Gulf States are worried that the headline grabbing done recently could signal
that a US-Iran rapprochement is on the way that may allow Iran to attain nuclear
weapons and consolidate its regional position.
Gulf leaders have been
quiet, not wanting to show any public worry, but their press has revealed
concern behind the scenes.
However, some dismissed the chances of a deal,
while others put on a strong face, welcoming one that could weaken Iran’s
position in Syria.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, writing in the
London based Al-Hayat, stated, “we panic” when signs of reconciliation between
the US and Iran appear. He then sought to boost the low morale prevailing in the
Gulf saying, “we all need psychotherapy sessions and courses in real political
science so we can recover our self-confidence and see that we are stronger than
Khashoggi then went on to quote Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal,
the former ambassador to the US and the current head of Saudi intelligence, who
called Iran a paper tiger.
Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, in an article on
Saturday in the Saudi-backed Arab daily Asharq Alawsat
, stated bluntly, “But what
was really worrying in [US President Barack] Obama’s speech and [current] policy
is his position regarding Iran.”
Echoing Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and others that are pessimistic regarding Iran’s intentions, he said
that Iran continues to play for time so that it can achieve a nuclear
“But the question is: how much time do they still need before
acquiring this capability? A year or two? [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani
said that he needs a year to find a solution for Iran’s nuclear project, but why
would he need all this time?” asked Rashed.
Taking an honorable stance,
without showing any fear, Gulf News, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
published an editorial on Sunday stating that a deal could be “a chance to end
the bloodshed in Syria,” pointing out that an Iranian nuclear program under
international supervision would be welcomed.
Reflecting the opinion that
a deal is not in the offing any time soon, Raghida Dergham, writing in Al-Hayat
stated that such a “bargain” is not likely just as the Iranian president did not
even agree to shake the US president’s hand.
Basking in Iran’s recent
success in not only putting off a US attack on its ally Syria, but also in
creating an opening for thawing of relations and the end of sanctions, the
Iranian press have presented Gulf States as the losers.
Iranian Press TV
ran an article titled, “Failed policies make Saudi Arabia isolated.”
Saudi regime has been one of the clear losers of the recent developments in the
Middle East,” the article stated.
The Russian-American deal, which took a
US attack off the table, let down the Saudis who were counting on the attack to
topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, it said. In addition, the Saudis were
counting on the US to “deal forcefully with the Iranian nuclear issue.”