Thursday, November 24, 2016

LOSES OUT IN THE NEGOTIATIONS



 By : İlker YILMAZ 

A crowd pouring over the fence, papers flying in the wind, threatening words and the face of the legendary name which broke Iran free of the shackles of the West, Ayatollah Khomeini.
In the 35 years that have passed since the “Islamic Revolution” Iran and the West entered a showdown dozens of times. The field of conflict was sometimes Iraq and sometimes the Gulf. At times the assembly hall of the UN resounded with impassioned speeches. Dicta­tors, almost none of whom are alive today, supported one side or the other. While some of them sided with the West, trying to prolong their lives which was as it were con­nected to a support unit, some stood upright and challenged the prevail­ing order. As a result, each of them fell one after another while Iran, the latest iteration of the ancient Persian civilisation, watched.
The gentle breeze of the Arab Spring, which was initially thought to change the system suitably and put those who had fallen out back in step, turned into a devastating hur­ricane and wrecked havoc on almost every regime in the Middle East. Those who tried to resist the fright­eningly rapid “transformation” were destroyed one after another in desert sands, sewage openings and dark wells. All forts fell including Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. When it came to be the long resisting Iran’s turn was seen that non-Arab elements would not fall so easily to the West’s ruse. The Persians and the Azeris, the main characters of Iran, resisted as a whole. They resisted like a dam built out of trees and mud against a relentless river. The West could not separate these two intertwined enti­ties. The dam creaked and faltered, some of its parts were broken off but it did not come down.
There are two methods to demolish­ing any dam. One could weaken, thin out and disrupt its constituents so that the mud and the wood can­not stay together. Or one could over-flood it, so that the dam and the water flow together and the flood goes as far as it will.
Recently the West has found the adequate method to break the Ira­nian dam. First it gave Iran a free hand in the Middle Eastern geog­raphy. Iran, at least, bought into it. There was no objection of any sig­nificance against Iranian “resistance fighters” in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria. Although Netanyahu took Israel’s anxiety and arguments to the American Senate, in effect he could not take them over Mount Olives. Iran took the bait. As a result, the Iranian delegation which left the negotiating table as well as the Iranian public have become con­vinced or were convinced that after 35 years of revolutionary struggle they had brought the West to its knees. And yet the dam of Iran has now been infected with a dissolvent under the name of “peace”.


This is not a step that will succeed imme­diately, but it will slowly seep into every point, every corner and every household of Iranian society. As a result, the people will come to hate the Islamic Revolution, rise against the revolution and its accomplish­ments, be ashamed of being Iranian and hateful of their past. Control­ling the Iranian people which have become separated and lost their power to resist will become much easier. Thus the Iranian dam will crumble away. While Iran thought that it had emerged as the winner from the negotiations with the West, that it would become freer and vic­torious, the deal actually loosened the shackles on Iran’s ankles only to turn it into a slave with an indelible leash around its neck.
Israel’s fear arises not from the prospect of Iran gaining nuclear weapons despite the treaty but from its awareness that the West now has a servant which it may use even against Israel in the medium run. Until now Israel had presented Iran, which it radicalised, as a great threat to the West and had mas­terfully maintained the belief that Israel itself was the only power than could stand up to Iran. However the daily growing need for mar­kets has caused the enfant terrible of the Middle East, Israel, to fall from favour. With its population approaching eighty million, Iran is a much greater market than Isra­el. There is the possibility of sup­plying anything ranging from the cheapest products for daily use to space industry infrastructure to this market. Arms technology, refinery infrastructure, pasta cutters, paint mixers, ice cream makers, mobile phones, selfie sticks etc. Whoever enters this market for such a range of goods first will be the real winner and it seems that the first to enter the market is the USA, or “the great devil” by its less and less frequently heard title. From this point on, nei­ther Britain, nor France, nor Germa­ny will be able to surpass the USA in the Iranian market. The USA has hit three birds with one stone. It has planted a temporary barrier in the way of its nemesis Russia and the frightening China; it has earned a new point of balance in order to reign in Israel and it now has the most say in a geography which has been shut off to the outside world for a long time. In the face of these undesirable developments, Israel has started going down a long road. Having disdained reconciliation with Turkey since the Mavi Mar­mara tragedy, Israel now seems to have intensified efforts to normalise relations with Turkey. According to strategists, what lies behind these efforts by Israel is the aim of becom­ing one of the powers controlling the Eastern Mediterranean energy corridor. However to explain the “great” strategy of “little” Israel in the scope of such a limited aim will be taking things too easy.
The facts behind the sudden change in behaviour of Israel, which had never let go of its arrogance in its dealings with Turkey recently, may be explained thus. The effort to stave off the Iranian threat, which is now more serious than ever, may lead Israel to seek rapprochement with Turkey. Another possibility is that Israel will try to sour rela­tions between Turkey and Iran in its efforts to block closer ties between the West and Iran. Given these pos­sibilities, Turkey, with its significant security concerns due to regional developments, should speak less and think more when it comes to the international scene.
In conclusion, a new order is being established in the region which the West calls the Middle East. In com­ing days and years there will be dates and events through which the supposed losers will be revealed to be winners, while the supposed losers will come to see what they have lost. The potential fall in the price of oil with increased supply from Iran may appear to strengthen Turkey’s hand. However, it should be observed that change is seldom dependent on one variable. the cer­tainty of energy politics and the security of supply lines is the guar­antee of stability for Turkey fore­most and the region in general. Turkey’s path may become blocked as it tries to become a part of new supply lines. Turkey may be forced to go down a road determined for it, instead of the one it chooses. Just as the Iran deal will bring loss rather than gains to Iran, an accurate anal­ysis of regional developments may allow for an opportunity, rather than a loss for Turkey.

THE DIPLOMATIC OBSERVER

 İlker YILMAZ is Editor of the Diplomatic Observer in Turkey - Ankara @TDOIlkerYilmaz

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