Saudi-Qatar Crisis Shatters Illusion of Anti-Iran Arab Alliance

Saudi-Qatar Crisis Shatters Illusion of Anti-Iran Arab AllianceSaudi-Qatar Crisis Shatters Illusion of Anti-Iran Arab Alliance

Lawmakers described the Saudi efforts to forge an Arab alliance against Iran as dead in the water, saying the tensions between Doha and Riyadh demonstrate that not all Arab states are willing to fall in line with irresponsible and irrational Saudi policies.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Abolfazl Hassanbeigi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said Qatari rulers do not want the Saudis to play "a big brother role for them." They stood against their excessive demands and that is why Qatar opted out of the alliance, he explained.

"The refusal of some regional and Muslim countries, including Qatar, not to come on board with the plan [to develop an anti-Iran alliance] has in effect dashed hopes for an Arab NATO," he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and some smaller countries cut off ties with Qatar on June 5 over its support of militant groups, a move spearheaded by the house of Saud.

For years Saudi rulers have bandied about the idea of creating some sort of military union between Arab states that would help them reduce dependence on US forces for protection against threats from terrorism and what they see as Iran's expanding clout. The plan received plenty of media hype leading up to US President Donald Trump's Saudi visit in May for the so-called "Arab-Islamic American Summit", with some reports saying he would discuss an "Arab NATO" military alliance during the meeting.

Although the idea was not mentioned by name, Trump called on "all countries of conscience to work together to isolate Iran."

  No to Godfather  

Describing the plan to form an anti-Iran Arab alliance as part of US policies to "milk the Saudis," lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpishe said the Americans misled the Saudi regime into believing they should be the leading country in the region, and as such sold them arms worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

During his controversial tour, Trump signed a huge US arms package deal worth $110 billion with the oil kingdom. Some reports have suggested that the total sales could reach $350 billion over ten years.

The parliamentarian said Saudi rulers want all Arab states to follow their policies. They want to portray themselves as "a godfather" for them. Doha was not impressed and decided not to join the Saudi alliance, giving rise to sanctions and mounting pressure, he told ICANA.  

Kamal Dehqani, another MP, said Qatar has always sought to preserve its political independence, something that was frowned upon by Saudi rulers and led to the crisis in relations.

Regional countries will not fall for the Saudi divisive and vindictive plans, he said, adding, "all these fake coalitions created by them to [purportedly] counter terrorism are doomed."  


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