BRUSSELS—”We need the EU to undestand that four countries in the Middle East are in the hands of Iran: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The world is silent on this and we need a clear position of the EU to stop it,’’ said Dr Abdulla Mosa Al Tayer, a Saudi official who spoke in the European Parliament about the challenges facing Saudi Arabia.
‘’The problem is not the peole but the regime of Iran which is calling for a Muslim Umma and since 1979 they are using the Mecca pilgrimage to destabilize Saudi Arabia,’’ he said at a conference organized by the AJC Transatlantic Institute and co-hosted by MEPs Anders Vistisen an d Bas Belder.
Al Tayeb, who chairs the Gulf Futures Center in Riyadh, stressed that the region needs peace ‘’while we have an ideological regime that is acting in the name of God.’’
Turning to the situation in his country, he said it has never stop reforming. ‘’Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is moving forward and it is a strategic move. He wants the countery to change.’’
But he warned that ‘’changes will take time. We need to give reforms time,’’ he said. ‘’Saudis ae open and positive about the West because they have not been occupied by any outside power.’’
He insisted that one need to find a solution for the Palestinian issue ‘’because Iran will use this justification for destabilizing the region.’’
At the conference, an Israeli expert of Iran said he doesn’t believe that recent street protests in this country constitute an immediate threat to the stability of the regime. ‘’But the regime should be concerned because protesters came from segements of the populaion that was supposed to be suppoertive of the regime,’’ explained Raz Zimmt, Reserach Fellow at the Institute for National Securiity Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.
‘’Iran suffers from chronic desease, years of neglecting and failure to address the grievances and demands of the population on economic and society issues.’’
‘’Despite the removal of sancions, economic problems continue to affect especially young people with 40% unemployment.Moreover, there is a growing gap between, Iran revolutionary regime and the younger generation which is becoming more secular and don’t want the regime to tell them what to do or not.’’
‘’But this doesn’t mean that Iran is on the bring of collapse. We might have to wait,’’ Zimmt insisted.
‘’There is still a national pride which gives the Iranian regime the opportunity to rally the population around the flag, especially when the regime speaks of external threats and uses instability in the region to increase its power in the region.’’