Asharq Al-Awsat -By Tariq Alhomayed
Egypt has put forward a proposal for the formation of a quadripartite committee comprising of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Iran to deal with the Syrian crisis. Cairo justified extending an invitation to Tehran by saying that Iran can be part of the solution, and the question here is: How can Iran be part of the solution in Syria? If the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is vowing to protect al-Assad from his defenseless people, then how can Iran be part of the solution in Syria,
at a time when Alaeddin Boroujerdi – head of Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy – speaking from Damascus after meeting with al-Assad, says that “Syria’s security is Iran’s security”? How can Egypt propose to invite Iran when Boroujerdi himself says the main reason for what Syria is witnessing is that America and Israel have lost their main base in the Middle East, namely Egypt, after the fall of former President Mubarak? How could Saudi Arabia or the other members of the Islamic tripartite cooperate with Iran over Syria, whilst Tehran says that freezing Syria’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – a decision that was unanimously approved in Iran’s attendance at the recent summit in Mecca – is an “emotional move”? Indeed this is unbelievable, and cannot be explained! Iran is part of the problem in Syria, offering the Damascus criminal all kinds of support, whether money or weaponry, to suppress the Syrian revolution, so how, after all that, can we say to Tehran: Go ahead, be part of the solution in Syria? How could we criticize President Obama for pulling out of Iraq and handing it over to Iran when we seem to be doing the same thing in Syria today?
The strange thing about this invitation for Iran to be part of the solution in Syria is that it comes after the failure of former UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s attempt to involve Iran in the Syrian issue, a move that was rejected by the US and Europe, and likewise by the Arabs, so how can Iran be invited to participate once again, this time from post-revolution Egypt? Did any Arab or regional states intervene in Egypt’s revolution for the sake of the former regime?! Does post-revolution Egypt want to marginalize the rest of the Arab states today in favor of Iran? Inviting Tehran to be “part of the solution in Syria” means that there are those among us who want to see “Lebanonization” in Syria and this is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. In all simplicity this means resorting to half measures and this is one of the most prominent problems in our region. It is also caving into Iranian blackmail, especially as we hear Nawaf al-Moussawi, MP for the Hezbollah-affiliated “Loyalty to the Resistance” bloc in the Lebanese parliament, saying that events in Syria will only end through a settlement or an open civil war, and there will be no winners and losers in Syria!
Syria is not Lebanon or Iraq and should not have a sectarian quota system; the Syrian composition does not allow for this. As Arabs we must not do this; we must stand by the Syrian people and preserve the unity of Syria and its independence, rather than sell it or divide it. This is what the Arabs should remember, and specifically those who were preoccupied at length in the past talking about “Sykes-Picot”, but who today want Syria to be divided for the benefit of Iran!