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Nato-Iran-Armenia: “Shadow Geopolitics”

Source: Groong

The present NATO-Armenia relationship is still in the phase of identification of goals rather than real regional partnership. As to real military cooperation, Armenia provides services to NATO without receiving military assistance, namely supply of weapons.

Armenia’s priority of its relation with NATO is political cooperation, identification of a form of cooperation which would allow avoiding isolation, prevent the use of the arena and mechanisms of NATO for isolation and blockade of Armenia.

While Russia has not identified the nature of its claims to and concerns over NATO-Armenia rapprochement, there are no alternatives to further cooperation with the alliance. There are expectations that some NATO member states will break through the front of silencing Armenia’s security problems and start supplying weapons.

At the same time, according to the “classical” geopolitical interests, apart from Russia Iran also cannot be interested in close relations between NATO and Armenia. No doubt Iran follows attentively the development of these relations but does not express concerns, at least publicly. Although currently Iran would not limit itself by public statements given its national security is concerned.

First of all, it should be noted that Iran and Armenia have developed strategic relations to which there are no alternatives. If there were slight doubts in the 1990s and the first half of 2000s, now Armenia and Iran pursue shadow geopolitical goals which presuppose cooperation in the most sacramental spheres.

Over the past two decades Iran has not had a single demonstrated case of letting its partners down. The purpose is not to keep the face but to build on geopolitical interests. While Russia refuses to supply S300 to Iran, Iran has put forth its entire arsenal of pretensions but prevented a breakup with Russia. Despite openly hostile attitude of Afghanistan, especially its separate groups, the Iranians continued their activity in forming a security zone in the Western provinces of Afghanistan.

Notwithstanding the hostile attitude of leading Kurdish political forces to Iran, Iran preferred not to deepen the conflict and maintain relations with most political groups of Kurds, especially in Turkey and Iraq. Over years the Iranians have skillfully built on relations with Georgia which could not ignore the stance of the United States and Israel with a view to establishing communication..

As is known, under the Turkish influence the Palestinians of Gaza area have insulted Iran after the latter’s lasting assistance. Nevertheless, this has not influenced Iran’s policy on Palestine. Iran demonstrated its geopolitics on Syria which it perceived as part of the Iranian-Shiite bloc. Iran’s policy and stance on Syria has become Near Eastern geopolitical “classics” and has affected considerably the attitude of the countries of this region to Iran as an actual and probable partner. Hence, Iran is able and can afford to build on relations with countries with absolutely unpredictable intentions and stances.

However, perhaps, there is not only a visible bit also shadow geopolitics. Apparently, the ruling elite of Iran has failed to rid of stereotyped understanding of relations with NATO which Tehran views as an arena for counteracting the pressure of the United States. No doubt the Iranians consider NATO a serious force to maintain balance in the goals and interests of the Western community.

Iran has a considerable experience in the relations with leading European states, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy and understands the meaning and role of these states in the settlement of global problems, including in the Near East.

There was a possibility to follow NATO’s attitude to the problem of Syria, dismissing Turkey’s claims on military intervention in Syria. In the second half of the 2000s the National Security Council of Iran was redesigned to a special group of analysts on NATO issues which could review Tehran’s policy on NATO. Iran has made a lot of mistakes in its European policy and is ready to review it. At the same time, the Europeans have found that hopes for a serious breakup of Iran and Russia will hardly come true.

Viewing NATO as a stabilizing rather than an attacking factor, Iran follows development of relations between NATO and Armenia with certain interest. Provided that NATO’s political projections list partnership with Iran among 6-7 other favorable factors about Armenia, Iran may view Armenia’s partnership with NATO as an advantage.

The West, including the United States and Europe, as well as Iran view Armenia as an important participant of the strategy of Turkey’s containment, as well as a balance of forces in the South Caucasus. This double function is acquiring more strategic character of a geopolitical priority while “shadow” characteristics are observed not only in the Iran-Armenia relations but also the relations of the West with Iran and Armenia.

Hence, shadow geopolitics prevails over NATO-Armenia-Iran relations and this might be the case when political logic and reality do not overlap.

 

The present NATO-Armenia relationship is still in the phase of
identification of goals rather than real regional partnership. As to
real military cooperation, Armenia provides services to NATO without
receiving military assistance, namely supply of weapons.

Armenia’s priority of its relation with NATO is political cooperation,
identification of a form of cooperation which would allow avoiding
isolation, prevent the use of the arena and mechanisms of NATO for
isolation and blockade of Armenia.

While Russia has not identified the nature of its claims to and
concerns over NATO-Armenia rapprochement, there are no alternatives
to further cooperation with the alliance. There are expectations that
some NATO member states will break through the front of silencing
Armenia’s security problems and start supplying weapons.

At the same time, according to the “classical” geopolitical interests,
apart from Russia Iran also cannot be interested in close relations
between NATO and Armenia. No doubt Iran follows attentively the
development of these relations but does not express concerns, at
least publicly. Although currently Iran would not limit itself by
public statements given its national security is concerned.

First of all, it should be noted that Iran and Armenia have developed
strategic relations to which there are no alternatives. If there were
slight doubts in the 1990s and the first half of 2000s, now Armenia
and Iran pursue shadow geopolitical goals which presuppose cooperation
in the most sacramental spheres.

Over the past two decades Iran has not had a single demonstrated case
of letting its partners down. The purpose is not to keep the face but
to build on geopolitical interests. While Russia refuses to supply
C300 to Iran, Iran has put forth its entire arsenal of pretensions but
prevented a breakup with Russia. Despite openly hostile attitude of
Afghanistan, especially its separate groups, the Iranians continued
their activity in forming a security zone in the Western provinces
of Afghanistan.

Notwithstanding the hostile attitude of leading Kurdish political
forces to Iran, Iran preferred not to deepen the conflict and maintain
relations with most political groups of Kurds, especially in Turkey
and Iraq. Over years the Iranians have skillfully built on relations
with Georgia which could not ignore the stance of the United States
and Israel with a view to establishing communication..

As is known, under the Turkish influence the Palestinians of Gaza
area have insulted Iran after the latter’s lasting assistance.

Nevertheless, this has not influenced Iran’s policy on Palestine. Iran
demonstrated its geopolitics on Syria which it perceived as part of
the Iranian-Shiite bloc. Iran’s policy and stance on Syria has become
Near Eastern geopolitical “classics” and has affected considerably
the attitude of the countries of this region to Iran as an actual
and probable partner. Hence, Iran is able and can afford to build
on relations with countries with absolutely unpredictable intentions
and stances.

However, perhaps, there is not only a visible bit also shadow
geopolitics. Apparently, the ruling elite of Iran has failed to rid of
stereotyped understanding of relations with NATO which Tehran views
as an arena for counteracting the pressure of the United States. No
doubt the Iranians consider NATO a serious force to maintain balance
in the goals and interests of the Western community.

Iran has a considerable experience in the relations with leading
European states, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy and
understands the meaning and role of these states in the settlement
of global problems, including in the Near East.

There was a possibility to follow NATO’s attitude to the problem of
Syria, dismissing Turkey’s claims on military intervention in Syria.

In the second half of the 2000s the National Security Council of Iran
was redesigned to a special group of analysts on NATO issues which
could review Tehran’s policy on NATO. Iran has made a lot of mistakes
in its European policy and is ready to review it. At the same time,
the Europeans have found that hopes for a serious breakup of Iran
and Russia will hardly come true.

Viewing NATO as a stabilizing rather than an attacking factor, Iran
follows development of relations between NATO and Armenia with certain
interest. Provided that NATO’s political projections list partnership
with Iran among 6-7 other favorable factors about Armenia, Iran may
view Armenia’s partnership with NATO as an advantage.

The West, including the United States and Europe, as well as Iran
view Armenia as an important participant of the strategy of Turkey’s
containment, as well as a balance of forces in the South Caucasus.

This double function is acquiring more strategic character of a
geopolitical priority while “shadow” characteristics are observed not
only in the Iran-Armenia relations but also the relations of the West
with Iran and Armenia.

Hence, shadow geopolitics prevails over NATO-Armenia-Iran relations and
this might be the case when political logic and reality do not overlap.

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