MNA – Professor Nader Entessar from South Alabama University says that “the Trump Administration’s overriding concern is to weaken Iran and, ultimately, bring about a regime change in the country.”
“Anything that creates a distraction from Washington’s prime objective in Iran is viewed as a loss for Trump’s regional policy in the Persian Gulf,” Entessar told Mehr News Agency recently.
Following is the text of the interview:
A summit with the participation of the Emir of Qatar, crown prince of Saudi Arabia and crown prince of the UAE is to be held in the United States in May about the Qatar crisis. Does this mean the end of disputes between these countries?
Not necessarily. The meeting is designed as a first step to gauge methods by which the Qatar crisis may be addressed. Of course, the Trump administration will seek to interject US interests in the discussion and will try to micro-manage the proceedings to strengthen US interests.
US Secretary of State Tillerson has said that the negative consequences of the Persian Gulf regional crises are not only limited to the Arab countries but also they include the United States. What kind of losses is he referring to?
Essentially what Secretary Tillerson was referring to was the weakening of the Arab bloc against Iran and the loosening of Washington’s iron grip on developments in the Persian Gulf. The Trump administration’s overriding concern is to weaken Iran and, ultimately, bring about a regime change in the country. Anything that creates a distraction from Washington’s prime objective in Iran is viewed as a loss for Trump’s regional policy in the Persian Gulf.
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani said that Qatar is ready to attend the meeting. But he argued that Doha would not be willing to accept the pre-conditions and also demanded resolution of the crisis on the basis of equality between countries. Is this possible?
If the 13 conditions that Saudi Arabia and its allies announced last year are viewed as non-negotiable points, then the Qatari crisis will not be resolved. However, if the Saudi-led Arab protagonists are willing to indeed negotiate with Qatar on the basis of equality and desist from treating Qatar as a wayward child that needs to be disciplined, then the crisis with Qatar may be resolvable.
Which of the 13 terms announced by Saudi Arabia and its allies may Qatar have to swallow?
Saudi Arabia, or more specifically Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), is fanatically obsessed with Iran. So, I think the first of the 13 conditions, namely scaling down Qatari-Iranian relations and calibrating them along the Saudi-UAE lines as dictated by MbS remains the most important item that Qatar may have to concede. This is where the Trump Administration’s heavy hand will be used to try to bludgeon Qatar into submission.