Ali Al-Aswad: Israel Faces Iran on Gulf States Borders

2021-10-19 - 10:30 p

Bahrain Mirror: As the Prime Minister of Israel inaugurated his country's embassy in the Bahraini capital, Manama, mass demonstrations were staged to denounce the Bahraini government's position towards the Palestinian cause and normalization with the usurping entity. Protestors burnt the Israeli flag and chanted slogans, such as "Bahrain rejects the Zionists" in many areas, cities and villages across the country. The government's side hadn't delayed holding a meeting for early promotion of normalizing relations with the Israeli entity in Manama in June 2019. It called the meeting "Peace for Prosperity Workshop" and it was claimed that its purpose was to encourage investment in the Palestinian territories, which was boycotted by the Palestinian Authority at the time. However, the meeting was , in fact, linked to full and comprehensive normalization with Israel, at the behest of the then US administration of former President Trump and at the request of former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who met with Bahrain's foreign minister in Washington and signed with him the so-called Abraham Agreement on September 15, 2020. Among the important conditions of the accord was to stop or suspend Israel's annexation of Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank; however, this has not actually taken place. Today we are witnessing a process of integration, which is bigger than the normalization that happened in some Arab countries, as the Government of Bahrain has allowed Israel to conclude several agreements with all ministries and asked all ministers to cooperate with their counterparts in Tel Aviv. Ministers have no other choice than to either to follow orders or leave their post.

We must ask a very significant question:

How does a state that has sovereignty over its land allow other states to access the data or information of its citizens?

How did the so-called agreement go further to give Israel sovereignty over state information, companies, banks, hospitals and citizens? 

Is this enough to understand the public scene after the decision of the US administration to withdraw from the Middle East and give a number of countries including Bahrain the freedom to make deals and alliances with Israel to face the future? We also witnessed this in the presence of the Israeli foreign minister in the US 5th Fleet in Juffair and the discussion of Bahrain's regional security cooperation. Does the decision of the authorities in Bahrain give Israel the right to spy on its citizens only because the majority of them oppose state policies? If there was a real parliament that represents the popular will, the government wouldn't be able to pass all those agreements and allow the Israeli Foreign Minister to open an Israeli embassy just to conclude business deals or to link the occupying entity to an air bridge to the east. Quite the contrary, the purpose of all this Israeli interest in Bahrain's geographical status is clear. Bahrain is located on the southwestern bank of Iran and occupies a very important geopolitical position in shaping the conflict in the next phase. Espionage has already begun with the publication of photographs of secret IRGC bases from areas near Iran. In addition, an Israeli-Bahraini cooperation in the so-called countering the threat of Iranian drones was announced. Israel is still trying to surround Iran even more, and is to sign security and military agreements in the foreseeable future, in order to limit Iran's broad military options. Israel's goal of normalization is to confront Iran on its borders, and it has become clear that Tehran's strategic choice is not to let Tel Aviv move near its borders in a way that poses a threat to its national security and provokes it near its borders, which they have always been far from. Perhaps these steps are the beginning of a serious test and a genuine and serious confrontation with Mr. Raisi's government on how to deal with the Israeli presence in the region.

The fact that the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affair voted on a bill to support the so-called Abraham Accords between Israel and Arab countries, so that the administration would report its assessment of the situation, and made efforts to persuade other Arab countries to join these agreements, also informing Congress of any persecution that may occur to any Arab party that opens up to the Israelis, gives a clear indication of the absolute support of the United States for these agreements. It is also an indication of the formation of an external Israeli protection front against Iran and constitutes a pressure card for the ongoing negotiations for bringing back the nuclear agreement. The move could ease Washington's repeated complaints from its strategic allies in the region of what some Arab rulers call "Iran's dangerous expansion".

The idea of the Abraham Accords is beyond the interests of the Arab-Gulf states, as the services or tools given to them are something that Israel is no longer in need of, and what is being asked of them is the facilitations for a possible confrontation between Tehran and Tel Aviv whereby the latter gets a chance to make wider gains than "defending" itself only within the occupied Palestinian territories.

One of the most realistic options for the Islamic Republic of Iran is to restore diplomatic relations with its neighbors despite the challenge of the existence of Israeli embassies in some Gulf States. These relations may expand further in the coming years, so that this Israeli expansion gets contained or kept within the circle of possible containment. This is what Tehran is seeking and may be achieved through the Iranian-Saudi dialogue, sponsored by Baghdad at the moment and which is hoped to achieve positive results. Tel Aviv will not be satisfied with the announced agreements, diplomatic communication or open airspace between it and the Gulf States, but its expansionist ambitions will go further. It will set its bases in the region as a strategic option that is difficult to be abandoned- long and secret work with a number of Arab countries that lasted for two decades, which aimed and continues to aim at establishing new rules of engagement in the region at the northern border of occupied Palestine with southern Lebanon, the most dangerous area there.

Arabic Version