Dialogue between Iran & Arab countries is impossible as earlier
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 8 / Trend , U.Sadikhova/
Despite Iran's statement on its readiness to launch a dialogue with the Arab world, experts believe the Iranian-Arab relations will not be established, until territorial and political problems will not be solved between them.
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the journalists on Sept. 7 that Tehran is ready to being a dialogue with the Arab countries, IRINN reported. Ahmadinejad's words were response to the call from the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa, to the Arab countries to establish dialogue with Iran and to Tehran - to stop interfering in the Arab countries' internal affairs.
"We (Iran) have good relations with the Persian Gulf's Arab states, including Oman, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Algeria. Turnover is at a very high level", Ahmadinejad said. "However, I do not know which Arab countries feel uneasy about Iran becoming stronger."
Ahmadinejad said that a common religion, Islam, as well as national and regional interests, unites Tehran and the Arab world. Iran has never taken action to weaken these ties.
"We have very good relations with the Arab countries, but Iran's enemies' interfering hampers this," Ahmadinejad said.
However, regarding difference in the interests of Iran and most Arab countries concerning the regional policy in the Middle East, Arab experts have doubts on beginning of the dialogue in the near future.
Three islands in the Persian Gulf - Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tumba, caused a territorial disputes between the United Arab Emirates, and Iran. League of Arab States stressed that Iran has occupied these islands, which belong to the UAE
Last year the advisor of supreme leader of Iran Khameni, Natik Nuri said that Bahrain in the past was an Iranian province.
If Iran really wants to start a dialogue with the Arab countries, first, it should return the occupied Arab territories, said Political Analyst Mohammed Zahid.
"Iran, even if not at the official level, have made claims to Bahrain, and regarding this statement, it is difficult to believe in its readiness for dialogue with the Arab countries," Zahid said to Trend over a telephone from Istanbul.
Iran's occupying the UAE territories and claim on Bahrain casts shadow on the seriousness of Iran's intentions to improve relations with the Arab countries, says Turkish political analyst.
The Head of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, Arib al-Rantavi agrees with him, and believes that Iran, in particular, must demonstrate a willingness and desire in solving territorial problems with the UAE
"If the two countries cannot solve this issue, hey must appeal to the international court that will decide whether these three islands belong to Iran or the UAE," al-Rantavi told Trend in a telephone conversation from Amman.
The LAS Secretary General, Moussa's call for a dialogue is an important step, but al-Rantavi considers necessary to reveal a plan of a dialogue and to clarify it in order the parties will be ready to negotiate and solve problems.
Besides the territorial issues, the position of Iran and many Arab countries differs in political conflicts in the Middle East, including the Israel-Palestine.
Iran considers the Palestinian problem a "common Muslim" and states that some Arab countries unfairly approach to its solution, trying to weaken Hamas's military resistance to Israel, said al-Rantavi.
But in fact Iran rejects the U.S. plan for peace in the region, calling for establishing an independent Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel, and causes discontent of the Arab countries, said al-Rantavi.
The Arab countries believe that Iran is also pursuing a policy of strengthening the Shiites in the Arab society, dominated by Sunnis.
"In response, Iran said that some Arab countries [Persian Gulf], allowing the foreign military to its airspace and territory, threaten the stability and security of Iran," al-Rantavi believes.
However, the Iranian president said "there is a trust relationship with the Arab world, adding that "the trade turnover between Iran and Arab neighbors is constantly growing."
Al-Rantavi believes that it is not important that Ahmadinejad states about the relationship, but to indicate ways of solving problems with Arab countries, such as territorial problems with the Emirates, the attitude towards the peace process in the region, and, finally, Iran's support for Shia movements in Yemen and Iraq is too important.
"Trade has nothing says and it is necessary to determine how to put an end to doubts of the Arab countries, and the trade is not a substitute for it," believes the head of Al-Quds.
The expert gave an example: the UAE is the biggest trade partner of Iran, but at the same time it has serious territorial claims.
Turkish Analyst Zahid believes the Iranian nuclear program was another challenge for the tension in relations with the Arab countries. Development of the Iranian nuclear program, according to Zahid, is enough cause for concern of the Arab countries, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
In August, Saudi Arabia announced the construction of the first nuclear power plant with U.S. support. In the past two years, Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf countries, including Yemen, Libya, Jordan and Egypt, have expressed interest in developing nuclear program, whose main goal is to create a strong base of technology, if Iran creates a bomb.
Although Iran states about its peaceful nuclear program, the Western countries believe Tehran sends enriched uranium to nuclear weapons.
Iran's nuclear program has become one of the reasons for concern about the security of the Arab countries in the region, due to the spread of its influence in Syria, Lebanon and some parts of the Palestinian Authority. During the explosion in the military arsenal depot of the Lebanese political party Hezbollah, which enjoys political and material support from Iran, in the southern Lebanon, chemical weapons were spread in the air, the Kuwaiti newspaper As-Siyasa reported.
Therefore, regarding these problems, al-Rantavi has doubt on a dialogue between the majority of Arab countries and Iran.
"The problem is that not all Arab countries occupy the same position. Syria, for example, has the close ties with Iran, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt take a tougher stance, said al-Rantavi. "There are Arab countries that want to establish natural relations with Iran, while avoiding peculiarities."
However, taking into account Iran's role in security of Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, as well as support for Hamas, a dialogue with Tehran could bring benefits for stability in the region, said Fahmi Kutut, a columnist for the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab al-Yawm.
"The dialogue is necessary, especially for the Arab nation. The Arab countries should also take into account Iran's interests in the region [...] Iran must comply with the interests of the Iraqi people and the Arab position," Kutut said to Trend .
Rufiz Hafizoglu contributed to the article
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