Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Interesting Development

Iran seems to be encouraging (Shiite/Sunni) Pan-Islamism against the regimes of the traditional allies of the U.S. in the Middle East.

With the obvious exception of Iraq.

The conservative Arab regimes are concerned that despite all the noise about the specter of the "Shi'ite crescent" haunting the region, the non-state actors in the Arab world (including Hamas) have continued to participate on the side of Arab-Iranian Islamism in the confrontation pitting it against the US-Israeli-Arab power elites.

Indeed, a major theme in Khamenei's message to the hajj pilgrims ... was also the "united identity of the Muslim ummah". In an extraordinary passage that harks back to a political idiom of liberation theology that Tehran hasn't used for a long while, Khamenei said: "The suppression of liberation movements in the Islamic countries over the past century [since the 1922 Middle East settlement imposed by imperial Britain], success of the colonial powers in establishing their dominance over these countries, creation and strengthening of authoritarian regimes [in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf], plundering of their natural wealth and destruction of their human resources, and thereby keeping Muslim nations behind the caravan of progress in science and technology -- all this has became possible only under the shadow of [Muslim] disunity that in some cases reached the level of internecine and fratricidal strife." ...

Iran is watching closely the growing coordination of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt with Israel at the operative level in Lebanon and Palestine. Israel, of course, has not hesitated to "leak" from time to time the details of its covert dealings with Riyadh and Cairo. Thus Iran has dismissed out of hand the Arab League special envoy's mission to Beirut last month and his four-point mediation formula for the consideration of Hezbollah.


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