The East has started uniting against the West. New alliances have emerged and old relations have deteriorated. Are we moving into a new era, where alliances mean something much more than the eye can see? What is the role of the Iran – Russian relations and what can they mean for the United States?
TEHRAN – The greatest powers of the east have united and have created what seems to be an alliance which will cause significant changes in the days to come. Russia’s and Iran’s leaders, Vladimir Putin and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei respectively, met on November 1st in Tehran along with the leader of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
The aim of this meeting was to take measures and stabilize the situation in the Middle East. But is stabilization what they are really after, or is it something behind the wider picture?
It is argued that the heart of the Middle East is not to be found either in Afghanistan or Yemen or even Syria. Many consider Iran to be the most powerful state in the Middle East, in terms of military power, political structure, and financial stability. The leaders, Shahs, Ayatollahs and Prime Ministers Iran had over the years created a certain path for the foreign policy the nation was to follow.
The current Supreme Leader of Iran – the highest position in the Iranian hierarchy, Ali Khamenei, has been considered to be one of the main supporters of Bashar Al Assad’s regime along with Russia. These two powers have been supporting, though secretly and behind closed doors, the Syrian Government’s regime on the war against the Islamic State (IS), as reports by the BBC have shown
The meeting of the three
On the 15th of October 2017, the White House decided to denounce the Nuclear Deal it has stricken with Iran still on the days of Obama. As it was expected, Iran was shocked by the decision. Did they have grounds to be shocked though? Even though we know of Iran’s nuclear weapons development program and its developments in 2017, the US made one final move towards making Iran halt such processes and see reason.
The obligation of the middle – eastern state towards the US on that matter is a very delicate issue, and it has been previously discussed between the two nations back in July 2014. Then, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was formed and regulated the development of nuclear weapons of Iran for peaceful purposes under decisions the permanent members of the Security Council (US, UK, France, China and Russia) had made along with the European Union.
President Trump, though his country had taken different decision two years before, decided that the best measures would be to act now and abandon the deal with Iran.
According to Iranian National Television, Khamenei told Putin that “Our cooperation can isolate America …”. This statement raised questions and answers haven’t yet been sufficient enough to cover the meaning behind this statement. Is a close cooperation between the two states what the US should be fearing? Or is this the result of wrong decisions President Trump has made, that enabled Russia and Iran to get closer and strengthen their relations?
Importance of the Iran – Russian cooperation
One would consider that since the US seems to be standing on edge with various issues, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Iranian deal along with the controversy brought around by the issue of the withdrawal from UNESCO, it can’t focus on anything else.
This controversy Trump’s policy has brought around has caused a national as well as international pandemonium. Though he has decided to tackle issues, the way of handling them seems to be marginalising the United States and separating them from the rest of the international community.
And that is what made Putin and Khamenei come together. With the US paying attention at its own issues now and drawing attention more on its domestic policy, the nations of the Middle East along with the rivals of the US can cooperate and bring about beneficial co-operation.
As a confirmation to Khamenei’s statement came the Iranian Prime Minister’s, Hassan Rouhani’s, statement later, on emphasizing the fact that close cooperation between Iran and Russia could prove beneficial to combat “regional terrorism” in that area of the Middle East.
Putin defined the meeting between the three powers as “very productive” from all perspectives. That is what made Saudi Arabia and the United States worry. The Shi’ite majority of Iran is what made the Sunni–populated Saudi Arabia question the actions the latter will take now. Not only is Iran one of Saudi Arabia’s rivals since the early the 20th century but the religious groups enhance this rivalry between the nations.
The US, on the other hand, couldn’t have had it worse, with its two main rivals allying together and creating plans for the future. Russia and Iran could be helpful, supposing they were allied together with the US. Taking into consideration the power both states have, this combination is throwing off the balance of power, making the US worry.
The moment the US lost its allies in the Middle East was when President Trump decided to de-certify the nuclear deal Iran had made in the previous years with the US. Though their relations hadn’t been the best in the past, and they had been underlined with tensions, this decision by the US made struck home and deteriorated the relations even more.
With Russia and Iran are allies, much can change from one day to another. Iran’s influence over international politics will rise and the involvement in current affairs will be enhanced. Not only will the nation gain power, but it will dominate the region of the Middle East, thus, creating a name of its own for the current period as “the ally of Russia and the power of the East”.
Russia now, though already powerful and involved in every development taking place across the globe, will be seen as the new power which has met its rise. Russia’s power has been tremendously increased in the past few years, something out of which Putin and his nation will try to benefit from. Now that the relations between Russia and Iran have been strengthened, the main goals of the Russian Federation will also be to dominate the region of the Middle East and establish an even more powerful regime.
As far as the US is concerned, one can only hope that nothing radical will be done. Since the States decided to take this stance before the nuclear deal and have such an approach to events, the logical thing would be to expect from President Trump to have a plan in mind. But will he have one, now that Russia and Iran are one?
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Originally published at LIBE (https://libeofficial.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/i-r-eports-the-east-against-the-west/)