News & Politics

UAE Foreign Minister to Fellow Arabs: 'We Will Not Be Led by Iran and Turkey'

Mideast Iran Military Parade

United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash has called on “the Arab world” to come together under the joined leadership of Saudi Arabia and Egypt in order to resist Iranian and Turkish influence in the region.

Both Iran and Turkey have a foreign policy dedicated to making themselves the region’s superpower(s). Iran believes itself to be on a mission from God to spread Shiite Islam, while Turkey sees itself as the historical and rightful successor to the Ottoman Empire.

Dr. Gargash begs to disagree with both Tehran and Ankara. The day after Christmas, Gargash took to Twitter, where he called on other Arab countries to join forces and let Egypt and Saudi Arabia lead them.

“The world is at an impasse, and the solution is to co-operate in the face of surrounding regional ambitions,” he tweeted. “The sectarian and partisan approach is not an acceptable alternative. The Arab world will not be led by Tehran or Ankara. The geostrategic competition taking place in the region calls for strengthened Arab [unity] with Riyadh and Cairo as its pillar.”

Tensions in the region have been on the rise in recent years, because of Iran’s support for Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, and its warm ties to Qatar. At the same time, the Arab countries have been on a collision course with Turkey because of that country’s aspirations to become the region’s superpower while simultaneously supporting — there we go again — Qatar, which is accused of supporting and financing several terror groups. Turkey even went so far as to deploy troops to a permanent base in Qatar after the other Arab countries announced they’d boycott the gas-rich nation.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia has become even more ambitious than it already was when Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was named its crown prince. MBS, as the prince is often called, believes Iran has to be pushed back, and he believes that Saudi Arabia has to assert its interests throughout the region, if necessary by directly confronting Iran and, yes, Turkey.