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MEHMET ALİ BİRAND

mab@hurriyet.com.tr

MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > Iran has become the most important player in the region

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Iran has been fighting to obtain nuclear energy for years. But a large portion of its neighbors are skeptical because just one step removed from nuclear energy is a nuclear bomb. Iran’s real intentions are assumed to be its desire to become a “nuclear power.”

However many assurances Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei gives and despite the fact that he says it is a sin according to Islam to produce “weapons of mass destruction,” he cannot make anyone believe him. Because nobody trusts Tehran.

It should not be forgotten that Iran has also contributed a lot to this mistrust. Its efforts to export its revolution in the 1980s, confronting Sunni Arabs, primarily Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, as well as its policy of attempting to destroy Israel, created adequate doubt and concern in the region.

Nowadays, Iran is also on the front lines again with the Syria struggle. It is fighting against the “Western” front. It is supporting Bashar al-Assad.
 
Iran also does not trust the ‘West’
When viewed from the viewpoint of the “West,” Iran looks like a “devil.”

Nobody wants to understand this country’s security needs. Since 1979, Tehran has had a serious security issue. They believe that the United States and its allies are plotting to capture the country at any time. Several incidents have proved the Iranians right in this regard.

If Iran actually wants to be a “nuclear power,” a significant reason for this is to resist the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf countries and to form an alliance with its other Shiite neighbors.

Tehran’s wish is to obtain assurances that its security will not be breached, primarily by the U.S., and that it is respected as a country.

Iran is very skeptical in international relations. It does not trust anyone. Russia and China are on its list of “not to be trusted” as much as the West. Also, in negotiations, its only wish is to be respected, to be treated equally.

Up until now, in nuclear talks, the “West” front, instead of diplomacy-dialogue (especially with Israel’s provocation) used the stick-sanction option, in such a way that Iran was somehow pushed to become a “nuclear power.”

If one day we find a “nuclear Iran” before us, the real responsible party for this will be the U.S.-Israel-Arab alliance rather than Tehran.

Iran won’t sacrifice Syria for Turkey
Turkish-Iranian relations have never been flawless. Both sides have tried to manage each other as much as possible.

The convergence during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) era has been jeopardized because of the differences of opinion on Syria. The main reason for this is that Iran does not want to let go of al-Assad.

Al-Assad, together with Lebanon, carries Iran to the Mediterranean. When Iraq is also included in the picture, then Syria forms the most precious link of the Shiite chain that Tehran cherishes. Because, it calculates that only through this can it resist the United States, Israel and the Sunni Arab alliance.

When relations with Turkey are viewed from that angle, the problem automatically emerges: For Tehran, the AK Party is a member of the Sunni alliance and al-Assad will not be sacrificed to maintain bilateral relations.

Again, let’s not forget that everything remains connected to the position of the Syrian opposition; if al-Assad cannot hold on, there is nothing Iran can do.

August/03/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Ismail Hijazi

8/31/2012 1:43:26 AM

Iran has become the most unpopular player in the region. The Syrian revolution has exposed the true ugly face of iran. Iranian lies and propaganda are exposed. Iran claimed it is fighting for the people of the M.E and for their rights and justice. Is murdering children and bombing civilians Iran's idea of giving people their rights?? Is supporting the aethiest godless regime of Baathist Bashar fighting for the case of Islam? Is hostile threatening policies towards neighbors making peace?

sipan silwaneyi

8/20/2012 10:33:24 PM

I don't know what you mean by important player! But I can tell you that" Iranian regime , and shiie sect which means iranian branch or iranian version shiie are the most hated one among Iranian people, so if the theocracy system, most corrupted,tyranny, which doesn't have the support and mandate from its Owen people. What kind of an important rule they might play in midel east.

US Observer

8/15/2012 4:11:00 PM

OK hold on, Iran is in the position it is by making outrageous statements like "wipeing Israel of the face of the map". They have openly claimed they wanted to destroy an entire nation of people. And people wonder why it's not a good idea to let them have a Nuke? These crazy people will use it and it won;t just affect Israel, there is no magic bubble seperating Israel from countries nearby. Don't even get me started on their proxy wars throughout the ME.

Safiyah Noor Page

8/12/2012 9:52:47 PM

The author's analysis is unfortunately correct. Iran sees everything through the a Shia prespective he referred to. If they ever started to look at it from a Islamic perspective their vision would be clearer. They-the Iranians-are going to have no part in the post Al Assad era as no one is going to forget their part in the horror that is unfolding there now. The Russians and the Chinese are quite happy that Iran has decided to become their "fall guy" drawing all the bad attention away from them.

Joshua Bronxman

8/5/2012 2:57:38 PM

@Man in the Middle, The Arab Spring is an internal uprising against corrupt and murderous dictators triggered by a realization of Yes We Can overriding the Fear Factor. The spark is ignited by an unpredictable event such as a vegetable vendor in Tunisia or a 13 year old boy in Syria. The Iraq/Afghan analogy is misplaced. Iranian leaders have more to fear from their own people than from foreigners.

turkic voice

8/4/2012 1:12:02 AM

we all know while the balance of power is equal there will be peace.

david ellison

8/3/2012 10:12:30 PM

My goodness, another foolish article that ends up blaming others.. When will this region begin to take responsibility for their own behavior Do you really believe that Iran's move to develop nuclear weapons is the fault of the US, Israel and Arab alliance. Iran, That poor civil society, democratic nation Iran is so innocent of any wrong doing. No hope yet for the decent people of those nations

Man in the Middle

8/3/2012 8:52:20 PM

@bronxman, sorry to rain on your parade, but the "Shia crescent" is here to stay whether the Zionista or a few Arab/Ottaman servants of the Western colonialism like it or not. Experience has shown that once the West removes one of its enemies with the help of it water carriers, be Arabs or Ottomans, Iran actually gets a stronger hand due to the way the Iranians have mastered the game of geopolitics. Believe me not? Take a look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Need I say more?

erol seydi

8/3/2012 6:16:22 PM

At least we will fight ...to İran...its will be good that region....wont it????

Tayyar Abi

8/3/2012 5:31:27 PM

That's the ticket Joshua Bronxman. That's the whole ball of wax. You get today's first prize and 2 gold stars...
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