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A Quiet Axis Forms Against Iran in the Middle East

mbig

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While everyone has obsessed over an I-P settlment over the last few years, a new dynamic has emerged that will perhaps help settle the Palestine issue by making the interested parties aware of it's relative secondary nature as an issue compared to the New Iranian threat to All in the region.
Previous statments/whispers by members of the govts of Kuwait, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, testify to this.

Persian Isolation: A Quiet Axis Forms Against Iran in the Middle East - SPIEGEL ONLINE
7/15/10 --- Alexander Smoltczyk/Bernhard Zand

Israel and the Arab states near the Persian Gulf recognize a common threat: the regime in Tehran. A regional diplomat has not even ruled out support by the Arab states for a military strike to end Iran's nuclear ambitions.
[...................]

This makes the words uttered last Tuesday by the UAE's ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, in Aspen, Colorado, more than 12,500 kilometers to the west, all the more interesting. Otaiba was attending a forum at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival, and the mood was relaxed, or at least it was too relaxed for diplomatic restraint.

The discussion revolved around the Middle East. When asked whether the UAE would support a possible Israeli air strike against the regime in Tehran, Ambassador Otaiba said: "A military attack on Iran by whomever would be a disaster, but Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a bigger disaster."

These were unusually candid words. A military strike, the diplomat continued, would undoubtedly lead to a "backlash." "There will be problems of people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country," he said.

But, he added, "if you are asking me, 'Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran,' my answer is still the same. We cannot live with a nuclear Iran. I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E."

Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman said afterwards that she had never heard anything like it coming from an Arab government official. Otaiba, she added, was "astonishingly honest."

Notwithstanding the shocking nature of his remarks, Otaiba was merely expressing, in a public forum, "the standard position of many Arab countries," says Middle East expert Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for 'The Atlantic Monthly' who moderated the panel discussion in Aspen.
[..................]
 
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donsutherland1

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While everyone has obsessed over an I-P settlment over the last few years, a new dynamic has emerged that will perhaps help settle the Palestine issue by making the interested parties aware of it's relative secondary nature as an issue compared to the New Iranian threat to All in the region.
Previous statments/whispers by members of the govts of Kuwait, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, testify to this.

IMO, the Iran issue is a far more important geopolitically than the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The outcome concerning Iran would have broad balance-of-power implications for the region and spark a conventional and nuclear arms race there. It could dramatically alter the Shia-Sunni relationship. It could lead to some of the region's more hardline actors gaining leverage vis-a-vis more moderate elements. It could also have elevate the power possessed by various non-state actors in the region.
 

washunut

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IMO, the Iran issue is a far more important geopolitically than the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The outcome concerning Iran would have broad balance-of-power implications for the region and spark a conventional and nuclear arms race there. It could dramatically alter the Shia-Sunni relationship. It could lead to some of the region's more hardline actors gaining leverage vis-a-vis more moderate elements. It could also have elevate the power possessed by various non-state actors in the region.

I will be vey surprised if ANYONE attacks Iran. They WILL have a nuclear weapon in a year or two. It is now the policy of two U.S. Presidents to kick the can down the road.

We have lived a a nuclear North Korea and we will have to find a way to live with a nuclear Iran.
 

mbig

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I will be vey surprised if ANYONE attacks Iran. They WILL have a nuclear weapon in a year or two. It is now the policy of two U.S. Presidents to kick the can down the road.

We have lived a a nuclear North Korea and we will have to find a way to live with a nuclear Iran.
At this point.. I agree with you.
As I said above-- it looks like Obama has no such intent despite the empty pronouncements of the unacceptability of an Iranian Nuke.
And Israel couldn't conceivably go it alone.
Perhaps they will surprise us.. or as the article infers... the greatest surprise of all; a joint Israel/Gulf-Arab-State attack.
No way but - "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"- is an arab proverb.
 
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washunut

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At this point.. I agree with you.
As I said above-- it looks like Obama has no such intent despite the empty pronouncements of the unacceptability of an Iranian Nuke.
And Israel couldn't conceivably go it alone.
Perhaps they will surprise us.. or as the article infers... the greatest surprise of all; a joint Israel/Gulf-Arab-State attack.
No way but - "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"- is an arab proverb.

Gulf states in my view are just to weak and afraid to try anything like this. For Israel the aftermath would be to difficult.

Iran where the government is very schrewd had made the calculations.

Anything can happen, but I doubt it as long as America is led by Obama.
 

mbig

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Saudi Arabia and Iran Wage a New Cold War in the Middle East - WSJ.com
There has long been bad blood between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but popular protests across the Middle East now threaten to turn the rivalry into a tense and dangerous regional divide
Bill Spindle/Margaret Coker - 4/16/11

RV-AC436_Cold_W_DV_20110415015203.jpg

"....This new Middle East cold war comes complete with its own spy-versus-spy intrigues, disinformation campaigns, shadowy proxy forces, supercharged state rhetoric—and very high stakes.

"The cold war is a reality," says one senior Saudi official. "Iran is looking to expand its influence. This instability over the last few months means that we don't have the luxury of sitting back and watching events unfold."

On March 14, the Saudis rolled tanks and troops across a causeway into the island kingdom of Bahrain. The ruling family there, long a close Saudi ally, appealed for assistance in dealing with increasingly large protests.

Iran soon rattled its own sabers. Iranian parliamentarian Ruhollah Hosseinian urged the Islamic Republic to put its military forces on high alert, reported the website for Press TV, the state-run English-language news agency. "I believe that the Iranian government should not be reluctant to prepare the country's military forces at a time that Saudi Arabia has dispatched its troops to Bahrain," he was quoted as saying.

The intensified wrangling across the Persian—or, as the Saudis insist, the Arabian—Gulf-
[......]
 
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Jrew

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People have been claiming that Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon now for the better part of thirty years. This region of the world is my field of study and personally I don't believe that Iran is interested that much in a nuclear weapon. Why? It's simple... They do not need one in order to fulfill their national interests. Having one would almost certainly result in pre-emptive strikes against them so why invite that possibility when it is not necessary. The gulf countries have large shiite majorities and Iran would like to extend its influence in the region. The only thing previously keeping Iranian expansion in check was Saddam Hussein, but now that he is gone all the Iranians need to do is wait it out for the Americans to leave. The Americans cannot sustain an occupation in Iraq forever.

Obviously the idea of Iran expanding its influence is alarming to those with interests in the areas mentioned (America/Israel). It's not that existentially fear Iran, they just know that as long as Iran is there they won't be able to unilaterally impose their will on the region.

Now to what degree is up for debate but we in America live in a democracy that requires public support for military actions. The way this is being acquired is by scare tactics of possible Iranian nukes and framing it in a way where one is left feeling that we just cant take any chances. This consent is being garnered by claiming that Ahmadinejad said he wanted to "wipe Israel off the map" along with claiming he is a Holocaust denier and claiming that he said the Bush admin did 9/11. What you need to understand here is he didn't actually say these things as they were reported. If you actually watch the footage where these claims originate, you would be able to see it for yourself. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Ahmadinejad is really a swell guy or anything, or claim that he feels one way or another about topic A or B, but the claims being made to gain support for an attack are false and intentionally false.
 

Binary_Digit

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People have been claiming that Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon now for the better part of thirty years. This region of the world is my field of study and personally I don't believe that Iran is interested that much in a nuclear weapon. Why? It's simple... They do not need one in order to fulfill their national interests. Having one would almost certainly result in pre-emptive strikes against them so why invite that possibility when it is not necessary.
That's strange. If they don't want nukes because it could invite an attack, why do they continue to enrich uranium instead of accepting more-than-reasonable compromise offers from the UNSC?

The gulf countries have large shiite majorities and Iran would like to extend its influence in the region. The only thing previously keeping Iranian expansion in check was Saddam Hussein, but now that he is gone all the Iranians need to do is wait it out for the Americans to leave. The Americans cannot sustain an occupation in Iraq forever.
I would think Ahmadenijiad knows that if he tried to annex Iraq, the U.S. would be there to stop it.

Obviously the idea of Iran expanding its influence is alarming to those with interests in the areas mentioned (America/Israel). It's not that existentially fear Iran, they just know that as long as Iran is there they won't be able to unilaterally impose their will on the region.
It seems to me that they (America/Israel) know Iran is governed by whackjobs who openly support terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezboalla, are in bed with Syria, and gave material aid to insurgents in Iraq who killed our troops with it, among many other things.

Now to what degree is up for debate but we in America live in a democracy that requires public support for military actions. The way this is being acquired is by scare tactics of possible Iranian nukes and framing it in a way where one is left feeling that we just cant take any chances. This consent is being garnered by claiming that Ahmadinejad said he wanted to "wipe Israel off the map" along with claiming he is a Holocaust denier and claiming that he said the Bush admin did 9/11. What you need to understand here is he didn't actually say these things as they were reported. If you actually watch the footage where these claims originate, you would be able to see it for yourself. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Ahmadinejad is really a swell guy or anything, or claim that he feels one way or another about topic A or B, but the claims being made to gain support for an attack are false and intentionally false.
I agree, that translation is wrong. What he said was that the forces occupying Jerusalem should "vanish from the pages of time." Not a huge difference, but it does not specifically call for or threaten any military action, as the original translation suggests.
 

mbig

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People have been claiming that Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon now for the better part of thirty years. This region of the world is my field of study and personally I don't believe that Iran is interested that much in a nuclear weapon. Why? It's simple... They do not need one in order to fulfill their national interests.
Their, and everyone's national interest is the perception of Strength. Nukes certainly don't hurt.


Jrew said:
Having one would almost certainly result in pre-emptive strikes against them so why invite that possibility when it is not necessary.
They're already Inviting pre-emptive strikes with their continued enrichment capabilities and secret new plants being discovered.
So no reason Not to build Nukes if the satellites already say you are!


Jrew said:
The gulf countries have large shiite majorities and Iran would like to extend its influence in the region. The only thing previously keeping Iranian expansion in check was Saddam Hussein, but now that he is gone all the Iranians need to do is wait it out for the Americans to leave. The Americans cannot sustain an occupation in Iraq forever.
So you're conceding Iran's expansionist goals, but saying Nukes wouldn't help achieve them?

Jrew said:
Obviously the idea of Iran expanding its influence is alarming to those with interests in the areas mentioned (America/Israel). It's not that existentially fear Iran, they just know that as long as Iran is there they won't be able to unilaterally impose their will on the region.
It's the Gulf States who are most threatened by Iran even without Nukes and they who are Most anxious:

http://www.debatepolitics.com/middl...tedly-requested-us-attack-iran-wikileaks.html

Kuwaiti strategist: Israel should strike Iran - Page 6 - Political Forum

I grow tired of the Blame America/Israel crowd.


Jrew said:
Now to what degree is up for debate but we in America live in a democracy that requires public support for military actions. The way this is being acquired is by scare tactics of possible Iranian nukes and framing it in a way where one is left feeling that we just cant take any chances.
I don't think it's "scare tactics" at all.
There is without question an Iranian Nuke program- some of it probably still secret even though parts of it, tellingly, keep getting discovered.
This is in the non-fiction section. It's not a conspiracy theory.

ann coulter: "...Iran is certainly implying that it has nukes. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but you can't take chances with berserk psychotics. What if they start having one of these bipolar episodes with a nuclear bomb?
If you don't want to get shot by the police, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then don't point a toy gun at them.".."


Jrew said:
This consent is being garnered by claiming that Ahmadinejad said he wanted to "wipe Israel off the map" along with claiming he is a Holocaust denier and claiming that he said the Bush admin did 9/11. What you need to understand here is he didn't actually say these things as they were reported. If you actually watch the footage where these claims originate, you would be able to see it for yourself. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Ahmadinejad is really a swell guy or anything, or claim that he feels one way or another about topic A or B, but the claims being made to gain support for an attack are false and intentionally false.
And this is the usual Strawman.
He indeed did NOT say "wipe off the map", tho the wrong translation originated In Iran/with IRNA.
http://www.debatepolitics.com/middle-east/71104-infamous-ahmadinejad-wiped-off-map-speech.html
However, what he did say then, and his other statements re Israel are more than adequately alarming.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel

And lastly, I'm disappointed that this being "your area" that you don't see the gist of this string.
That is, the growing Main but less wll known M-E Cold and Hot War; Shia/Shia Crescent vs Sunni.
One that already has a hundred thousand+ Casualties, proxy wars, and may be going on well after an I-P settlement.
 
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Jrew

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That's strange. If they don't want nukes because it could invite an attack, why do they continue to enrich uranium instead of accepting more-than-reasonable compromise offers from the UNSC?

Lat year around this time Iran was in talks with Turkey and Brazil to swap fuel rods. Turkey and Brazil would ship rods enriched for medical use to Iran and they would send the spent rods back to Turkey and Brazil. I think is interesting is that this a plan that the US had demanded of Iran, but because it didn't go through US channels they are now against it.

I would think Ahmadenijiad knows that if he tried to annex Iraq, the U.S. would be there to stop it.

I agree with that you're saying, but in reality the choice wouldn't be up to Ahmadinejad. What should be noted here is that the Persian culture has been around for such a long time that they collectively do not measure things in small increments of time. They have no qualms about waiting decades to achieve whatever goal they have in mind. In essence, there is no time table or window of opportunity that the Iranians feel they must act. They know that America cannot stay in Iraq forever and once we leave they will move.


It seems to me that they (America/Israel) know Iran is governed by whackjobs who openly support terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezboalla, are in bed with Syria, and gave material aid to insurgents in Iraq who killed our troops with it, among many other things.

The question we need to be asking is why does Iran support these groups? We have to be careful here because it is always too easy to write Iranian leaders off at whack jobs when we don't understand their rationale. It could very well be that it is us who in fact do not have a correct view of the situation. (<-- I think this is something we always have to keep in mind if we want to know the truth about anything.)

The next question that needs to be addressed is how Hezbollah and Hamas were formed to begin with. Hezbollah was created in the aftermath of Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The record is clear that the invasion was an attempt to establish a puppet government in Lebanon to expand Israeli control in the region. Hezbollah was created in response to Israeli aggression. Hamas is a very interesting story in my opinion. The Hamas of today was an unintended consequence of a short sighted Israeli strategy.

Since its creation, Israel has always had the ultimate goal of remaking the Middle East in to how it was under Ottoman rule. The reason is because they know that only a unified Arab population could pose any kind of legitimate threat. The architects of Israel understood that they were an alien entity in the Arab world and understood that it would be completely rational for Arabs to want to get rid of them. On a side note, the ideological inspiration for today's ruling party of Israel, the Likud, was Vladimir "Ze'ev" Jabotinsky who authored "The Iron Wall." It explains the understanding that settlers had in the 1920's in which violence against the native population was the only way to realize the Jewish state. They were to build an iron wall between themselves and the Arabs in order to gain the strength necessary to one day be able to negotiate from the position of power.

Getting back to Hamas...
In the 1980's the PLO was gaining a lot of momentum and support among the Palestinian people. Israel chose to deal with this issue by invoking the divide and conquer strategy. They created the conditions necessary where a religiously motivated group could manifest. (I can go into more details upon request.) The idea was to create a religiously motivated Palestinian group to rival the secular PLO.

Israeli ambitions...
As stated before, the ultimate goal of Israel is expansion of its territory and influence. This must be understood for any actions they take in the region to make sense including in some situations inaction. For instance, a nation that has ambitions of territorial expansion would have sufficient motivation to sabotage peace agreements that would finalize its national borders which do not contain the desired territory. As stated previously also, they wish to remake the Middle East in the Ottoman model where they are in control. The rationale for this is that if the Arab world can be broken down into a mosaic of tribal regions and factions, there would be no chance for the necessary unity to develop that would threaten the Jewish state. In this model, Iran poses the largest hurddle because of its power to resist such efforts.

Iran's perspective...
Israel has expansionist ambitions in the region and if they were to succeed in the remaking of the Middle East, what would stop them from continuing on into Iran? Iran knows that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons at their disposal and, when taking their regional ambitions into consideration, they don't want to provide a context where Israel can attack in a seemingly legitimate way. This is why I argue that they are not pursuing nuclear weapons. They would provide the perfect pretext Israel needs to launch an attack and rid the region of any potential competing powers.

Hamas and Hezbollah grew out of different circumstances and have different goals with their own grudges against Israel. Iran supplies them from time to time not because they agree with everything the groups stand for but for the sole purpose of having an insurance policy against possible Israeli aggression.


I agree, that translation is wrong. What he said was that the forces occupying Jerusalem should "vanish from the pages of time." Not a huge difference, but it does not specifically call for or threaten any military action, as the original translation suggests.

What needs to be pointed out here is that Ahmadinejad was actually quoting from a speech the Ayatollah Khomeini gave decades ago. The correct context of the quote was that the forces occupying Jerusalem were the same as any other regime in history in that eventually they will vanish from the pages of time. When put in the proper context, it actually is a huge difference in meaning.

Wheew... That was a lot of information... Sorry if was a little overload...
 

donsutherland1

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Lat year around this time Iran was in talks with Turkey and Brazil to swap fuel rods. Turkey and Brazil would ship rods enriched for medical use to Iran and they would send the spent rods back to Turkey and Brazil. I think is interesting is that this a plan that the US had demanded of Iran, but because it didn't go through US channels they are now against it.

The P5+Germany rejected the proposed deal because it did not take into account the additional enriched uranium that had been produced from the time that the P5+Germany offered a similar swap agreement. The swap itself was not the issue. The additional nuclear material that Iran could have retained on account of the proposal's not accounting for the additional enrichment was the problem.
 
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