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An open letter to the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council

Your Majesties, Highnesses, and Excellencies, may God bless you.

Allow this 70-year-old man to welcome your Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies in Doha, the capital of love, affection and respect.

You have come to Doha today to attend the 35th session of your esteemed summit with your busy agendas and we have hope and are optimistic about this. We, the Arab nation in the Gulf, look forward to your blessed summit which is being held in delicate regional and local conditions, amid rapid changes, challenges, and intertwining issues that require, first and foremost, pure hearts and consciences, unified positions, a comprehensive vision, deep analysis, clear policies, sound approaches, and effective movements.

Your Majesties, Highnesses, and Excellencies, the 35th GCC summit is being held today in Doha and you have strengthened the core of the Council, allowing it to overcome the stage of sensitivities that has no meaning, the secondary contradictions, the marginal and side issues, as well as the doubts and competition. All of these issues have hindered the Council's moving towards achieving its supreme and honourable goals and have delayed the achievement of the "dream" for many years. The time has now come to take a look at ourselves, reconsider our history and be inspired by the aspirations of our united Gulf nation in order to progress to the future with confidence, awareness, and national will.

Our venerated leaders, our Arab Gulf is being surrounded by those seeking to do all of us harm; our nation, leaders, resources, and sovereignty. If we do not settle our issues, unify our ranks and positions, and rally our strengths, then we will be the losers in light of the current international and Arab circumstances.

In all of their speeches and statements, the GCC foreign ministers have reiterated that Iran poses a threat to the Gulf region and that it is interfering in these countries' internal affairs. They have also said that such interferences have reached the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, passing through Iraq and Syria and reaching Lebanon, 10 turning south to Yemen and the Horn of Africa. By doing so, Iran has completely formed a ring of control around the Arab Gulf countries, and although we are addressing these risks, we have not taken any action to rein in Iran, or break the ring around us.

I know that Iraqi delegations, i.e. the Sunni Muslims, have moved around the Gulf looking for help to protect themselves from the unbearable oppression of the Dawa Party, the Iranian Shia militias and the Shia public who target villages and cities; no one, including humans, stones, animals, or fruit-bearing trees is spared. When these Iraqis came looking for help and support, they were told to "unite yourselves first". Although this is true and they must unite, you are not working towards uniting the ranks of the Sunnis in Iraq just as Iran is uniting the ranks of the Shias in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon as well as other areas. The unification of the Sunnis is a national, regional, and security necessity and it is your duty, our revered leaders.

Some may say that my speech is sectarian and that I am fuelling the fire of sectarianism, but on the other hand, Iran and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon have been using its media outlets, Friday prayer sermons, and the statements of its leaders to fuel the sectarian fire continuously; so why should we remain silent regarding their actions under the pretext of not wanting to provoke sectarianism?

Our brothers from the Jaafari doctrine who share our country and fate know that we are not targeting them at all; we are a part of them and they are a part of us and no one is preferred over the other. However, the truth is that whoever from them is loyal to the Iranian domination is not a part of us and must make the choice: either they are with us or with them.

Our dear leaders, Yemen is being torn apart in front of us and is on the verge of a devastating civil war. Yemen is considered your backyard, so why don't you interfere on the ground in order to deter those who are seeking to harm Yemen, just as Russia did in the case of Ukraine when it sensed that it was in danger because Ukraine intends to join the European Union or NATO. Why don't you do the same as Iran has done in Iraq or what Hafez Al-Assad's Syria did in the 1970's in Lebanon? If you did this, it would be welcomed by the Yemeni people who have suffered injustice, oppression, corruption, tyranny, ignorance and diseases as a result of successive governments concerned with getting rich while its people are left to devastation.

Our revered leaders, may God bless you, terrorism is a large and scary bogeyman and nowadays, anyone we dislike is labelled and stigmatised as terrorists. Therefore, the Islamic State is a "terrorist" organisation formed by the Syrian, Iraqi, American, Iranian, and Israeli intelligence agencies, and since there are innocent individuals involved in the group, we must rescue them from the grip of ISIS' terrorism quietly and without losses or damages.

If we want to eliminate all terrorist movements, such as ISIS and its branches and Al-Qaeda and its branches, we must go back to the reasons behind their establishment, i.e. the oppression, injustice, poverty, corruption, and tyranny of the ruling regime in Baghdad led by the sectarian Dawa Party, as well as the ruling party in Damascus.

I, dear esteemed leaders, fear to oppose the liberal, sectarian, and national trends because all of these trends make up the social and national composition of the GCC and there must be a national reconciliation with all these trends in order to protect our Gulf from any attempt to penetrate it.

I will end by saying may God help you, our great leaders, and may he guide you down the right path and bless your good work. May you all help one another in virtue and righteousness, but do not help one another in sin and transgression and may God be with you.

Translated from Al-Sharq newspaper, 9 December, 2014

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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