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The sectarian dimension in Iran’s foreign policy towards the Arab Mashreq countries


The execution of Saudi Arabia of the Saudi shiite opposition Nimr Baqir al-Nimr has come on the second of this month and the accompanying comments by Iranian officials hostile to the Kingdom, reveals the sectarian dimension in Iran’s foreign policy in the post-1979 towards the countries of the Arab countries, especially in the Arab Mashreq. This penalty revealed to us that Iran is run with two mentalities : first, “Iran ‘ State ,” a mentality that addresses the Western society like the United States of America and the European Union and major powers like Russia and China, and by virtue of this mentality Iran was able after arduous negotiations with the “five plus one” group to reach international agreement ending the crisis that lasted more than a decade on its nuclear program. The second Mentality is “Iran’s revolution,” it deals with Arab countries which its community composition dominated by sectarian diversity as it is existed in the Arabian Gulf states , and Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen , these mentality invested that diversity in Arab Levantine societies with the worst employment as Iran” revolution worked to the militarization of the Shiite community and turned it into a militia working to destabilize those communities in order to serve the expansionist project of Iran’s revolution towards the Arab countries. We wonder how could Iran the militarization of Shiite community in the Levantine Arab societies? And a mechanism to get rid of this militarization?
It comes from the words of the commander of the Iranian revolution , “Khomeini”, who said in 1980 that reads “We in the Islamic Republic of Iran will work hard in order to export our revolution to the world, and that we can challenge the world with Islamic ideology.” He also said: “We aim to export our revolution to all Islamic countries, but to all the countries where there is Mustakbirun (Oppressors) rule Mustadfun (oppressed) .”This is the stated policy of the Iranian state that demolishes in a direct and clear way the internal sovereignty of other countries and affect the security, peace and stability, and this is what happened in countries where Iranian policies intervened to its affairs . and then to establish for a sectarian dimension of the Iranian foreign political manner towards the Arab Mashriq countries in particular .
It also stems from the Iranian constitution, which confirms the legality of interference in the internal affairs of other States and explicitly: it is stated in the first chapter, entitled the ” general principals” in Article III (Article 3) that in order to reach the objectives mentioned in Article II, the Government of the Republic of Islamic Iran is committed to employ all its means to achieve the following, “and the objectives as stated in paragraph sixteen (paragraph 16) that reads” organizing the country’s foreign policy on the basis of criteria and fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and full protection of Mustadaafun (oppressed) of the world. “also came in Chapter X “Foreign Policy” in Article one hundred fifty-fourth (Article 154), it is stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, has as its ideal human felicity throughout human society, and considers the attainment of independence, freedom, ad rule of justice and truth to be the right of all people of the world . Accordingly , while scrupulously refraining from all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other nations, it supports the just struggles of the Mustadafun (oppressed) against the Mustakbirun (opressors) in every corner of the globe . ” These articles of the Constitution declares explicitly the principle of interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the support of the so-called Mustadaafun , a misleading term aims of emotional impact on public opinion, but the Arab and Islamic public opinion discovered that one of the Mustadafaun who is backed by the Iranian state is the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad!
It also comes from its political identity based on a sectarian dimension in a manner not unequivocal, and in the constitutionality of materials, and in particular Article 12 of the Constitution. Indeed, Article 71 prohibits the Shura Council (as a legislative authority) to pass any law that contradicts the principles of the official doctrine of the state, not with the constitution, despite the fact that this «constitution» is doctrinal in most of its articles. While, we do not find any reference to the sectarian issue in the constitutions of all Arab countries when are determining the identity of the state . But these countries indicate when defining itself either to «that religion is Islam», or «it is an Arab Islamic state», and that Shari’a (without specifying a particular doctrine) either source of legislation where, or source of legislation, and either to rule in accordance with the Sharia, as in Saudi Arabia, for example, in its basic regulation of the rule which is equivalent to constitution for the state.
It might be said that to determine the identity of the state is an internal affair of the state, expresses its will as a sovereign state. And therefore no one has the right to impose on Iran or others how it should define its identity, even though sectarian identity is chosen as a specific determinants of this identity. This is true, but Iran to make of this sectarian identity as the basis for its role and for its regional alliances. Choose its allies on the doctrinal basis, and make of sectarian militia as an official tool for this role, and a common denominator embraced with those Allies. Thus, Iran to determine its sectarian identity in constitutional texts , its effects and consequences are no longer limited within its borders, to be said that is a choice for it stems from its sovereignty, but it was beyond than that, and became the starting point of its foreign policy, and as a basis to justify its interference in neighboring countries, and the dissemination of the effects of this identity and its devastating consequences beyond its borders . This is evident in the case of Iraq now, which is suffering from civil wars and the doctrinal cleanse since more than a dozen years because of the US occupation that destroyed the country there, and the Iranian influence that came with the mechanism of the militia as a parallel and compete with the power of the state that have been built on a sectarian basis. What is happening now of the extermination of Sunnis in the Iraqi city of Muqdadiyah of Diyala province by Iraqi Iran militias only a proof of that, as if Iran and its Iraqi militias wanted to have revenge and to respond to the execution of Nimr Baqir al-Nimr on Iraq’s Sunnis in Diyala province.
And those who know the demographics in Diyala, understands that coexistence is a feature that was prevalent in this province between the population of the largely belonging to the Sunnis and the Shiites community as well , and Kurds, but a province is being neighboring to Iran, may brought a resentment to it and made it an arena for the conflict invested by parties and Shi’ite influential powers after the 2003 to taking over the administrative and security power embowered by militias belonging to those parties. Iranian officials did not hide their intentions by making the province free from any hostile activity of Iran, especially during the period of activity of resistance to al-Qaida and against the US occupation and after the emergence of state regulation and control over most areas of Diyala after 2014 where the Iranians announced that they would not allow the presence of the organization on their borders and they stand up to this presence, so Iran has invested fatwa on righteous jihad declared by Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani and plunged the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the province under the pretext of supporting the militias and the popular crowd and government forces to confront state regulation.
Before that, there was «Hezbollah» in Lebanon, and Secretary-General, who boasts of being a soldier in the army of Velavate-Elfaqih, which he was almost and his party , a resistant one !” On the eighth of May 2008, when he besieged the Lebanese capital Beirut , was about to destroy the Lebanese state by encouraging and arming of the Iranian currently declared, and what is the vacuum of the post of President of the republic from the president , but to meet the Iranian vision in Lebanon. By the same logic , it was the Iranian intervention in Syria by Shi’ite militias which came from Iran , Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the maintenance of the Bashar al-Assad as the head of state, because he is Alawi no more , for fear of seizure of the Sunni majority to the power there, and break the sectarian ring they are trying to establish it starting From Baghdad to Beirut via Damascus. Add to that , its support for the Houthi rebels who have been turned to militias fighting on behalf of the Iranian project in Yemen, as well and as it comes with some Shiite Arabs in the Arabian Gulf who also were converted to sleeper cells as_ occurs in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the seasons of Hajj and others, to destabilize its stability utilized of Arab Shiites citizens in the service of Iran’s national project.
The devastating effects of sectarian identity of Iran in this case is what threatens the nationality of the Arab states and its sovereignty , and not vice versa. This is because Iran is proceed from this sectarianism to make itself the State not only for the Perisian Shia ,but for Arabs Shia in the region, allowing itself to – as you can see – to intervene politically and militarily in the Arab countries (Iraq and Syria are an example), exceeding the state borders and sovereignty. More seriously, it does not work to achieve this through a policy and religious and cultural activities, but also work together on spreading the culture of the militia in neighboring countries, while it is denying the idea of the militia on its territory. If the sectarian armed militia is the antithesis of the state and a threat to its unity and sovereignty, it becomes clear that Iran is investing a lot of resources to spread these organizations and funding it in the Arab countries but it is the aim of weakening of these countries, so that they can use these organizations as a means to interfere with it, and to influence local and external policies and options. Another manifestation of this effect is Lebanon’s abstention before days to the signing on the Arab League decision.
This revolutionary Iranian mentality that produced the Shiite sectarian militarization in Arab societies may continue, especially after the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran and the flow of frozen funds to it, and may be its interference to the Arab countries will be increased , therefore to avoid the tension and conflict in the Iran- Arab relationships , it must be reviewed to the mentality of the Iranian regime based on the sectarian dimension towards Arab countries and moved to the mentality of Iran “state as the same way it treated with super states of the world and with this movement , it is possible to establish relation of areal and good neighboring and its entrance is the realization of that regime that the Arabs Shiites in their countries are Arab citizens and not citizens of the State of Iran and it is necessary to protect them, and if so Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia also are concerned in the defense of the rights of Sunnis in Iran, noting that the Iran is knowing well the suffering of the people of the Sunni by the state to representing God and Messenger on the ground “Wali al-Faqih,”
or to confront this regime and strongly and at all diplomatic , economic, and international levels and by the worst military probabilities as it was currently taken place in a proxy war in Yemen and Syria and may be developed to a direct war , and this matter, the confrontation requires a treatment to the defect of the structure of Arab regime to form Arab coalition to confront the regional challenges including the Iranian challenge because the mentality of the Iran”s revolution is not dangerous only to a certain Arabic state , but to all the Arab countries, and so the establishing such Arab coalition may constitute a historic opportunity for the Arabs to confirm that Iran is not as strong as expected by some states but it derives its strength from the weakness of the Arab position in dealing with it and with others of regional and international countries .
In conclusion, we are not against the Iranian state as a people and a civilization and culture noting that the people of Persian nationalism contributed throughout Islamic history by a significant contribution through its scientists to the prosperity of Arab-Islamic civilization and for this reason the name of the Arab civilization coupled with Islam because there are Muslims like the Persians contributed to its construction, but we are against the arrogant policies of the Iranian political regime and its interference policies to the Arab countries affairs , especially in the Arab Mashreq, so the facts of geopolitics assure us and always that the cooperation and convergence or rivalry is much better than conflict and dispute.

Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center

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