Russia-Georgia War Not Onset of War against Iran in Persian Gulf

Politics Materials 15 August 2008 14:42 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 August / Trend corr. G.Ahmadova, T.Jafarov/ The Russia-Georgia war and dispatch of the U.S., French and U.K. Navies to the Persian Gulf does not mean an onset of war against Iran.

"Concentration of forces in the Persian Gulf is an indication on a plan or that something is prepared against Iran. However, following Russia - Georgia war this can hold to change, its too early in my mind to learn what impact this war will have on the plan to confront Iran," Menachem Klein, the professor of Bar-Ilan University of Israel, said to Trend via e-mail.

"There are some relevant issues that Israel must look into them such as the American unwillingness to take an active side and protect Georgian while its forces are in other fronts, how far can a lame duck President go? What act can a small country take against a strong one?  Can a small country like Israel drag the USA to a conflict with Iran that the USA - or its security establishment is unwilling to have?" Klein said.

Walter Posch, Senior Research Fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies, believes Russia plays an important role regarding Iran within the P5+1 framework. "It is however not really active in the Persian Gulf region, neither as a security provider for some of the small states there nor as counterweight to Iran or the US or both," Posch said to Trend via e-mail from Paris.

According to Posch, the presence of British and French Forces in the Persian Gulf do not necessarily mean that they are aimed against Iran, after all both countries have sizeable troops presences scattered from the Horn of Africa to Afghanistan," he said.

According to the Middle East Times , huge groups of the U.S., U.K. and French Navy headed for the Persian Gulf. After their arrival in the region, the number of shock aircraft carrier formations in the region will amount to five, which has not been seen in peace time. Following subdivisions of the US naval are heading for the Persian Gulf: Theodore Roosevelt shock aircraft carrier group, Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group and Ivodzima helicopter carriers. They will join the Abraham Lincoln and Peleliu aircraft carriers (patrolling the Red Sea) stationed in the region.

According to Posch, admittedly the build up of forces could be used for a naval blockade but the diplomatic situation is far from that.

"Besides "gun boat policy" is something of the very past and has never been part of EU policy. Perceptions however are another issue, there is of course a steady exchange of threatening remarks between the US and the Iranians but one should not take them face value because both sides know the costs of an "accidental" war would be too high," French expert said.

According to Hassan Behishtpour, presence of French, U.K. and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf is not connected with the Russia-Georgia war.

"Grouping of the U.S., U.K. and French forces in the Persian Gulf is connected with the Iranian nuclear program. West wants to bring Iran to bay both in political and military terms. West has not reached an agreement with Iran to eliminate uranium enrichment. Although West intends to exert pressure on Iran through gathering forces in the Persian Gulf, that will not affect the country," Iranian expert on Caucasus and Central Asia said to Trend in a telephone conversation from Tehran.