A New Middle East, Part II: Iran

First, a worse-case scenario:

Iran’s Maximal Objective

The above map shows the maximum extent of primary influence that is within Teheran’s grasp. The best way to explain this map is to compare it to the map of actual influence directly before the Iraq War

Iran’s Influence, 2003

Syria, while ruled by a national-secularist regime, is a client state of Iran when it comes to foreign policy. At the time of the Iraq War Lebanon was ruled as a colony by Syria, and so is also included. The origin of the Damascus-Tehran axis comes from both geopolitical necessity (Iraq was ruled by the territorially expansive Saddam Hussein) and natural sympathy (Syria, while mostly Sunni, is ruled by the quasi-Shia quasi-Muslim Alawite sect).

The Iraq War changed the region by throwing Iraq, a mostly Shia country, to Iran’s influence. Despite American attempts to contest Iraq, the natural sympathies of the Iraqi Shia combined with the violent nihilism of the country’s Sunni Arab population all but assure an orientation toward Tehran and Qom. A natural consequence of the liberation of Iraq is Shia assertiveness in East Arabia. East Arabia, the oil producing region of Saudi Arabia, is populated by Shia who suffer under the Riyadh-Wahhabi yoke. Iranian instigation of the local population, as seen in the recent “pro-Hezbollah” (actually, pro-Iran) rally, may blackmail the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia away form American influence and to a subject’s embrace of the Shia hegemon.

Yet, happily, merely be supporting the Bush doctrine for democracy we are able to address the honest aspiration of Shia while preventing such overpowering, regional country. As I already wrote, we should

Such a change would reorder the Middle East on democratic lines, allow Shia, religious Sunnis, tribal Sunnis, and global elements to live in a rational balance of power

A Democratic Middle East

Even the “Big Iran” scenario of the first map is a major improvement from the Arab National-Secularist sewer that existed before President Bush. But a democratic, rational Middle East still lays before us.

A New Middle East, a tdaxp series
A New Middle East 1: Our Vanquished Enemies
A New Middle East 2: Iran
A New Middle East 3: Israel
A New Middle East 4: Islam is the Answer

One thought on “A New Middle East, Part II: Iran”

  1. Phil Jones,

    Thanks for the link to your July 2004 thoughts. Below is a short critique

    “The west has a lot of diplomatic hold over Turkey, as it's a major ally, NATO member and EU wannabe.”

    Turkey has been a fair weather ally for 20 years, supporting neither the Gulf nor Iraq wars. Likewise Turkey's EU aspirations are increasingly questioned [1]. The West's hold over Turkey is shakier than it seems.

    “The Kurds won't like it, but are they likely to be treated worse by the Turks than by the Iraqis? Might they not be better off with this deal, than part of an Iraq in turmoil? The Kurds get security, the Turks get some oil fields.”

    This is the surest way to drive the Kurds to the Iranians. They were poorly treated by Iraq, but that treatment mostly ended after 1991. Since then Kurdistan has been a de facto free state. Putting Kurdistan under Turkey (a state fighting its only Kurdish rebellion) would be disastrous. Of the four states with significant Kurdish minorities, Iran has treated Kurds the best.

    “But the US is really in no position to enter into anything other than a diplomatic solution with Iran anyway.”

    Disagree. The US has the ability to veto any regime. Iran appears to be a progressive element, so it makes sense to work with it now, but the military option is available.

    “Jordan gets the west. Not sure how this plays, but I seem to remember that the royal families were related, so there maybe that can be exploited there.

    In the south, I haven't the faintest what trouble will be caused. But Saudi may be going down in flames anyway. It might as well absorb a bit of Iraq along the way. If it doesn't want that bit of Iraq, it can leave it free as an independent state. “

    Jordan's experiment with annexation ended in its disastrous rule over the West Bank, which had some blowback [2]…

    Saudi Arabia is the worst force in the region, so it doesn't make sense to make her more powerful.

    Interesting reading!
    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/02/16/turkey-in-europe-or-turks-out-of-europe.html
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan

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