Al-Arabiya's English edition editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas wrote a surprising op-ed on Tuesday, calling on US President Barack Obama to listen to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after the latter addressed Congress on the dangers of an Iran nuclear deal being formulated.
Abbas, whose paper is openly anti-Israel and Saudi-owned, began by scornfully conceding "it is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does. However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran."
The editor backed Netanyahu's recent comment that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing creating a void being filled by "terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran," in an op-ed following an article by a Saudi columnist similarly supporting Netanyahu's appraisal.
"What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei," Abbas wrote.
Criticizing Obama for his mismanagement of the region, Abbas continued by saying the president rid Syria of its chemical weapons but left the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in place to continue "to slaughter their own people."
Using this example of Iran's ally Assad, he opined "the real Iranian threat is not JUST the regime’s nuclear ambitions, but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing."
Iran today is no longer plotting its "terror activities in secret," he wrote, instead documenting openly how Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' covert operations Al-Quds Force and formerly a very secretive person, is actively managing the fighting in Iraq and being photographed while doing so.
"Among his many handlings, Soleimani is the godfather of Iraq’s infamous 'Asaa’ib Ahl Al-Haq' (AAS) brigade, a Shiite paramilitary terrorist group responsible for dozens of atrocious attacks and murdering of both Iraqis and Americans," wrote Abbas.
"Not only is Iran responsible for sponsoring Shiite terrorist groups, but Sunni ones too," he added. "In fact, according to the U.S.’s own State Department, Tehran was home to a number of Al-Qaeda facilitators and high ranking financiers. These accusations are also backed by findings of the U.S. Treasury Department as well."
Defending Saudi Arabia, which as noted is a key owner of his paper, Abbas said some would argue other Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia should not be left out of the equation in blaming most regional problems on Iran.
"On the contrary, it would be biased and/or naïve NOT to blame Iran for such problems," he said. "After all, yes there are terrorists in Saudi Arabia and there are people who financed terrorism, but these are officially outlaws, who are either in jail, being hunted down or are hiding in the caves of Tora Bora or some other remote area."
"The same, sadly, doesn’t apply to the terrorists of Iran; these are in uniform, hold government positions and are not bothering to hide their evil plots anymore!" concluded the editor.
Abbas's op-ed comes as Netanyahu warned in Congress that Iran's regional expansionism threatens Arab states as well as Israel, and if unchecked will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.