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Iran’s involvement in all subversive and terrorist acts that have accrued or may occurred in the Middle East cannot be ruled out, as confirmed by reports, security studies and investigations into terrorist operations and activities that have targeted the security and stability of the region, which all mentioned the Iranian involvement, directly and indirectly, through its Arab satellites, led by Hezbollah, Al-Houthi, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and others.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the United Arab Emirates, four civilian commercial cargo ships from several nationalities were exposed on Sunday morning to sabotage near the territorial waters of the UAE in the Gulf of Oman, without any reference to the perpetrators. This is an indication of the wisdom of the UAE and its calmness in dealing with such events and not rushing to give judgments before the investigations take time to reach the full facts.

However, Iran’s role in committing this subversive action is quite obvious for many reasons, most notably:

First: Iranian officials’ previous threats regarding Iran’s ability to target shipping lines and threaten the global oil supply in the Straits of Hormuz, the Sea of ​​Oman and Bab al-Mandeb, including, for example, what the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threatened on April 24 that what he described as the American hostility and conspiracy in the oil case will not remain unchallenged. Former Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, has also threatened the UAE that its participation in Trump’s dangerous game will lead to the collapse of UAE oil exports. On April 29, Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Shura Council, also said: “We will not forget the behavior of some countries in the region, in reference to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and their policies in supporting the US sanctions on Iranian oil, as he claimed and said: some countries in the region must be careful, because the Iranian people will not forget their behavior towards the current situation in the region. In the same vein, military leaders went on their threats to the security and stability of the region, as the Chief of Staff for the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri said: if Iran’s oil does not cross this strait, no oil will cross!

In addition to that, a number of Iranian newspapers have called on threatening the security and stability of the region if the United States prevented the export of Iranian oil, including a report published by Arman Amroz newspaper on April 23, in which Iranian authorities were called on to respond decisively to the readiness of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in covering any deficit in oil exports after Washington’s decision not to extend the period of exemption for the eight oil-importing countries from Iran. On April 25, Kayhan newspaper, of the Supreme Leader, also published the views of some of its audience, where one of them said: If we could not export our oil, Saudi Arabia and the UAE should not be allowed to export theirs through the Gulf and the Red Sea.

Second: The Iranian official reaction and the media coverage of the event. Many symbols of the regime rushed to give pre-prepared statements on the assertion of the fragility of security in the Gulf region, but not hiding their joy of what happened. As well as the gloat of the Iranian media, especially of these affiliated with the Hardliner current, which monitored the decline in the stock markets in the Gulf countries and the rise in oil prices globally in a reaction to these events.

Third: Tehran is now the leader and the guide of all terrorist and subversive groups in the region and without Iran’s permission and direct orders of the Revolutionary Guards’ leaders, these groups won’t be able to carry out any terrorist or subversive operation.

Fourth: The target is an important economic shipping line for the UAE and Saudi Arabia and the beneficiary of sabotaging this naval line is Iran and the rest of its arms in the region.

Fifth: Iran’s behavior in the region which is based on sabotage and interference in the affairs of others, supporting terrorism and destabilizing the security and stability of the region through the spread of sectarianism and stir up strife and ignite wars and fighting.

Iran aims from this subversive action to militarize the region and disturb the regional situation by creating a global threat that would push some countries to put pressure on the United States to ease its pressure and sanctions on Iran. Tehran also seeks to target as much as possible of naval lines in order to disturb the world oil supply and create shortage in the supply.

Moreover, this subversive act, according to the mentality and ideology of the Revolutionary Guards, is an Iranian reprisal that can be used for domestic consumption by presenting it, as an achievement, to the irate Iranian people from the policies of the mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards. Iran also, after successive regional losses and defeats on the Yemeni, Syrian and Iraqi fronts, wants to send a message to its satellites and allies that it is still there and is capable of making damage.

More importantly, Iran wants to send a message to the countries in the region that its regime is a suicidal one and capable of dragging the whole region into chaos and war. Nonetheless, the intelligence and wisdom of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and their allies have thwarted this opportunity for the Iranian regime, especially as they enjoy a high degree of security and stability and have armies and security systems capable of curbing all Iranian activities and preserving the security and stability of the region as well as thwarting all the Revolutionary Guards’ plans aimed at militarizing the region and destabilizing it.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

May 16, 2019

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