Egypt has been the main mediator in the latest rounds of peace talks. But how the rest of the Arab world approaches the conflict is much more complex. CCTV’s Frances Kuo reports.
The Gaza conflict has been going on for decades. It used to be an ideological division simply between Jews and Muslims, but it’s not that simple any more. The lines are a bit murkier in the Mideast today and Iran has been especially quiet during this conflict.
One factor is Iran’s own bad blood with Hamas which exposed during Syria’s ongoing civil war. So while Arab nations have sided with Hamas in the past, the Arab spring has changed some of the thinking in countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
“The shift has been because these Arab monarchies are threatened by the political force that Hamas is part of…which is the Islamist movements that are a little bit more moderate, and are rooted in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” said Trita Parsi of National Iranian-American Council.
Parsi said it also comes down to what’s at stake for Iran. For instance, Iran’s ongoing nuclear talks with the so-called “P5 plus one” nations, including China and the United States, are critical enough to bump the Gaza conflict way down on Iran’s agenda.
If there is a nuclear deal that could further shift dynamics in the region, it will not only impact Gaza but also other conflict zones like Syria and Iraq.
While important shifts have taken place in the complex world of geopolitics, few are expecting a complete change to come over Iran or any other regional player.
“I think the Iranians are continuing to be very pro-Palestinian, I think that’s going to be part of their policy, rhetoric, identity they’re not going to change. The question is to what extent does their desire and opinions translate into operational policy,” said Parsi.
Parsi said Israel has taken advantage of the relative silence of Iran and other Arab nations. By saying that, Israel has blamed Iran for supporting Hamas in this conflict. Parsi also said Hamas is receiving more support from Qatar and Turkey though it’s become relatively isolated in the region overall.