- What might John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif be saying to each other ?
The meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, on the 14th May at Camp David, was the last stage before Washington and Teheran sign their agreement on the 30th June. The Gulf States could only congratulate each other – publicly at least – for having restored peace. However, like all the protagonists in the region, they were wondering who would have to foot the bill for the agreement’s secret clauses, and attempted to anticipate the new regional distribution.
President Obama has refused to sign a treaty which guarantees the maintenance of the current régimes, while the Gulf delegations have refused to sign a document which does not guarantee the perennity of their states. Finally, the United States agreed to recognise them as « major non-NATO allies » and sold them an astronomical quantity of weapons.
For years, Washington has maintained the myth pretending that the Islamic Republic of Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons, was ready to overthrow all other Arab régimes, and wanted to exterminate the population of Israel. But in March 2013, President Barack Obama and Revolutionary Guide Ali Khamenei sent secret emissaries for discussions in Oman . After more than 2 years of bilateral negotiations, Washington and Teheran agreed to unlock the multilateral talks, known as the « 5+1 ». Now everyone admits that Iran has not sought nuclear weapons since 1988, even though it has pursued research into the military use of civilian atomic techniques. On the 30th June, the five powers of the Security Council and Germany should finally lift their embargo, and the United States should immediately restitute a quarter of the blocked Iranian assets, approximately 50 billion dollars. The same day, Washington and Teheran will share the wider Near East between themselves, in a sort of Sykes-Picot agreement, or regional Yalta.
What might be the conditions for this sharing ?
The rôle of intellectuals is to enable us to understand the world around us. In this situation, they must therefore advance a prognosis as to what the region may look like after the agreement. Yet no-one dares to express their opinions. First of all because they are very likely to be wrong, and also because, whatever the hypotheses formulated, they will provoke the anger of both sides at the same time. Indeed, the logic of this kind of agreement is to transform strategy, thus betraying certain allies, and this can not be assumed publicly.
Considering that I am a free spirit who is fighting for principles and not in order to become popular, I will risk advancing a few ideas. I posess no secret information, and that is why I invite you to consider the following :
Initially, Washington intended to share the « wider Middle East » with Russia. That was the theme of the Geneva Peace Conference in June 2012. However, the recovery of Russian power convinced the United States that they could not hand over regional policing to a state which had no ambition to become the Empire’s assistant, but to become an independent pole. They then urned to Iran. As a result, Washington’s strategic objective with this agreement is to restore Iran to the rôle they played in the time of the Shah, that of a regional policeman. By accepting this, Teheran would have to renounce the anti-imperialist ideal of Imam Khomeiny. In his first speech after he had returned home, Khomeiny had exhorted the army to cease serving Anglo-Saxon interests, and to place itself in the service of the freedom of the people.
In order to be acceptable to public opinion, the signing of the agreement has to be marked by as wide a cease-fire as possible, and thus by the division of the region into spheres of influence. At the same time, the agreement must satisfy the two strategic objectives of the United States in the region – the safety of Israël and the control of energy ressources. Iran will therefore have to accept that the Gulf monarchies, the Kingdom of Jordan, and eventually also Morocco, form a « Common Arab Force » under the auspices of the Arab League, but submitted to Israeli military command . From their side, the United States will have to accept that Iraq, Syria and Lebanon be « stabilised » by Iran.
Just as with any classic share agreement, it aims to promote the stability of change, therefore to admit that the frontiers can only be « remodeled » by negotiation and not by force. The United States will have to abandon the Chaos Strategy that they have been applying since 2001 . From its own side, Iran will have to give up the exportation of its Revolution.
Russia, the only power capable of aborting the agreement, will not intervene because it has withdrawn to its old Soviet territory . As for China, it will have to watch in dismay as its Iranian ally slips through its fingers, while the United States continue their military development in the Far East.
The potential consequences of the agreement
We can already anticipate the possible consequences of these hypotheses – the collapase of Netanyahu’s government and its replacement by a coalition which, 18 years late, will honour the Oslo Agreement – international recognition of a Palestinian state and the abandon, both by Fatah and the Hamas, of their inalienable right of return, aided by a discrete financial compensation – the retirement from political life of Hassan Nasrallah and Saad Hariri – peace in Syria, but the impossibility of using its gas to finance its reconstruction, etc…
This general cease-fire will leave Washington and Teheran free to act as they wish in their zones of influence, always remembering that Iran will not be the equal, but the vassal of the United States. Thus, Iran will try and impose its own men in the governments of Irak, Syria and Lebanon. From its own side, Washington will attempt to overthrow, one by one, each of the Gulf monarchies with the exception of Qatar, and replace them with the Muslim Brotherhood.
All the actors in the « wider Near East » are waiting anxiously to know what Washington and Teheran have decided for their future. Since no-one knows, and in order to ensure their own survival, everyone has to imagine hypotheses and prepare for sudden changes in the situation. In this article, Thierry Meyssan explains his predictions.