Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What an "isolated" Iran looks like

by Amir Taheri

Two weeks ago we saw the Iraqi Prime Minister Maleki heading to Iran to seek its support for a new government. The press has reported that he was rewarded after months of behind the scenes discussions with Al Sadr and Iran. Last week we saw Ahmadinejad with cheering crowds in Lebanon. Then we saw "brothers" one from as far as South America Hugo Chavez hugging the Iranian President in Tehran. Chavez took the 3 days to give the West a big fat 11 finger wave (11 agreements signed mostly in oil, gas, and petrochemical in the areas that Europe and the US promised to sanction any country that invested in Iran). It almost seemed like there is just too much going on in Tehran these days as the Prime minister of Armenia and the president of Bolivia both arrived in Tehran on the same day. Iran's Vice president picked up the Armenian guest and Ahmadinejad made the courtesy to meet the head of state traveling the farthest, President Evo Morales of Bolivia. In between these state visits, Ahmadinejad squeezed in two phone calls with the Saudi King. Apart from the great photos and opportunity to show publicly Iran's regional power, these two conversations with the Saudi King are what probably was the most important thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that these calls have been about coming to an understanding between the two countries on how to split their spheres of influence in Iraq and Lebanon. As it seems that both in Lebanon and Iraq, Iran's star is rising and Saudi Arabia's millions invested have had no returns, Saudi Arabia is coming to the realization that it is better to come to an agreement with Iran before losing completely all influence in these two countries.

It seems though that something surprising happened. Europe and the US have been pushing Saudi Arabia for the last 2-3 years to pull Syria away from its alliance with Iran. Countless promises have been made by both the European, US, and recently the Saudis for billions in investments opportunities and to bring Syria into the "civilized world" of nations if it complies. As these have all been rejected by Syria, the surprising thing that is still playing out before our eyes is that it seems with Ahmadinajad's picking up a phone and calling the Saudi's last week the Iranians have been able to turn the tables on the West. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen the cards that have been played in Lebanon and Iraq and with President Assad meeting the Saudi King in Riyadh two weeks ago, what might have been happening then was the Syrians pushing the Saudi's into an agreement with Iran instead. This doesn't mean that we will see an alliance between Iran and Saudi Arabia happening any time soon but it is for sure signs of improvement in relations ahead. The words of a Saudi recently interviewed by Al Jazeera seem almost foretelling of the future "Iran is not the enemy, Israel is the enemy," the head of the Center for Strategic Studies in Saudi Arabia declared in an interview with Al Jazeera. An American spokesman recently claimed Iran is becoming more and more isolated day after day. Iran isolated? Ask the Iraqis, Venezualians, Armenians, Lebenones, Bolivians, Saudis, and Syrians what they think after only the last two weeks.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the resumption of civilian flights btw Egypt and Iran, and Iran's welcomed presence at the recent Afghan meeting.

Anonymous said...

US world problems start and ends with Israel.
Put them Israelis on a leash, all problems are solved in the ME and beyond.

Illuminati

DNAV said...

Israel has been on a U.S. leash long enough, let them run free!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you THE amir taheri?????

Anonymous said...

Great and verry interesting article. Although im not quite interested in Irans political situation its still interesting.

Anonymous said...

as long as nam country stay together usa and eu can not do anything to any nam nation that put all of them strong specialy iran export has been increase by 30% and next years will be increase by double dedget so long 3 country in the world will be getting stronger as ever china indian and iran plus additional country comming in surface such as turky and brazil theirfore eu and usa will be going in the corner faster than ever.

Anonymous said...

as long as nam country stay together usa and eu can not do anything to any nam nation that put all of them strong specialy iran export has been increase by 30% and next years will be increase by double dedget so long 3 country in the world will be getting stronger as ever china indian and iran plus additional country comming in surface such as turky and brazil theirfore eu and usa will be going in the corner faster than ever.

Anonymous said...

I agree,iran is isolated by the west,but the most important thing for iranians is iran gaining influence in the whole middleast and beyond.

Nuclear Iran will be a revolution.

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis. I was thinking the same that Iran has never enjoyed such integration with the world and such good relations and positive global image. This surely a Asian/Latin century and Iran will come out amongst the top nations as global power balance shifts east to China and the rest of the rising powers including Iran.

US is cutting its own throat by getting bogged down in Zionist wars and futile Islamobobia. As Gorbachov said, this is an unwinnable war for the bankrupt US. Iran just needs to stay strong and keep its cool and reinforce its friendly relations and diplomacy. Payendebad Iran.

Amir Taheri said...

Thank you anom 11:39 and 2:35 for your kind comments!

I have to agree that as the global dynamics change towards a multipolar world and influence of Asia, Latin America and NAM countries increases Iran can only gain with investments in these countries. The now passed IMF meeting was also a prophetic view of the future world where developed nations make way for upcoming countries located outside of the traditional "Western world".

reader said...

You are giving the IRI way too much credit, as if our Mullas and their political appointees are skilful in the art of diplomacy and adept in the heavy task of negotiating on behalf of the Iranian people. The damage done by the unmeasured and often unnecessarily provocative comments and views expressed by our politicians far outweighs the psychological benefits of meeting the heads of a few strategically weak, marginal and insignificant states.

Amir Taheri said...

Whatever you call the diplomacy of Iran, it has been able to be sucessful in lebanon, iraq, and syria where the US has failed after billons and possibly trillions of dollars invested. They might be weak but they ARE our neighbors. Again in america's neighborhood latin america, iran has gained more and is possibly more popular than the US for opposing "Imperialism". The comments by iran's leadership might not win over the west but for the worlds poor it is seen as a hero. There are of course more poor citizens in the world than wealthy westerners. Winnig over more people with less money, if thats not called smart diplomacy than you choose another word.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Taheri as usual has summed it up quite factually. The world's 6.5 billion people do not live in the so-called declining "west" but in the newly emerging powers of Asia, Latin America and Africa. I would suggest that the "READER" do some reading and find out that 67% of the global population lives in ASIA alone (China 1.4 BILLION and India 1.2 billion). Iran with over 75 million largely homogenous people with an acute sense of nationalism and 6000 year old history have a pretty good perception of how the multi-polar world is emerging. The short-PAX-Americana is over and turned into a POX. Anyway, there is no reason for westerners to feel like SORE LOSERS.

The west will have to learn to adapt to new multi-polar realities as the last G-20 meeting showed. BTW, the PM of Armenia is also another vistor to Tehran this month. Even the Persian Empire did not receive so many heads of state on a regular basis.

AFP: Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian arrived in Tehran on Monday for a visit aimed at boosting bilateral ties with Iran, state news agency IRNA reported

Amir Taheri said...

Thank you Anon 5:54

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Basstler said...

That's really interesting Amir! Though I am not really familiar with Iran, I feel I get a lot more intimate image than with "the press". Recently a dystopian German film came to the cinemas in which the third Gulf war against Saudi Arabia broke out just a few years from know. As you're describing some form of alliance of the countries more or less neglected by the US Gov, I ask myself whether this is really surreal...
Anyway I keep looking for your updates.

Amir Taheri said...

Thanks Basstler for your comments. Ya that movie sounds interesting, what is it called? As I am in Germany I would like see if I can watch it too.