S. into its war with Iran. We have absolutely no interest in doing so. Therefore, we must not be dragged into it."

"The Americans Dragged Us Into Afghanistan; They Took Our Young Men To Fight As Mujahideen, And When They Returned, They Called Them 'Terrorists'"

"The Americans dragged us into Afghanistan. They took our young men to fight as mujahideen, and when they returned, they called them 'terrorists.' They pinned allegations of terrorism on us, and our people found themselves in trouble. Therefore, under no circumstances will I support the Arab countries in [fighting] Iran. Even if it turns out that they have a secret nuclear program, we should not fight Iran, because it is not in our best interest to do so."

"Wherever the Muslim Brotherhood Are To Be Found In the Gulf States, They Will Grow Stronger... They Are Already Talking About This... America Is Now Embracing Them"

"Let's turn to domestic matters and talk about developing the Gulf regimes. We inherited dynastic rule and have not made developments. If you ask me how this happened, this would require a long explanation, but we are marching in place. We must... Let me give one example: A life-long ruler is no longer conceivable. [...]

"Wherever the Muslim Brotherhood are to be found in the Gulf states, they will grow stronger and will become... They are already talking about this, and therefore, they are of concern to us. America is now embracing them. Foreign interference into Gulf affairs [poses another threat]. When the Iranian public took to the streets, the people were trodden on, crushed, beaten, and thrown into prison, but when the public in the Gulf took action, [the Iranians said]: 'No, that's a good thing. We welcome this.' Look at this paradox, at this difference in mentality. You think it is ok for my public to revolt against me, but you do not accept it when your public revolts against you. That's peculiar.

So Iran interferes [in our affairs] – and not just from today. I am an officer who has been in security for 42 years. Iran interferes not only in the affairs of Bahrain, but in the affairs of all Gulf states. We must be realistic, people. The 11th threat is that some Gulf regimes support and embrace extremist Islamic movements. That's right. Some Gulf states support extremists. [...]

"Every Gulf state that embraces Salafis, Shiites, Muslim Brotherhood members, or members of any other Islamist organization – these organizations will turn against them and bite off the hand that fed them. Efforts have been made with these organizations in the past, and the Gulf states have given them everything they needed, but ultimately, they turned against whoever cooperated with them. I ask all the Gulf states not to accept Islamist organizations as governments. [...]

"The 14th threat is the growing gap between the ruler and his subjects." [...]

Another Threat: "The Rise In Unemployment In The Gulf States... Although We Gulf States Have Economic Resources and Oil, Allah Be Praised, We Have Had Rising Unemployment During The Last Decade"

"The 15th threat is the rise in unemployment in the Gulf states. I am astounded at the fact that although we Gulf states have economic resources and oil, Allah be praised, we have had rising unemployment during the last decade. Aren't our governments supposed to be reducing the level of unemployment? I said that America is the number one threat, but what does America have to do with our unemployment? We ourselves are to blame. The shortcomings are in our governments. Therefore, we must invest an effort in alleviating the problem of unemployment. Unemployment is a dangerous ticking bomb."

Other Threats: "The Absence of Rule of Law"; "Financial and Administrative Corruption"; "Repression of Liberties"

"The 16th threat is the loss of social justice. [...]

"The 17th security threat is the absence of rule of law. A regular person is placed on trial, whereas for an influential person, they set up a committee, and get him out of the [court's] back door. Some people in Bahrain, for example, believe that those who wreaked destruction and destroyed civilian cars should not face trial. This is unacceptable. If there is no rule of law, you can be sure... In Egypt, they completely crushed the officers of the law. Today, if you are robbed, you can try to file a complaint. You don't stand a chance. You won't find anyone to respond to you. They stomped on the law, and now they are looking for someone to protect them. [...]

"The 18th threat is the financial and administrative corruption that is spreading in the government. [...]

"The 19th threat is the repression of liberties. In the Gulf states, I am sad to say, there are people who say: Don't write, don't speak. Freedom of speech and the freedom to write should be available to the people. The more we restrict these liberties, the more we can expect the people whose freedoms we restrict to revolt against us. [...]

"The 21st threat is the arbitrariness and tyranny of the security agencies. Let nobody tell us that we have angels working in the security agencies of the Gulf states. We have people who act with arbitrariness, and who violate the law. Whenever we expose them, we must punish them to the full extent of the law, because these people are harmful. [...]

"The 22nd threat is the stagnation in the job market. Even if someone is unsuitable for the job... Governmental positions are always reserved for certain families and certain people. […]

"The 25th threat is that the rich get richer while the poor citizens get poorer. They declare that there are billions in the state treasury, but some people have been unable to get housing for years. Then the West invents a financial crisis for us, and 50-60 percent of the interest in our savings in the West go down the drain. It would be better if you first built housing for citizens, so that they could live in happiness. […]

"The 36th threat comes from Iran's reckless declarations. I have counted how many threats it has made over the past six months. The daily average is one or two threats. They [threaten] to close, to attack, to destroy... Therefore, I am sad to say, we face a reckless neighbor. Why do the Iranian threats pose a threat to the region? They say to the Americans: Don't come back here. We won't warn you twice. The Americans have a cowboy mentality – they draw their pistols and shoot. We do not want the Gulf to turn into a battling ground between extremists and cowboys. […]

"The 38th threat to the security of the Gulf is the absence of a Gulf Union. [ …]

"There is a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. The Shiites are now talking about something called 'Greater Bahrain.' It includes all of you. They posted on the internet a map of the region, on which they wrote 'Shia State.' The ancient Bahrain of pre-Islamic times extended from Kazma, in modern day Kuwait, all the way to Dubai. Today, they are talking about reaching Qatar, but when they reach Qatar, they will continue... […]

"This requires us to establish a Gulf Union, because Iran can urge those Shiites... Not all the Shiites are alike. There are reasonable Shiites, who fit in with Gulf society and feel they belong to this land. But there are also some who go in the opposite direction." […]

"America Is No Longer an Ally... We Must Reach an Agreement With the Russians... Why Shouldn't We Strengthen Our Ties" With China?

"America is no longer an ally. On the contrary, it has become an intimidating party. Get that into your heads, weigh it, and you will see. Russia has become a capitalist country, so why can't it become a new ally? The Americans used to scare us by saying that the Russians are Communists, but now Communism is gone. But now they have become more capitalist than the capitalists.

"We must reach an agreement with the Russians, and form ties with them. Think about it, and you will see.

"China is a friend from whom we have only seen good things throughout history, so why shouldn't we strengthen our ties with it?"


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