DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST FROM IRAN’S PERSPECTİVE | İlim ve Medeniyet

In the first part of this analysis we will examine the Iran’s issue with Israel and his current situation in the Middle East with his arguments by looking deep into Iranian news and statements of the Iranian officials. In the second part, the Israeli media will be examined and the Iranian rhetoric of Israel will be discussed and the situation of Israel in the region will be examined. In the third and last part we want to evaluate the future of the escalation between Iran, Israel and US.

When viewed as rhetoric, Iran sees itself in a position next to the underdog and in the face of Israel and America. Iranian authorities repeatedly chant this rhetoric, and they also claim to have taken some steps in this regard. For instance they claim that “They support Palestine against Israel”, “don’t recognize officially Israel as a state”, “allocation of Israeli embassy to palestinians”, “proclamation of “al-Quds day” are example of this steps. When examined the developments, Iran which wants to lead the Palestinian issue, is today left alone in the Middle East.

The biggest problem facing Iran is American sanctions. The American withdrawal from the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran has caused Iran to be disappointed. After the United States withdrew from the agreement, Iran-U.S. relations were on the brink of war. Iranian Foreign Minister Cevad Zarif describes those who support the war against Iran as Group B/team. These are Benjamin Netanyahu, Bolton (John Bolton), Bin Salman (Mohammad Bin Salman) and Bin Zayed (Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan). He asserts this groups leads US and encourages US to wage war against Iran. Also Iran believes there are Israel and Saudi Arabia behind the attack in the Gulf of Oman. According to Iran their aim is wage war against Iran and increase pressue on Iran. Mustafa Danende, writer in asriran, said that one of the attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman belonged to Japan and that this happened during the Prime Minister of Japan’s visit to Iran. Later, he shared a tweet from the Saudi Crown, in his tweet claimed that “Because Iran attacked a ship belonging to Japan and Iran doesnt respect the prime minister of Japan.” As a result, Mustafa Danende stated that Israel and Saudi Arabia were behind this attack.

An interesting opinion was expressed in the same paper. This opinion says that Iran’s entry into the war is in favor of Iran. According to his point of view, if the situation continues in this way, only Iran would be harmed. But if the war breaks out the others will be harmed also and Iran would not be the only damaged country. According to him, İsrael could not resist more than three days. It is mentioned by the Iranian authorities that Israel will perish. But there is no basis for these ideas, Israel markets these discourses to the world. Ayatollah Nuri Hemedani, for example, said Israel’s collapse is imminent ve it is weak in all respects. In addition, Refikdust, one of the leading figures of the Iranian revolution, quoted Khamenei, the Iranian Revolutionary Guide, as saying that Israel would perish within 20 years. Another explanation comes from the Iran’s army, after saying that Iran has the fourth most development missiles in the world, Israel will be perish in 2020. The head of the Revolutionary Guards Army, Hossein Salami, “They would apply “Maximum pressure” to Iran, but the resources of the enemies were exhausted, and he said that they will dissipate from themselves, and that this would be by the hands of Iran.

The US has also made an interesting decision alongside economic pressures. The United States, which has not previously placed a state’s army on the terror list, has placed the army of the  Revolutionary guards on the teror list. Trump said that “Iran is not just patronizes terrorism, but it is army of Revolutionary Guards is contributing actively to the financing and development of terrorism” US has also put key names such Revolution Guide Ali Khamenei and foreign minister Cevad Zarif on its sanctions list. The Iranian parliament has taken action against the situation. Iran puts U.S. Central Forces Command (CENTCOM) on terror list and some of the members of Parliament came to parliament wearing the uniforms of the army of the Revolutionary Guards. Thus they were delivering a message of unity.

Source ://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/6891649/%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%BE%D9%88%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%AF%D9%86-%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B3-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%B7-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%258

Ayatollah Khamenei’s strategy in the face of developments in the region is to resis to economic sanctions (economy of resistance-مقاومت) and he supports “neither war or negotiation”, according to him, negotiation is “like poison”. Hassan Rouhani wants to negotiate with the US, but first he expect the US to respect the nuclear treaty and lift the embargo. Foreign Minister Cevad Zarif, stated in the same manner that negotiation is possible and US should respectfully approach to the Iran. Revolutionary Guide Ali Khamenei has explained in his fatwa that nuclear weapon has no place in Islam and it is forbidden in Islam and it is contrary to the rules of our religion. Apparently Iran wants to get rid of loneliness and troubles it is in. Foreign Minister Cevad Zarif delievered a message that “If Saudia Arabia change his politics I can go Riyad tomorrow”. In addition, Security Council Secretary Patrushev said that we support Iran to develop his relation with the Arap states, and Israel and US’s effort to isolate Iran is useless.

After the Trump withdraws from the nuclear treaty, we mentioned about increasing embargo on Iran. Israel is the most opposed to Iran achieving a nuclear power in the region. Israel does not want a country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East as a matter of its own policy. Israel, which has previously carried out attacks on Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, does not want a stronger military force in the Middle east than it does and is trying to do its best to prevent this. This doctrine is called the Begin Doctrine.

Another dispute between Iran and Israel is the Iran’s presence in the Syria. On june 24 in order to discuss the issue Security Council Secretary Patrushev, US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israel National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat held a meeting in Jerusalem. İn this meeting Iran’s presence in the Syria was discussed ans Israel announced that it will prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons and from settling on the border with Israel.

Iran has made different comment so far on the nuclear treaty. Iran cannot withdraw from treaty to avoid losing Europe’s support. But even though he made a treaty, he didn’t reach his expectations. Perhaps as reflex to US sanctions, he recently announced that he had exceeded the uranium enrichment limit. Iran, which has also received a reaction from many European countries, went a little further and made the following statement : “Iran will enrich the uranium to the level it wants” Iran will probably be warned by European states as a result of this statement by Hassan Rouhani. Iran has also failed to achieve what it expects from European states over the nuclear treaty. It repeatedly warns European states saying that you are parties to the treaty and asks them respect to the nuclear treaty. Europe is not a mediator in the nuclear treaty, it is one of the parties and it must fulfill its promises on this issue.

Source : https://www.farsnews.com/photo/13980404000855/%D8%A2%D8%AE%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85

In the cartoon, it appears that Iran is trying to save the nuclear treaty (Bercam) and the US is trying to sink it. Europe is only watching this situation.

As a result, Iran is in a big stalemate. In the coming days, the pressure will increase further and, according to Foreign Minister Cevad Zarif, the entry of drugs and food into the country is even prohibited. Although Trump has said the embargo does not cover food and drugs.

Saudi Arabia in particular does not want a powerful Iran in the region. Saudi Arabia’s this struggle has brought them closer to Israel and the US. In addition, rising unemployment and worsening of the economy create unrest in the public and this is sometimes turned into strikes. How far Iran can stand in this way is a matter of wonder. For example, Iran’s daily export of 2.5 million barrels of oil is said to have fallen to 300-500 thousand after the embargo. Iran, on the other hand, is said to have run out of diplomacy and to have reached the end of its enduring borders. In addition, as one of the Iranian politicians, Muhsin Rezayi, has stated, a war in the region will not be limited to Iran alone.

Developments in Iran and the Middle East from an Israeli perspective

When we look closer to İsraeli news, Israel sees itself only democratic country in the Middle East, also Netanyahu claims that If Israel did not exist, Middle East would be collapse and accordign to him, Israel ensures that the region remains pro-U.S. and pro-European. In this article we will discuss how Israel looks at global developments and in particular its relation with Iran.

Perhaps the issue that preoccupies Israel’s agenda the most is Iran. The biggest problem with the Iran comes from the fear that Iran’s ambition to be nuclear power in the region. Israel has previously been intolerant of nuclear initiatives in the Middle East and especially in the Arap geography and carried out operations to cancel these programs.

According to Israel the Israeli intelligence unit Mosad deciphered the Iranian nuclear programs called “Amad”. This was a enormous “succes” they seized half-ton documents and CDs containign thousands of data. These seized data were then conveyed to the US and UN. This caused Iran to fall into a bad stiuation in front of the international community.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/world/netanyahu-claims-to-have-photos-of-irans-secret-atomic-warehouse/2018/09/27/1528e3f6-c281-11e8-9451-e878f96be19b_video.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3063deef54dd

So Israel proves that Iran lied many times. Khamenei, Rouhani and Zarif have been saying repeadetly that Iran is not after neclear weapons but Netanyahu with the data that seized claims the exact opposite. According to Netanyahu’s statement, Iran accelerated its nuclear work in 2015 and in 2017 they transferred the documents related to Iran’s secret nuclear activities to abandoned place in Tahran. Israel seized this documents and removed them to Israel. After that they shared this documents with US and US verified its authenticity. When we consider that Trump takes into account Israel’s wishes, pressure on Iran will be increase. Netenyahu denounces Iran as a liar and says Iran has a goal to achieving nuclear weapons.

Iran’s representative to UN, Mir Reza Yusufi, found Israel’s accusations implausible and ridiculous. For Iran “to leave such important data in a remote corner of Tehran is ludicrous and monastic,” he wrote in an article for the New York Times. But Netenyahu’s claim did not denied neither by Ayatollah Khamenei nor Hassan rouhani. We searched this issue in order to see Iran’s response to this accusation but we just find response from Iran’s representative to UN not from high officials like Khamenei. We have to admit that we don’t know if the Netanyahu’s claim is right or not. But we should take into consideration that US created false documents in order to conceive international community to belief that Iraq has nuclear weapons. Israel is aware of world sensitivity toward Nuclear weapons and maybe wants to manipulate this. Whether the accusations put forweded by Israel is true or not will be understood in the later processes.

Another dispute betwen these two is escelations in the Gulf. Iran believes that Israel and Saudi Arabia behind the Gulf crisis and Israel accuses Iran for carriying out attacks on ships. Israel sees Iran as a potential threat to its existence and tries to prevent Iran’s activities also in Syria. Recently Israel carried out operation againt Iran in Syria. He attacked Iran’s military facilities and follows closely its steps. Israel’s main aims to distance Iran from its border. Israel opposes Iran’s deployment of advanced missiles to the region.

Iranian thread is used as a material for domestic politics. Head of the Blue and White party stated that “there will be no nuclear weapon in Iran when I form the government”. In addition Liberman criticized the ruling, saying that “Those who fail to take action against Hamas responds with just words to Iran’s nuclear initiative”.

Results

When we examine the Iranian and Israeli pres, the two states consider each other as an enemy. Iran now faces biggest crises after the Islamic revolution in 1979. Even If in the past, war has broken out between Iran and Iraq, and although Iran is isolated, Israel has persuaded the US to sell arms to Iran. Because Iraq was the Israel’s main enemy. After Saddam was overthrown, Iran tried to “export the revolution” as stated in the constitution.  Iran has so far successfully maintained its security in the region and increased its influence. His enemies in the region were either weakened or completely destabilized. Saddam was overthrown, the Taliban weakened in Afghanistan, and ISIS was almost completely wiped out in Iraq and Syria. In addition, Iran has increased its influence, especially in Iraq and Syria, and has become an important regional actor. When the recent events are examined, Iran is losing his power in the region. It needs to stand against internal and external pressures. Althoug it has been under embargo for a long time, it could reduce his activities in the region. In 2018, for example, during demonstrations in Basra, the Iranian consulate was set on fire and Khamenei’s painting was burned. Moreover, the candidate supported by Iran failed to get a majority of the vote in the 2018 elections. Despite this, Iran may ask its allies in the region to carry out small-scale attacks against Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia in order to intimidate them. Iran-backed Houthis, for example, attacked Saudis-owned airports on July 2. İt is considered that behind this attack was Iran.

Where does the US-Iran conflict go?

When we look deeper into analyses and statements of the officials both sides don’t want a war. Khamenei says “Neither negotiation nor the war”. In additiıon, Trump said that “we dont want war” and also stated “we dont want regime change”  Since the Iraqi experience is still alive in the minds, it is unlikely that the US will intervene in Iran at least until the elections. In terms of Iran, there are three options.

First option is to negotiate with Trump. But Iran put for forward some conditions. He called for the lifting of embargo and respect for nuclear treaty. But the Trump administiration, doesn’t seem to agree Iran’s conditions, thus prospect of negotiations seems unlikely.

The second option is for Iran to withdraw from nuclear treaty and continue to enrich uranium. In this case, Iran could face pressure from European states and be alone, and this could result in disaster for Iran.

The third option is for Iran to try to adapt to the current situation. In that case Iran will wait until 2020 election. In that election maybe Trump won’t win the election, and it could be a more moderate atmosphere for Iran. Thus he will try to reduce economic pressure and continue “economy of resistance”. When the three option was examined Iran will choose last option and wait until the elecetion. Thus it will struggle against economic crisis. We listened Khamenei speech in the meeting with high officials Khamenei have stated that “ America has internal troubles, a report said 41 million people in the United States were starved.” Also added “we need to reduce our dependence on oil and dignity and honour of the country is self-sufficiency, don’t be afraid of America, don’t be afraid of Croesus in the Persian Gulf. Muhammaed Reza was their man and he was doing whatever they said. But even so, the Iranian people beat the Americans with their empty hands.”

The fourth possibility, though very low, is that other states intervene in Iran’s situation and try to reduce the US pressure on Iran. European states, Russia and Chine could became a mediator. In terms of China, it has been talkin with US about trade, thus it is not possible for China to support Iran. Beside this, European states don’t want to loose US market.  We don’t know if Russia has a power to deal with US.

As a result, Iran now is in a bad situation. Perhaps facing the biggest crisis so far. Even if the Hassan Rouhani says that thay will continue to enrich the uranium, it won’t be logical for them to withdraw from treaty.  He may be left alone this time and will be more affected by the embargoes. As mentioned above, Iran would wait 2020 US election and try to cope with internal problems and also economic crisis. It is a matter of wonder that how this events will affect Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Besides all this, there could be a revolution in Iran. The army of the Revolutionary Guards could seize power by overthrowing Hassan Rouhani. Since it is the only group organized in the country, if there is a coup, it will be the Revolutionary Guards who carry it out. We also think this is a distant claim. Because the army of the Revolutionary Guards is committed to Khamenei, they will not carry out such an operation without his permission.


Ozan Dur

Note: I writed this article several years earlier, please take into consideration.

 

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Ozan Dur

İstanbul 29 Mayıs Üniversitesi'nden mezun Filistin ve İran Araştırmaları- yazar [email protected] Poliglot (8), dillere dair Çalışma Alanım Ortadoğu ve Diller


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