Started by the Safavids in Alliance with Portuguese Colonialists in the Arabian Gulf

Among the evident matters in Arab history is the nature of hostility by the Persian Safavid and the Zionist projects against the Arabs. It is interesting that if we conduct a study in the field of comparative history in this regard, we will find similarities – perhaps even identicalities – between both projects, whether in terms of ideology, project or historical continuity, up to date.

Starting with the Safavid project, we find that ideological beginnings of the Safavid were launched by Sheikh Safi al-Din in northern Persia in the fourteenth century. It was him who began preaching and spreading his esoteric doctrine. It is interesting that Sheikh Safi al-Din was not Persian, but rather of Turkish origin. As for Shah Ismail Safavi, the true founder of the Safavid state at the end of the fifteenth century, we will also find that he was of Turkish origin as well and did not belong to Persian race. Hence, Ismail Safavi was “more royal than the king”, deeply fanatic of Persian doctrine and nationalism until he was well-established in Persia.

Persian and Zionist projects are identical and allied against the Arab world.

Shah Ismail Safavi began his steps in this direction by imposing the esoteric doctrine on Iran, rendering it the official doctrine thereof, while the Sunni sect was dominant there, and employed the Safavi doctrine as an ideology for Iran since that time. However, what is more dangerous is his political project that exceeded the matter of expanding at the expense of the great provinces of Persia, but extended his intense hostility to the Arabs and attempted to impose his influence on the Arab world, reaching to the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Safavidism is ideologically and politically similar to Zionism. Doctrinal Zionism arose mainly among the Jews of Europe and did not emerge among the Jews of the East or even the Jews of Palestine, then was the attempt to spread it among the general Jews in the world. Here comes the similarity with the doctrinal Safavidism in terms of emergence outside the Persian center region and then imposing it on the general population in the Persia, even outside it. Also, Safavid political project is similar to the political Zionist project in the attempt to impose expansion and hegemony on the Arab region, as well as the use of external forces to achieve the political ambitions of both.

And if we go back to tracking the Safavid political project and its attempt to impose hegemony on the Arab region, then we must start with the era of the founder of this project, which is Shah Ismail the Safavid, and some believe that despite the severe defeat suffered by Ismail Safavid in the Battle of Chaldiran (1514) at the hands of Selim al-Othmani, but That did not distract Al-Safavi from achieving his hopes and political project in the region. Ismail al-Safavi soon began to look for external allies to help him break into the Arab world and reach the eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

From this point, Shah Ismail al-Safavi, the Islamic leader and founder of a Muslim state as he claims, did not object to allying himself with the most dangerous forces for the Arab and Islamic world in his time, namely Portugal, which was reveling at the time in the southern Islamic waters. Abdul Aziz Nawar, who is one of the key scholars of the history of Iraq and the Arabian Gulf in modern era, believes that: “While the Portuguese were afraid of a strong Islamic front against them in Islamic waters, they found that someone wanted to cooperate with them”.

What is more, the Safavid Shah Ismail tried to conclude an agreement with Portugal to give them free hand in controlling the island of Hormuz, thus the Strait of Hormuz that controls the Arabian Gulf, in exchange for Portugal’s agreement that Shah Ismail would control the Al-Ahsa region in the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula. However, this deal did not take place because the Portuguese took control of Hormuz and did not allow him to control Al-Ahsa. On the other hand, Shah Ismail laid the foundations for the Persian Safavid policy that continues until now, on top of which is the control of Iraq, so as to be a gateway to penetration into the Arab world. Some believe that Iran’s constant policy is “to swallow Iraq”. They refer to the role of Safavid fanaticism in this regard, and how, upon entering Baghdad, Shah Ismail slaughtered the existing Sunni imams and demolished the tombs of those who remained behind, “in an attempt to eliminate the Sunni sect”.

Some believe that the ideological and political Safavid project is still continuing until now, and even poses a threat to Arab societies: “Safaviyya, in a very brief way, is the doctrine of loyalty to Iran through sectarian affiliation linked to a kind of Shiism that appeared with the establishment of the Safavid state. It is a sect that is colored and formed in multiple colors and shapes throughout its history, so as to be influential and able to create followers and devotees to gain political power therewith. The danger of the Safavids lies in the fact that, from the beginning, they wore religious clothes and stole the name of the Jaafari sect, thus abusing it to the utmost degree due to the association of Safavidism with an ethnic, racist and esoteric l tendency based on hatred and revenge against the Arabs”.

They refer to the new convert from the Safavids with the outbreak of the Khomeinist revolution in 1979 and the attempts to spread this in the Arab world through: “A sectarian grudge that casts a political shadow over the hatred of Arabs and Arabism, represented by the most widespread Sunni community in the Arab world.

Some have also drawn a comparison between the racist Safavid project and the racist Zionist project in terms of the ethnic cleansing of Ahvazi Arabs and the Arabs of Palestine. Some also affirm the return of Safavidism again with the Khomeinist revolution: “Safavids roots s today constitute the spearhead of the Iranian-Persian project in the Gulf region and the Arab world as a whole”. Just as the Zionist project allied with America, let us not forget Iran’s cooperation with America in its invasion of Afghanistan, as well as the joint cooperation between Iran and America during the American invasion of Iraq in (2003).

Thus, all past and present evidence confirm the similarity between the Safavid and Zionist projects, as well as their ideological and political danger to the Arab region.

  1. Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri, Encyclopedia of Jews, Judaism and Zionism (Cairo: Dar al-Shorouk, 1999).


  1. Abdul Aziz Nawar, History of Islamic Peoples in the Modern Era (Cairo: Dar Al-Nahda Al-Arabeya, 1998).


  1. Abdul Aziz Nawar, Daoud Pasha… Governor of Baghdad (Cairo: Dar Al-Kateb Al-Arabi, 1968).


  1. Mamoun Kiwan, Jews in the Middle East (Amman: Al-Ahlia, 1996).