A geopolitical caesarean in the Middle East / Mohammad Hadifar
101 years has passed since the last geopolitical changes in the Middle East. That year, a consensus was reached between the French and British governments, with Russia’s consent and without Arabs knowledge, over the division of the Ottoman Empire heritage which, in the premise of the treaty, Britain promised independence to Arabs for their rebellion against the Ottoman state; though Britain failed to fulfill its promise, and Russia could not take advantage of it as the Communists took power in this country and the Ottoman government was divided and the flow of caliphate-seeking and the return to the period of caliphate started throughout the Islamic world from India and the subcontinent to Egypt and the Mediterranean coast. From within the same flow of religious caliphate-seeking religious currents were born which created the theme of the present radical movements in the Islamic world.

Now, after a century, the region is facing an abnormal birth in the ​​ethnic geography in northern Iraq. Masoud Barzani, chairman of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party has conducted an opinion poll, in the most unfavorable political situation in Iraq, asking the people of this region in order to vote the separating of the region from Iraq for establishing an independent government in the most sensitive region in the Middle East. This action comes at a time when there is a lot of opposition from within and outside the region, but it is quite clear that tackling the most sensitive point of an ethnic community prevents any internal resistance and justifies barriers on it. Although the motivation of many of the recent centuries-old Kurdish political movements in the Middle East has been to establish an independent state, each have had their own special characteristics; the recent referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, however, has specific conditions which are different, given its internal and external limitations with the other ethnic movements and even those who almost declared a government.

The results of the referendum were already predicted for two reasons: first, the achievement of an independent state is part of the Kurdish ethnic ideals in Iraq and therefore, being announced by any everyone, it will be warmly welcomed. Second, holding such an election by a system to determine the right its fate is like holding a test conducted without a supervisor. It is natural that the victorious side in the two above-mentioned conditions cannot feel victorious so much. The referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan was presented by Barzani in the absence of the Patriotic Union leader and only a few weeks after the death of Nawshirwan Mustafa, leader of the Gorran movement.

Although the attempt has had a long history and background, the announcement of the plan in this situation in and while the IS is not over in Iraq and the state is grappled in regional crises, puts Iraq's political process into a difficult situation. Some parties and popular groups in Kurdistan resisted the referendum, but they were sharply blamed by some ruling factions and were admonished impolitely and therefore all of them surrendered to holding the polls in the last minute and …

They were not ready to leave alone their fighting honor in the present dusty political atmosphere; but what is certain is that these libelous behaviors will deepen the gaps after the referendum. On the other hand, the elite and independent Iraqi Kurdistan population, who believe in fighting corruption and long for making reforming in the ruling state, were ousted from their legal positions in a non-democratic way and broke the last resistances of some of their comrades to smooth the path of the referendum. Having the conditions of Iraq in mind, the international community and regional and non-regional governments tried to convince Barzani to postpone the referendum but Barzani opposed them; the reasons for rejecting the proposals to postpone the referendum by the holders of the plebiscite were not convincing. The reason for this unprecedented resistance to foreign appeals, as well as positive domestic resistance and criticisms to postpone the referendum, has not been disclosed to anyone yet. But there are perspectives within Iraqi Kurdistan who still believe Burzani's legal term was over two years ago and there are serious criticisms which Barzani has not only neglected them and have not respected them but also confronted them which has resulted in the closure of the local parliament and the expulsion of critics from their parliamentary positions.

Therefore, he continued his presidency while the parliament was shut. It seems that the worry that Baghdad will gain power after the IS, the fear of a power struggle within Iraq and the threat of raising the flag of the demand if the Kurds in the region by the PKK, as Barzani’s long-standing rival in northern Syria, as well as fleeing the multibillion dollar debt the region owes and escaping the severe economic obstacles the region faces and making domestic critics silent and, most importantly, fleeing a political death are parts of Barzani's motives to hold the referendum. There are many assumptions and propositions about the future of the post-referendum Kurdistan Region. The most optimistic one is the realization of the goals of the referendum and the establishment of a political entity with an ethnic identity in the neighborhood of the three countries of the region which have diverse interests and different political systems and, observing neighborly rules, the region can continue its political life; but in the wake of insistence from the side of referendum holders and the internal and external protests to the plebiscite, it seems unlikely that the referendum has gone through its natural process.

Considering what was discussed above, it can be concluded that the referendum was not possible without a support; and in this case the future Kurdish state will be an affiliate state which owes others. The United States and its allies in the region are one of the main suspects in this project and the event can be defined within the realm of their own interests; therefore, if the U.S. succeeds in establishing an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq, one of its main goals could be the deployment of a part of its missile defense systems and completing this system in Turkey or replacing it at another area. The system can also be a complement to Israeli’s dome system and the United States's Todd and Patriot systems could be used to curb Iran and Russia in the region. The major temptations of the regional and non-regional actors which are beyond the missile defense system are Kirkuk's oil-rich land, which is home to over 40 percent of Iraq's oil reserves. As a northern neighbor of the Kurdistan region, Turkey is a daily trading partner of more than a million barrels of oil in the region, and with the investment of $ 35 billion in the region, plus $ 15 billion in volume per year, it will be the largest user of this cooperation. The return of US retired generals and diplomats to the scene of the region’s oil economics is one of the important noticeable points in reflecting on this scenario. Making a $ 4 billion contract with Russian Oil Company of Rosnaft, which Russian presidency owns 45 percent of its shares, as well as the privilege of constructing a natural gas pipeline from Kurdistan to Russian ports, has raised the value of risk for the country. Meanwhile, compared to other actors in the scene, Iran has the least economic interest in the Kurdish region. Considering the situation, a crisis is inevitable in the most sensitive area of ​​the Middle East, and it is better to take more precise considerations into future relations and relationships, and to separate the Kurdish community and people in northern Iraq, which are the heirs of the decency and dignity of Iranian civilization, from the merchants of their wealth.

The noble people of the Iraqi Kurdistan are well aware that the Iranians have been crying along with them in their brutal fighting and displacements, and these unstable guests who are now laughing with them at their ending happiness, will not remain for them. Let us remember that the new Iraqi political system was built by people like Jalal Talabani, who did not even want to kill Saddam as the killer of thousands of Iraqis, and, this way, he called for the end of the bloodshed in Iraq. I wish the attempt had been conducted by people like him so as he could help the Kurds achieve their real status in the Middle East; but rushing measures to reach cross-sectional goals would be like a unripe fruit which would not be comforting to anyone, and it seems that this birth would be still born in the sensitive region of ​​the Middle East and its main achievement will be the extraordinary growth of ethnic identity trends, including Arab, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms in the Middle East, and it is unclear what the result of this geopolitical caesarean section in the Middle East will be and will it be born alive or not.

Source: Sharq Daily


News Code: 17231  |  Date: 2017/10/07  |  Time: 15 : 5

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