The regime of Iran pretends that there is a deep hostility between Iranians and Israelis. On the other side, the regime of Iran has been trying to prove that the Iranian people care about Palestinians in a special way (let say different from their feeling about the Chechens in Russia). Both of these claims are baseless and wrong. Iranians do not feel any hostility towards Israelis and Iranians have no
In his most recent interview (21 March 2012) with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, Ahmed Rashis recycles and reinforces an extremely dangerous stereotype of Shia Muslims in the Middle East and throughout the world, i.e., Shia Muslims are stooges and agents of Iranian mullah-regime. This stereotype has been frequently used by Arab dictators in the Middle East, Jihadi-sectarian groups (Al Qaeda, Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Ikhwan-al-Muslimoon etc) in Arab and non-Arab countries to persecute or/and massacre innocent Shia Muslims.
We condemn the racial-sectarian stereotyped profiling of S.M. Kazmi, an Indian journalist, by the Indian police and security agencies. We have reasons to believe that Mr. Kazmi was arrested because of his faith (Muslim), sect (Shia) and professional affiliation (correspondent of an Iranian news agency). Furthermore,
It does not matter if one was Baloch and the other is an Arab. They both represent the violent face of wahabi sunni Islam. The Baloch must be extremely careful and do not look upon Jondullah as a lesser evil simply because it is comprised of Balochi-speaking sunni wahabis, warns intellectual and poet Dr. Malek Towghi of East Lansing, Michigan.
In a previous article, Marya Mushtaq has highlighted how some Shia leaders in certain ethnic parties (e.g., Abdul Khaliq Hazara) are trying very hard to misrepresent Shia killings by the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban terrorists in Pakistan by giving them an ethic colour to deflect the attention from the real killers.
In this article, we will highlight how some politically active Shia ulama (religious scholars) are equally complicit in the crime of deflecting Shia Muslims’ attention from the real killers, i.e., by deflecting the attention to Israel, India, USA etc instead of boldly naming and condemning the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban militants.
Let’s start with a brief historical context of Shia activism in Pakistan in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution.
After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran led by Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, some Pakistani Shia religious scholars misled the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Iranian government by ensuring them that a pro-Iran (or pro-Shia) Islamic revolution in Pakistan was not very far. The formation of the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria (TNFJ) in Pakistan in 1979 was a good move to confront the enforcement of controversial Wahhabi-Deobandi laws and discrimination against
Enduring Allies: Pakistan’s Partnership with Saudi Arabia Runs Deeper
9 December 2011
When Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia died this fall, the first foreign head of state to announce he would attend the funeral was President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan. Accompanying him was the chief of army staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the real power in the country.
This is in reference to “Kill the sectarian killers: Will Pakistan follow the Iranian example?” published by a fellow editor, Sarah Khan, on December 20, 2010. In her post, Sarah was giving the example of how Iran executed 11 members of Jundullah in response to the horrific suicide bombing that killed 39 Shia mourners and wounded another 100 in Chabahar, Iran.
While I am completely opposed to the State sponsored militias that have killed thousands of Pakistanis, I don’t think we should be following the Iranian example in this particular instance. That being said, Sarah Khan is spot on in her assessment:
“the ISI is known for its support to jihadi-sectarian groups and the judiciary remains infested with the pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (pro-Taliban) judges.”
While our media is infested with jihadi sympathizers like Hamid Mir, Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi, Javed Chaudhry etc and our judiciary is increasingly being viewed as a B-Team for the jihadis, Iran has a pathetic human rights record for its treatment of all those who are against the hardliners and the theocrats whose victims include women, minorities, Bahais, Baluchis, Kurds, secular Shias (the vast majority of the population) and all the senior Ayatullahs who do not agree with the theocratic construct of Vilayat-e-Faqih.
In this regard, the Balochs and Kurds are persecuted in Iran on the basis of ethnicity and not sect and those who were executed in Chabahar were arrested before the horrible and equally condemnable suicide bombing of Shias. The sequence of events that is being played out in Iran and Pakistan with regard to the Baloch is a dirty game that seeks to delegitimize the nationalist aspirations of the Baloch.
Since the annexation and division of the former State of Qalat by Pakistan and Iran, the Balochs have maintained their genuine nationalist concerns that range from provincial autonomy and a dignified existence to full independence from both countries.
In Pakistan, they have faced several military actions and the last one is still ongoing even if it does not have the attention of our chic urban types. Of course, we all know how the judiciary has backtracked on the issue of missing persons that include thousands of illegally detained Baloch youth along with a dozen or less shadowy Islamist types; the latter 2-3 like Aafia Siddiqi and Masood Janjua are the only ones that matter to the consciousness of our Jamaat-e-Islami influenced urban types.
In order to delegitimize the Baloch struggle, our establishment has, in typical fashion, added a toxic blend of sectarian fanaticism to the mix. It has continued the laboratory experiment that it started in District Jhang and used the same formula to create the Jundullah: a Wahabi/Deobandi militia comprised of a few brainwashed Baloch youth. This allows the establishment to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, the Jundullah have been indoctrinated with a virulent anti-Shia ideology that makes them the perfect foot soldiers to kill Shias in Pakistan and Iran. Furthermore, their fanatical acts of violence also damage the Baloch nationalist struggle.
The Baloch struggle is secular in nature and rooted in a rich and diverse cultural tradition. Until the Saudi-financed and establishment facilitated radicalization of some Baloch children, the Zikri (a mystical Sufi sect) school of thought formed the cornerstone of Baloch religious sentiment. The radicalization and subsequent acts of senseless violence by Jundullah allows the establishment to malign and de-legitimize the largely nationalist Baloch struggle. This is a tactic that is similar to the one used to drown out the moderate and nationalist sentiment in Kashmir and replace it with sectarian Jihadis from Punjab.
In prosecuting our jihadi sectarian murderers, we should never be emulating Iran. In this regard, the aims of those who want a just and peaceful society are up against an Islamofascist judiciary that clearly has the interests of jihadis like Hafiz Saeed, Mullah Abdul Aziz, Masood Azhar and sectarian murderers like Malik Ishaq of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. That this judiciary is entrenched and dictating its regressive agenda to elected representatives of Pakistan should be a lesson to those who supported the movement to restore compromised and shadowy bureaucrats; those who have a solid tradition of backing military coups and committing judicial murder.
While the Taliban have been given a free hand to slaughter Pushtuns, Shias, Ahmadis and Barelvis and while their affiliates such as Jamaat-e-Islami and Sipah-e-Sahaba are allowed to lynch Christains, our “educated” bourgeoisie and elites are continuing to live in denial and the la-la land of conspiracy theory. They lack the moral and intellectual clarity to admit that an increasing number of fellow Muslims (extremist Deobandis and Wahhabis) are committing violence on Pakistan’s diverse ethnic, sectarian and religious minority groups. They have a tendency to continually blame Jews, Hindus and Blackwater, even as the various jihadi groups proudly own up to the latest act of terrorism. In this they are abetted by a media that mostly takes its cues from the establishment and therefore completely dishonest.
We need no cues from Iran or Saudi Arabia to bring murderers to justice. What we need is support for democracy and the will to protest and call out the proxies of the establishment which are the judiciary and the media – the Teen Jeem coalition!
Specially contributed to the LUBP, this post was first published at These Long Wars blog
Pakistan, Iran and Russia. The middle one completely hated by the US, the former and latter, sort of trusted. Russia must bring pressure to bear on it’s guys, remnants of the Northern Alliance, the Iranians have influence with the people who control Herat, and Pakistan has some very obvious links with the Taliban. All three agree, they don’t fight once the US leaves.
Chinese money is already in Afghanistan.
I don’t think they want to annex Afghanistan.
But the Chinese would like “stability” in Afghanistan.
India can continue to build roads, electricity poles,
Now there are a million things that could go wrong with a plan like this. The Order of Battle For Jihadi Islam Across the Durand Line covers the obvious suspects.
But as well as them, there are more people who can make things go off the rails.
1) The Pakistan military may either become expansionist (through it`s Taliban allies), the officers may be “swept along” by Taliban victories and want to let the Taliban move forward, or the Indian presence may be too provocative (prove to be an easy target), or the Indians may seem too powerful, and the Pakistanis just start attacking them wantonly, precipitating a Taliban drive for power.
2) Younger commanders on the ground start doing their own thing (killing opponents) whilst paying lip service to Mullah Umar (still in Pakistan). Sort of like how MQM sector commanders say they listen to their leaders at the top of the party, but kill local rivals nonetheless, physically strengthening the MQM’s position, whilst simultaneously threatening a larger war with either the government, the ANP or the PPP. The younger Taliban commanders could start killing off local rivals, threatening an escalation to a larger war.
3) The Americans may simply go apeshit at the prospect of peace at the hands of the Iranians and Russians. Although why they would scuttle this only as a matter of pride or irrationality is inexplicable, although expectable considering their past involving Iraq 2003.
4) There is also the fact that the success of the Taliban in Afghanistan was bought on the backs of regiments of Pakistani soldiers who were ordered to use their mechanised equipment, and provide close air support to the Taliban. It was this developed military approach that bought the Taliban success against the Northern Alliance. How easy or difficult would it be for the Pakistan Military to restart such a program, where they bought their equipment into Afghanistan and used it to pound the Afghan National Army until it collapsed?
There are possible answers to these troubling scenarios.
1) Pakistan has suffered multiple casualties at the hands of religious extremists; there may be little tolerance for more religious nutjobs to take the helm of Afghanistan, killing fellow Afghans AFTER the US withdraws.
2) The Afghan Taliban may keep themselves “together” (or as much together as a disparate guerrilla movement can) and the younger commanders may be reeled in by the now, very old, 90’s Taliban leadership, who *might* be feeling tired of war. That is a big *might*. Much of the senior leadership has fought in the Soviet-Afghan Jihad, the Afghan civil war, and now the US occupation of Afghanistan. They have faced down the Warsaw Pact, all manner of other Afghans and NATO. It just might be possible that they may be feeling tired of war. A wild card would be the question, would Pakistan provide the same sort of all around military support for a new drive by the Afghan Taliban? I will adress that as well.
3) The Americans cannot possibly be this stupid, as to toss away peace in Afghanistan, especially when they give the impression of being trapped there, and news leaking out constantly of them negotiating with the Taliban. Even fakers like the silly greedy “Mullah” Mansoor, of Quetta shopkeeping fame. Now the Americans are pounding the Afghan border and Khyber Agency in frustration, whilst the young commanders are quietly in hiding.
4) This is the hardest, would the Pakistan military bring in it’s artillery, tanks and close air support to aid the Afghan Taliban. You’re asking me to predict the future, and to be honest, maybe, one could hope that not this time around. The Pakistan military must be reminded of it’s mental limitations, it’s capacity for stupidity at every turn, and told to keep away from adventures in Afghanistan. For God’s sake, tell them to look at their casualty lists for just the last three years.
Peace in Afghanistan, and the regularisation of FATA’s status (possibly as a separate province, but also possibly as a place where regular law applies, that could join Pakhtunkhwa) must be made a serious, serious policy plank of the PML-N, the PPP, the ANP, the MQM and just about every Baloch political organisation that exists. Only together can they make the Pakistan military comply. I appeal to the PPP, the PML-N, the ANP, the MQM, and the electoral competitors of Balochistan to pressure and fight towards this. It is our future.
Iran set a worthy example today by punishing rogue elements (sectarian terrorists of Jundullah and Sipah-e-Sahaba) who have crept into Baloch nationalist movement in Iran and Pakistan.
This swift action by the Iranian government (police, army and judiciary) in arresting and punishing those responsible for suicide attacks is a useful example, something which is currently lacking in the state of Pakistan where the ISI is known for its support to jihadi-sectarian groups and the judiciary remains infested with the pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (pro-Taliban) judges.
Here is the news item:
Iran hangs 11 extremist Deobandi/Wahhabi terrorists, urges Pakistan to act
Mon Dec 20, 2010
* Jundollah claimed Dec. 15 suicide bombs that killed 39
* Iran says rebels take refuge over Pakistan border
* Army official says Rev Guards able to deal with them
By Mitra Amiri
TEHRAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Iran hanged 11 people linked to the Deobanid/Wahhabi terrorist group that killed 39 people in a mosque bombing, the Justice Ministry said on Monday, and an army official urged Pakistan to root out the “terrorists” across the border.
“The people of Sistan-Baluchestan province, in their continuing campaign against the elements of cruelty and insecurity, hanged 11 people at Zahedan prison,” the ministry said in a statement on the semi-official Fars news agency.
“These corrupt and Mohareb [an enemy of God] elements have been identified and arrested by security and intelligence forces,” Ebrahim Hamidi, the head of the provincial justice department, said.
The Irna news agency quoted him as saying: “The sentence was carried out after receiving confirmation from the country’s senior judicial bodies.”
It said those executed were all supporters of Jundollah, the group that Iran says is linked to al Qaeda and which claimed a double suicide bombing of Shi’ite worshippers in the southeastern province bordering Pakistan on Dec. 15.
Iran hoped it had neutralised Jundollah when it executed its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, in June. But the mosque bombing in the town of Chabahar, which wounded more than 100 people, was the latest action by the group to show it is fighting back.
Jundollah says it fights for the rights of the Baluch people, an ethnic minority it says faces “genocide”.
The families of the bombing victims sent a letter to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari calling for “serious measures” against Jundollah and other “terrorist” groups, echoing a call from some Iranian officials.
“These anti-revolutionary groups which have been given shelter in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and are being supported there should be pursued and suppressed on Pakistani soil,” Qolamali Rashid, a senior military official, said according to Fars.
“The land forces of the Revolutionary Guard have the ability to do this,” he said, referring to Iran’s elite military force.
A member of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee said on Sunday that “Pakistan should be served notice” to destroy what he called terrorist training camps.
“If the Pakistan government refused to take measures to destroy the terrorist centres in that country, then the Islamic Republic would have the right to take steps and make the atmosphere unsafe for the terrorists in defence of its own nationals,” Kazem Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency.
“If Pakistan fails to control and prevent terrorist measures at its borders … we will make use of our legitimate rights,” the armed forces chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said.
Relatives of some of the 39 people killed in last week’s mosque bombing, in the port city of Chabahar, have also asked Pakistan to crack down on the group.
The Chabahar attack happened during a religious ceremony on the eve of Ashoura, Iran’s biggest Shia religious holiday. Security officials said there was evidence the bombers were “supported by regional intelligence services”.
Jundollah has a long history of targeting civilians. Often said by Tehran to be secretly backed by the US, Britain or Israel, it has reportedly used bases in Pakistan to mount operations in Sistan-Baluchistan, which has an ethnic Baluchi Sunni majority.
The US and Britain both consider it to be a terrorist organisation.
Jundollah’s last big bomb attack was on a Zahedan mosque in July, on another Shia religious holiday. The bombing, described as retaliation for the execution of the group’s captured leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, killed 28 people, including members of the Revolutionary Guard.
Related articles: LUBP Archive on Jundullah
Jundallah claims suicide attack at Iranian mosque
By BILL ROGGIO
Source: Long War Journal
December 15, 2010
Jundallah, [an extremist Deobandi/Wahhabi] terrorist group [having close links with some Baloch nationalists in Pakistani Balochistan), claimed it carried out a suicide attack today that targeted Shia worshippers at Imam Hussein Mosque in Chabahar in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.
Forty-one people, including women and children, were reported killed in the suicide attack, and more than 100 were wounded. The suicide bomber detonated inside the mosque as worshippers were commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Iranian officials said that two suicide bombers attempted to carry out the attack but that one was captured before he could detonate his vest.
Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi accused the US and other intelligence services (CIA and ISI) of directing the attack.
“The equipment and backup of the terrorists behind the attack indicate that these individuals were supported by advanced regional and US intelligence services,” Abdollahi told the Iranian press.
Jundallah, or the Soldiers of God, claimed it carried out the attack to avenge the execution of the group’s leader, Abdul Malik Rigi, who was also known as Emir Abdul Malik Baluch. Rigi was detained on Feb. 23, 2010, reportedly while on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, and was executed on June 20.
“This operation was in revenge for the execution of the leader of the movement Abdulmalik and other martyrs of Jundullah who were savagely hanged,” Jundallah stated. The terror group claimed it targeted members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Jundallah has carried out a series of high-profile attacks against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. The largest attack took place on Oct. 18, 2009, when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at a meeting of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders and Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in Pishin in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Brigadier General Nour Ali Shoushtari, the deputy commander for the IRGC’s ground forces, and Brigadier Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, the IRGC’s provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan, were killed in the attack. In a press release on its website, Jundallah claimed that the commanders of Iranshahr Corps, Sarbaz Corps, and the Amir al Mo’menin Brigade were also killed in the attack.
Also, last summer, a pair of Jundallah suicide bombers killed 20 people and wounded more than 100 in a suicide attack that targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps at a mosque in the southeastern city of Zahedan.
Jundallah has conducted numerous attacks against the IRGC and the Iranian government, including the 2005 ambush on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in Sistan-Baluchistan; the 2006 murder of 22 civilians in Tasooki; the 2007 ambush on an IRGC convoy that killed 18 officers in Zahedan; the 2008 kidnapping and execution of 16 Iranian policemen; the 2009 ambush that killed 12 policemen in Saravan; and the 2009 bombing at a mosque in Zahedan that killed 25 people.
The Iranian government accuses the United States, Britain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan of covertly backing Jundallah as part of an effort to destabilize the regime. Jundallah operates in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Jundallah is also based in Pakistan and has links with al Qaeda. Dr. Arshad Waheed, an al Qaeda commander who was killed in a US airstrike in South Waziristan in March 2008, had close links to Ata-ur-Rehman, the former leader of Jundallah, who was detained by Pakistani security forces.
Both Pakistani and Iranian branches of Jundullah are virulently anti-Shia and consider it a religious duty to attack and kill Shia Muslims.
ایران: چابھار میں خودکش حملہ، 38 ہلاک
ایران کے صوبے سیستان بلوسچتان میں چا بھار کی ایک مسجد کے باہر خودکش دھماکے میں کم سے کم اڑتیس افراد ہلاک ہوگئے ہیں۔
ایران کے سرکاری خبر ساں ادارے ’ارنا‘ کے مطابق یہ دھماکہ امام حسین مسجد کے باہر ہوا۔ اطلاعات کے مطابق مرنے والوں میں کئی خواتین اور بچے شامل ہیں۔
مقامی اہلکاروں کے مطابق دو حملہ آور تھے جن میں سے ایک کو حراست میں لے لیا گیا ہے۔
پاکستان کے صوبے بلوچستان سے متصل اس علاقے میں اکثرییتی آبادی سنی ہے اور یہاں پر شعیہ تقریبات کو کئی مرتبہ حملوں کا نشانہ بنایا گیا ہے۔ سنی آبادی اکثر شیعہ آبادی کے ہاتھوں امتیاز کا دعویٰ کرتی ہے۔
ابھی تک کسی نے خود کش حملے کی ذمہ داری قبول نہیں کی اور تفیصلات بھی پوری طرح سامنے نہیں آئیں۔ سرکاری ٹیلی وژن پر کہا گیا کہ دو دھماکے ہوئے لیکن بعد میں ایک اعلیٰ اہلکار نے کہا کہ صرف ایک دھماکہ ہوا۔
ماضی میں ایسے حملوں کی ذمہ داری عسکریت پسند تنظیم جند اللہ نے قبول کی تھی۔ جند اللہ کا موقف ہے کہ وہ بلوچ قوم کی بقا اور روایات کے تحفظ کے لیے جد وجہد کر رہی ہے۔
جنداللہ نے جولائی میں صوبائی دارالحکومت زاہدان میں ایک شعیہ مسجد پر بم حملے کی ذمہ داری قبول کی تھی جس میں ستائیس افراد ہلاک ہوئے تھے۔ اس کا کہنا تھا کہ وہ حملہ جنداللہ کے رہنما عبد المالک ریگی کو پھانسی دیے جانے پر تنظیم کا جوابی ردِ عمل تھا۔
اکتوبر سنہ دو ہزار نو میں سیستان بلوچستان میں پیشین کے علاقے میں ایرانی انقلابی گارڈز پر حملے کے بعد جنداللہ نے کہا تھا کہ اس حملے میں جس میں کئی اعلیٰ ترین کمانڈروں سمیت اکتیس افراد ہلاک ہوئے تھے، اسی کا ہاتھ ہے۔
Source: BBC Urdu
Shia-phobia of Saudi Arabia and the institutional genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan
Ever wondered why the Wahhabi-Deobandi inspired terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Sipah-e-Sahaba are blood thirsty for Shia Muslims?
Ever wondered why hundreds of Shias are killed like flies each year by the Wahhabi or/and Deobandi terrorist (who are accurately described as Takfiri Khariji by mainstream moderate Sunnis) in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan?
The root cause must be found in the ideological and institutional hatred of the current rulers (Aal-e-Saud) of Saudi Arabia and their ideological masters (Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and Ibn Taymiyyah) towards all non-Wahhabi Muslims, particularly Shia Muslims.
Saudi rulers and their ideological forefathers treat Shia Muslims as heretics, deviants, Jewish agents, who from a Wahhabi / Deobandi perspective are ‘worse than Christians, Jews etc’.
Therefore, no wonder terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba, Taliban, Al Qaeda etc proudly execute and own up every terrorist activity against Shia Muslims, be that in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere.
As an evidence of the Saudi Arabian institutional and genocidal hatred towards Shia Muslims, the following most recent revelations from Wikipedia must be considered.
1. Saudi Arabian offer of assistance to the USA and Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities;
2. Saudi Arabian extreme hatred for Iraqi Prime Minister Noori Al Maliki because of Mr Maliki’s religious belief (Shia Muslim);
3. Saudi Arabian contempt for Pakistan’s president Asif Zardari because of his (allegedly) Shia sect;
4. Saudi Arabian offer of assistance to the USA, Israel and Arab states (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon) to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon;
5. Saudi Arabian fear that the Wahhabi kingdom will be surrounded by Shia dominated countries (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Zardari led Pakistan);
6. Saudi Arabian continued financial, logistical and ideological support to Al Qaeda and Taliban (virulently anti-Shia organisations);
7. Saudi Arabian continued financial, logistical and ideological support to Salafi jihadis of Lashkar-e-Taiba / Jamat-ud-Dawa (virulently anti-Shia organisations)
It was never really a secret that Saudi Arabia did not like Iran.
It was never really a secret that Saudi Arabia did not like Iran. Perhaps there may be a sectarian history to this or maybe it is simple old realpolitik with two large states vying for regional power. But Saudi Arabia isn’t the only Muslim country that seems to loathe Iran. There is the UAE and Kuwait as well as, albeit to a lesser extent, Qatar.
According to a cable of Feb 9, 2010, from US ambassador to UAE to Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the US armed forces, prior to the latter’s meeting with the UAE crown prince and defence minister, the UAE is one of America’s most trusted partners in the region and “most useful friends worldwide”.
The ports of Dubai and Fujairah are the “logistics backbone for the US Fifth [Fleet]“. The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is responsible for operations in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and down south as far as eastern Africa. Minhad airbase, some 20 kilometres south of Dubai is “a critical hub for coalition/ISAF partners in Afghanistan, including the Australians, Dutch, Canadians, Brits and Kiwis”.
This cable says that the UAE leadership sees Iran as its “primary external threat”. The defence minister and crown prince of the UAE is said to not believe that the west will be able to put adequate pressure on Iran and also is of the view, according to this cable, that Tehran cannot be persuaded to give up its nuclear weapons programme. As a result, his efforts to build up the UAE’s armed forces is seen as “near-obsessive”. The UAE has “quietly” deployed forces in Afghanistan, being the first Arab country to do so. The Americans are told by the UAE defence minister, much to their disbelief, that Iran is active in destabilising Yemen, by supporting the Houthi (who are said to Shia) rebels.
The UAE’s obsession with Iran seems to run deeper than that of even the Americans. According to cable dated Feb 22, 2010, from the American ambassador to the UAE, the country’s foreign minister Sheikh Adullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, told a visiting delegation of US Congress members in a meeting on Feb 17 that the nuclear issue “is only one aspect of the Iran problem, and that Iran’s regional meddling was a serious concern”. He said further that the UAE was concerned that “Gulf allies were being shut out of Iran sanctions planning”.
A cable by the US embassy in Kuwait dated Feb 17, 2010, detailed a meeting between Kuwait’s interior minister Jaber Al-Khaled Al Sabah and the US ambassador. The minister said that he was “deeply concerned about Iranian actions, particularly in Yemen with the Houthis” and that Iran was the “beating heart” of Islamic extremism, adding that “even Palestinians now aspire to be Shia because they have bought Iranian ‘stories’ about Shia being more prepared to “fight to the end” and stand up to Israel”.
A cable by the US embassy in Muscat, Oman, dated Feb 2, 2010, suggested that Oman was very unhappy about an article in the New York Times that had perhaps suggested that it, along with other Gulf states, was going to receive Patriot missile batteries from America. In a ‘comment’ on the reaction of the government of Oman, the US embassy noted that a statement by a senior Omani official denying any such proposal would also serve to “protect the US/Omani relationship, as any belief that the US would attempt to utilize Omani territory in this way could potentially cause a public backlash that would jeopardize other aspects of the relationship”. Furthermore, while “Iran is Oman’s number one strategic threat; however, the Government of Oman fundamentally believes the threat can be mitigated through careful management of the relationship. Therefore, it works very deliberately to create a public perception of balance in its relationships with the US and Iran”.
According to a cable of Jan 26, 2010, from the US embassy in Ankara prior to a visit by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s stance on Israel came up, especially his “outburst at Davos”. The cable said that both the Americans and “his staff” (meaning that of the Turkish prime minister) were seeking to “contain” such behaviour.
A cable describing a meeting on Feb 8, 2010, between and the US defence secretary and the French foreign minister in Paris quoted the two discussing the situation in Pakistan. It quoted him as saying that it was “astonishing” that President Zardari had remained in power and that the Pakistanis had conducted such effective COIN operations. The defence secretary “commented that one can never be an optimist about Pakistan, but that the changes had been striking”.
A cable from Jan 28, 2009, detailed a meeting between the Dutch and Russian ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, accompanied by a senior US embassy official with the undersecretary for multilateral affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs in Riyadh. During the course of the meeting, discussion came on Iran with the Saudi official saying that if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons “other countries in the Gulf region would be compelled to do the same, or to permit the stationing of nuclear weapons in the Gulf to serve as a deterrent to the Iranians”.