In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, discussed the “Iranian threat” to the Gulf States, the so-called “Deal of the Century” and Israel’s efforts to carve out Egyptian territory and use it establish a Palestinian State.
Mubarak told Al-Anba newspaper, Monday, that the so-called “Deal of the Century”, is mere “newspapers talk”. However, Arabs must be prepared to deal with the outcomes of whatever is announced.
Mubarak said that the current situation builds on three problematic premises. The transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the annexation of the Golan Heights to Israel and the continued expansion of settlements.
“All this makes me pessimistic about the situation”, he added.
Gaza and Sinai
Mubarak asserted: “I know Netanyahu very well. He also knows me and knows that I have been always frank with him. Netanyahu does not want the two-state solution, he does not believe in the land-for-peace principle. He wants to separate Gaza from the West Bank.”
Mubarak revealed that Netanyahu asked for his approval in late 2010 to give the Palestinians in Gaza part of the land on the border strip of Sinai. Mubarak refused and warned the Israeli Prime Minister that if he pressed this idea it would lead to another war between Egypt and Israel.
Regarding the question of Iran’s potential threat to the region, Mubarak said, “I do not deny that Iran is seeking to penetrate the region, and such fact threatens Arabs’ national security.”
He said, “after 2011, specifically, all the forces that have ambitions to realise in our region took advantage of this historical circumstance to achieve their interests. Egypt stood with Iraq in its war against Iran, and Egypt stood with the Gulf against the Iranian threat.”
He continued: “Late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and I had a common vision to confront Iran’s ambitions in the region while trying to open horizons for understanding with the Iranians.”
Mubarak stated that he tried to improve relations with Iran during the days of President Mohammad Khatami and that he met with him in Geneva. “However, Iranian extremists took down any chance of upgrading relations.”
Mubarak added that “Iran’s ambitions and efforts are explicit, and its threat to the Gulf cannot be tolerated. However, the Israeli ambitions are equally clear, especially under the current government. It is necessary to deal with both ambitions equally.”
He went on: “I am convinced that the Palestinian cause may appear to be suppressed at the moment. But, the attempt to impose unjust solutions on the Palestinian people, will not lead to any kind of peace or cooperation. On the contrary, the situation may explode at any given moment.”
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years was overthrown by a popular uprising in January 2011. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the death of demonstrators. However, the Egyptian judiciary acquitted him and his sons of all charges after the army overthrew the elected civilian president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013.