The Iranian project in the region has been a subject of exhausting debate between political analysts. Some argue that the statements of some Iranian politicians like Ali Younesi, a crony of President Hassan Rouhani, who just last year bragged Iran occupied four Arab capitals, do not officially represent the Iranian position.

But a few days ago, the Iranian president made things clear. In an official speech broadcast on Iranian television, he said at present, no decisive action can be taken in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa and the Gulf region without [involving] Iran.

“The position of Iran in the region today is greater than ever,” President Rouhani said, referring to what he described as the “smarts” of the Supreme Leader. He added that North Africa is now part of Iran’s strategic sphere of influence and no decisive action can be taken there in isolation from Iran.

The dangerous situation is open to many possibilities, the most serious of which is the presence of Iran in the North African region. President Rouhani knows that this region includes Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria and if he was referring to Libya, he would have just mentioned it like he mentioned Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, which are sovereign States unlike the present divided Libya.

Rouhani bragged about the achievements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and their intervention in the region. He spared the ceremonious discourse of co-existence, good-neighborliness this time, revealing Iran’s true intentions.

The Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, slammed the statements of the Iranian president. But what was the position of the “lobbyists” in the Arab media people and scholars on this?

Not a single official Arab collective position was voiced, as if they were not concerned, as if Iran, which claimed to control the neighboring Gulf region, did not just threaten the sovereignty of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and North African countries.

Iran is pushing its malevolent expansionist agenda aimed at hegemonizing the region.

The unfortunate truth is that the Iranian president has sent a direct message to “all” of the Arab countries. There is no Arab country outside the geographical scope of the claimed Iran influence. The arrogant Rouhani went as far as saying that “the status of the Iranian nation in the region is higher than ever before.” He was basically saying that ethnocentric interests mean more to the Iranians than the religious unity they claimed to defend.

Now, we need collective Arab official positions, not tweets. We can no longer overlook the Iranian threat to Arab national security. Disregarding all international conventions and norms, Iran vows to impose the new colonial form of Persian hegemony. The Arabs must deal with this situation through the international community, especially the Europeans who show an understanding of the Iranian point of view but not of its underlying threat to the region.

Today, the Iranian project is the elephant in the room. Former Iranian intelligence chief Haydar Moslehi said in an interview with Fars News Agency that “Iran already controls four Arab capitals” and called for continued support for militias in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, even at the expense of the Iranian people. “The Iranian people should reduce the ‘food of their table’ to support the fighters in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.”

The new Iranian colonial project in the Middle East and the Gulf is as clear as the sun.

Iran cannot be said to be a stabilizing agent in the Gulf region and the Middle East with such arrogant expansionist policies.

With the unprecedented mention of North Africa in their narrative, questions arise about whether Iran is planning to collaborate with Sunni terror groups to expand its sphere of influence.