conflict in the middle east

Steinmeier took part in the Munich Security Conference, held in Tehran this year, and focused his attention on the matter of ending the war in Syria that has raged on since 2011 to this day. Germany's top diplomat then traveled to Riyadh to follow up on the Syria dilemma with Iran's archival, being the Saudis.

A quick look at the German top diplomat’s trip to Iran and Saudi Arabia seeking a solution for the Syria crisis

The rushed visit made by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Iran came just as the ayatollahs accepted to administer the United Nations Additional Protocol on their nuclear program. Tehran now has its eyes set on America and Europe to gradually suspend sanctions.

Steinmeier took part in the Munich Security Conference, held in Tehran this year, and focused his attention on the matter of ending the war in Syria that has raged on since 2011 to this day. Germany’s top diplomat then travelled to Riyadh to follow up on the Syria dilemma with Iran’s archrival, being the Saudis.

Being the first German FM to travel to Iran in the past 12 years, Steinmeier first met with Iranian officials and afterwards in a press conference reaffirmed the recent nuclear accord signed between global powers and Iran has created what he described as “an opening for further diplomatic endeavors.” He then urged Iran to cooperate in efforts to end the war in Syria.

Steinmeier called on his Iranian counterpart to take steps aimed at bringing about peace and Iran to use its influence on Bashar Assad to take the initial steps desperately needed for “deconfliction”.

“”I would like to see Iran using its influence to bring the Syrian government to the negotiating table, in order to discuss the beginning of the political transition process,” Steinmeier said in an interview.

“German companies want to commit for the long-haul, they are not interested in short-term profit,” he said and thus called on Tehran to provide the necessary framework in this regard for Berlin.

The German Foreign Minister, considering this a very difficult trip, returned empty-handed from Iran and faced even stronger responses from senior Riyadh political officials.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a press conference with his German counterpart in Riyadh went on to describe Iran as the “occupier and should be evicted from Arab lands”.

“We are determined to confront any Iranian moves and we will do everything we can with what we have in political, economic and military means to protect our lands and people.”

The major paradox before any economic and foreign investment breakthrough for Germany and Iran, which is now acting as the main obstacle, is resolved in the region’s utmost important crisis. The Syria proxy war that Iran has been spending billions of dollars on and even dispatching its special Revolutionary Guards battalions.

Iran launched its overall proxy war campaign from day one when it came to power in Tehran back in the 1980s, far before activating its nuclear bomb dossier. This is a policy of warmongering and exporting crises. According to senior regime officials Iran’s defense shield and frontlines are set outside of its borders in order to prevent any possible clashes on its own soil, which will most definitely lead to the overthrow of the fundamentalism regime ruling in Tehran.

Therefore, if the West remains engulfed in efforts to provide for its economic interests, and currently on the verge of lifting sanctions and begin signing lucrative deals with Iran, we first must identify and thus remove the main obstacle in the path of ending the four-year war against the innocent Syrian people. This war plays mostly into Iran’s interests. According to Steinmeier himself the Syria war has created more displaced people and refugees since World War II. The entire Middle East has been suffering greatly, and provides the best haven for increasing fundamentalism and animosity vis-à-vis culture and humane civilization. ISIS is just one moon on one orbit in this scene. However, the irony in it all is that the ayatollahs are desperately aiming to present Iran as the missing link in resolving this mayhem! It is worth noting that this regime itself is the Godfather of terrorism, fundamentalism and barbarity, and Tehran now actually claims it can uproot ISIS due to its joint interest with the West in annihilating this group!!

The nuclear agreement, and even sanctions reliefs, will not be a new opening in democratic relations for Iran, as described by some. In fact, Tehran is attempting to fill the region’s power vacuum with its own expansionist policy. The deep rift of mistrust between Iran and Arab countries in the Middle East, as the German Foreign Minister admitted, is rooted in years of meddling, warmongering and the export of terrorism in these states. One very obvious example is the war stricken and devastated country of Syria.

Finally, Mr. Steinmeier admitted disappointedly after his trip, “The grave gap between Iran and Saudi Arabia cannot be narrowed”

His Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir said in Riyadh, “Iran has to withdraw from Syria and it has to stop supplying weapons to Bashar al-Assad’s regime and it has to withdraw the Shi’ite militias that it sent to Syria and then it can have a role finding solution” adding Iran was now an “occupier of Arab lands in Syria.”

However, as far as the Iranian opposition is concerned, and considering Iran’s report card of nearly 1,000 executions in the past year alone, as along as these horrific hangings are continuing inside Iran, there is no legitimacy in shaking hands with those sitting on the throne in Tehran. This will only lead to further repressive measures in Iran and meddling across the region by the ayatollahs.

By: Pejman Amiri a human rights activist who writes in favor of freedom and democracy in Iran and the region

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