by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 8, Safar, 1442)
Every science student is familiar with Newton’s third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As in physics so in politics. Take the case of the tiny shaikhdoms on the western shores of the Persian Gulf that have rushed to embrace the illegitimate Zionist entity occupying Palestine.
The August 13 announcement by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalize relations with Israel was followed on September 11 by the tiny statelet of Bahrain. On September 15, there was a circus-like ceremony on the White House lawn where the foreign ministers of UAE and Bahrain signed the instruments of surrender to the Zionist entity, overlooked by their godfather, US President Donald Trump.
Oman is likely to follow suit based on its reaction to moves by the two regimes. “The Sultanate welcomes the initiative taken by the sisterly kingdom of Bahrain,” Oman TV channel said on its Twitter account on September 13. It went on: Oman hopes “this new strategic path taken by some Arab countries will contribute to bringing about a peace based on an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and on establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital.”
Arabian surrender to the Zionists has always been presented under the rubric of promoting peace. There is no peace for the Palestinians whose tortured life under occupation has now been compounded by the pandemic and lack of medical facilities. Besides, neither the UAE nor Bahrain has ever fought the Zionist entity. The two are also not known to have ever sent any help to the oppressed Palestinians. If the shaikhdoms have never been involved in war with the Zionist entity, talk of ‘peace’ is meaningless. Even without formal diplomatic ties, their dealings with Israel had continued for decades.
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash has admitted that relationship with Israel grew “organically” over the last 15 years or so. “Through engagement with the Trump administration, the idea... developed and percolated, and it was right to do it,” the Associated Press (AP) quoted him as saying.
The Emirati and Bahraini decisions for open diplomatic ties could not have come about without a nod from Riyadh. For the US and Israel, Saudi Arabia is the real prize. There are already close contacts between the Saudi and Zionist regimes. The Saudis want others to prepare the ground and soften the blow of their public surrender to Zionist Israel.
This is where Newton’s third law of motion (and now applicable to politics as well) comes into play. The Arabian dinosaurs’ stampede to embrace Israel has led to other regional powers reinforcing their alliances or coming together to form new ones to oppose such moves. Islamic Iran and Turkey are two of the strongest regional players that cooperate on a number of levels despite being on opposite sides in Syria. The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas has also made moves to link up with the Lebanese Islamic resistance movement Hizbullah after years of somewhat strained relations, again over Syria. Not everyone in Hamas leadership was happy with spoiling relations with Syria, Hizbullah and Iran.
Hamas co-founder, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, has always advocated close ties with the Iran-led Resistance axis and lamented his movement’s decision to leave Damascus. That, however, is water under the bridge now.
Given the new ground realities, Hamas Bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh held a meeting with Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on September 6. It was reported to be very cordial and both sides affirmed their commitment to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.
Hamas and the secular Palestinian Authority (PA) also seem to be inching toward patching up their differences. On September 8, Ismail Haniyeh called for the formation of a national unity government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to end internal divisions between Palestinians. He made the remarks in an interview with Palestine TV. This followed a meeting between various Palestinian groups in Beirut on September 3 to coordinate a unified stand against the conspiracy by the US, Israel and some Arabian regimes to bury the Palestinians’ quest for freedom and justice.
What these moves portend is that the Axis of Resistance is not oblivious of the plots of the warmongers and illegitimate rulers. Further, Russia and China also see Washington’s destabilizing and disruptive policies in the region as undermining not only the region but also their interests. Both are moving to protect them in cooperation with regional players.
There appears to be a convergence of interests between Iran, Turkey, Russia and China. These are both geopolitical and economic. Most of these countries are also subjected to illegal US sanctions. As the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out, “the United States seems to have lost its mind.”
American loss of mind at a time when it faces a civil war-like situation at home is being confronted by others with carefully-crafted responses and policies. On July 21, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited Moscow to deliver an “important message” from President Hassan Rouhani to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This related to the renewal of the 20-year strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries. Dr Zarif also held detailed talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
Following his meeting, Dr Zarif said on his Twitter account that Iran and Russia had “agreed to conclude [a] long-term comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement.” In Moscow,
- Delivered important msg to President Putin.
- Extensive talks with FM Lavrov on bilat coop + regional/global coordination.
- Identical views on #JCPOA and need to uphold int’l law.
- Agreed to conclude long-term comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement. pic.twitter.com/GDhn8VDhva
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 21, 2020
Zarif’s Moscow visit took place around the same time that news emerged of Iran-China $400 billion investment deal. While not finalized, the deal is said to span 25 years and will include Chinese investments in building Iran’s infrastructure (primarily railway tracks and roads) as well as oil and gas explorations. Iran, it is reported, will guarantee oil and gas supplies to China for the next 25 years. It is a win-win situation for both.
There are other schemes in the works. A new financial transaction arrangement bypassing the Western SWIFT system is being devised. Plans are also underway, and some have been implemented already, for barter trade in goods or trade in each other’s currency bypassing the US dollar.
Enhancement of military cooperation is another area involving regional countries. The latest manifestation of this was Russia’s Kavkaz-2020 military exercises that were held from September 21 to 26. More than 80,000 troops, including officers of the Russian Emergencies Ministry and the Russian Guard, as well as those from Iran, Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan participated in the exercises. Naval fleets from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea also participated.
What these moves indicate is that there is a perceptible shift in the balance of power toward the East. West and Central Asia are becoming the new hub of international alliances and activities bypassing the US.