“Former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati says the use of the term ‘Arab spring’ is an attempt by the West to liken uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to ‘color revolutions’ in East European countries. By using such a term the Westerners have been seeking to deny the significant role of “Islam” in inspiring revolutions in the Muslim Arab countries, Velayati said. The Westerners use the term “Arab spring” to convey their desired “view” of the revolutions in the region, the scholar-turned politician noted. Western countries seek to convey this view that “Muslim nations have got rid of Hosni Mubarak and Bin Ali ….to embrace Western approaches,” Velayati told the Mehr News Agency. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that the uprisings in Arab countries are inspired by Islam because it contravenes with their approach, explained Velayati, the senior foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader. “If Muslim nations who have risen up (against dictatorship) accept Arab spring they will have no alternative other than following the Westerners; however, the reality is that regional nations have cried Allahu Akbar (God is great) ……………”
The Iranian mullahs insist that the Arab uprisings were motivated by Islamist zeal. I have tried to explain to them many times that all these revolts started as secular movements and that the Muslim fundamentalists joined later, when they showed some success. Now, with the clear shift of political power in all these states to the Islamist fundamentalists, the Iranians may know something the rest of us don’t.
One of the most secular Arab states ‘was’ Tunisia, Bourguiba and Bin Ali made sure of that, and it is going Islamist. So is Egypt and Libya. Syria was absolutely the most secular Arab state of our modern times. Yet if the revolt against the Assad regime succeeds, as it looks like now, then Syrians will have a choice of alliances between: (1)Pro-Saudi Muslim Brothers, (1)Other Muslim Brothers, (3) Salafis (bought, signed, sealed, and delivered), (4) a weak minority of watered-down secularists. In the end the new Syrian regime will be dominated by Islamic fundamentalists of one stripe or another.
That is why I may humor the Iranians and say they may have a point. Still, the outcome may not be what the Iranians would have liked. Probably not.