Iran should stay out of Gulf affairs

The "Abdali cell" busted in Kuwait was also one such vehicle.

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Published: Sat 12 Aug 2017, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 12:06 AM

Since 1979, the year of Islamic Revolution, Iran's foreign policy has been driven aggressively by a desire to reshape the Middle East. Tehran wants to exercise control, have influence in regional countries and assert hegemony. A range of proxies and spies created by it feed into this desire. The "Abdali cell" busted in Kuwait was also one such vehicle.
Friday's arrest of 12 convicted members of this terror cell is a reminder of the covert games that Iranian government is playing in the region. It is amply evident that the cell intended to carry out hostile acts against the Kuwaiti government and cause unrest in the country. The members had a large cache of weapons: Kalashnikov rifles, submachine guns, grenades, 144kg of explosives, and 19 tonnes of ammunition. It certainly cannot be just for self-defence, as convicts seemed to have suggested. Several members of this cell reportedly received military training in Lebanon from Hezbollah.
No other factor fuels sectarianism and breeds instability in the Middle East more than Tehran's foreign policies and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's activities. IRGC has been investing heavily in training and arming its proxies and partners with increasingly advanced equipment, and doling out sophisticated weaponry. Hezbollah in late 2015 reportedly acquired unmanned aerial vehicles and an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 rockets and missiles through Iranian assistance. In Yemen, Houthis have been putting up a tough fight mostly because of the support and training received from Hezbollah and IRGC. Iran's proxies have made inroads everywhere - from Syria, to Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Kuwait, Bahrain. The country is a sponsor of state terrorism, and has been growing stronger.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's superficial image as a moderate leader has worked in Iran's favour. But he is no saner than others who have led the country. It was under his leadership that Iran carried out a ballistic missile test earlier this year. Gulf's allies need to get together and rein in Iran, possibly with more sanctions and tough action. It should be the top agenda.

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