News ID: 321133
Published: 0305 GMT April 19, 2022

New order impossible in Mideast without Iran’s support: Analyst

New order impossible in Mideast without Iran’s support: Analyst

When will the volatile Middle East find peace and stability? Is a new situation in the making in the region? Is this new situation going toward peace and stability, or the continuation and increase of tensions? Who are the main actors in the new situation? Iran Daily has conducted an exclusive interview with Iranian diplomat and former ambassador to Turkey, Firouz Dolatabadi, to possibly find answers to these questions. Dolatabadi believes that the region is moving toward more turmoil.

IRAN DAILY: The Middle East region has witnessed significant developments in the past few months, such as the declaration of a cease-fire in Yemen, Israel’s attempt to gain more influence in the region, the impact of the Ukrainian conflict on the region, and the US withdrawal from the Middle East. Do you think that the region is entering a new era?

DOLATABADI: The region is on the verge of fundamental changes. The cease-fire in Yemen can be both permanent and fragile. Even the Russians did not expect the Ukrainians to resist so much and the war in Ukraine to drag on so long. The changes that have taken place in Israel’s relations with certain Arab countries are due to the withdrawal of the United States from the region and the United States’ inability to militarily ensure the security of the Persian Gulf Arab countries. The Americans have tied the mission of supporting these Arab countries to their relations with Israel. The Arab countries will face many problems if they do not receive foreign support. They have many problems with which they are grappling at home and many issues overseas, such as the war in Yemen, the proxy wars in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. The turn of the Arab countries toward Russia stems from the fact that they are disappointed with the effective support of the US. Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia does not respond to the US president’s call because he is convinced that the US can no longer do anything. Therefore, I think the Middle East region is moving toward a new situation.


Do you think this new situation will bring peace and stability to the region or more tension and chaos?

In my opinion, new alliances and divergences are taking shape in the region, which can cause further mayhem in the region with great players such as Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt. I think we are moving toward more tension in the region rather than stability.

If a new order is to be formed in the region, the regional countries must go through a critical period to establish this new order. An accurate assessment of national security and interests in regional developments is a complex task, and since the interests and security between regional countries and trans-regional countries are intertwined, this limits the power to discern the interests. Therefore, until a new order is established, we will see a critical period in the region. The change of positions that we see in the Turkish government these days, contrary to their practice until a few months ago, fuels the possibility of new disputes in the region.


Is this new order centered on regional or trans-regional forces? Who are the main actors?

This needs to be further examined. There are positive capacities to create a new order, or coalitions, in the region, and there are capacities that can prevent a new order, because they may find such a new order or coalitions detrimental to them, and will oppose them. It is not possible to establish a new order in the region without the support of Russia and Iran. Russia can positively form an alliance with the regional Arab countries, but the problem is that it faces opposition from certain powers, which would make it difficult for Russia. Therefore, Russia cannot be a pillar of this order in the region, although it can be a great player as long as it can rally a good support in the region. For example, it can advance this process with Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

What is important to us is that Iran has the strategic ability to establish an order between at least four of the region’s players, namely, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. In addition, its cooperation with Palestinian resistance groups contributes to this capability. Therefore, Iran has the ability to show its positive capacities for a new order in alliance with these countries.

However, an unfortunate thing is that the governments in the Islamic Republic have not had reasonable foreign policy for an active presence over the past 16 years. Under former president Ahmadinejad, our regional policies almost collapsed, and during the term of former president Rouhani politics got engaged with our own military might, as debates over “diplomacy” and the “field of war” erupted. This confrontation is against the realities of political science and has created many problems for us. The goal of a political system is to regulate the geopolitical connection of the region with its foreign policy, which is achieved through the domination of military forces to help advance foreign policy. Since the previous government did not know how to use military forces or the field of war to ensure national interests, it was critical of them.

The lack of a foreign policy and a comprehensive plan for the region has plagued our foreign policy for several years. This disorder started during the time of Ahmadinejad’s government, while in Rouhani’s government, greater attention was paid to the United States and the JCPOA. Under President Raeisi, although the region is a hot topic, nothing has happened in practice yet. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy must closely evaluate the new developments in the region and play its role as a major actor in the context of securing our national interests.



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