Time for a new process

Now, however, a new regional "process" in the Middle East is reaching maturity, and this time round it is a "war process", stripped from the outset of any claims to peace.

The Israeli-American war tattoo targeting Iran has resumed recently: first with the Trump administrationʹs announcement to end sanctionsʹ waiver for import Iranʹs oil, and secondly with the deployment of a naval strike group to the Middle East, as the clamour of anti-Tehran voices gets louder.

In recent decades, we have grown accustomed to bouts of sabre-rattling, of varying degrees of intensity, being directed at Iran. However, this time things seem to be embedded within a greater concept: the creation of a regional "Iran war process" by the U.S. and Israel designed to be of maximum benefit to Israel, even if it means maximum damage for other countries in the region.

Infographic: Saudi Arabian versus Iranian competing influence in the Middle East (source: DW)
Cashing in on regional rivalry: if a fraction of the time wasted by the Gulf countries and Iran in agressive posturing were devoted to serious thought and diplomatic dialogue aimed at establishing mutual security arrangements, they would not have ended up being played off against each other by the U.S. and Israel

For many years Israelʹs standard attitude of belligerence towards Iran has been intended to keep the world on its toes, soliciting external support and cultivating internal cohesion. Central to this discourse is the oft-repeated fiction that Iran wants to erase Israel from the map.

Statements by more hot-headed Iranians, such as former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-13), have indeed included such rhetoric. Yet the emptiness of those pronouncements is well known, likewise the intention of blowing the lid off of any coming negotiations with the U.S. and the West over sanctions and Iranʹs nuclear facilities.

Tehranʹs bear-baiting behaviour has inflicted real damage on the Palestinians, diverting international attention away from Israelʹs consolidation of its military occupation and settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Obviously, Israel is merely seeking to strengthen its northern borders, with the aim of weathering any future attacks that might potentially involve Iran!

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Comments for this article: For ʹPalestinian peace processʹ read ʹIran war processʹ

Yes, good. I would add one important element though: control of the region by the U.S., a hegemon, and Israel, an ally, has to be viewed vis-a-vis a rival or rivals. Iran is one, but China and Russia are two others and it is very crucial that their power is undermined. The U.S. is losing its primacy in Southeast Asia. The Middle East has to remain as leverage for its geo-political and economic primacy, not for oil (America doesn't need Middle Eastern oil), and not only for the arms industry (arms sales are still a fraction of the American GDP), but for capital outflows (as the author mentioned, assisting more or less the stagnating Western, especially European economies and maintaining domestic consent/stability/wealth) and hegemony and/or over others.

Nadeem17.05.2019 | 13:30 Uhr