Friday, July 22, 2011

Spark Of War Or Turkish “Crescent”?

By Zuheir Kseibati
The facts of the Arab revolutions, the obstinacy of the “arrogant” and the stubborn – from the Colonel in Tripoli to Ali Saleh in Sana’a – and what is being promoted by the Iranian propaganda machine, did not change Tehran’s image and its aspirations to take over the post-Arab dictatorship era, in the hope of planting the seeds of tutelage over the revolution. This would aim at turning what now looks like the defeat of the Iranian project (especially in Syria) into a victory that would force Washington to reconsider its refusal to share the interests with Tehran.
And while Iran addressed more than one message to Ankara to “scold it” for its inclination toward the West in the scenario to blockade the Syrian regime and indirectly “instigate” its oppositionists domestically and abroad, it is also claiming - in this case – that it is not interfering in Syria’s affairs or taking sides with its regime, but rather is seeking the salvation of “rejectionism” from a project which was said to be dubious, but in which Iran is practically nothing but a partner in the interests with the American.
Moreover, Khamenei’s command is claiming it is not interfering in Bahrain’s affairs. However, it is instigating against national dialogue to restore a climate of turmoil in one of the Gulf Cooperation Council states. This instigation was seen after the Council reiterated its condemnation of the Iranian “conspiracy” against its states, as well as the attempts to generate sectarian strife in the Gulf, which not only casts additional shadows over the nature of the next chapter of the political confrontation between the Gulf and Iranian sides, but also calls for caution toward Tehran’s refusal to understand the GCC’s message.
Iran’s defiance wish might translate the state of confusion prevailing over it since it was shocked by the undermining of the Syrian ally and the collapse of its immunity in the face of the uprising, but also since the regional alliance which Tehran used as a tool to expand the border of the Islamic Republic to the Mediterranean Sea was shaken. This confusion might also have been prompted by Turkey’s and Egypt’s success in the post-revolution phase to tempt Hamas with the acquisitions of Palestinian reconciliation, to distance it from the Iranian lap.
Moreover, the increase of the setbacks of the revolutions and the uprisings in the region is increasing Tehran’s confusion, as it is aware that the shift which affected the Turkish position toward NATO’s operation in Libya will not be without a price, especially if Ankara’s interests were to require the establishment of a “crescent” to deter what remains of the “crescent” of the Iranian influence in the Middle East, as well as Erdogan’s embracing of the “moderate” Islamic movements in the countries witnessing uprisings, as a prelude for partnerships with these states. Clearly, the principles of these partnerships in justice, development, stability and regional peace (with Israel) go completely against the principles of “rejectionism,” confrontation with the American and the “wiping of Israel off the map” (even if this is only done through defiance and shouting).
And now that Tehran and Ankara have parted ways in Lebanon (following the formation of “Hezbollah’s government”) and in Palestine (since the reconciliation agreement), what remains is Iraq which is perceived by Iran as being the main winning card and the arena on which its interests intersect with Turkey - especially against any attempt to divide it – considering that this would definitely serve the course of the establishment of a state for the Kurds.
For the time being, the Iranian concerns remain limited to three tracks:
- The wager on the steadfastness of the security solution in Syria until the regime overcomes its most difficult crisis, considering that this regime’s collapse would mean that of the entire strategy of the Iranian axis in light of the popular disgruntlement among the Syrians over the reliance on Tehran and their country’s affiliation with a project that is hijacking its interests and their fates.
- The deterrence of the attack of the Turkish “crescent” project, as Iran is fearful that this attack might earn an American cover and a possible partnership with Egypt (the Islamic movement in particular).
- The dodging of any Israeli trap to spark war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, as Iran is fearful that it might attempt to finish what it started in 2006 (the July war) through the expansion of the confrontation to strike its nuclear facilities and missiles arsenal. It is likely at this level that Israel will get American support, in light of an American mobilization against states classified by President Barack Obama’s administration as being on the top of the list of the “sponsors of terrorism,” including Iran.
Additional puzzlement is prevailing over Khamenei in regard to Obama. Indeed, the guide was accustomed to harshly responding to George Bush’s projects, wars and hostile rhetoric. However, Obama does not favor displays of strength, but when he recently spoke, he only aimed at addressing a warning to Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Which will come first? The attack of the Turkish “project” or the Israeli spark of war, at a time when the Arabs are busy handling the anger of the uprisings and the earthquake of the revolutions?
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 21/07/2011

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