Iran’s insincere call for non-aggression treaty
As usual, Iran is full of hostile actions on the one hand and empty calls for dialogue and agreement on the other. A few days ago, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif called for a non-aggression treaty between Iran and the Gulf states. This is strange and unprecedented, but observers should not miss the timing of the suggestion nor its objectives — even though it is unsure whether we believe in the sincerity of the call.
First, if we accepted this invitation to discuss and think about a non-aggression treaty, we would see the meaning of it would be to spare the signatory countries any future attacks and to also remove any threats of aggression. For decades, the region has suffered from Iranian meddling, and it is now suffering from the destabilization of its security due to Iranian practices. These include interference by Tehran in the policies of the Gulf states and other Arab countries either directly or indirectly. All the armed struggles in our countries today have Iran behind them, due to its support for the terrorist militias that are engaged in the spread of sectarianism in the region. Tehran has direct responsibility for these actions.
Would a non-aggression treaty be useful in this context and would it be a solution to such problems, which are decades old? Of course not. The foreign minister has certain goals and objectives and we should mention three of them here.
The first is to ease the current tensions and lighten the pressure on Iran by sending messages of reassurance to the countries in the region. This is being done even though there are none in the region or outside it who believe the invitation to be sincere. Because of this disbelief, Iran will continue to make such claims and will not stop repeating them.
We have seen Iran play the role of victim and also aggressor in order to foster the spread of terrorism and the spirit of sectarianism
The second goal relates to the summit called by Saudi Arabia in Makkah to discuss Iranian threats and attacks. These have taken place and threatened the sanctity of Islam, even in the month of Ramadan. Iran wanted to send messages that would divide some pro-Iranian countries, such as Iraq, Qatar and others, so that they defend Tehran and emphasize that it is opening its arms to peaceful and reassuring solutions, and is willing to go so far as to sign a non-aggression treaty.
The third goal Iran wants to achieve with such a treaty is to establish that any move against it and its militias could be classed as aggression. Tehran wants to re-establish the status quo and impose its militias and agendas on the region, with any resistance to them or any repelling of their terrorism to be called aggression, according to the terms of the treaty.
Tehran plays multiple roles. We have seen it play the role of victim and also aggressor in order to foster the spread of terrorism and the spirit of sectarianism, along with empty promises of death to America and Israel.
- Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri