Experts: Arab-Iran-Turkey triangle in Middle East is still impossible

Politics Materials 30 March 2010 15:43 (UTC +04:00)
Experts believe establishment of the so-called structure of the Arab countries with its close neighbors - Iran and Turkey is impossible until Tehran and the Arab countries will not be restored full relations.
Experts: Arab-Iran-Turkey triangle in Middle East is still impossible

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 30 / Trend U.Sadikhova /

Experts believe establishment of the so-called structure of the Arab countries with its close neighbors - Iran and Turkey is impossible until Tehran and the Arab countries will not be restored full relations.

Alliance of Muslim countries is possible if it will be attended by all three parties - the Turkish, Iranian and Arabic, analysts say.  

Arab leaders decided to examine in detail Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa's proposal to create a structure in the Middle East that will unite the Arab world with its immediate neighbors - Iran and Turkey.

Moussa proposed it after that the Arab countries discussed the establishment of a commission with the participation of the leaders of Libya, Egypt, Qatar, Iraq and Yemen, the Arab League General Secretariat, which will deal with the issue of creating an "Arab Union" like EU. The idea of an "Arab Union" that was initiated by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, will be discussed at an extraordinary Arab summit in autumn 2010.

The Arab League's summit in Sirt, took place on the background of the termination of the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis because of Israel's refusal to freeze construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Moussa, who will left his post as Arab League Secretary General in 2011, called on the Arab countries to launch a new dialogue with Iran, with which they are linked geographically and historically, and accept the proposal to establish a tripartite structure with the participation of Arab countries, Tehran and Ankara, except Israel.

Turkish analyst on the Middle East Hilmi Ozev does not preclude the creation of such a structure theory that can pull a lot of nerves to Israel.

"The Arab countries, as well as Turkey and Iran, understand that they will not be able to solve regional issues," Senior Analyst for Middle East Policy at Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) Ozev said. "However, this structure may be real, only if they involve all three parties - the Turkish, Arab and Iranian."

It is important to coordinate efforts of all three parties, which may well exert Israel, to achieve stability in the region, he added.

But Arab analysts see no prospects for creating such an organization in the absence of normal relations among Iran and several Arab countries, notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan - the most important U.S. allies in the region.

In addition to Tehran's dispute with the Arab states around the interference in the internal situation in Iraq and Yemen, up to now the Persian Gulf countries have tensions in relations with Iran, Middle East Studies Center Head Javad Mahmoud Al Hamad believes.

"If Iran is able to solve its problems with the Arab countries and is prepared to change its policy towards the Arab world, then it will be possible to speak of dialogue and establishment of such a structure," Al Hamad told Trend over the telephone from Amman. "Turkey, unlike Iran, has taken more steps to get closer to the Arab countries and has succeeded in economic relations."

Iran's differences with several Arab countries were aroused basically, around the policy of the armed Palestinian resistance against Israel and in connection with Iran's accusation in destabilizing the situation in Iraq and Yemen. The Arab Gulf states and Iran also have a territorial dispute over three oil and gas islands in the Hormuz strait, controlled by Iran.

The expert believes, since, Iran's government has not shown willingness to change its policy and interests in the Arab countries, and there is still no understanding between the parties.

Head of the Beirut Center for Strategic Studies Muhammad Noureddine also underprices the chances of creating a structure upon Amr Moussa's initiative, due to the fact that Turkey and the pro-Iranian Arab countries will require Iran's full participation.

"The Arab countries want to form a structure only with Turkey, while excluding Iran. The implementation of this idea is somewhat unrealistic, because Syria and Iraq want to unite not only with Turkey, but also with Iran," Noureddine told Trend over the telephone.

Turkey, which supported Moussa's initiative, may, however, withdraw from participation without Iran, the Arab analyst added.

Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal refused any dialogue with Iran until Tehran's policy will not change.

British analyst of Iranian origin, involved in the study of Iranian-Arab relations, Alirza Nurizade believes that Moussa's proposal is initially unrealistic: even if Syria, Libya and Qatar will support the initiation of a dialogue with Iran and the most Arab countries  will reject it.

"I do not think that it is now an opportune time for the [Arab-Iran] dialogue," head of the Iranian-Arab Center for Strategic Studies Nurizade told Trend over telephone " The Arab countries are concerned about the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program, because in both cases - in the case of military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and Tehran's response or continuation the development of Iran's nuclear program - they may suffer."

Therefore, the Arab countries rely more on Turkey, which, unlike Tehran, does not carry the ideological politics and does not seek to interfere in the internal Arab politics, the expert added.

"The Iranian leaders have ideological, while Turkey has pursued a moderate policy that satisfies the Arab countries. Turkey can play a central role [Middle East], having good ties with the Arab countries and Israel," Nurizade said.

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