Iran’s Insulting Behavior Toward Outgoing President Obama

Al-Arabiya published an article on January 17 by Abdulrahman al-Rashed, former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, and veteran internationally acclaimed journalist, about Iran’s relationship with outgoing President Barack Obama, which he compares to the animal fable about “a frog that carries a scorpion on its back across a river. The frog is first hesitant to carry the scorpion out of fear of being stung but the scorpion insists it wouldn’t. However, the scorpion does indeed sting the frog and when the latter asks it why it did so, the scorpion replies saying it was its natural for it to do so.”

US navy destroyer, the USS Mahan, faced the potential threat of a confrontation with Iranian revolutionary guards’ vessels in international waters in the Gulf last week and had to fire warning shots. As well, celebrations were held in Tehran because a year passed since Iran’s detention of American sailors that it called “humiliating” American sailors.

This is an embarrassment to President Barack Obama who is ending his eight years as president this week. 

The only president who tried to help the Iranian regime since 1979, President Obama cancelled the policy of five former American presidents and negotiated with the Iranians. He signed generous agreements with them and lifted economic sanctions. The Iranian regime bid him farewell by coming near American troops in Gulf waters and insulting them.

The inauguration of the new President is today. Afterward, we will see how the Iranian regime deals with the new American government. “Will it dare intercept its vessels and detain its sailors or open fire at military vessels present in Gulf waters?” asks al-Rashed.

The end of Obama’s presidential term is most likely the end of his policy in the Gulf and this phase will be followed with a different policy in the Middle East. What high-ranking officials said during hearing sessions at the Congress last week gives every indication that Trump will be different than Obama, according to testimonies of three major nominees for the departments of defense and state and the CIA regarding Iran.  All three men accused Iran of being the source of unrest in the region and said the new administration will confront it instead of allying with it.

al-Rashed writes, “If they execute what they threaten Iran with, it will be a major shift in American policy in terms of its relations with the Gulf and the balance of power in the Middle East. Obama secretly began building relations with the Iranian regime and trusted it, the scorpion in this case, and carried it on his back betting that it will be a regional partner in peace and a major ally in fighting terrorism. Since Obama’s administration deliberately communicated with the Tehran regime covertly for a long period of time, it was easy to make promises and sign deals that were not only bad for the US but for the region and the entire world. No one in the region objects to Washington being open to Iran and reaching an agreement that suspends the latter’s nuclear program but Obama’s administration made a series of mistakes that unleashed the Iranian regime’s monsters which are behind the disasters in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.”

It’s time for Iran to realize that it can enjoy its economic capabilities, and the world can open its doors for it for trade, tourism, and exchange of knowledge. At the same time, Iran cannot let its forces and militias loose and continue to threaten the security of the region and the security and interests of the entire world.