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Callous chess game.

Summary: The Arab world seems to have been destined to suffer. Going back over seven decades, since the Nakba in 1948, it seems every evil has befallen countries of this region after the crime committed against the Palestinians by the British, Americans and Russians.

The Arab world seems to have been destined to suffer. Going back over seven decades, since the Nakba in 1948, it seems every evil has befallen countries of this region after the crime committed against the Palestinians by the British, Americans and Russians.

This region has witnessed wars, destruction, terrorism, civil conflicts and coups d'etat that have cost hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of lives.

And even when the guns have fallen silent, U.S. aircraft carriers as well as Russian and French warships have roamed around in our waters, exacerbating an already toxic atmosphere.

Simply put, the Arab countries have been doomed to live in this hell, a chess game of sorts that is being played by the United States and Iran.

At a time when Iran's economy is in shambles, President Donald Trump has imposed the most stringent sanctions on Tehran, hoping to force its hand into talks on the nuclear deal that he has already pulled out of.

In response, the Iranians have issued threats against international shipping and the security of neighboring states, allies of America. In the face of such troubling Iran rhetoric, the U.S. has deployed an aircraft carrier, a move that according to John Bolton is a clear message to Tehran that any attacks on American interests or any of its allies would be met with unrelenting force.

Jump to Sunday, and Iran or its proxies are suspected of being behind attacks on Saudi-, UAE- and Norwegian-flagged ships, while Tuesday Houthis launched drone attacks on two Saudi oil installations, creating havoc in the oil market and widening the scope of tensions in the area.

All this, which is taking place while the Arabs were waiting for a just solution to the Palestinian problem, has put the area on a trajectory that could spark an explosion the likes of which we have never seen.

We've had enough of this callous chess game. The region refuses to remain a hostage to hostile politics. After 71 years, its people deserve some peace so they can focus on developing their countries and lives, instead of wasting billions on arms and rehabilitation in an atmosphere of constant panic.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:May 15, 2019
Words:421
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