Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Iran and Turkey have a Syria-ous Problem

The 'Arab Spring' that has been ongoing for a year now is as much (if not more) about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) as it is about removing dictators. The Ikhwan seeks a return of the Ottoman Empire, which was centered in what is today Turkey. To varying degrees, the Muslim Brotherhood has gained control of the countries on the map that have red arrows pointing to them. This benefits Turkey tremendously.

Over the last several years, Iran and Turkey have had an alliance of convenience but the situation in Syria is putting great strain on that alliance. Syria, which borders Iraq to its east, Lebanon to its west, and Turkey to its north has essentially been an arm of Iran under the Assad regime. Assad has allowed his country to act as a funnel for weapons and Hezbollah fighters into Lebanon. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, those efforts were more difficult.

With the removal of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent withdrawal of American troops from Iraq more than eight years later, Iran has essentially gained control of Iraq. At least one high-ranking cabinet member inside the Iraqi government is also a high-ranking Quds official with loyalties to the Ayatollah; his name is Hadi al-Ameri. That someone like him would hold the position of Transportation Minister in Nouri al-Maliki's government is a serious red flag that signals Iran has already annexed Iraq.

In this behind-the-scenes struggle between Turkey and Iran, the latter has control of Iraq, which also shares a border with Turkey to its north. This makes Syria all that more important for both countries. If Assad is removed from power, the Brotherhood will most assuredly attempt to wrest control for the larger Ottoman movement. Despite its public stance, Turkey is licking its chops over the possibility of acquiring Syria. It would be a huge victory for the Ikhwan and a huge defeat for Iran, which will not give this up easily, however.

As long as Assad is in power, Iran's guy is running the country. When and if he ultimately steps down or is removed, Iran will do all it can to ensure Syria does not come under the control of the Brotherhood.

At that point, Israel could take a back seat in the minds of Iran and Turkey. Syria is that important. As both nations fight over Syria, the mask that has been hiding much of the geopolitics in the region could slip significantly. Turkey's desire for stealth could be more difficult to maintain. In either case, Iran has far more to lose relative to Syria than does Turkey but the latter country has far more to gain if it gets control.

In this game of chicken, Syria is like a piece of meat Iran desperately wants to keep on its plate. Conversely, the Muslim Brotherhood desperately wants to gobble it up for its master - Turkey.

h/t Shoebat

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