Former head of the Al-Jazeera News Network Waddah Khanfar has argued that it would be wise for Saudi Arabia to quickly reconcile with its Arab neighbours, especially regarding Egypt, in order to form a united Arab front to deal with Iran.
Regarding Egypt, he said that the Kingdom should work on elimitating the effects of the military coup to achieve political stablity. He called for strengthening the alliance with Turkey as well.
In a paper that Khanfar published on his Facebook page, he remarked: “If the situation in the Arab world continues without change, the attempts to exclude the Islamists and maintain hostility with Turks, the future will be dark and tiny disputes will prevail. This will give Iran the chance to prepare itself to dominate the region.”
Khanfar noted that there were a number of factors that have created a stormy climate in the region, including the deal reached in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear programme. “This opened a new page in the balance of regional powers,” he wrote. “This deal came after several changes, including the coup in Egypt.”
“The coup in Egypt was a political earthquake, and the countries which supported it attempted to form the region based on their own agendas,” he wrote. “These countries expected that their agendas to exclude Islamists were applicable. Thus these countries attempted to exclude Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Gaza and Yemen. And then, they decided to get rid of the Syrian regime and the ‘extremist’ resistance axis through an American attack, hoping to install moderate powers there instead.”
To achieve that aim, Khanfar described how: “They attempted to take Turkey and Qatar away from the scene. When this happenes they thought, and when their domination over Egypt and Syria is achieved, the new moderate axis would be able to dominate the Middle East and lead the region to establishing strong alliances with the US and EU, and then encircle Iran ahead of a military attack.”
Khanfar observed that the problem with this plan was that it is a political fantasy for its supporters. “But it was proven to be mistaken,” he wrote.
He explained that the situation in Egypt is not stable after the coup, which has been posing a great economic burden on the coup’s supporters. The coup attempts did not succed in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Gaza either. And America retreated from attacking Syria after the deal with Russia.
In addition, Khanfar noted that Turkey has extended a hand to Iran and started a dialogue with it regarding Syria and Iraq.
He expected that the Geneva deal on Iran was a “strong slap” in the face for this “moderate alliance.” The current scene is still divided, with some countries celebrating the “victory” in Egypt and others opposing it, while some have become “shaky”, not supporting any side.