Three Questions about Recent Developments in the Middle East
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh
Executive Editor of Iran Review
1. The quantity of analyses and news items about Iran’s nuclear program, a possible military strike against the country, Israel’s moves in this regard, sanctions imposed by Europe and the United States against Iran and the pressure suffered by the Iranian people as a result of those sanctions, has greatly increased in the past few weeks. In parallel, the situation resulting from developments in Syria, different viewpoints of that country’s government and the opposition about the situation, and differences among big countries about the best way to manage that crisis have further complicated dynamics of the ongoing developments in the Middle East.
2. Perhaps, one of the most important reasons behind the existing differences and even hostilities among major international players is difference in viewpoints, and different methods used to explain the situation as well as unawareness of other parties’ interpretation of regional conditions which, on the whole, have created a general atmosphere of distrust and suspense. Under such circumstances, every player will decide on the intentions and performance of other players on the basis of its own understanding before taking a final measure. Historical experiences have shown that decisions taken under such conditions usually end in disaster.
3. Heavy domination of Western media on the international political scene during the past decades has unfortunately worked as a powerful obstacle to delineating other political players’ viewpoints and analyses and this problem still continues. Therefore, to better understand the “others,” who look at political issues from different angles, and also to introduce questions which have been posited to scientific and political community of a country like Iran without having found a proper answer, a few of such questions are posed here. We hope that experts and academics will take the time to inform us of their expert views and opinions, even in a few lines in relation to their specialty, by answering the following questions and sending their answers along with their names to Iran Review website. We also hope that this initiative will lead to a written and virtual dialogue among professional experts and analysts of these issues on both sides of the ongoing conflict and, finally, help to reduce tensions which emanate from unwise, hasty decisions. The first part of these questions simply reflects my concerns, as an Iranian researcher, about recent developments in the Middle East which have continued for a whole year now. I hope your views will help better understanding of this issue and shed more light on its less visible angles.
1) For what reason(s), the biggest supporters of such dictators as Egypt’s Mubarak, Tunisia’s Bin Ali, or Yemen’s Abdullah Saleh, have now turned into the most enthusiastic supporters of freedom of those countries’ peoples?
2) Why the Arab League has failed in the past decade to make a comprehensive and firm decision on the issue of Palestine even once and, on the contrary, has appeared so active with respect to the crisis in Syria? What is the reason for the Arab League’s unprecedented activities? Why the Arab League has never tried to play the role of a fair and powerful mediator in Arab issues away from all forms of extreme measures?
3) Why the use of veto right by Russia and China on the recent Security Council resolution about Syria has been presented to be so much against the interests of the Syrian people and international community, but frequent use of the same right by the United States in support of Israel (42 times from 1972 to 2011) has not elicited the least reaction?
We thank you in advance and look forward to the beginning of this virtual dialogue by you, dear readers of the website.