..and Iran takes to the stage
The reason behind Iran’s taking a more belligerent stance in recent days is to convey the message that “it won’t remain silent against the international plot aiming at changing the leadership in Syria, even at the expense of causing more trouble to Turkey, Britain, Israel and the United States.”
First message came last weekend when Gen. Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) warned that they would target NATO missile defense installations in Turkey’s Malatya province if the US or Israel attacked Iran. Iranian officials have long criticized Turkey for deploying NATO’s early warning radar system in its territories, but it was the first time a high ranking military official warned about a military act against Turkey.
In an unusual way, Ankara has remained tight-lipped on the Iranian general’s threat. The reason behind this is the fact that this statement has been interpreted as a tactical move by Iran to show Turkey that its intervention in Syria would cost much.
Already in conflict with the Western powers over its controversial nuclear program especially after the international nuclear watchdog report, Iran is trying to deter a possible strike from the U.S. or Israel by warning “it would set the whole region on fire in such a situation.” Apart from Israel, Turkey would also be the target of Iranian ballistic missiles.
Iran makes it clear it won’t allow the international bloc to topple its closest regional ally without paying the cost of it. Because it’s also aware that success of this bloc in Syria will eventually make Iran the new target. In a pre-emptive move, Iran is trying to stop future moves on Syrian territories by diffusing waves of fear in the region.
Here comes Iran’s second message: Iranian protestors stormed two British Embassy compounds yesterday following Iran’s Guardian Council’s approval of a parliamentary bill compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for London’s harsh sanctions against Tehran last week.
The attack was not much different from the 1979 aggression against the U.S. embassy in Tehran that stood as a historic turning point in this country’s relations with the West. Yesterday’s assault is not much different.
There is no doubt that this recent development made the region’s stability more fragile with concerns that it could turn into an armed conflict which would affect Turkey most after Syria. That does also coincide with the change in Turkey’s rhetoric over Syria, which does no longer rule out a military option. Though, it does still underline the need for international legitimacy for such an attack, Turkey’s policy so far is contradicting with it.
It’s still very important to seek consensus at the United Nations Security Council before escalating the pressure on Syria. Turkish officials should be very much aware that the primary target of two of its neighbors which have been cornered by Western powers will no doubt be Turkey and Turkish people.