Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Image Credit: EPA

The recent visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Abu Mousa Island, one of the three UAE islands occupied by Iran, provides clear evidence of Iran's intent to realise its historical dream of reviving the Persian empire.

The visit proves that the dream of bringing back history is still the key motive that drives the new puppet rulers whether in the Arab world or in the neighbouring countries which claim to be friends, while facts and acts on the ground show otherwise.

It seems that the historical aspiration of Iran is the key driving factor behind its current acts. Israel shares with Iran the historical dream of dominance and bringing back the ‘BC era', and thus it is no wonder a relationship between them still exists, despite the hostile language used by the media in both countries which tries to cover up facts.

Following the fall of the Shah regime, some believed that regime change would help alter the ruling mentality, but the experience of the past few decades proved that there was no change at all in the Iranian mentality.

Over the past decades, the UAE dealt with Iran on the grounds of the good neighbour policy and with the spirit of tolerance, a main characteristic of the UAE people in particular and Gulf citizens in general.

Due to this wide margin of tolerance, the GCC countries — home to millions of people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds — managed to integrate them into their social and economic structure without discrimination or hostility of any kind.

The spirit of brotherhood and fraternalism was prevalent in GCC communities, and there was no place for odious sectarianism, which recently unveiled its ugly face and poisonous canines.

The sectarian regime in Tehran tried its utmost to undermine the development and progress taking place in all fields in the GCC countries, and when it failed to do so, it has used religion, revolutionary slogans and bombastic language to achieve its hidden goals in the region. We know that sectarianism can grow among disappointed and unemployed people, or among minorities in countries that lack social justice and human dignity.

Sectarian hatred

Playing on this tune, sectarian systems utilise these factors and make the best use of bad economic and social conditions, to stoke ethno-sectarian tensions and struggles.

Indeed, psychological stability is the key factor behind coherence of the human community, and thus stirring up sectarian hatred can destroy any society.

‘Torn' Iraq stands out as an example of how sectarianism can do that — even a country of the size of Iraq and its rich and deep-rooted civilisation. Now, Syria is on the brink of a sectarian struggle, while Iran is only home to one sect.

When can man learn from his mistakes and draw lessons from others' experiences? Neither the Iraq-Iran war nor the civil war in Lebanon solved any problem. Yet, all parties involved in these wars were defeated and no one emerged victorious in these wars. All are losers, whether economically, politically or socially.

Iran must realise that humanity is now marking a new era where there is no place for long gone empires. The current age is witnessing an approach toward integration among all, so as to create a safe community without ethnic or sectarian lines.

Iran recently celebrated its army day, flexing its muscles through its military manoeuvres and displays. This clearly bears a hidden threat to others in the region. The country is misleading its people into the belief that they are threatened by a foreign enemy.

Iran is using the language of enmity and slogans against Israel and the US, just to conceal its real face and its Persian ambitions to dominate the Gulf region.

Nevertheless, the question remains: What is the goal of Ahmadinejad's visit to the UAE island of Abu Mousa at this particular time, and, what is the reason behind Iran's military exercises? This question, which is justified needs to be well-examined and a logical answer is needed, or time will tell.

Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Mutawa is a professor of sociology.