This blog post was published on May 13 2011. §
Jordan, Morocco and search for a “new Iraq” to protect the Gulf Monarchies
News reports revealed that three GCC countries disagree with the new decision of nominating Jordan and Morocco to Join the Gulf States alliance. Countries such as Kuwait, Oman and Qatar prefer to ally themselves with Turkey since regionally, it is powerful enough to stand against Iran’s interests in the Gulf States.
What is very clear is that new regional coalitions and clusters started to disappear, and instead, a new regional alliances started to emerge in the new systems.
GCC made no secret saying that Iraq to join the Gulf Alliance depends on who will govern Iraq, people of the Gulf will not agree, as long as the Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki in power.
Iraq’s indirect reaction came from Ammar Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic in his meeting with Iran’s FM Ali Akbar Salehi saying that both countries look forward to form a regional system that would reflect the interests of countries in the region in order to preserve the sovereignty of these countries.
For Morocco, the GCC countries worry of a campaign Shiitism among the Moroccans. Morocco politely rejected this project and some Moroccan newspapers called it a farce:
Thanks for the Petrol Arab brothers on this call mined invitation. However, we reject it because we are looking forward to join the democratic bloc that provides a climate of freedom and democratic practice .… Please call again when you write your constitution, when you have parties, civil society organisation, and allow women to drive a machine called car.
There are even critics from the some GCC countries. This is from Kuwait:
The population of Morocco population exceeds the population of the GCC countries combined, and there are millions of Arabs and Berbers, dozens of dialects, a constitutional monarchy and political parties to choose a prime minister after general elections, women play an active role politically, economically and socially, women could be prime ministers if nominated by her party .… While we [GCC countries] continue to disagree on the headquarters of the Central Bank, the security agreement among the GCC members and the identity of the Secretary-General.
Reports published on Arab newspapers says that Iranian intelligence coordinates with the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan to raise questions about the legitimacy of the Hashemite monarchy. Gulf States want Jordan in the front line to repel two dangers:
1– The recent changes in the region, especially in Bahrain, Oman and Yemen which started to worry the Gulf States.
2– Political vacuum in Cairo and the political paralysis in Syria that could be an opportunity for Iran to expand into the the Arab inland.
Only to use the Jordanian army and the security service when it needed, in their war against the Houthis, Saudi Arabia asked the Jordanian Military for help, king Abdullah of Jordan hesitate in accepting the call for the fear of the local reactions … When the king of Bahrain asked Jordan’s king to send special forces to suppress demonstrations in Bahrain, gave the same reaction.
So came the idea of annexation of Jordan to the GCC countries, although Jordan is not a Gulf State and even Jordan’s former King Hussein mocked the the oil states during the the 1st Gulf-war calling them “Kingdoms of thirst”.
The US role in this decision is revealed by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas saying that this approach is blessed by the U.S., due to the fact that the membership of Jordan and Morocco is the gateway for these two countries to receive the American aid.
From here, the six Gulf states announced its support for Morocco and Jordan to join the GCC. With Tehran’s insistence on playing the role of “regional superpower” means that the Jordanian army (against its will) would join any war or Military activities against Iran and that is the same role Iraq played in the 80’s.
Jordan’s King will start to lure the Jordanians with the privileges of joining the GCC and perhaps most important of these privileges is to enter the Gulf States and work without Visa.
A lifeline for Jordan, but promising of economic prosperity is not the first time, the experience of 6 +2 a partnership between the Gulf states, Egypt and Syria following the second Gulf War, was a total failure.