Lights On Middle East Geostrategy

Part II: Geostrategic Problems on the Ground

There are many serious geopolitical problems on the ground in Middle East countries, such as the absence of democracy, dialogue, tolerance, art of dispute, and sectarian divisions. Moreover, the Middle east suffers from multiple geopolitical problems, such as: national political problems, forced ideology, lack of common grounds in the same country, not accepting the others’ opinion, exclusion and marginalization, misconceptions, evoking and calling to minds historical confrontations. These serious geopolitical problems generate serious geostrategic issues and crisis which lead to serious strategic goals confrontation. Such geostrategic confrontations create easy access for international intervention in the region under the need of protection, and achieving strategic equilibrium with opponents in the area.

The geostrategic impact is prone to the Middle East area not only recently, but since the early days before Islam was in the region as well.  For instance, early in the 19th century, Iran was subjected to the Russian-UK great game in the Middle East. Eventually, in 1907 Iran territory was divided into three parts. In 1921, Tehran and Moscow signed a treaty of friendship. Moscow retained the right to intervene in Iran in any event of foreign attack, and that the Soviet would support Tehran in fighting the separatists in the country’s north. In 1937, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey founded the Sadabad pact, which settled several border disputes and thus erased potential sources of conflict.

After World War II, SU (Soviet Union) and Iran agreed to grant SU several oil concessions and to recognize the autonomy of Azerbaijan. In return, Moscow withdrew its troops from Iran in 1946. UK, whose BP oil company controlled the majority of Iranian oil reserves, refused to give up its influence on the domestic policy of Iran. A new oil treaty was signed in 1949 with BP (Inat & Yesitlas, 2005). Although the elections in Gaza strip was supervised by the international community in 2006; USA and EU rejected the Hamas government as an explicit stance to refuse the political Islam, and to reject the participation of Islamic parties in formulating the geostrategy in the region.