x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Iran should watch its behaviour

"Two news items emerged at once; the first related to the arrest of eleven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards while they were crossing the Pakistani border, and the second concerned the seizure by Yemeni authorities of an Iranian vessel carrying anti-tank weapons," wrote Tariq Alhomayed in the London-based daily Al Sharq al Awsat.

"Two news items emerged at once; the first related to the arrest of eleven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards while they were crossing the Pakistani border, and the second concerned the seizure by Yemeni authorities of an Iranian vessel carrying anti-tank weapons," wrote Tariq Alhomayed in the London-based daily Al Sharq al Awsat. Such developments indicate that Iran is moving into the region unchecked. "These two events came to the surface because they were publicly announced by Pakistan and Yemen. We are wondering if Iraq decided also to unveil the size and form of Iran's interference in Mesopotamia. That could have revealed that Iraqi officials were closely involved alongside Iranian-backed militants."

The Iranian interference could not come by accident; it was rather intended because Iranian officials had said earlier they would pursue members of Jundullah who admitted their responsibility for the recent suicide bombings that rocked the eastern region of Iran. The same scenario is taking place in Lebanon where Iran is heavily engaged through its outstretched arm, Hizbullah. Iran's actionss have wider effects that can affect the whole region. As it continues violating international law, Iran should know that her rash behaviour could jeopardise the peace and security of the whole regions. 

Tariq Issa Taha, in  a comment piece for the UAE daily Akhbar al Alrab, wrote that after the utter failure of the security forces in maintaining stability in Baghdad following the deadly blasts of Sunday and previous ones in August, it is clear now that the security system has been built on a weak base.  "It is mired in corruption and bribery. The events also show that Iraq is still a scene of conflict that involve neighbouring countries."

Iraq's prime minister Nourri al Maliki must be decisive in order control the situation. He also should lead his government firmly to track down all those responsible for spreading terror and spare no one who emerges to be involved in corruption. "Failing to follow up on abduction cases and acts of mass murder will not deter criminals. Iraqi citizens will continue to be blackmailed and politically exploited. Following the failure to draft a new election law, elections will be fraudulent again and senior officials will be appointed on a quota system, rather than on competency. This is at a time when Iraqi delegations continue to tour the world to approve secret agreements in return for commissions." Political parties thus need to focus first on fighting corruption, ratherthan on winning seats, in order to provide for the basic needs of Iraqis, the most important of all being security and safety.

"The Israeli government has categorically refused to conduct any investigations into any soldier or officer who participated in the assault on Gaza, and instead it has set up a special committee to prepare an official response to the charges included in the Goldstone report. This is because a strong campaign is expected to be launched against  high-ranking Israeli military officers traveling abroad," wrote Mazen Hammad in an opinion piece featured in the Qatari newspaper Al Watan.

Reports by Israeli and western newspapers revealed that lawyers and human rights activists supporting the Palestinian people compiled a list of Israeli officers who were believed to be involved in war crimes during the last attack on Gaza. Activists are seeking to prosecute Israeli military officers in those European countries whose laws  allow for issuing international arrest warranties once suspects enter their territory.

"The Goldstone report came in a timely manner to further contribute to efforts of the human rights groups seeking to indict Israeli officers and subsequently arrest them. In view of these developemnts, as has been expected, the Israeli authorities warned its military officials to consult the ministry of foreign affairs before traveling abroad and to avoid visiting certain countries." This shows implicitly that Israel is aware that it did commit war crimes in Gaza.

The  Kuwaiti parliament opened its new session amid anxious feelings regarding the future relations between the executive and legislative powers in the country, wrote Ahmad Essa in a comment article in the Kuwaiti daily Al Jareeda. The parliamentary speaker underscored the supremacy of law, while the prime minister promised to achieve the aspirations of Kuwaitis for a better life.

"As a Kuwaiti citizen, I would only like to see both branches of power respecting the promises put forward. This is because we have been worn out by the ongoing tension that has devastated Kuwaiti political life. As such, we must start thinking about the feasibility of our democratic system, and whether we have people who believe in true democratic practices. We are also starting to doubt the role of democracy as an approach to government.

"Building new hospitals does not in itself improve health services; the same is true for education. What we need now is a qualitative approach to governance. We do not require the government to build an airport in the size of Heathrow, or a hospital similar to the Mayo Clinic, or a university to compete with Harvard, or a city like New York. We are asking simply for the government to provide acceptable services for its citizens."

* Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi melmouloudi@thenational.ae