Political Observation - The Political Context of the Vigorous Activities in the Middle East
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Political Observation - The Political Context of the Vigorous Activities in the Middle East
Following his victory in the US elections, Joe Biden announced a host of preconceived standpoints towards key issues in the Middle East and the style in which he would tackle them. However, attention and divergent predictions focused on the possibility of Donald Trump rebelling against the results of the elections and executing a military strike against Iran, especially as he has demonstrated together with his Secretary of State, Pompeo, a persistence to cling on to power.
Meanwhile, the Middle East region witnessed remarkable and coherent political activity. Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, made an address in which he warned against Iran and hinted at the kingdom’s readiness to normalise its ties with "Israel". This was followed by a surprise tripartite summit in Abu Dhabi to which America’s godfather in the region, Emirati crown prince Mohmmed bin Zayed, invited king Abdullah II of Jordan and king Hamad bin Issa of Bahrain. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced the restoration of security coordination with the Zionist entity while "Israel" launched an air raid against Iranian military bases near Damascus. The Houthi group, for its part, announced that its missile force had succeeded in targeting an Aramco distribution station in Jeddah with a Quds winged missile.
"Israeli" media outlets leaked the news of prime minister Netanyahu’s secret flight to Saudi today with "Israeli" Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen. The jet departed on Sunday 22 November 2020 from Ben Gurion airport and was in Saudi for four hours, while Pompeo was meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. This was later corroborated by "Israeli" official radio. Despite Saudi’s denial of the report, the fact that the "Israeli" defence minister and leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, slammed Netanyahu for leaking the report confirmed that the visit did take place.
On the other hand, king Salman telephoned president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan within the context of inviting him to attend the G20 Summit and mending ties with Turkey. This was followed by the statement of Saudi foreign minister, prince Faysal bin Farhan Aal Saud, during an interview with Reuters in which he said that his country supported full normalisation with "Israel" but a complete and permanent peace agreement guaranteeing a state for the Palestinians with dignity should be approved first. He added that the new US administration would pursue the policies which would help achieve regional stability. With regard to the relationship with Qatar and Turkey, prince Faysal said the kingdom had “good and splendid ties with Turkey and there are no communiqués indicating the presence of an official boycott of Turkish products,” and that “Saudi, together with the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, continue to seek ways to end the rift with Qatar though they are still seeking to tackle some legitimate security fears”.
Having examined the sum of these moves in light of the change in the US administration and what it would entail in terms of changes in the style of executing the files of the region, it has transpired that the regimes of the region are endeavouring to condition their policies and their relationships to suit the approach of the forthcoming US administration. The moves do not indicate that Donald Trump is preparing a military strike against Iran, even though he and the evangelical rightwing have the desire to do so in service of Netanyahu who is still under pressure due to the corruption charges haunting him; this is because there is a difference between the president’s desire to undertake a military action and the US institutions allowing him to execute it, especially as military tasks in the US are restricted to what undermines US national security and they have to be justified.
It is true that the Houthi group attacked Aramco station in Jeddah two days ago, which is deemed as a threat to US national security, and that it could be used as a pretext to justify a military strike, especially as Iran announced that she had injected uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) into the cascade of advanced IR-2m centrifuges installed at an underground plant in Natanz according to the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), and that she had started installing a cascade of IR-4 centrifuges, but this came as part of Iran’s endeavour to pave the way for placing her file on Biden’s table with the aim of returning to the negotiating table and alleviating the economic sanctions rather than escalating the situation. This prompted Netanyahu to send a message to Biden yesterday stipulating that the nuclear agreement could not reconsidered without major changes. The Houthi’s attack and the Iranian provocation come in the context of Pompeo’s visit and his meeting with bin Salman with the aim of terrifying him and rushing him into normalising his ties with the Zionist entity, and thus scoring another point in favour of the evangelical movement and the Republican Party to invest it in the battle for the Senate midterm elections and in promoting Pompeo for the next presidential elections. This could also be viewed as part of the means of blackmailing and exerting pressure on bin Salman who is fearful of Biden’s administration and petrified of the fallout of normalisation, especially as Iran had published in the Teheran Times a map demonstrating the efficacity of Iranian ballistic missiles in targeting US bases in various strategic locations including Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the Emirates just ahead of Pompeo’s visit to Saudi.
Hence, the political activities in the region indicate that America aims to consolidate what has already been achieved in respect of the Deal of the Century. This approach is deduced from the Egyptian-Sudanese manoeuvres which aim to protect the government of normalisation and alliance under the leadership of Abdullah Hamdok and the army, against any popular protest that may impinge on the relationship with "Israel". It is also corroborated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which recommended to the US administration speeding up its backing of the Sudanese regime to avert the threat of a popular uprising, and instructing Saudi and the Emirates to support the regime of al-Burhan and Hamdok, since preserving the Sudanese regime is deemed a US priority necessitating putting an end to the polarisation of the Sudanese leaders and the jostling with Qatar to attract them.
We conclude from the aforementioned that the fervent activity falls within the context of imposing a host of new realities on the ground in a preemptive manner, and preparing for the forthcoming phase under the Biden administration; this includes Erdoğan’s recent proclivity to calm the situation with Europe that hopes Biden will back it in the confrontation with Turkey, especially as Turkey’s economic performance has recently declined and most probably induced Erdoğan’s speech in which he solicited de-escalation two days ago, and indicated his wariness of Biden’s intentions of backing his domestic and foreign opponents.
Also, from the activities of the Arab states, we conclude their inclination towards completing alliance and normalisation, especially between Saudi and "Israel", with the aim of liquidating the issue of Palestine. We can expound in this context the Jordanian preparations to exact an approval for the result of the Deal of the Century, specifically from the “East Jordanian Constituent”, through the parliamentarian formation and the Jordanian Senate. We can also expound why the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas wants to revive the negotiations and remove the obstacles facing them by restoring the treacherous security coordination which not only damages the struggle of the Ummah’s children in Palestine but also to justify for Arab countries their alliance and normalisation with the Jewish entity, especially Saudi, and by complying with the "Israeli" demand to freeze the salaries of the Palestinian prisoners and the martyrs’ families, thus turning their issue from an issue of resistance to a charity case. This also sends a warning to the children of the Ummah in Palestine against resisting and struggling against the army of occupation, not to mention the Palestinian Authority’s inclination towards eradicating the culture of “resistance” from the education curricula and purging the memory of future generations of the values encouraging resistance and Jihad and turning them into servants and slaves to the usurping entity. This prompts us to constantly remind the Muslims to denounce loudly and clearly the traitorous regimes and collaborating rulers, and to reject all the outputs of their conspiratorial political activity.
Furthermore, we exhort the children of the Ummah to call to account her forces, parties, scholars and dignitaries for their deafening silence and reluctance to seize the initiative and put an end to the treason of the regimes and rulers and their conspiring against Muslims. We remind those capable of generating change that they are perpetrating the most appalling treason against their Deen and causing the most grievous harm to the Ummah by keeping silent over falsehood. They ought to think about the judgement, which if they escaped today, will not escape on the day wealth and children will be of no avail save for those who come before Allah the Almighty with a heart free from evil.
8 Rabi’ al-Thani 1442h
23 November 2020