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Lawmaker Outlines Challenges Facing (P)GCC

Lawmaker Outlines Challenges Facing (P)GCC  Lawmaker Outlines Challenges Facing (P)GCC

A lawmaker described the Saudi-UAE dictation and their blind obedience of US policies as the main reasons behind the dissatisfaction of other members of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, which could lead to its breakup.

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman for Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates want to impose their wishes and interests on other [P]GCC members, who in turn express their objections [toward such dictations]," ICANA reported on Tuesday.

"Some members believe that the Arab council has become a tool to carry out US and Israeli agendas," he said without referring to any specific country.

"Certainly these two issues are very challenging for the [P]GCC and will very likely lead to its disintegration," he noted.

(P)GCC saw one of its most turbulent years last year as the bloc tried to solve a crisis initiated by a Saudi-led coalition to blockade Qatar for its alleged support of terrorism and close ties to Iran. Doha denies the charges.

A senior Omani official has recently told the Middle East Eye that Oman and other Persian Gulf Arab states could seek alternative alliances if Saudi Arabia, the UAE and US President Donald Trump continue to pursue "stupid" policies that are destabilizing the region.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Muscat could be forced to seek alternative protection if the Saudi-Emirati axis pursued plans to break away from the (P)GCC.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi last month announced plans for a separate political and military alliance and withdrew their officials from a (P)GCC summit in Kuwait. Bahrain has also sided with the Saudis and the Emiratis.

Ali Bakeer, a political analyst, wrote on Al Jazeera that Kuwait and Oman would increase their cooperation with Turkey and Iran as they know they have limited capacity to convince the Saudi-led bloc to back off.

Lawmaker Ardeshir Nourian pointed to the origins of (P)GCC as an anti-Iranian bloc created after the Iraq-Iran war in the 80s.

Although the anti-Iranian agenda is still somehow in place in the bloc but it is mostly spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, he said.

"The extremist Salafi-Takfiri ideology of Saudi Arabia sees enmity toward the Islamic Republic of Iran as a way to live on and has incurred heavy costs to that end," Nourian said, adding that "as Riyadh does not have the upper hand in confronting Iran, it has to seek support from the US."

"When other (P)GCC members see the US role and the Saudi Arabia's [irrational] policies, they start distancing themselves from Riyadh," he concluded.

Salafis and Takfiris are extremists who regard non-Muslims, and even other Muslims not sharing their views, as infidels and heretics punishable by death.    

 

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