x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Iran is exploiting Arab world uprisings

The US secretary of state Hilary Clinton says Iran is trying to influence the Arab revolutions by mobilising Hizbollah which has good ties with the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt.

The US secretary of state Hilary Clinton says Iran is trying to influence the Arab revolutions by mobilising Hizbollah which has good ties with the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt. She added that Iran is in constant communication with the opposition in Bahrain.

Iran's supreme leader declared that the recent events indicate an Islamic awakening inspired by the Iranian revolution.

What is going on? asked Tareq Homayed, the editor-in-chief of the London-based daily Asharq al Awsat. Is Iran instigating the revolutions? Or is Tehran trying to exploit the Arab situation?

"No, it would be unjust to accuse Iran of instigating the uprisings in our region. Nonetheless, Iran doesn't hesitate to interfere and exploit the prevailing atmosphere."

Some think that toppling regimes is all they need to rectify their situation, but this is an unrealistic simplification. How will the Yemenis deal with a worn-out economy and an intricate tribal system in case the president was to step down all of a sudden? Early elections in this case are the perfect solution. The same goes for Bahrain, where dialogue is of the essence.

It is through cracks like these that the Iranians are infiltrating our countries. Therefore, the duplication of the Egyptian revolution in all Arab states would be absurd since our ailments are different and our regimes are different too.

The precursors to dialogue in Bahrain

What we are currently witnessing in Bahrain are the precursors of dialogue, since we have never established a genuine dialogue before, wrote Mansour al Jamri, the editor-in-chief of the Bahraini daily Al Wasat.

It isn't bizarre that the kingdom is going through unprecedented events at the moment, for any dialogue that results from turmoil necessitates strong nerves and a firm will in addition to meaningful and honest negotiations.

"We need tangible assurances, for after what we have gone through, we don't want to build on measures and decisions that allow for a return to the past."

The Bahraini political parties have developed their methods by organising large protests and re-formulating their slogans calling for the toppling of the government rather than the regime.

Opposition forces in Bahrain converge on the aim of establishing a civil state where all citizens live within a constitutional framework that guarantees the peculiarity of Bahrain in view of its sectarian balance. The prevailing conviction is that Bahrain's continuity depends on its close ties with the GCC and the current reality of international relationships.

Opposition parties are demanding a constitutional monarchy. For this reasons, all parties concerned agreed to dialogue with the crown prince as representative of the ruling regime who has been in constant deliberation with all active powers on the scene.

Prime minister straight from Tahrir Square

It was a beautiful move when Dr Essam Sharaf, Egypt's newly appointed prime minister, stood in the middle of Tahrir Square in Cairo to meet with his supporters who insisted on toppling Ahmed Shafiq's cabinet and putting him at the helm of government in this delicate transitional period in the history of Egypt, commented Abdelbari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab daily Al Quds al Arabi.

Dr Sharaf is the first Egyptian prime minister who derives his legitimacy directly from the people, not from the president, as was the case in previous days. For this reason, he enjoys the trust of the majority of the Egyptians.

The youth-led revolution succeeded in bringing about a cabinet that would realise its demands of democracy which would put more pressure on the military council to abolish the state of emergency and release political prisoners as well as pave the way to transfer power through clean elections.

"This is indeed a historical week in Egypt, as the Shafiq government and some of its symbols are gone. The former interior minister Habib al Adeli will be standing trial for various charges such as as money laundering, murdering protestors and maybe ordering the bombing of the Alexandria church, to name a few."

These are historical days in Egypt that were made possible due to the will and persistence of unarmed rebels that believed in the righteousness of their demands.

Urgent aid needed for the Libyan people

The hordes of refugees on the Libyan-Tunisian borders bring to mind images of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Thousands of people are trying to escape war, but find no refuge, wrote the columnist Adulaziz al Sueid in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

The situation in Libya is similar, if not worse, with entire families searching for shelter amid a raging war and an absence of utilities.

"An Arab mobilisation is required, Arab states must come to the rescue of the Libyan people and especially refuge seekers stuck at the borders. This is in the first degree an obligation toward the Libyans, and secondly, neglecting this matter would allow for western interference under the shroud of humanitarian aid."

Arab countries are reportedly offering assistance, but in amounts and capabilities that cannot come near to covering the actual needs. The crisis has gone haywire and the situation indicates prolonged turmoil, which calls for a collective political Arab presence.

"I hereby call upon the relevant authorities in the Saudi kingdom to quickly mobilise its relief efforts through governmental and non-governmental authorities, despite the known animosity towards Qaddafi's regime, as the kingdom's humanitarian relief experience and capabilities are immense."

* Digest compiled by Rache Makarem