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World’s Valentine’s Day message to Iran

The Warsaw Conference ended last Thursday — Valentine’s Day — with a message to Iran from 60 countries, all urging Tehran to change its regional behavior.

The Middle East security conference’s final statement failed to mention the republic by name, but at the press conference, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz both emphasized the threats Iran’s worrying regional ambitions posed to the world.

It is true that China and Russia were absent, and France and Germany didn’t send their foreign ministers to protest at US President Donald Trump’s aggressive approach to Iran. Of greater significance, however, was the participation of Arab and Muslim nations, all seated next to each other, with the aim of drawing the world’s attention to the results of Tehran’s proxy wars. These include millions of Yemeni children suffering as a result of Tehran’s support for the Houthis, and millions of Syrians displaced because of Tehran’s support for the Assad regime.

Iran’s disruptive behavior is also fueling Iraq’s sectarian conflict and explains why the Lebanese are unable to exercise their constitutional right to be independent without fear of being dominated by armed militia.

Regional countries are acting destructively toward each other because Iran wants to become hegemonic and is empowering Shiite minorities to achieve this goal. While politics and diplomacy are rarely straightforward, there is a simple and obvious reason to make peace. With its wealth and resources, the Gulf region has the potential to become a great partner to others in the international community — but first it needs to establish its own peace and security.

Millions of frustrated Iranians inside the country and its neighbors are demanding the ayatollahs and their supporters change their behavior. China and Russia failed to attend the summit in Warsaw, but that doesn’t mean they are siding with Iran — just that their business with the regime is more important. The participation of a small regional country such as Oman, which is friendly with Iran, signals that Tehran will have to alter its path. 

There is no need for an international consensus. The message to Iran is clear: Spend your wealth on your own needy children in Sistan and Baluchistan provinces who living in poverty before building schools and hospitals in southern Lebanon or Africa. 

First, solve the unemployment issue facing millions of Iranian youth, then help Iraqis with free water and electricity.

As the proverb says: “A light that is needed at home is forbidden to be given to a mosque.” In other words, serve your own home before you serve others.