Thursday, December 27, 2007

"The One Stable State in the Middle East Is Iran"

"Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally" (Salman Masood and Graham Bowley, New York Times, 28 November 2007). Tariq Ali sums up the endgame of military despotism on which the empire has bet in Pakistan: "In the past, military rule was designed to preserve order -- and did so for a few years. No longer. Today it creates disorder and promotes lawlessness" ("A Tragedy Born of Military Despotism and Anarchy," Guardian, 28 December 2007).

Everyone ought to keep in mind that, "at the moment, the one stable state in the Middle East is Iran," as Immanuel Wallerstein correctly observes.
The basic fact that we should always keep in mind is that the present U.S. administration has a full plate -- maintaining its presence in Iraq, maintaining its presence in Afghanistan, and worrying about the very real possibility of the breakdown of order in Pakistan. Even George W. Bush can appreciate that Iran's possible development of nuclear weapons a decade from now cannot displace these other concerns as a priority.

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In the meantime, every one else around the world is thinking of what they should be doing in the Middle East after 2009, with most probably a Democratic president in office in the United States. It should seem obvious to them all that, at the moment, the one stable state in the Middle East is Iran. Iran to be sure has its internal conflicts and the Ahmadinejad faction may well lose the next elections. But Iran -- an oil power, a Shia power, a military and demographic power in the region -- is a major actor that has to be taken into account. Countries will prefer to have Iran on their side than against them. Iran is not going to go away. (Immanuel Wallerstein, "A Major Reversal? The NIE Report on Iran," MRZine, 25 December 2007)
Among all the factors mentioned above, as well as the unwillingness of Russia, China, Germany, and others to go along with the USA, whose subprime state of economy has finally become exposed, it is "the very real possibility of the breakdown of order in Pakistan" that has most effectively put the brake on Washington's Iran campaign.

The stars are finally aligned all right for a détente with Iran . . . if liberals and leftists in the North push hard for it.

Can we give a détente with America to the Iranian people before contradictions of resource populism in Iran (as well as Venezuela -- watch the governments' responses to inflation in both) become more acute, exacerbate its internal conflicts, and once again raise the eternal hope of the American power elite?


The Russians keep delivering -- the Caspian Summit, nuclear fuels, and now an anti-aircraft system "far superior to . . . the US Patriot system."
Russia is to supply Iran with a new and lethal anti-aircraft system capable of shooting down American or Israeli fighter jets in the event of any strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iran yesterday confirmed that Russia had agreed to deliver the S-300 air defence system, a move that is likely to irk the Bush administration and gives further proof of Russia and Iran's deepening strategic partnership.

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The S-300 had a range far superior to that of the US Patriot system, experts said. It could also shoot down cruise and ballistic missiles, they added.

"It's a formidable system. It really gives a new dimension to Iran's anti-aircraft defences," said one Russian defence expert, who declined to be named.

"It's purely a defensive system. But it's very effective. It's much better than the US system. It has good radar. It can shoot down low-flying cruise missiles, though with some difficulty." (Luke Harding, "Russia Will Supply New Anti-Aircraft Missiles for Iran," Guardian, 27 December 2007)
Update 2

Oh well, now "Russia Denies Talks with Iran on S-300 Deliveries" (RIA Novosti, 28 December 2007).


Naj said...

Will ahmaghinejad lose the next election? In the cities, YES! In the villages? No!

Last election was lost thanks to the urbanite's boycotting election.

Ahmadinejad is on the defensive, there is not a time he speaks without BLAMING the failures of his government (and he admits to many failures) on "there are these others" ... he is implicitely pointing to the lords of business, i.e. the Hashemi camp! the fact that they are watching each other will increase the chances of fair elections ... But yes, Iran feels stable from within as well. People are driving a little better, and although the prices have gone up, and fuel is rationed, nothing much seem to have changed compared to last year around this time.

CEJ said...

IF a country is subject to US national security state 'regime change' measures, it is not necessarily stable. If the US were not occupying Iraq, Syria might actually look more stable than Iran, notwithstanding a government there run by a religious/ethnic/tribal minority.