Saudi Journalist: Iran – Not Israel – Is The Gulf States' No. 1 Enemy. (Memri).
On March 8, 2016, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh wrote in his column in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah that today, Iran is the No. 1 enemy of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, supplanting the historical enemy Israel. Any citizen of the Gulf who disagrees with this assessment, he added, is a traitor.
Arguing that Iran is exploiting the Palestinian issue as a pretext for "infiltrating deep into the Arab world, shredding its Arab fabric, and dragging Arab society into supporting its expansionary plan," he emphasized that the Palestinians should expect no salvation from Iran. He also warned the Gulf Shi'ites that they were mere pawns for Iran, which was using them to promote Persian national aspirations.
"The Persian enemy is Enemy No. 1, and the Zionist enemy is [only] Enemy No. 2. We must present this truth directly, flattering no one, to all those [who try] to extort us with the tale that Israel is the Arabs' Enemy No. 1 and that Iran supports us on the Palestinian issue. This tale could still be true vis-à-vis the Arabs to the north [of the Arabian Peninsula], and in Egypt, because Israel threatens [Egypt] and its security and stability. But as for the [Saudi] kingdom and the Gulf states, it is Iran, not Israel, that tops the list of the enemies and the dangers that lie in wait for us, face us and threaten us.
Iran is exploiting the issue of the Palestinians and the liberation [of Palestine] as a pretext for infiltrating deep into the Arab [world], shredding its Arab fabric, and dragging Arab [society] into supporting its expansionary plan.
"It is true that the Palestinian issue has throughout history been the No. 1 Arab cause, and liberating Jerusalem from the yoke of the Israeli occupation has doubtless been the No. 1 issue for us, with nothing more important. However, at this time, and in light of the Persian ambition that the extremist Muslim Iranian government is backing with all its resources and for which it is mobilizing all its forces and capabilities, the Persian enemy takes priority – and must take priority – over the Israeli danger.
"I do not think that any reasonable Gulf resident would consider the danger [posed by] the Zionist enemy to be greater than [that posed by] the Persian enemy. The Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrians, whose land is wholly or partially occupied by Israel, are expecting us – for whatever reasons and excuses – to be courteous towards them and to prioritize the Israeli danger over that posed by the Persian enemy. They are delusional."Moreover, let me say this bluntly: Any citizen of any of the five Gulf states who prioritizes the Israeli danger over that of the Persian enemy, whether from a pan-Arab or an Islamist perspective, is sacrificing his homeland, its security, its stability and perhaps its very existence for his neighbor's cause. By any national standard, this is absolute treason.
"This issue has to do with our very existence, and there is no bargaining over it or dismissing or neglecting it. It is a matter on which the Gulf residents, whether Sunni or Shi'ite, agree equally. I know that for a minority among the ordinary Gulf Shi'ites, sectarian affiliation is the most important factor, and they place it above national affiliation. To them I say: The Persians have no interest in sect or even in religion. What really interests them is utilizing [your] sectarian [affiliation] as a lure to mobilize you against your homeland, as a fifth column.Read the full story here.