Realignments in the Mideast



Ali Bluwi

Published — Sunday 7 April 2013

Last update 7 April 2013 4:10 am

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Practically speaking, all scenarios in a region ridden with revolution are now possible. According to some reports, Syria is descending into civil war as neighboring countries try to prop up a united Syrian opposition.
Meanwhile, both Iran and Russia continue to support the regime in Damascus. They believe that the longer the Assad regime survives, the more likely a civil war becomes. This outcome is a source of concern for neighboring countries including Israel.
Iran’s agenda has always been to destroy the region. The motive, for Iranians, is their historic hatred toward Arabs. What took place in Iraq is an example of their attitude. If anything, Iran is only interested in Shiism insofar as it helps Tehran realize its strategic interests and objectives in the region.
Iran’s policy in the region therefore emanates from this hatred. Moreover, this kind of hatred has made the American-Israeli project successful. Tehran is now beginning to feel the possibility of unforeseen consequences for the country. This is true, as there is documented information about possible internal upheaval in Iran.
Equally important is the fact that Washington is working on its realignment policy in the region. Against this backdrop, one can understand recent moves such as the restoration of bilateral relations between Israel and Turkey, the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey, Obama’s visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel and Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation.
Another significant development that has taken place is the Syrian regime being replaced with its opposition in the Arab League Summit that concluded recently in Doha. According to some reports, the summit also discussed arming the opposition in order to tip the balance in favor of Syrian fighters.
Washington is paving the way in the media for a nuclear Iran as a ‘quid pro quo’ for Iran’s commitment to the stability in the region. This is the language of a deal between the United States and Iran and is the secret behind the retreat of American support for the Syrian revolution. It is also interesting to note that the Turkish-Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood project is both regional and internal. The United States, for one thing, has no problem with it.
Yet once again, Iran is trying to penetrate this project by exploiting the economic needs of Egypt. Indeed, Iran secretly told the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that it was capable of awarding them some $ 30 billion in aid and some five million tourists a year.
In exchange, Iran demanded diplomatic and cultural openness. Ultimately, both Iran and the Brotherhood subscribe to the same political school of thought. They have an implicit agreement with Washington and they both use religion as a tool to impose their authority. In essence, the Western project is one that stands against a democratic and national state. Just recall the revolution of Mussadaq in Iran. In addition, it was the Untied States that supported the Brotherhood in Egypt. They intend to support them in order to destroy the civic infrastructure of Egypt as the Iranian revolution did to the civic infrastructure in Iran itself.
We should not be surprised, then, to hear the common joke in Egypt these days that an old woman who returned to Egypt looking younger in age attributed her youth to Mursi and the Brotherhood having taken Egypt 50 years back in time.
The same joke is being circulated in Iran. Other jokes take a dig at the dichotomous roles of Iranian leaders.
While the Supreme Leader of Iran castigates the United States the way he wishes, the Revolutionary Guard and Iranian diplomats remain disciplined and committed to the interests of the state, even if this requires sitting with “the Great Satan” in the same room.
The reshuffling of cards seems to be a common task these days. There are those who support Al-Qaeda and there are those who help blow up cars in Sunni and Shiite strongholds in order to give Al-Maliki’s government a justification to use excessive force against its opposition. Furthermore, this is a way to revive sectarian strife in Iraq and to keep Iraq weak. The same has happened in Syria. The Syrian regime killed Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan Al-Buti to project the brutality of the Syrian opposition.
This game has been exposed to say the least. In the months to come, there may well be Iraqi-Gulf and Gulf-Kurdish rapprochement. Other developments, such as reconciliation in Afghanistan and an uprising in occupied Arab lands and Balochistan may take place. Indeed, the convening of conferences for people from Ahwaz, who have demanded independence from Iran, should not be seen as an isolated incident. While Iran is a modern country, it is also a vulnerable one that is subject to disintegration and destruction.
The Arab Spring has backfired for some countries. Americans no longer see Egypt as a strategic ally. The perception of the Brotherhood has changed among the masses. A flare-up in Iran and Russia is also possible. The United States is determined to play a more decisive game this time with Iran despite its agreement. President Barack Obama made it perfectly clear that his country is committed to the strategy of prevention rather than containment. In fact, Obama explicitly stated in his speech that his country will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power regardless of the cost.
The question is whether these new regional arrangements will target Iran itself. Experts answer this question by saying that it all depends on the level of pressure placed upon the regime in Syria. It also depends on the pressure that Iraqi political forces are exercising to change the internal political equation.
Finally, there are a number of indicators that ethnic-national groups are waking up in Iran, which may create a new reality in Iran.

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