January 23, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 7856

Iranian Daily 'Kayhan' Calls To Create A 'Resistance League' To Replace The Arab League

January 23, 2019
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 7856

In a January 1, 2019 article in the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan, Sadollah Zarei, a member of Kayhan's editorial board, called for creating a "resistance league" to replace the Arab League, saying that the latter no longer has any influence and that its Arab members act against its own founding ideology. Following calls by several Arab states to reinstate Syria as a member of the Arab League, Zarei stated that rejoining the league is not in Syria's interest, and called on Turkey, Syria, Qatar, Pakistan, Oman, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia to band together in a "resistance league" based on an Islamic ideology that will unite these countries and offer an alternative to the Arab League, which is led by Iran's rival Saudi Arabia.

This proposal is an additional element in the enterprise of exporting Iran's Islamic revolution in order to bolster Iranian influence and hegemony across the Middle East.

The following are the main points of the article:

"A scent of intrigue, more than an admission of defeat, wafts from the actions of the Arab governments that depend on the U.S., and from their invitation of Syria to normalize political relations with them and to return to the fold of the [Arab] states.

"This intrigue is meant to provide political justification for changing Syria's character after they reached an  impasse in their military [campaign against it]. But how?! Saudi Arabia invited Syria to return to the Arab League [sic][1] and to be an ordinary Arab state. The question is whether this is a Saudi need or a Syrian need.

"Is the Arab League now facing an identity crisis and an existential crisis which requires it to bring Syria back [into its fold] in order to survive? Or is it Syria that is facing a political and existential crisis, and must return to the Arab League in order to survive?

"The answers to these questions are simple. The Arab League has been dead for over two decades – and it has no real influence. Its philosophy has two fundamental elements: one is to resist the Zionist regime and to actualize the ideal of liberating Palestine, and the other is to expand inter-Arab cooperation and reduce the internal tensions among [the Arabs]. [But] for a long time most of the Arab League members, particularly the major countries in it, have not only abandoned the fight against the Zionist regime, but are even maintaining political and security relations with it. At the same time, the Arabs in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and so on are fighting amongst themselves with bombs, and their security situation is worse than ever...

"What good is a return to the League for Syria – which some media outlets have described as a lovely dream? Are those responsible for the first war in Syria not the same members who are running the [Arab] League? Under the current circumstances, it is not that the Arab League can bring respect to [Syrian President] Bashar Al-Assad – it is Bashar who can bring the Arab League credit should he decide to return to it. But it is not to Bashar Al-Assad's benefit to respond in the affirmative to the invitation extended by Saudi Arabia and [the others]...

"Syria must not return to the Arab League, whose members one day [tried] to defeat it, [prompting ] it to leave. Such [a move] would undermine the future of Syrian security... No few Islamic and Arab states are today fed up with the dictatorial American politics and with the anti-Islam statements by the Saudi regime, and are seeking a secure axis so that they can get past the problems and take advantage of opportunities.

"Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, and so on can today create a new organization, and can make it the main Islamic organization and make it possible for the other Islamic states to gradually join it...

"The 'resistance' can be the common ground for these countries – resistance in light of the security and political threats and while making better use of the diverse opportunities in the Islamic world and among the Arab nations. In this era, the world is shedding its skin after 74 years, and entering a new age. We are in new circumstances, with the West ready to sink and the star of the East about to rise. But we cannot welcome the conditions of the future with an apparatus [like the Arab League] that operated when the [global] regime was bipolar and during the Cold War...

"Therefore, we must, according to this, prepare ourselves for profound thinking, and must not tackle things emotionally – so that we will be able to influence future international developments, and prepare our region for an active role in Asia's development."


[1] Saudi Arabia has not in fact issued such an invitation.

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