Analysis Of Current MENA Situation: Iranian Viewpoint


By Hassan Beheshtipour

Upon further study of the historic developments in the Middle East and North Africa it becomes clear that these developments have not been raised and are not organized by Western countries.

A quick glance at the world over the past sixty years reveals that the first major conflict after World War II occurred between the two Koreas on January 25, 1950, which was the first conflict between the eastern and western blocs.

After the end of the war, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two parts and East Asia became the first sight of polarization in the cold war.

In the beginning of the sixties, with the UK’s demise on power, freedom struggles in Africa began to bear results. Between June and October 1960 eighteen African nations gained independence in only seven months. Prior to this, only nine of the 52 African nations had political independence. By 1962, with eight more countries gaining independence, over 34 nations had gained independence. Although neo-colonialism became common after these events, still new developments in international relations occurred with the formation of new countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

On the other hand, Richard Nixon (US president 1969-1974), ending the gold standard for US dollars in 1971, brought new change in the global monetary establishment. To the great surprise of monetary establishments, Nixon made supply and demand the deciding factor in the value of the US dollar. This aggressive and selfish unilateral move left the US with an open hand to introduce dollars into the market without tangible financial backing. At that time an ounce of gold sold for USD 35 but today it is going for USD1,500 in an astonishing development. Namely, in only half a century, the US dollar’s buying power has dropped 42 times since then. This development really came to light in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the following increase in the price of oil resulting from the sanctions following the war.

In addition, in the late 70s and early 80s four major developments occurred on the international scene:

1. The victory of the Islamic Revolution

2. The Iranian university students’ capture of the US embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran — Washington’s ‘Espionage Den’ in the post-revolution Iran

3. The Soviet Red Army’s occupation of Afghanistan

4. Iraq’s invasion of Iran

The connection between the four big developments is also considered important. On the one hand, the victory of the Islamic Revolution, from the anti-absolutist perspective, constituted the world’s first revolutionary movement to take place based on the Islamic ideology. On the other and from the anti-imperialist outlook, the capture of the ‘Espionage Den’ shattered the United States fabricated grandeur.

In addition, the communist superpower of the Soviet Union’s going down the Afghanistan quagmire — a development, which caused its collapse a decade later — and Saddam’s later military invasion of Iran, which opened a new chapter of the US interventions in the region, profoundly affected the follow-up developments of the international arena.

In the last year of the 80’s and in wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world saw the dictatorial establishments in the eastern European countries collapse with such a momentum that, over a couple of months, seven cast-iron governments of the Eastern Bloc fell apart. Within a short space — starting from December 1991 — the governments of the Soviet Union and after that Yugoslavia fell and eventually the bipolar system dissolved across the world and the Cold War era ended after five decades.

At the dawn of the third millennium and in the circumstances, where the US intended to devise the unipolar world, the attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in the country and the follow-up US invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 triggered massive developments on the international developments. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, these developments entered the world into the era of passage into a new order, which was not created by the superpowers, but by necessities governed by the people of the oppressed countries.

Identity-wise, all these developments are not a project carved out by the powers, but changes resulting from a new balance, which is taking shape in the world countries.

Now, at the onset of the third millennium’s second decade, the Middle East and the countries of the North Africa, as the center of gravity of the international balance, have undergone changes, which have resulted from the countries’ downtrodden peoples’ demands for the past several decades. Regarding the style of engagement also, the people have surpassed the leaders of the parties and the struggling groups, turning up on the streets in person and facing the armies affiliated to the dictatorial rulers. This development would undoubtedly reduce the influence and authority of the domineering as the important feature of these changes is the pursuit of freedom and struggle against oppression alongside resistance against absolutist regime’s [quality of] dependence.

This public inclination has caused the existing movement to have an independent nature. In such conditions, hegemonic powers, such as the US, try to protect their interests.

The US, which still has problems in managing and controlling situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, is only trying to direct developments in the Middle East in a way that subsequent governments follow democracy and secular Western governments and do not have any contradiction with Israel and Western liberalist thoughts.

In such situations the US welcomes current developments, but it is worried about losing the long-term interests that it has secured with the help of its puppet dictatorships.

An important point of the recent developments is the manifold nature of the people of these countries’ trends.

By studying all the trends in the Arab countries, it is obvious that Islamic trends have formed an undeclared coalition with nationalists and left-wings to get rid of the dictators.

In some of these countries such as Egypt, the Islamic trend is more popular, and in other countries like Tunisia nationalist and pro-West trends have attracted more support.

In some cases socialist trends have been able to join fight against dictators in the form of labor unions and small syndicates. But in no country left parties lead the movement or are supported by the majority.

Evidence shows that existing popular movements have formed based on freedom-seeking and nationalist ideals, and their fighting methods, independence-seeking and anti-autocratic ideals are deeply similar to those of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

In general, I believe that the nature of recent popular movements in the Middle East and North of Africa is completely internal and self-sprung.

Those who believe these revolutions are connected to the US and the West are pursuing conspiracy theory and want to portray hegemonic powers as the indisputable sovereign of the world against whom fighting is useless.

While today evidence shows that the end of dictator governments dependent on foreign powers is near, and in the beginning of the second decade of the third millennium the countries of the region are moving towards the establishment of democratic governments.

This process may incur many costs or take several years, but it will lead to hegemonic countries losing their power.

Press TV

Press TV is a state funded news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran and seeks to counter a western view on news.

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