The Tehran Foreign Policy Studies Quarterly

Editor's Note

Hossein Safdari


Editor's Note 


Through the Storm

The normalization of relations between the Zionist regime and small Arab countries of the Persian Gulf which was put on the agenda according to the September treaty of 2020 strongly supported by the United States of America can be both explored and interpreted from different aspects. Some of the important points are as follows: 
a. The aims of this cultural, political and social treaty has been stated as this: "This treaty allows Muslims to go to the Holy Land of Beit al-Moghaddas and visit religious and Islamic sites, and also lets the regional states to found their embassies and improve the mutual cooperation; it also promotes tourism industry and business among the nations in the region." Though they have tried to bring these goals to the attention, such treaties are, in reality, essentially based on security gaps. According to different pieces of evidence, a deep sense of insecurity has led the rulers in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirate and the Zionist regime to sign such treaties. 
1. With the vast and unconditional support from the White House, the Zionist regime has stored unconventional weapons in the Israeli city of Dimona and is seeking to make up for its security shortcomings; however, it is feeling insecure much more than before. Feeling concerned and vulnerable against the rocks or the slingshots the Palestinian fighters used against them, the security and military authorities of the Zionist regime now have to face the manually-made missiles of the Palestinian youth; this is the new mode of threat. The missiles ridiculing the legendary power of the iron dome and challenging the security strategy of the Zionist regime are now targeting whatever point they wish in the occupied lands, hitting Israel's secure points and institutes. Despite great expenses, the defense system of the Zionist regime is unable to divert these missiles. The Secretary of Defense of this regime has officially announced that their defense system and several hundred-dollar missiles their military is equipped with are incapable of dealing with the manually-made missiles of the Palestinian youth which could at most have cost three hundred dollars. The psychological effects of this desperation concerning their security against missiles flown from Gaza have enhanced the feeling of security instability in Israel which has in turn intensified Israel's reverse immigration. Palestine's resistance strategy and technology to make, store and launch missiles have completely changed the power balance in the occupied lands and made the security horizon of the Zionist regime fairly precarious. Now the resistance groups in both north and south of the occupied lands are equipped with missile capabilities, drone system and efficient technical and electronic equipment that the military and security system of the Zionist regime can't spot and control. As a result of this change in the security balance in favor of the resistance group, the leaders of the Zionist regime, more desperate than ever, have sought the solution in establishing relations with the countries in the region. By signing such treaties, they intend to circumvent the Palestinian groups and especially Iran which is the main source of both material and spiritual food for the resistance group and then heal Israel's wounds and security challenges by the support of the Arab countries of the region. When he announced these agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirate, Benjamin Netanyahu, the defeated Prime Minister of the Zionist regime praised Trump for the important role he had played in supporting Israel and introduced these agreements as a part of strategy to stand against Iran. 
2. Bahrain is a small revolution-riddled country whose dissatisfied opposing people have been suppressed by the government forces and Saudi Arabian military. A lot of the political fighters were imprisoned by the totalitarian leaders of this country and a great number of them –such as the leading Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim, who is practically the leader of all Bahraini political fighters-, were exiled in different ways. Quite obviously, this turbulent country lacks any democratic support and its security is dependent on other countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United States of America and the Zionist regime. Faced with people's opposition and aggression, the Bahraini ruling system is entirely unable to manage its internal equations and is utterly dependent on foreign powers for exerting power over its people. Under such circumstances, the leaders of the country regarded signing an agreement with the Zionist regime as a bridge to security and are sticking to it with the scant hope that normalization of relations with the Zionist regime would compensate for the security gap the House of Khalifa (Al Khalifah) has against the demands of the people for freedom. 
3. The United Arab Emirate is a small country facing many challenges. First, the ruling system of the country is formed based on the union of the seven small sheikhdoms supported by different families and tribes. The political façade of the Unite Arab Emirate is like a patched fabric sewn by stitches known as the security interests of the ruling families. Second, the political positions and views of the emirs of these sheikhdoms about the way they should deal with the changes in Yemen, Iran and Qatar aren't the same. Thus, the disparity of the views and conflicts among the powerful elements over the internal or external equations will soon affect the power structure in this country. For example, the differences of opinion between the two Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the role they should play in Yemen leaked outside their palaces despite the news censorship and revealed the fragile security of this country. Abu Dhabi's ruler, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, was in agreement with Saudi Arabia's policies, sent military forces to South Yemen and continued slaughtering of the poor people of this country. However, other sheikhdoms of the United Arab Emirate like Fujairah and Ajman didn't welcome such a policy and regarded it as a wrong policy leading to spreading of distress and turbulence and making people in the United Arab Emirate poorer. Therefore, they not only avoided to support such a strategy but challenged Abu Dhabi's ruler. Also, the radical stances of Abu Dhabi's rulers to extend and continue the sanctions on Qatar were in contrast to those of other sheikhs of the United Arab Emirate. Such challenges stand to threat the political stability of the sheikhdoms' union in the United Arab Emirate. 
Another security challenge the United Arab Emirate is facing is that 78 percent of the 10 million population of this country are immigrants or non-native. They have mostly immigrated from countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and other Arab countries and are playing roles in the economic structure of this country. It has all led the citizens of this country to see themselves as tenants and lack a sense of belonging. Hence, the people don't feel properly obliged to stand against the threats to their society. The United Arab Emirate played an aggressive role in Yemen's transformations during the recent years that it was under the invasion and then occupation of the Saudi Arabia, and considering the social context of the United Arab Emirate and the fact that a lot of Yemenis live in this country, the security perspective of this sheikhdom is marred with concerns and ambiguities. The situation worsened when Seyyed Abd al-Malek al-Houthi, the Yemeni revolutionary leader officially berated the United Arab Emirate for their policies against Yemen and warned them about some missile missions against their important targets. When the United Arab Emirate received this warning, they changed their approach and summoned the Emirate military men from Yemen. Under the circumstances, the Emirate leaders believe that they can increase their security efficiency by normalizing relations with the Zionist regime; they hope to have the support of the United States of America, the Zionist regime and their allies' support for their small and unstable country through the security changes. 
4. Though, compared with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia is treading more lightly towards the normalization of relations with the Zionist regime, it is facing more security challenges and having more pressing needs to form an alliance with the Zionist regime. Weakness and military defeat in Yemen, failure in making use of radical movements and the ISIS to fight the axis of resistance, defeat in Iraq, failure in Syria and … are but a few reasons which make an alliance and convergence with the Zionist regime more pressing and to top all that the ruling system in this country lacks democracy and the support of the people in the country. 
b. In addition to the security challenges encouraging the Zionist regime, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to form a political alliance and convergence, the United States of America is also trying to fill its own political and strategic gaps through these agreements. The American government faced failure in all the foreign policy changes, especially the transformations of the West Asia region, during Trump's presidency. The US failed in the changes concerning Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen and had to retreat. It failed to realize its goals in the equations concerning Iran's nuclear plans and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (BARJAM) and was unable to make Iran surrender despite all the sanctions and constant military threats. Their confidence took a heavy blow when Iran struck their drone and then invaded Al Asad Airbase with its missile and defense system. In order to enjoy at least one victory to compensate a series of failures in the foreign policy, the White House officials decided to pretend that they had a great political achievement in empowering their allies against Iran and the axis of resistance. Throwing a fake party for heroically signing an agreement on paper –even if it was real and realizable- wouldn't equal the United States' repeated failures in the West Asia region. 
c. The creative solution of normalizing relations between the Zionist regime and Arab countries have been tried and proved to fail before. It is essentially because normalization is utterly different from peace. Peace and ceasefire are the results of treaties and agreements, but normalization of relations can't be easily agreed on by officials; it is the culture, approach and will of the nations which can lead to interaction and normalization of relations. None of the regional nations and Arab citizens in Arab countries is prepared to normalize their relations with those who occupied Palestine even if their rulers sign the agreements and accords with the enemy with a gold ink. 
d. None of the normalization agreements of the Zionist regime with Arab countries –neither after signing Camp David Accord with Egypt in 1978 and nor after signing Arava Valley Treaty with Jordan in 1994- led to an improvement of the economic and security situation in these countries. The economic and security situation in both Jordan and Egypt is much worse than when the Zionist regime officials encouraged the leaders of these two countries to come to the negotiation table and sign a mutual agreement for normalization of relations with the promise of huge improvements in their economic and security states. It is well-evidenced by an increase in their living-social concerns and their foreign debts during the recent years. 
In conclusion, it is obvious that the mutual agreement between the Zionist regime and some Arab countries has been solely based on the parties' need for security. The ruling systems of House of Khalifah, House of Saud, and House of Maktoum are betraying Palestinian ideal by embracing the Zionist regime officials in order to enhance their security situation. If history is any indication, employing this approach will only meet the Zionist regime's security needs; none of the security or political challenges of the Arab countries would be solved. Moreover, normalization of relations between the Zionist regime and these countries is contingent upon the friendly interaction among nations which would render the purpose null in this case because the relations between the robber and the robbed, the occupier and the occupied nation will always remain hostile and irreparable. Not only will the Arab leaders gain anything with this normalization approach, they will also get stuck in the wrath storm of the nations and will sooner or later perish in this firestorm.

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