By Farhang Faraydoon Namdar
Whomever controls the Middle East can control the world, the region has the largest oil and natural gas deposits on the planet and its strategic location is unprecedented. In retrospect, the most powerful and successful empires were either located in Middle East or have had large swathes of land under control in the Middle East. Middle has been one of the most contentious and quarrelsome places in the world since the Sykes-Picot agreement, however after approximately the Middle Eastern map would be demarcated again. The power vacuum and the prominence of the Middle East has attracted many rivals globally. United States is about to be deprived form its interests in the region due to the Shiite crescent which is almost in the Mediterranean. The Russians are one of the main players of the region now. Saudi Arabia is about to engulfed by its fierce foes the Shiites. The Kurds are stronger than ever and are in the brink of declaring their independent state and Iran has strongly opposed the decision. Turkey and Qatar are in political downturn. The contemporary Middle East is combustible and it is headed towards a new order.
The Islamic republic of Iran has always raised the motto of anti-Americanism since its birth in 1979. The Iranians have been hardliners of their ideology (Twelver Shiites). Their ideology has been in clashes with Sunni sect of Islam and the Iranian ideology is incompatible with those of the US, Russia and European ideologies and even that of China’s, as they reject any other ideas and it attempts to swallow the whole Middle East and even reaching the greater Middle East. They have rejected to use petro-dollars in their oil businesses and instead they use gold in their bilateral and multilateral trades, as Iran is an energy superpower, it’s involved in trading with many countries worldwide. These attempts would have huge deleterious effects on US-Dollar, declining the US economy in the long run and it will stifle any sanctions and embargoes imposed on Iran. Iran and Qatar share thee largest natural gas reserve in the world. In 2012 when Qatar decided to take out its natural gas and this required cooperation with Iran, irritating the Gulf States, American allies in the Middle East and the US itself. Currently Iran has proxies in most Middle Eastern states including, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen which have uninterruptedly put US interests in danger. For example in Iraq, Hashd Al- Shaabi which recently took control of Mosul, Iran and the Shiites have begun a Demographic Shift plan in the Sunni populated conquered areas of Iraq in order to change Iraq into a Shiite State forever and eliminate the American influences and remnants. Americans fear of Iran reaching Mediterranean and lose Iraq totally for the Iranians. US has spent more than a staggering two trillion dollars on Iraq War and such loses will have devastating consequences for the US. Iraq is home to the holiest Shiite site in the world, thus crucial strategic place for US in the Middle East.
Iran and its allies try to enervate the Middle Eastern American allies and have menaced the US interests in the region. Saudi Arabia is in a region-wide rivalry with its archenemy, Iran. After Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia soon after his inauguration of the new the new Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, ensued. He is characterized by being ambitious, astute and anti-Iranian. Saudis have been shattered in the Yemen war. They have staunchly supported the Syrian rebels to topple Bashar Al- Assad, but Iran has strangulated the Saudi efforts. Iran’s constant support for Hezbollah is a great concern for the Israelis, Iran is the arch-foe of Israel and does not recognize its sovereignty. Israel is the strongest and most loyal ally of the US. Hezbollah and Iran actively fund and support anti-Israeli groups, trying to weaken the US allies in the region. For example, Jordan and Lebanon are in the brink of falling which are allies of the United States and have been burden with refugees as a result of Iranian involved wars.
Erdogan does not approve the importance of world order and his expansionist ambitions become more apparent day by day. Erdogan visited Pakistan and India to resolve the Kashmir conflict and recently visiting the Gulf States to resettle the Qatar crisis, it will not benefit anybody, he added. He has been flexing his muscles in the Middle East and referring to himself as heirs of the ottomans. Pakistan has one of the largest Muslim population in the world and Qatar is among the wealthiest nations in the world Turkey’s endeavors to create a ‘Turkish-Qatari-Pakistani Triangle’. In addition, Erdogan’s Turkey will try to form an alliance against the EU and the US. Erdogan repeatedly refers to the Europeans as remnants of Nazis and lately exposing American and French military bases in Rojava has proven their hostility towards the West and the US and its continuous criticisms of Israel have clarified Turkey’s intentions. Furthermore, Erdogan’s harsh orators against US’s strategic ally, Israel, and condemning their actions with Palestinians led to the recent events that Israel withdrew its police representatives and recently the tensions between the two countries have mounted. Qatar and Turkey are hardliners of Muslim brotherhood and have publicly expressed their support for the organization, thus infuriating Egyptians and Saudis (Saudis are Wahhabis which have harsh ideological conflicts with the Muslim brotherhood, sometimes referring to each other as apostates of the religion of Islam). Turkey and Egypt have no diplomatic relations and Egypt expelled Turkish ambassador, referring to him as persona non grata, for supporting the ousted president (Mohammad Morsi). Egypt is one of the participant states in the Qatar blockade. Recently Egyptian president Abdulfatah El Sisi inaugurated a military base named Mohamed Naguib, the largest military base in the Middle East, as the president stated it will be used in the purpose of fighting terrorism, however with Turkey’s strong supports of Qatar and Muslim brotherhood, Egypt’s new military bas might be aimed at Turkey. Qatar has been a loyal and strong economic ally of Turkey, Turkey’s establishment of a military base in Qatar, Doha’s three billion of dollar donations to Turkey for compensating their loss of Russian tourism and billions of dollars in the night of failed coup, have saved the Turkish currency from crumbling
With these threats on American hegemony (the only superpower in the world) and interests in the region, Iran’s expansion in the Middle East and the disorder in the region makes these states to get their houses together in order to stop these threats.
Donald Trump’s visit to the Gulf States and then Israel and later his meetings with Vladimir Putin in the G-20 Summit and its meeting with Xi Jinping might initiate the new world reordering and starting to torque the regional power game in their favors. The reasons mentioned above and President Trump’s Visits Saudi Arabia and then Israel, embarked on the Qatar diplomatic crisis by the Saudi-led bloc, the main reasons behind these are weakening Iran and Turkey. The Iraqi-Kurdistan’s independence referendum might be used as the Kuwait scenario which dragged Iraq into a devastating war. The Kurds must understand that they are no longer played on but they are a prominent player in the Middle East and if all the Kurds amass their resources they will make a powerful state. Now Iran strongly opposes the Kurdish referendum because its will be a huge barricade in front of its imperial ambitions of linking its controlled states of Lebanon and Syria with Tehran. If Iranians declare war or interfere in the Kurdish referendum decision, the US, Russia, Israel and Saudi Arabia might impose drastic sanctions or probably wage war against Iran, depriving Iran from some of its territories like East Kurdistan and Khuzestan and throwing Iran farther into Middle Asia. Divvying the Middle East between United States and Russia, would have Russians to access the Mediterranean, legitimizing its annexations of the Crimea, relieving from its sanctions imposed by US and EU and they will contain Turkey by dominating the black sea and Syria which is a reciprocal interest of both the US and Russia. The US might create an independent Kurdish state in Turkey, adding it’s most crucial military base, Incirlik, to it, as the Kurds have expressed their loyalty to the Russians and the Americans. In return, Russia and China will give US the northern part of Syria (Rojava), eliminating the Iranian backed Shiites and gaining more influence in Iraq by creating an independent Kurdistan and containing Iran which Saudis, Israelis and the Russians are happy with it as well and most probably a regime change in Iran might follow. China will a better access to Middle East by cooperating with US and Russia and proving better security for its Silk Road project, as Iran is center of everything to China’s economic ambitions. China and Russia would relive US from its fears of North Korea and probably change the Kim Regime. Saudi Arabia achieves its long waited triumph over Iran by eliminating its proxies in Yemen and Syria as recently US boots touched Yemeni grounds. Israel, Lebanon and Jordan will be relieved from Iranian militias. These are the best possible scenarios as world witnesses many atrocities and calamities. Furthermore, the Europe and US relations have been deteriorating since the inauguration of President Donald trump and he referred to NATO as useless, Angela Markel’s visit to China for seeking new allies and Germany plan to create a European army. The global economy is in the threat of collapsing (US’s public debt to its GDP it is approximately 105% and Japan’s is roughly 250) and serious steps and actions need to be taken to reinstate the world order. Oil prices have been dropping and many nations have suffered greatly, globally warming have never been more perilous.
The world order needs to be restored if not we might find ourselves in a jungle like world where every man is for himself. We have to revise our comprehension of war because wars only bring more wars and finally we can only decide our fates on the tables, not the battle grounds. The Kurds have been used as mercenaries and they must understand that only mountains are their real friends.
Farhang Faraydoon Namdar is an engineer and a student of Politics and International Relations in University of Sulaymaniyah. He has translated books on politics from English to Kurdish. He is an activist and a writer about political situations in Middle East.