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Former Lebanese PM: Iran won’t be able to maintain upper hand in Arab world

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. Religion is used for political purposes in Iran, said former Prime Minister of Lebanon Fouad Siniora.

He made the remarks at the panel titled “Iran and Afghanistan: Keys to regional Caspian and Central Asian security and prosperity. What’s next?” held as part of the 4th Global Baku Forum on March 11.

 

He said that there are two powers in Iran – the party negotiating with the West to develop the country’s economy and the nationalist front supporting the conflicts in Yemen and Iraq which will gradually lead to the impossibility of stability in the region.

 

According to Fouad Siniora, the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites is not a fundamental religious conflict, but a regional conflict.

 

Iran is using the [Sunni-Shia conflict] to achieve Shiites’ advantage in the Arab region, and the ongoing conflicts disrupt the balance in the region, the former PM added.

 

He noted that the latest elections in Iran showed there is a need for reforms.

 

“If left uninterrupted, this force will support conflicts in the region. Extremists should not be backed in any case. Iran and Arab countries are in a difficult financial situation. People are suffering. We can see that Europe too is affected by it. This is going to lead people to a big trouble and radicalization,” Siniora said.

 

He said for the West, the situation cannot go on like this.

 

“Iran will not be able to maintain the upper hand in the Arab world, which is not pondering Iran’s isolation. What is the dividing line between Sunnis and Shiites? The line that divides them is much more trivial than the differences between Orthodox Christians and Catholics. Therefore such a division is unneeded. Iran is seeking to integrate into the West but is also thinking of acting as a revolutionary force in the Middle East—a stance unlikely to go that far. Iran’s attempts to provoke a revolution in Arab countries will be a failure. If not dealt with, Iran’s acts will bring about intensified disintegration, strengthen extremist forces, increase the numbers of migrants and undermine regional security,” he concluded. 

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