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Supporters of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani celebrate his victory.

The Sunni Arab World is Quaking with Fear

All of the above is revealed and known to the rulers of the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The numerous Shi’ite communities that are distributed throughout all of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula threaten stability from within, especially in Bahrain, where there is still a Persian Shi’ite majority and an Arab Sunni minority that the British brought in to rule over the majority. Shi’ite Iran threatens all of the countries of the Gulf that are located within the range of its short range missiles, and it threatens to block the movement of oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the bottleneck of oil exports from the Gulf.


These days, the Gulf countries are experiencing increasing anxiety, mainly because the Sunni residents of the Gulf are afraid that America will fall into the Iranian trap. With Obama’s rise to power, especially since the Cairo speech in June of 2009, they have become concerned that he “will throw them under the bus” in his attempt to present a pleasant demeanor to the radical Islamists and especially to the Iranian Shi’ites.

They have seen the American weakness in negotiations with the Iranians and they have seen how, using deceit and deception the Iranians continue to gain more time to develop their regional hegemony by buying people off, frightening leaders and eliminating the opposition. The Iranian takeover of Iraq is proof for them that Iran is galloping ahead towards control of the Gulf while exploiting the American reluctance to the use of force because of the tragedies in Afghanistan and Iraq. In both of these countries, Iran played a significant role in foiling the attempts of the West to create orderly governmental systems.

The American Passivity Toward the Iranians,

In the Gulf, they are afraid that the Americans will be even more passive in dealing with the Iranians during the era of Rouhani. As a result, the countries of the Gulf – headed by Saudi Arabia – are now acting according to the saying “Ma bithak Dhahrak illa dhifrak” – “none can scratch your back except your own fingernail” – the Arabic version of “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”. The countries of the Gulf are acting against Iran with whatever means they can, mainly with money. They purchase arms and ammunition and smuggle these implements of war into Syria to support the rebels against Asad, the darling of the Iranians and the backbone of their Arab project. Lately it has come to light that Saudi Arabia has purchased shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles in Europe for the rebels in Syria.

At the same time, the countries of the Gulf have been supporting the Sunnis of Iraq, who also have been raising their heads recently,  attempting to destabilize the Shi’ite rule over the Land of the Two Rivers and harm another Iranian satellite. Sunni money from the Gulf comes to Lebanon too, to strengthen, arm and train the opposition to Hizb’Allah, and even Hamastan in the Gaza Strip has lately received half a billion petrodollars from Qatar so that it will not need to depend on Iran’s good will. The talk about renewing relations between ayatollahs’ Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood’s and Mursi’s Egypt has had its effect, and Saudi Arabia has hurried to inject monetary support into the diminishing Egyptian treasury so that Mursi will be able to stay in power without having to ask for charity from the Ayatollahs.

For the sake of formality, Saudi Arabia sent a congratulatory message to the newly elected president Hassan Rouhani, expressing the hope for cooperation between the two countries, while everyone knows that the Saudis see the Shi’ites as infidels, “‘Ajami”* Persians who don’t even know how to speak Arabic, and they see the Iranians as the chief threat to the stability of the Saudi kingdom, which rules Mecca and Medina. The Saudis know very well how the Ayatollahs fantasize about the dissolution of the Saudi kingdom so that they can seize control of Mecca and Medina, the two holy places to Islam, rolling back the wheel of history to restore the Islamic Caliphate to the family of the prophet Muhammad, since it was stolen from him by the other families of the Quraysh tribe – the house of Umayya and the house of Abbas.


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Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups, and Israeli Arabs, and is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.