x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Arabic newspaper ponders Ahmadinejad's political future

Editorials in the Arabic-language press comment on the plight of Iran's president, the crisis in Syria, and Israel's reaction to the Hamas-Fatah pact.

Ahmadinejad soon out of the political arena?

News from Iran suggests that the Supreme Leader has issued President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an ultimatum to reinstate the intelligence director or tender his resignation, noted Tareq al Homayed the editor-in-chief of the London-based Asharq al Awsat daily.

Will Mr Ahmadinejad fall before his counterparts who are ripe for the harvest in our region? Of course nothing is impossible; some plot seems to be brewing.

Iran is in disarray. The unfolding events in the region are a testament to the failure of its foreign policy. Its allies are in serious trouble. Lebanon's cabinet is yet to be formed and Hamas had to run to Abu Mazen for protection from the Syrian regime's wrath.

Moreover, the erosion of the regime in Syria gives the US more leeway to arrange the situation in Iraq and make new steps towards peace. And as soon as Col Muammar Qaddafi falls in Libya, Washington and the international community will be free to deal with the next enemy, Iran.

"Therefore, Mr Ahmadinejad may resign or be removed. Even if he remains in office, it would mean that his term is over."

The Iranian president has effectively fallen as a result of his defective foreign politics that completely isolated Iran. He was knocked down by Ayatollah Khamenei who issues him orders as if he were his private secretary rather than the president of Iran.


The GCC is reticent to mediate in Syria

Earlier this week, following the Bahraini foreign minister's two-day official visit to Damascus, the Gulf states announced they would not mediate in the Syrian crisis, wrote the columnist Daoud al Sharyan for the pan-Arab Al Hayat daily.

The countries of the Gulf are certainly heavily invested in the settlement of the Yemeni crisis and they are capable of assuming this positive role in Syria as well. But the political rhetoric in these countries is based on secrecy, which has contributed to creating a negative perception of the GCC positions.

It was for this very reason that they were accused of playing a negative role during the Egyptian revolution. This could be why they are reticent to mediate between the opposition and the regime in Syria.

The GCC's secretive modus operandi has given rise to public misconception.

"Politics are a public matter. We are entitled to know what the foreign ministers had to say to the Syrian officials as we are entitled to know what is behind the GCC's reticence towards mediation."


Al Assad must turn against an old legacy

The regime in Syria is pressing forward with its option to clamp down on the popular protests spreading across the country, observed the columnist Ali Hamade in an opinion article for the Lebanese Annahar daily.

The international and Arab reactions to the Syrian regime's actions are weak at best. This is an authority abusing unarmed civilians, torturing children and killing women for daring to express discontent.

"Before the most powerful killing machine in the region, free civilians in Syria are exhibiting a rare courage that calls for reverence."

A close look at the names featured on the list of EU sanctions against Syrian officials reveals that the majority belong to president Bashir al Assad's close family circle. He himself will soon join them unless he orders a stopping of the murders.

The list of sanctioned personalities showcases the actual system of government in Syria: the intelligence services, the family and the clan. This trinity, a legacy of former president Hafez al Assad, can no longer be perpetuated.

"The era of Arab Stalinism is gone. Unless President al Assad turns against himself and frees himself from his father's legacy, a day will soon come when he will be standing trial in The Hague before two tribunals: the special tribunal for Lebanon and the international criminal tribunal."


Israel plans to fight the reconciliation

In its editorial, the Jordanian Addustour daily pointed out that the Israeli government is seeking to abort the Palestinian reconciliation and to circumvent the PA plans to put the establishment of a Palestinian state up for a vote at the UN General Assembly in September.

Mr Netanyahu's recent visits to France and Britain unveiled Israel's plans to reshuffle papers and fabricate serious events aimed at undermining the new-found Palestinian unity.

"The only Palestinian response to the enemy's plans following the declaration of reconciliation must come in the form of a genuine effort to achieve unity and make it a tangible reality."

The intensified Israeli campaign to persuade the world powers to reject an independent Palestinian state must spur the PA and the Arab states to develop a clear and defined schedule to guarantee international recognition for the future state.

"The enemy's objectives are no longer hidden. They are crystal clear and require a methodical retaliation. The world must be addressed directly in the language of interests, for the political vocabulary has no room for emotions."



* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem