England-based Iraqi academic Sabah Al-Khozai appeared in a June 16, 2019 show on Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) and referred to Iran as a "Safavid regime." The Al-Jazeera anchor asked Al-Khozai to refrain from calling Iran a "Safavid regime" because it is "disrespectful" and because such talk is "not allowed" on the show, and Sabah Al-Khozai angrily pointed out that the anchor did not make any attempt to prevent another guest on the show from saying that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is controlled by the Americans. Al-Khozai criticized Al-Jazeera, saying that he felt as if he was on an Israeli channel or a "Safavid" Iranian channel despite the fact that Al-Jazeera is supposed to be an Arab TV channel. He stressed that Iran is the enemy of the Arabs like Israel is, calling Iran "Eastern Israel," and he said that the Iran that the Al-Jazeera host and the other guests are defending is the same Iran that burned down his homeland of Iraq, as well as Syria and Yemen. Al-Khozai said: "Don't teach me about current affairs. My Arab heart is burned! [Bin Salman] is defending the Arabs." He responded to the critique of bin Salman's relationship with the U.S. by adding that everybody in the world wants America on their side.
Interviewer: "Moving on to you, Mr. Khozai. Before directing my question, I would like to say that we distance ourselves from your description of Iran as a 'Safavid regime.' I ask you to refrain from using this description."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "Okay, but I ask you not to interrupt me."
Interviewer: "Go ahead. We are running out of time."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "First of all, I will say 'Safavid regime' a thousand times more."
Interviewer: "No, I'm sorry. We will not allow this kind of talk here. We are talking about a country and this country has a name..."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "You listen to me! This is what the Arabs say! The man sitting next to you in the studio said four times [during the interview] that Prince Muhammad bin Salman is under the control of America. Why didn't you tell him to be quiet?"
Interviewer: "What about it?"
Sabah Al-Khozai: "We're talking about an Arab prince!"
Interviewer: "What about it? It is only an opinion and a point of view. But describing regimes like this..."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "This is my point of view..."
Interviewer: "Please, Mr. Khozai... Never mind, let's leave it... Answer my question..."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "No, this will not go as you please."
Interviewer: "Answer this question, Mr. Khozai: Why wasn't there any response to Iran's call for direct dialogue and an agreement of non-aggression?"
Sabah Al-Khozai: "First of all, I feel like I am being interviewed by an Israeli channel, or an Iranian Safavid channel. Then I realized this is Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera is supposed to be an Arab TV channel."
Interviewer: "There is no need for this kind of talk... These descriptions are not part of our vocabulary and are not allowed here."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "Why, brother?"
Interviewer: "It is [disrespectful] to describe regimes like this, whether it is Iran or other regimes."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "No, no, no, no! Iran is an enemy of the Arabs. Iran is an enemy of the Land of the Two Holy Mosques. Iran is just like Israel. It is Eastern Israel. Dear brother, the Iran that you, your guest, and the other guest in Beirut are defending burned down my country, Iraq."
Interviewer: "We are not defending anyone..."
Sabah Al-Khozai: "Iran burned Syria and Yemen. So don't teach me about current affairs. My Arab heart is burned! This Arab prince [MBS] is defending the Arabs. Where were you when your guest said that [MBS] is under American control? All of Europe follows America, and so do China and Russia. Everybody wants America on their side."