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Struggle over the Middle East after Assad 2 mars 2012

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, USA / Etats-Unis.
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Arab News (Saudi Arabia) March 2, 2012

Ali Bluwi

The strategic landscape of the Middle East is destined to change in light of the fact that great powers (China, America, and Russia) have been wrangling in the area.

Additionally, regional influential powers (Turkey, Iran, and Israel) are competing for power and influence. In fact, the new developments in the region cannot be more intriguing. Now, the region witnesses the formation of the united Gulf policy, the emergence of Islamists and the success of the Turkish model compared to the discredited Iranian expansionist model.

Other changes are expected to take place thus further complicating the dynamics of the region. Iran, for instance, will be dealt a severe blow in case the Syrian regime collapses. This will also have an impact on Hezbollah and other proxies of Iran. If all of this materializes, then the next five years will witness regional re-constellation of power and new alliances.

On the other hand, Hamas has shifted gear and distanced itself from the Syrian regime. Equally important, a change in Syrian issue can trigger a new political balance in Iraq especially if the Arab Shiites liberate themselves from the Iranian influence. This can be accelerated with a Turkish-Arab presence in Iraq. There have already been some political differences with regard to Najaf seminary as the Arab Shiites in South of Iraq have expressed their opposition to Sistani’s agents. Interestingly, some Shiite leaders in Lebanon have already said that Hezbollah would be among the first losers in case the regime in Syria falls.

The geopolitical implication of the above-mentioned struggle enables Syria to restore its lost balance. The Alawite sect constitutes less than 10 percent in Syria and yet dominates politics. This does not mean that Syria is on its way to a sectarian war although Assad — in cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran — has planned for a civil war by reinforcing the strength of the Alawites by money, weapons and training. Here, the objective is to make the sect the key force in the future political process. The lost balance in Iraq will be restored as well thus further diminishing the influence of Iran. The regime in Tehran is taking Iran toward a risky and defiant foreign policy. Simultaneously, there are contacts between Western powers and some Iranian forces from within to prepare for the consequences of the Assad regime’s fall. The meetings between American officials and representatives of Iranian ethnic groups reveal the face of the upcoming conflict.

According to leaked intelligent information, the Americans calculate that Assad is on his way to fall without military intervention. It seems that Washington does not want to repeat the experience in either Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya. American officials think of the Yemeni precedent as relevant. However, the Americans’ patience of hesitancy is being interpreted differently in Iran and Syria. The common understanding in both countries is that America is more concerned with the security of Israel. Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah are in fact propagating the chaotic scenarios in the region and saying that Syria is a cornerstone in regional stability.

Other transformations should not escape the attention of observers. For instance, Walid Jumblatt has acted as unnamed and unofficial minister of foreign affairs of Syria. He has conveyed Syrian messages to Moscow and Ankara. Now after Jumblatt realized the inevitable demise of the Syrian regime, he turned against it. Another example is the current arrangements with the Taleban movement. Taleban will have an office in Doha as it has entered in negotiations with the Americans over some guarantees in exchange for the movement’s acceptance of a civil state and renouncing of terrorism. This frightens Iran at the strategic level. It is worth noting that both Riyadh and Doha have no objection to the form of the government in Syria as long as it represents the will of Syrians. They both support the efforts to end the Assad’s era. The Gulf’s position is based on ethics and morals and is in contrast to Iran’s position. The Gulf countries do not adopt a certain party of factions as Iran does in Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.

It seems that Iran is under attack even from Shiites. The former secretary-general of Hezbollah, Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufayli, stated that the worst kind of dictatorship exists in Iran. He argued that Iran was preoccupying its people with external front in order to avert a domestic revolution. He went as far as saying that there are some leading officials in Hezbollah who would not mind allying themselves even with Israel for pragmatic considerations. This can only reveal the probability of a strategic turnabout in the positions of some political forces and the possibility of some sects to restore their Arab entity.

Of all pretexts used by some regimes, the most salient excuse is that the Great Satan and its alliance with the Gulf or Zionism is behind the protest movements. Unfortunately, these regimes are in self-denial. So far, we have not seen a single senior official who admit the mistakes of the past. For them, it is a blame game.

We are not against Iran in a demagogue’s way. Nonetheless, some countries lack the prudence and word against their interests that entail respecting their people first before talking about Islamic awakening and supporting the killing machine in Syria. We are also against a strike against Iran. But a regime that wastes the national resources, impoverish the Arabs whether Sunni or Shiite, and practice ethnic cleansing is nothing but a bankrupted regime that is destined to eclipse. We will hold horses and wait for the outcome of the Iranian elections to see if Iran ever learns the lesson. The report released by International Amnesty is negative and points out to irregularities that will affect the outcome of the elections.


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