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  • Affiliation : Director of OSCE Academy
  • Affiliation : Senior Associate, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, Johns Hopkins University
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The Middle East remains one of the zones of high tension and instability in the contemporary world. Today, new challenges – e.g., international terrorism, the crises in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Syria – are adding to the old and deeply rooted problems created by the Arab-Israeli conflict. The un...

International Security Index iSi decreased to 2814 points. Karaveli, Dunay comment events of the week.

24.12.2013

MOSCOW, DECEMBER 24, 2013. PIR PRESS – “Turkey is sidelined, but content with the Iranian deal; if Iran would have continued its march toward becoming a nuclear power, that would have meant that Turkey would have been totally eclipsed by Iran, and would have forced it to try to acquire its own nuclear arms capability, and that in turn would have made Turkey a threat to regional security”,Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, Halil Karaveli.

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant (in Russian).

During the week of December 16 - 23, 2013, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2814 points. In Syria, fighting between the army and the rebels took place in Homs, close to the chemical facility near Sukkari; authorities announced preparation of the delegation to participate in Geneva-2 the peace conference. On the border between Lebanon and Israel, the Lebanese army attacked Israeli patrol, which crossed the border near Naqoura line. In Egypt, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the Islamists demonstrations. In Turkey, antigovernment demonstrations erupted. In Southern Sudan, supporters of former Vice President Machar Rijeka tried to overthrow the government; the base of the UN mission was attacked, three peacekeepers died. Terrorist attacks were committed in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. In Thailand, anti-government demonstrations continued; Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra agreed to reform the political system. Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement under which Kiev will receive USD 15 billion in financial aid.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Halil Karaveli (Turkey-Sweden) – Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center – by e-mail from Stockholm: In global security there has been a change to the better, with the interim nuclear deal with Iran improving the global, as well as regional, Middle Eastern security situation. This is a major breakthrough that heralds a geopolitical revolution. Its ramifications simply cannot be exaggerated. For the first time since the Iranian revolution, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran are on speaking terms. The Iranian regime is simply in desperate need of a deal, so it will be accommodating. And the United States does not want another war in the Middle East, so it has a major stake in reaching an accommodation with Iran, even at the prize of angering Israel and Saudi Arabia. In this sense, we are witnessing the beginning of a geopolitical shift of dramatic proportions: ultimately, the deal implies that the U.S. is giving up the attempt to geopolitically cripple Iran, which is why the Israelis, Saudis - and their supporters in Washington - are so furious.

Turkey are sidelined, but are content with the Iranian deal; if Iran would have continued its march toward becoming a nuclear power, that would have meant that Turkey would have been totally eclipsed by Iran, and would have forced it to try to acquire its own nuclear arms capability, and that in turn would have made Turkey a threat to regional security. 

Pál Dunay, (Hungary), and Head of the International Security Program of the Geneva Center for Security Policy - by e-mail from Budapest: In Winter 2013/14 volatility in the world will continue due to the fact that some of the arrangement above will give the chance to the parties to cheat on them. For example, Syria has declared 28 sites where chemical weapons are present. Intelligence data indicate there are 30 to 40 sites. It is going to result in tension if Syria (as expected) cheats on the implementation.

Iran in its turn continues to outsmart the international community on its nuclear program that results in a built-in fall back on this matter following the first contacts between Tehran and Washington after more than thirty years.

Another factor of instability remains Afghanistan. The closer we get to the withdrawal (or significant reduction) of foreign military forces from Afghanistan the more unpredictability we will witness.

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

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