September 9, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 6154

Saudi Journalist Calls On Arab Countries To Enact Comprehensive Domestic Reforms – To Strengthen Themselves Against Iran

September 9, 2015
Iran, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 6154

In an article in the official Saudi daily Al-Watan, Saudi journalist Sa'ud Al-Balawi argued that, following the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, the U.S. is expected to become an ally of Iran and even to hand over regional control to it and give it carte blanche to operate there. According to Al-Balawi, it is already proven that Arab countries cannot rely on their historic alliance with the U.S., and therefore the only thing that can protect them and guarantee their stability are their peoples. For this reason, he said, he is calling on Arab countries to strengthen themselves at home by enacting widespread reforms, including in education, culture, and freedoms.

Following are excerpts from his article:[1]

Sa'ud Al-Balawi (image:

"After lengthy negotiations, the Western countries and Iran reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, the main points of which are inspection and oversight of Iranian nuclear facilities and cutbacks on [the number of] uranium enrichment centrifuges, in return for the release of Iranian assets and the lifting of the economic sanctions on it. All this [is to take place] according to a gradual timetable that will continue for 10 years. Under this agreement, Iran will go back to producing oil at maximum capacity; its assets will be unfrozen; its investment options around the world will open up; and it will be able to return to the international community.

"It could be said that this agreement is the U.S. President Barack Obama's sole achievement, and that he devoted all of his efforts to achieving it - even though the agreement implicitly recognizes Iran as a nuclear power and this is making the U.S.'s historical allies lose sleep, especially Saudi Arabia. Iran has a role, aspirations, plans, and moves in the Middle East, in accordance with the principle of exporting [its] 'Revolution' - and this coincides with the U.S.'s desire for a future gradual abandonment of the Middle East while undertaking to ensure Israel's security. This could enable Iran to become a regional power with freedom of action...

"It is clear from this agreement that the phase of [U.S.-Iran] hostility has ended, and that a new phase of rapprochement and focus on developing joint interests over the next 10 years, at the very least, has begun. It is expected that Iran and the U.S. will become allies, as they were in the days of the Shah, and that this will result in a shift in the world's power balances and alliances, according to this game of changing roles. This will lead to even greater changes in the next decade; at that time, the Middle East will face an existential test. This is because the U.S. has been prepared, since the dawn of the third millennium, after the September 11 disaster, to hand the entire region over to Iran, so that [Iran] will go back to policing the region as it once did, in light of the new[ly drawn] maps and [newly formed] configurations that resulted from the so-called 'creative chaos.'

"This is why there have been calls [to Arab countries], especially those historically linked to the U.S., to seek out new alliances according to [their] new interests - because it is no secret that the U.S. readily abandons allies under its 'squeezed lemon' policy, a pure pragmatic principle that is based solely on interests. The U.S. already abandoned its most important ally in the region, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, after he had occupied his seat for half a century... On the other hand, there is no proof that Russia has abandoned its allies - on the contrary, it stands beside them with all its might, for example, 'Abd Al-Nasser in Egypt and Assad in Syria...

"While it may be that in the past, Arab countries had insufficient time to devote attention to their peoples, today these peoples are the only guarantee that these countries have. For this reason, they need comprehensive and swift reforms in several areas, chiefly education and culture, public freedoms, civil society institutions, infrastructure, public services, and the fight against corruption. [These reforms must also include] passing and implementing laws despite all attempts by individuals or groups to violate them, as well as limiting the spread of religious extremism - particularly at a time when Arab countries are conducting battles on several fronts, mainly against terrorism, which threatens to destroy everyone..."



[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), July 17, 2015.

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