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Volume :1 Issue : 1 1975      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE STRATEGICAL UNITY OF THE ARABIAN GULF

Auther : Field Marshal / Muhammad Kamal Abdelhamid

 

         Because of its geographic position, rich natural resources, and its role in international trade, particularly as regards oil, the Gulf is of great strategic importance. Consequently, great power rivalry over the region has a long history dating back to the 16th century. More recently, Germany sought to extend its power to the area via the famous “Baghdad railway” which concession was conferred on it in 1903. The aim was to link Arabian Peninsula. Though Germany lost the First World War, it never lost interest in the area. In fact, it was the first state to have established air routes as early as 1924, which impelled Britain and Holland to follow suit.

Since oil is essential strategic good and its derivatives have significant industrial uses, it has post acquired a new dimension as a result of the huge petrodollars its owners have obtained in the post October War period. Petrodollars have enables Iran and the Arab oil-producing states to play important roles in the determination of the ebb and flow of the international markets.

Indeed, because of the abundance of petrodollars, it is conceivable for Iran, for instance, to join the nuclear club. In fact the Shah talks about becoming the fifth World Power within a general and he has contracted with France and the U.S. to build himself 11 nuclear reactors, which could have a powerful impact on the transformation of Iran into an industrial society. Also, it is quite possible for Iraq to do likewise in collaboration with the Soviet Union. But such rivalry between Arabs and Iranians is not necessary. What is desirable however, is that a strategic Unit be formed of the 8 riparian states on the Gulf which would make the area one of the greatest strategic regions in the world and enable it to interpose itself as a third force next to the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Such a strategic unit would protect the area as well as the Moslem World and would challenge every prospective antagonist be it communism or extremist capitalism which lie in wait trying to pounce against Islam, the Arab-Iranian entente would tip the scales in favor of peace and ensure balance and continuity in the area and its repercussions would indeed affect the world especially East Africa with whom the Arabs of the Gulf-Muscat-Oman region have had continuous historic relations. In other words an Arab-Iranian entente would have a direct effect on the region b putting and end to the “Vacuum” theory regarding it. It would have a direct impact on the Arab world, strengthen Islamic Unity, Africa and the Third World and serve world peace by standing as a firm force between East and West.

Although Iran is a member of CENTO, its membership is intended as a deterrent to a potential Soviet threat. But the Soviet Union is not the only power that threatens the security of the Gulf and it is not the only state that aspires to plunder and rob the treasures and riches of the Gulf. The oil monopolies, which represent imperialist ambitions, are the ones that have exploited the entire Gulf and always constitute a source of danger to its people. In brief, America has inherited the parasitism of the British, and has late, threatened to occupy that petroleum producing states unless they towered the oil prices.

Now to deter both East and West, it must be understood that states base their strategies on interests not principles. But principles reinforce and guarantee interest. For this and other reasons, it is possible within this framework to realize strategic meeting grounds between the Arabs and the Iran based on joint common interests and endorsed by Islamic doctrine and other civilizational attributes and ties that bind Iranians and Arabs on co-operation and amity.

The armament Of Iran need not become a threat to the Arabs but can be a deterrent to would-be aggressors, including Israel, should the West use her as a surrogate power to threaten to occupy the oil wells. But before Arab-Iranian co-operation and strategic unity are consummated. Iran and the Arabs must rid themselves of Soviet and U.S. imperialisms which have driven wedges between them and kept them apart. Besides, Iran would have to show its goodwill by severing its ties with Israel and supporting the Palestine cause. Should Iran to do this, it would demonstrate its independence from the U.S. and deprive Israel from an essential strategic good – Iranian oil. And to prove its good intention, Iran must withdraw from Oman and stop acting as a self-appointed regional policeman.

On the other hand, the Seven Arab states that lie on the Gulf must compose their differences as a prelude to an Arab-Iranian détente. Moreover, Arab Summits must pursue more vigorously the resolution of intra Arab conflicts and work jointly with Iran for peace and security in the region. The Arabs and Iran must become the guardians of the Gulf and from strategic Unit that rivals the great powers’ and deters all would-be aggressors. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of a cohesive Arab region must be built with all deliberate speed and Arab funds, must be allocated in a manner conducive to Arab development and growth in a world in need of peace and the production of foodstuffs which Arab lands can produce in abundance in the event of scientific application of modern technologies.

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