FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is Iran the Most Stable Country in Region?

In the turbulent 35 years since the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged overnight following revolution in that country, the balance of power in Middle East has shifted. For much of that time Iran has been hampered by internal power struggles, the imposition of sanctions, and from ostracization due to its links with terrorism. Today, however, Iran is emerging as a model of stability given that several of its neighbors have fallen into utter turmoil. Some of them are still suffering the back-swell from the Arab Spring, while others are under severe threat from violent extremists such as ISIS. Finally, observers see a distinct possibility that Iran may move towards meaningful rapprochement with its former enemies in the west.

In the past the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (comprising, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), plus Iraq and Egypt would have able to form a counter-weight to Iranian influence in the region. For differing reasons they are no longer able to do so. The PGCC on its own is simply not strong enough to challenge Iranian power. Moreover, it is vulnerable to the revolutionary sympathies laid bare by the Arab Spring and to violent attacks emanating from Sunni extremists. Egypt’s economy is in a very poor state and due to divisions within society, the government is too preoccupied with internal matters to balance Iranian ambitions. Iraq and Iran are well on their way to forming an alliance, thus burying past enmity.

The primary threat to stability at the moment is conflict between various Sunni groups rather than struggles between Sunnis and Shia or between Islamic states and the west. These recent conflicts have been exacerbated by the emergence of several failed states, and by the reluctance of external forces, especially western powers, to engage in the region. The USA and Britain were badly hurt by their failure to subdue Iraq and Afghanistan, while Turkey is not keen to throw its weight against IS either on behalf of its western or Arab allies.
This leaves a loose coalition of Shiite forces including Iran, the Iraqi and Syrian armies, Hizballah, and the Kurdish Peshmarga to act as the main ground force to counter IS.

There is a real danger that a power vacuum could emerge in the region. The USA has decided to concentrate its foreign policy efforts in East Asia, and reduce its direct involvement in the Middle East. Naturally in doing so it has severely weakened its ability to manage crises in the region or to dedicate military ground forces to the task of pegging back extremism and terrorism. This in turn has left its allies in the region vulnerable to destabilization. They have not yet produced a common strategy capable of restoring stability and peace.

One possible way out of this dangerous impasse could then see western countries courting Iran as an ally in the battle against Islamic extremists such as IS by offering to lift sanctions against Iran. This would also enable Europe to out-maneuver Russia should that country go ahead and cut oil and gas supplies to Western Europe. Such an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations would draw Iran into direct cooperation with the west and pave the way for a joint push to restore stability in the region and the broader Muslim World. It would also, ironically, cement Iran’s reputation as the most stable country in the region.

Dr. Fariborz Saremi is a strategic analyst and has earned a Ph D in International Relations.Dr Saremi is a regular contributor to World Tribune.com,Freepressers.com and Defense&Foreign Affairs. At Times Dr Saremi has been an interview partner for Voice of America, German ARD/NDR and Russia Today.

More articles by:

Dr. Fariborz Saremi is an Iranian strategic analyst based in Hamburg/Germany.Dr.Saremi is a regular contributor for World Tribun.com,Freepressers.com and Defense & Foreign Affairs. At times he has been a commentator for the German TV, ARD/NDR.

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail