12112017Mon

Time's up on Iran's Middle Eastern Forays

Iran Focus

London, 31 May - Following Donald Trump’s visit to the middle east earlier this month and his speech to the Arab American Summit in Saudi Arabia, in which he labelled Iran as the most destructive country in the region, there has been a great deal of debate about how long the international community will continue to tolerate the Iranian Regime.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, a regional geopolitical affairs analyst, wrote an op-ed for Al-Arabiya in which he asserted that the time for challenging Iran’s destructive influence on the Middle East had come.

He wrote: “Time is up for Iran’s foray in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and allies are backing their talk with actions by first conducting a “house cleaning” of the Gulf Cooperation Council of Iranian influence. The Riyadh Triple Summit helped to establish a new baseline in the region for unity against the threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and extremists of various sects.”

Karasik noted that Saudi Arabia and its allies were committed to ending Iranian expansionism, halting missile production, and stopping support for terrorist groups.

This was based on comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said: “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we will work so that the battle is for them in Iran, not in Saudi Arabia,” and “How do you have a dialogue with a regime built on an extremist ideology … which [says] they must control the land of Muslims and spread their Twelver Jaafari sect in the Muslim world?”

Iran is attempting to show military strength by harassing foreign vessels in the Persian Gulf and setting off more missile tests, but Karasik writes that we shouldn’t be too worried because allies in the Middle East are encircling Iran.

Karasik wrote: “Saudi Arabia is upping its prowess around Iran that forms a net around the Islamic Republic. Riyadh is encircling Iran through a variety of soft and hard power networks that are in Pakistan (Baluchistan), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. This is a space to watch as Riyadh puts pressure points on the Islamic Republic from outside especially to Iran’s north and east.”

This method, similar to that used by the American during the Cold War, is designed to cut off trade from East Asia and Iran’s allies, like Iraq, away.

Karasik wrote: “Saudi Arabia and allies are establishing the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) to be a NATO-like organisation based on organisational and tactical lessons learned from Operation Inherent Resolve as well as structure on the Global Alliance to Fight ISIS. This fact, according to the Riyadh Declaration, is an important step to building up a military and constabulary force of 40,000 troops for deployment. Iran, already heavily vested in the Levant and in Yemen, is unlikely to retreat. For now, Saudi Arabia and allies are going to rely on pressure tactics to force changes in Iran’s behaviour by starting with Qatar; down the road is going to be a different story that will make Tehran surprised.”

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