In a recent article originally published in Arabic by Kuwait’s Al-Qabas daily, Bakeer has made an interesting assessment of the current situation.
“No one can deny the fact that Iran’s regional influence has reached the highest possible level in the past years. The nuclear deal decreased the pressures on Tehran for its regional activities over the last few years, while its nuclear program continued with international consent,” he noted.
He further notes that the “recent tensions between the United States and the Arab states with Iran can be seen as media tension with no practical effect.”
“Each time the US government has talked about the need for confrontation with Iran, in practice, more opportunities has been provided for Tehran to increase its influence in the region,” Bakeer went on to say.
“Iran moved in to Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush administration, and during Obama’s office, the country’s influence increased in Syria and Yemen.”
Bakeer predicts that political and economic pressures on Iran will mount, but ultimately the region belongs to the one who has boots on the ground.
“The United States and its Arab allies have backed off in confrontation with Iran in the Middle East since many years ago,” he noted, adding that “the US still has no clear strategy for Syria, so Iran’s influence in Syria would definitely increase.”
“In Iraq, the US coalition provided ground for the victory of ‘Iran-affiliated’ popular forces against ISIS while there is no mechanism for these ‘Shiite’ forces to leave liberated areas,” he went on to say.
“The situation in the camp of the Sunni-Arab states is much worse. These countries are facing many crises domestically and even in relations with each other.”
“The Persian Gulf crisis has dashed down any hopes for the return of Iran’s regional influence to that of before 2003,” Bakeer added.
“Saudi Arabia’s actions against Qatar are completely to the interest of Iran.”
Bakeer has finally referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s opposition to military action against Hezbollah as the latest indication of the lack of readiness of the Arab-Sunni Front to confront Iran.