Connect with us

OPINION

The struggle of two positions for peace in Ukraine: The West and the Global South

Published

on

How will the power struggle, which is called the Russia-Ukraine war in Western public opinion and the war between Russia and the West (US, EU, NATO) in Moscow, end? There are two different lines on this question. The Western world, representing the first line, recently organised the “Peace in Ukraine Summit” in the Swiss town of Bürgenstock on 15-16 June.

The fact that the conflicting party, Russia, was not invited to the summit shows that the West wants to achieve peace in Ukraine not through negotiations and concessions, but through the complete defeat of the rival country. It is therefore no coincidence that just before the peace summit in Ukraine, the proceeds of Russia’s frozen assets were transferred to Ukraine and Russia was allowed to be shot from Ukrainian territory with the West’s intelligence and ammunition support.

In view of the decision on long-term and institutionalised support for Ukraine to be taken at the NATO meeting in the coming days, it would be more accurate to call the event in Switzerland the “Initiative to Surrender Russia” rather than the “Peace Summit in Ukraine”.

Bring Russia to its knees: Theoretically flawed, practically impossible

The attempt to bring peace by bringing Russia to its knees is fraught with both theoretical and practical dilemmas. Former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, considered a legendary political genius in the Western world, warned that in wars, bringing one side to the table under conditions of total surrender does not lead to real peace, but to a bigger war in the future. It is therefore appropriate to remember that the seeds of the destruction of the Second World War were sown in the First.

This theoretically dangerous approach of the West has no practical equivalent. The Russian economy, expected to be overwhelmed by sanctions, has proved its resilience to the surprise of international organisations, while the Russian army’s advance in Ukraine continues.

The peace summit that prolonged the war

To understand how the peace in Ukraine, or, to use the correct term, Russia’s attempt to surrender, which was organised with dreams between sleep and wakefulness, what Westerners call “daydreams”, ended, it is enough to look at Putin’s statements. In a statement on the sidelines of the G7 and the peace summit, Putin announced Moscow’s new conditions for ending the conflict. According to these, the Russian army will not leave the areas it controls, and as new gains are made, peace negotiations will be updated in the light of new realities.

According to documents published by the US newspaper The New York Times, Russia attracted attention at the negotiations in Istanbul in 2022 by being less demanding on land. The then Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who said that peace had been reached to the brink in Istanbul but that it had been disrupted by external interventions, said: “There are those in the NATO countries who want the war to continue. So that the war continues and Russia becomes weaker.”

At this point, it will come as no surprise that every time the West organises a peace conference, the war drags on a little longer. There is no doubt that such an image serves the US, which wants an Afghanistan-like “endless war” for Russia in Ukraine. In this way, the Washington administration is comfortably keeping European states seeking strategic autonomy on its side, while at the same time creating the political atmosphere necessary to encircle China, which it sees as its main rival.

The objection and the plan of the Global South

The total number of countries that did not attend the summit in Switzerland, or did attend but did not sign, shows that a different alternative for peace in Ukraine is maturing. Russia and Iran were not invited to the summit, while China and Egypt did not send representatives. South Africa, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates attended the summit but did not sign the final declaration. While the sum of these countries is called BRICS, it is noteworthy that the Global South also shows no interest in the West’s solution/non-solution plan. In fact, with the exception of Turkey and Qatar, most of the countries of the Middle East did not support the declaration, while all of Central Asia, Latin America and the overwhelming majority of Africa preferred to stay out of the game.

The 6-point plan announced by China and Brazil forms the framework of the alternative put forward by the BRIICS countries. The plan differs from the West in that it rejects sanctions and blocs and aims to bring Russia and Ukraine to the table at the same time. Although there is currently no official proposal as to where the negotiations will take place, China and Saudi Arabia are the favoured destinations. Russia is likely to cede the initiative to China, which drew up a 12-point roadmap on the anniversary of the Ukrainian crisis and negotiated it in Ukraine and European capitals. Although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced earlier that Russia would participate in a Chinese-organised process, the West will not welcome negotiations under the auspices of Beijing, which it accuses of being a party to the crisis. The NATO secretary general, who blamed China for the failure of the conference in Switzerland, signalled sanctions, while Ukrainian leader Zelenski expressed his disappointment in a more subdued tone, saying: “We are waiting for China’s friendship.

Saudi Arabia may also host negotiations in the settlement process announced under the coordination of China and Brazil and supported by more than 20 countries, despite its recent date. In fact, Saudi Arabia hosted a summit on Ukraine in August 2023 and was represented by the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, at the summit, which Russia did not attend. While Saudi Arabia, which decided not to sign the summit declaration without Russia’s participation, has increased its credibility in Moscow with this latest move, the Riyadh government has a number of tools at its disposal to convince the West. These include its traditional relations with the Western world, its oil card, its Gulf leadership and its special position in the Palestinian crisis. Gabriel Lüchinger, head of the International Security Division at the Swiss Foreign Ministry, has also suggested that Saudi Arabia, which has diversified its foreign policy in recent years with the opening to China and the Iranian peace deal, could be the address for the next round of negotiations.

A ceasefire is possible, but lasting peace is still a long way off

Can the Sino-Brazilian roadmap succeed in freezing the crisis despite the US-NATO policy of perpetuating the war? Although it is possible to find out in the coming months, it seems difficult to establish a lasting peace. Firstly, the West must abandon its belief that “peace means fighting until you are brought to your knees” and focus on the causes of the war. In this regard, China stresses the indivisibility of security, while defining NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders after the collapse of the Soviet Union as the wrong security architecture. Its approach, that the security of one country or alliance should not threaten the legitimate interests of another, is certainly not acceptable to NATO as it seeks to expand into Asia.

The other challenge to lasting peace is how to rebuild Russia-Ukraine relations, which China describes as having a “complex historical background”. Although countries seeking a solution to the crisis, including China, emphasise Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and borders, agreements between Moscow and Kiev, especially in the area of maritime borders, are no longer relevant.

OPINION

What does a new Trump era mean for Iran?

Published

on

The very poor performance of Biden, the sick man of the White House, in the electoral debates, the uncertainties on the Democratic front and the assassination of Trump have led the world to prepare for the return of Trump to the White House as the US presidential elections approach. Instead of assessing the prospects of the two candidates, political analysts around the world are now analysing possible scenarios in various dossiers on the future of international relations in the event of a Trump return. This situation shows the seriousness of the issue of Trump’s return.

Of course, this issue has also attracted the attention of Iran and its new president, Masoud Pezeshkian, and the possible effects of Trump’s return on the political future of the Pezeshkian government, Iran’s national security, the course of the country’s economy and regional security are now being discussed in Tehran.

The importance of these discussions for the current government in Tehran was evident in the election debates. Trump’s name was frequently mentioned by various parties, and indeed his actions, the reactions to them and the possibility of his return to power was one of the issues that attracted the attention of the candidates and their supporters in the Iranian presidential election a few weeks ago.

Before discussing Trump’s impact on Iran and the Pezeshkian government, it is worth mentioning the history of Tehran and Trump’s opposition to each other and their place in the collective memory. In Iranian public opinion, Trump represents the revival of memories of maximum pressure and full-scale economic warfare aimed at harming the Iranian people and pressuring the Iranian government. (This is also reflected in Iranian cinema. For example, the film Leila’s Brothers reflects the impact of Trump’s policy of economic repression on the lives of ordinary Iranian people).

During his first presidential term (2017-2021), Trump labelled the Islamic Republic of Iran as a ‘rogue regime’, despite stating that he did not want regime change.RAN has repeatedly criticised the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was negotiated and concluded in 2015 between the US and five other world powers, and finally announced the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018. The US action came as an incredible shock and blow to the government of Hassan Rouhani, which had based its entire economic and political strategy on the resolution of the nuclear issue and the lifting of related sanctions. After withdrawing from the nuclear deal, the Trump administration implemented a policy of ‘maximum pressure’ through economic sanctions against Iran. Trump had previously imposed a number of new sanctions on Iran by signing the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act in August 2017, but the policy of maximum pressure imposed an unprecedented number of economic sanctions on the Iranian government and people, numbering in the thousands.

In addition to economic pressure, the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020 on Trump’s orders is another tragic event that the Iranian people remember about Trump. This terrorist act was carried out by the official government of the United States against an official security and military official of the Islamic Republic of Iran who was on an official visit to a third country, and beyond its legal aspects, it created the highest level of tension between the United States and Iran. In response to this American terrorist act, Iran launched a missile attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq, a significant action in the history of international relations since the Second World War.

Hopefully, these events have created a very negative perception of Trump in Iranian public opinion and illustrate the ‘Trump phobia’ that exists in Iranian politics. he anti-Iranian statements of Trump and his deputy, J. D. Vance, in recent weeks have attracted renewed attention in the Iranian media. The main question in Tehran, and perhaps in all countries in the Middle East that could be affected by the mutual policies of Trump and Iran, is what are the possible scenarios for future relations between Iran and Trump?

First of all, despite the dark and unpleasant aspects of the past relations between Iran and Trump, developments such as the change of government in Iran, the changing geopolitical situation in the Middle East, the changing security order in Europe, the changing economic and security behaviour of China in the world and, most importantly, the internal situation in the United States, make it difficult to make a definitive judgement based on the past.

Optimistic scenario: a crisis freeze

If we prefer to take an optimistic view of future relations between Trump and Tehran, we can point to the following: the presence of a reformist president who is open to the West is an important factor that can positively influence developments. In this context, it is noteworthy that one of Pezeshkian’s first actions was to publish an article in English in which he declared his readiness to establish relations with all countries of the world on the basis of mutual respect. Indeed, Pezeshkian’s outspokenness will call into question the legitimacy of Trump’s anti-Iranian actions. rump’s disagreements with the European Union over Russia and the war in Ukraine will make Iran another bone of contention between them. Moreover, key Middle Eastern countries that supported Trump’s anti-Iran policies during his first term in the hope of limiting Iran’s regional power are now taking a different approach to Iran and trying to de-escalate tensions in the region. This may lead Trump to reconsider his anti-Iran policy.

Trump has exhausted everything except the military option against Iran, which has made Iran more prepared. In fact, Trump has implemented all his plans to cripple the Iranian economy and now has no other means to deal a serious blow to Iran, except for actions such as physical attacks on Iranian tankers in international waters. Meanwhile, Iran has developed effective alternatives to all sanctions mechanisms, has become more adept at creating conditions for sanctions evasion, and has increased its economic resilience. This is not to ignore the fact that sanctions have weakened Iran’s economic infrastructure, but it shows that America’s economic blows cannot cripple Iran and that Iran is now in a stronger position to withstand possible blows.

Today, Iran is also at an irreversible stage on the nuclear front. In 2018, Iran had a limited nuclear programme and was only allowed to enrich uranium to 3.67% and have 300 kilograms of uranium reserves under the JCPOA, but now Iran has increased its uranium enrichment rate to 60% with domestically developed centrifuges and could achieve a nuclear weapon within weeks if it so wished.

In addition to completing the cycle of nuclear deterrence, Iran has also achieved deterrence in the missile and drone fields, demonstrating to Trump that it is capable of delivering a direct blow to any threat. Iran’s missile attack on Israel on 13 April 2024 demonstrated Iran’s ability to overcome the most formidable defensive systems, significantly increasing Iran’s deterrent capability.

It is likely that Iran will take steps to soften its stance towards the West in order to deny legitimacy to possible pressure from Trump. Accepting the few remaining conditions of the FATF and being removed from the blacklist or continuing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency could be among Iran’s pre-emptive measures against Trump. The Pezeshkian government’s foreign policy can be expected to be pragmatic and Tehran will take various steps towards détente without undermining Iran’s military deterrence. By sticking to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA – as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s reports – Iran has gained political and ethical legitimacy while demonstrating that it will not give up its red lines and accept bullying by the other side.

Given these shifting balances, some in Tehran argue that Trump will behave differently towards Iran than in the past, following the rule of measuring profit and loss, and that a period of low tensions with Trump is likely if Iran moves in the direction of playing the political game. In an interview with the Arab media, Ali Abdolalizadeh, Pezeshkian’s campaign manager, said of the possibility of new sanctions if Trump returns to power: ‘In fact, Trump’s presence increases the likelihood of sanctions being lifted because Trump is a trader and we understand the language of trade well’.

Although the words of this Iranian politician may seem somewhat optimistic, the ups and downs of political relations between Tehran and Washington over the past two decades show that the two countries’ relationship is broader than the nuclear issue and that limited negotiations will always remain fruitless due to the unfavourable general political environment between the two sides. Therefore, although the two countries need comprehensive and long-term negotiations, the Iranian side cannot be expected to have hope and confidence based on America’s political behaviour over the past four decades. Therefore, at best, the political situation in Iran and the United States in the Trump era may move towards a crisis freeze.

Pessimistic scenario: The Israeli factor

Faced with such a perspective, it is important not to lose hope, based on the strategic changes of the last four years, that Trump will be able to pursue a policy of de-escalation in Iranian-American relations, but not to lose sight of the fact that Israel is a serious variable in Iranian-American relations. Netanyahu is in the worst political situation after the Gaza crisis and needs the continuation of the conflict and Washington’s support to survive. Playing the victim to gain Washington’s support is an old policy in Israel’s history, but it is still effective, and the only country against which Israel can play the victim is Iran. Therefore, in a bad but very likely scenario, Israel could continue the genocide in Gaza, attack southern Lebanon, strike Iranian strategic targets and force Tehran to intervene militarily against it, raising the level of tension between Tehran and Washington.

It is impossible to analyse American behaviour in the Middle East without taking into account the Israeli variable and its function of compensating for the strategic weakness of the Zionist regime, which makes the situation between Trump and Tehran more complicated.

Continue Reading

OPINION

Trump assassination and the aftermath: The globalist elite in trouble

Published

on

Trump’s assassination came almost out of nowhere. Over the last six months, in my articles exclusively on Harici – which were compiled by friends of Harici and shared on my social media account (https://x.com/hasanunal1920/status/1812504314880864382) – I have repeatedly stated that all moves by the American deep state to block Trump had failed, that the former president’s chances of being elected were increasing in the polls, that this time he seemed to be much better prepared than when he was elected in 2016 and during his term in office (2017-2021), and that the possibility of an assassination to block him was not at all remote.

Why did I think that? Because Trump is against almost everything that the globalist American elite stands for, and as US president he will have the power to either stop or drastically change the policies that they have been implementing with huge benefits. Moreover, he is a presidential candidate who is deeply loved and supported by a large part of the American public.

Against neo-liberal policies and wars

The neo-liberal policies imposed by the United States on the whole world, especially since the 1980s, have impoverished a large part of the population and enriched those who have received a large part of the income and wealth. We, the Turkish people, are perhaps one of the worst victims of this situation. The American people and the European people have relatively the same problems. The rise of Trump, who is labelled as an enemy of democracy, and the rise of anti-establishment parties in Europe, which are labelled as far-right, is largely due to the destruction caused by these neoliberal policies.

Trump is also against the American deep state’s endless wars around the world, especially in the Middle East. During his election campaign in the past, Trump questioned all the justifications for the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, which have no known purpose but have devastated every country where they have been waged. According to Trump, seven to ten trillion dollars of American money has been thrown into these wars and nothing has been achieved. And all this talk of contributing to Israel’s security made no sense to Trump, since Israel was more than capable of defending itself and America could help directly if it got into trouble. In short, there was no need for so many wars.

During his term in office (2017-2021), he also tried to translate these views into American policy, but the American deep state clearly did not allow it. For example, he wanted to withdraw American troops from Syria to ease the Ankara-Washington line, which was strained by Turkey’s operations against the PKK/YPG, but diplomats and soldiers deceived Trump in a thousand ways and means. James Jeffrey, the former US ambassador to Ankara who was then the US State Department’s special envoy for Syria, said this openly in an interview he gave immediately after Trump’s election defeat, admitting that they deceived Trump and made it look as if the US troops in Syria were being withdrawn, but they were not.

Trump was not able to transform his ideas into policies in his first term for many reasons, such as the failure of his attempts at reconciliation against the many campaigns of attrition waged against him by the American deep state in his first term, and the fact that the neocon or deep state elements he brought into his cabinet turned against him, but it seems that his views and attitudes, which can be called Trumpism, have continued to live on in the hearts of a large part of the American public. The world has had the opportunity to observe this over and over again in the legal mechanisms and fictitious lawsuits against him in order to eliminate the possibility of his running for a second term. This can be seen over and over again, both within the Republican Party and in the attempts of the American elite to demonise Trump. The atmosphere has been created as if someone should come out and shoot this man.

Trump’s criticism of US foreign policy is not limited to the wars in the Middle East, which have wreaked havoc in the region and are falsely claimed to be fought in the name of democracy. He is also strongly opposed to the war in Ukraine. In Trump’s own words, there would be no war if he were in office, or if he were re-elected, one of his first acts would be to stop it. He insisted on this during and after the 2024 election campaign, and immediately after his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, who came to see him after the NATO summit in Washington, and just one day before the assassination, he announced that one of his first acts after winning the election in November and moving into the White House would be to stop the war in Ukraine and allow a political solution to be found. In contrast, the NATO summit declaration in Washington gave the impression that it had been drafted in a warmongering manner, with NATO members declaring that they would pursue a policy of containment against Russia, which they regard as an enemy, and China and Iran, which they regard as threats.

If/after Trump is elected

Assassination, as the Americans call it, sounds like an inside job. A lone wolf looking twenty year old boy with a rifle, also used in the US army, arrives at the rally site, observes and finally takes up a position on the roof of a building with a suitcase of rifle parts. The witnesses of the organisation try to explain/show the police and especially the secret service officers that someone with a rifle climbed up there and put the rifle there, they try to point it out with their hands, but in vain, because they are not interested.

A nanosecond after the assailant fired eight shots in a matter of seconds, killing one protester and hitting Trump in the ear because he turned his head slightly, even though he was aiming for the head, all the security guards shot and killed the assailant. Meanwhile, Trump is on the ground or lying down. The bullet that was fired to shatter his head passed through his ear by an inch or an inch and a half. According to the scenario, Trump would be dead and the assailant dead in a second. Trump should have been dead, as he said at the Milwaukee rally where he was officially declared the nominee two days later, but he wasn’t.

Under the current circumstances, it is now much more likely that Trump will win the election. All American analysts make the same assessment. As the likelihood of a Trump victory increases, there may be no point in forcing Biden to withdraw from the race, as Trump can win against any candidate in the current environment. It may therefore be wiser to keep those of the Deep State’s reserves who are of age (Michelle Obama, Nikki Halley) on the sidelines.

On the other hand, it may be too optimistic to think that the structure of the American Deep State, that is, the established order, will accept the arrival of someone like Trump who will shake it to its foundations and let him do as he pleases. The possibility of an assassination attempt remains, but this possibility may have been diminished by the fact that his running mate when he formally announced his presidential candidacy in Milwaukee, J.D. Vance, is also a Trumpist, even though he has given speeches criticising Trump in the past. Vance, who will be vice-president if elected, comes from a very poor family and region. He is under forty years old and managed, against all odds, to graduate from one of the best universities in America and to become a member of Congress in recent years. He is a child of those low-income, struggling neighbourhoods that look to Trump for hope. Trump has chosen the perfect vice-president.

What the Deep State might do next, combined with the NATO statement, could be a far more far-reaching, frightening and terrifying game than 9/11. As many analysts are talking about, scenarios that would leave no choice but to use a dirty bomb in Ukraine and blame it on Russia, and then not to hold the election by raising the threat of nuclear war, or to continue that war even if it is held and Trump wins… But we should not forget that nowadays the background of such scenarios can be revealed in a short time. It could be the same this time, but for the first time the globalists and the financial and media circles acting in concert with them, who have been in power for decades as centre-right or centre-left, not only in the US but also in Europe, are in danger of being swept away. It will certainly be difficult for them to disappear, but multipolarity on the one hand and the balancing of the West by the Asian powers on the other have already dug and prepared the political grave of this elite. No one wants to die spontaneously, but the outcome cannot be prevented…

Continue Reading

OPINION

Iran has elected a new president: Where are the conspiracy theorists?

Published

on

In the second round of the presidential election last Friday (5 July), Masoud Pezeshkian was elected president with more than fifty-three per cent of the vote. At the time of writing, he may have formed his cabinet. The election process, which began in accordance with the Iranian constitution after the deaths of former President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdullahiyan in a helicopter crash, ended in a very transparefnt and colourful manner and, as is often the case, between two candidates, the so-called conservative and the reformist. And the ‘reformist’ candidate, Pezeshkiyan, took the lead.

In short, there is nothing strange, incomprehensible or anything that would provide extraordinary material for the conspiracy theorists in our country, because it is not the first time that a so-called reformist candidate has been elected president. First Mohammad Khatami between 1997 and 2005 and then Hassan Rouhani (2013-2021) were elected for two terms each. Indeed, I still remember the first time I visited Iran, when Khatami’s foreign minister, Kemal Kharazi, graciously received me and we talked about the adjustments they were trying to make in Iran’s foreign policy, their desire to improve their relations with Turkey and Egypt in particular, and how important it was/would be for these three major countries of the Middle East to come together and establish a mechanism for political dialogue.

Why did we need so many conspiracy theories?

More precisely, what or who were the conspiracy theories about the deaths of Raisi and Abdullahiyan, which were broadcast for days on Turkish television, supposed to explain or analyse (!)? It is obvious that dealing with this question will not contribute to a better understanding of Turkey-Iran relations or shed light on how the foreign policy of a reformist president will be shaped, especially with regard to our region; however, it is of some importance in terms of deciphering the conspiratorial mindset in Turkey.

According to the conspiracy theories produced at the time and presented with mysterious words and writings, this could not have been a coincidence. Why was/is a great president on board such an old model helicopter? The same helicopters had been used by previous conservative or reformist presidents. What could have happened? But it was not so, or it should not have been so simple. According to our conspiracy theorists, Khamenei, the religious leader, should have done it through the Revolutionary Guard Corps, probably to establish a repressive regime.

But Raisi and Abdullahiyan, as representatives of the conservative wing, were closer to the religious leader within the Iranian system. From the beginning, Raisi ran as the religious leader’s candidate, won, became president, but now he had set his sights on replacing the old religious leader. So he had to be removed, and this was done because the Supreme Leader was in favour of replacing him with his son. But according to the Iranian constitution, his son was not even a member of the council that would elect the religious leader. Moreover, under the Iranian constitution, it was neither possible nor likely to establish a more repressive regime or to appoint anyone as a possible religious leader. As a result, the reformist candidate won the presidential election to replace the conservative Ayatollah Khamenei.

Conspiracy theories in Turkey-Iran relations

Conspiracy theorists and theorists continue their efforts to create obstacles in the development of Turkey-Iran relations, as they do in many other issues, with their theses that seem logical at first glance but fall apart when analysed with a little knowledge. Recently, they frothed and frothed over the news (!) of an American magazine. Middle East Eye magazine wrote that Iran had supplied dozens of advanced drones, anti-tank and other weapons and their ammunition to the PKK/PYD. And the conspiracy theorists in Turkey suddenly jumped on this and tried to explain that Iran was against us in Syria. They were probably trying to prevent the coming Turkish-Syrian reconciliation.

Neither Turkish nor other security sources confirmed the news, but this propaganda was widely spread, especially on social media and in some pro-government newspapers. Under the current circumstances, there is/can be no logical explanation as to why Iran, which is engaged in a tit-for-tat struggle with the US and Israel, would take such an action that would bring it into immediate confrontation with Turkey. But for the conspiracy theorists, this does not matter.

Ankara-Tehran relations in the new era

Aside from this, there is no reason why relations between Turkey and Iran should not continue to improve in the Pezeshkian era. If the normalisation process on Syria, which is expected to start with the messages from President Erdoğan and Syrian President Assad, develops as quickly as hoped, there is no doubt that this will have an additional positive impact on Ankara-Tehran relations. After all, Iran, like Russia, wants the war in Syria to reach a diplomatic conclusion that confirms the Damascus government’s success/victory. It may even want to be as active as Russia in the Turkey-Syria normalisation process. There should be no significant problem in terms of our national interests. After all, Iran and I are participating together in the Astana platform, which aims to bring peace to Syria.

Some of the news (!) about Iran, most of which is speculative and even manipulative, is related to the Zangezur corridor. In fact, at this point in time, there were (were) some partial truths that could be attributed to the news. For example, at the beginning of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War (September-October 2020), the then reformist Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as if he did not want Azerbaijan to succeed, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to the pre-war situation in statements on his social media account. However, when he realised that this would not be the case, and especially when he realised that Russia, due to its close relations with Turkey, would not be fully committed even if it helped Armenia, he gradually changed his position and showed his acceptance of the new situation, which resulted in Azerbaijan’s overwhelming and decisive victory.

The conservative leadership of Raisi-Abdollahian, which at first made statements as if it would not accept the new situation created by the Second Karabakh War, after a while, when it realised that Moscow did not agree with it on this issue, finally changed its demands to opposition to the violent opening of the Zangezur corridor and thus the elimination of the territorial border between Armenia and Iran.

This problem was largely solved by the Azerbaijani operation in the summer of 2023, when the extremist groups in Armenia that were trying to undermine Pashinyan’s peace initiatives were expelled from Karabakh by Azerbaijani forces. What remains is the signing of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia and, as part of this, the opening of the Zangezur corridor through Armenia’s sovereign territory, to which Tehran cannot be expected to object. Indeed, it has repeatedly stated that it does not. Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash, posed for the cameras at the inauguration of a bridge on the border between the two states, which had not been used in recent years because of the Armenian occupation.

Iran and relations with the West

Can a reformist president and his cabinet make a significant difference in Iran’s relations with the West, especially now? In the previous period, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif seemed to have made a significant difference by signing the so-called nuclear deal (2015) after long negotiations with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France – and Germany. However, the unilateral withdrawal of the United States under Trump, forced by Netanyahu, the inability of the other five countries, which had strongly opposed it, to develop an alternative policy, and Iran’s enrichment of uranium for nuclear weapons, which rightly responded to all this, reversed the whole process.

It is unlikely that the Pezeshkian government will be able to take steps that will lead to significant policy changes in the eyes of the US and the West on this issue. The fact that Iran has acted as an ally of Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, which marked the beginning of the multipolar world system, rules out such a possibility. Moreover, it is unlikely that any American administration would want to open a new page with Iran without the consent of Israel, which has been carrying out a genocidal ethnic cleansing in Gaza for almost ten months.

Under these circumstances, what remains is a scenario of war with Iran, in which a Trump administration that might come to the White House would likely wage a war against Iran together with Israel. If Trump, who is likely to end the war in Ukraine by not supporting the war in Ukraine, wants to get the support of the Israel lobby against the American deep state – which was clearly the reason for many of the steps he took in favour of Israel in his first term – could he turn to such a policy?

Such a scenario, which would shake everything in the Middle East, could be the result of a possible war between Israel and Hezbollah, even before Trump’s arrival. In all these scenarios, the likelihood of the new President Pezeshkian making sweeping policy changes is virtually zero, since there is no Western world to respond to such initiatives, nor are these areas for him alone to decide. In any case, he will have to act in concert with Supreme Leader Khamenei. Therefore, it seems that Iran will continue to oscillate between its active policy against Israel through its support for the Axis of Resistance forces on the one hand, and its policy of avoiding direct war on the other, based on the correct assumption that time is working in its favour.

Continue Reading

MOST READ

Turkey