Written by Tom Luongo; Originally appeared at tomluongo.me
Iran is joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). By early next year, February by this account, Iran will join the five founding members of the Union and open the door for Turkey to do so later in 2018.
Between this and the end of the war in Syria, it’s not hard to declare the Brzezinski Doctrine of U.S.-led Central Asian chaos as gasping its last breaths.
Iran finally joining the EAEU is a response to a number of factors, the most important of which is the continued belligerence by the U.S. Expanded economic sanctions on Iran and the EAEU’s leader Russia has created the need for greater coordination of economic and foreign policy objectives between them.
And it is creating the new realities in the region that will reshape the word for the next hundred years.
The Nuclear Gambit
In the dying days of the Obama administration it looked like the goal was to placate Iran to stop its pivot towards Russia and China. I believe that was the driving force behind Obama’s negotiating the controversial nuclear deal.
In effect, Obama tried to trade unfreezing Iran’s hundreds of billions in assets held in Western banks for Iran to ignore our atomization of Syria and the creation of a complete mess there.
When you stop to think about it like that how venal are we? After putting Iran under economic lockdown, having frozen its accounts, barring them from interbank communication with customers (SWIFT removal), inducing hyperinflation to sow regime change they would agree to allowing its ally, Syria, to be handed over to Wahabist animals.
In exchange they would repudiate Russisa and be thankful for the opportunity to get their money back by signing a deal which forbade them from obtaining nuclear weapons?
Such is the ‘logic’ of the mental midgets running our foreign policy under Obama.
So, now, having assisted Russia and the Syrian army in defeating ISIS Iran is making the smart move by further integrating its economy in need of diversification and investment by joining an economic union which should align all of Central Asia’s interests along a similar path.
Chaos no longer. Zbigniew Brzezinski isn’t just dead, his strategy is as well.
Left to the likes of Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and the dimbulbs of the Bush the Lesser administration before them, these buffoons were outplayed at every turn by Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
And the world will soon be a better place for it.
The Status Whoa!
Everything about the status quo of the last thirty years is changing. Syria has made it clear to everyone that the U.S. is no longer infallible. In fact, it is close to incompetent in both military and diplomatic efficacy.
The Russian intervention exposed the real roots of the conflict as well as the lengths to which our leadership would lie, cheat and steal to achieve its chaotic regional goals. President Trump is changing the direction of this ship of state, but it is a slow process being fought at every level by those embedded in departments up and down the bureaucracy.
That said, Iran’s entry into the EAEU as a full member will break open the floodgates of new members into it. Russia has been courting everyone around the region as the EAEU members work on the rules and build the organization.
Adding Iran should see the union grow quickly and help facilitate China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects get completed.
Taking that one-step further, the bigger picture comes into focus with the establishment of the New Development Bank to challenge the U.S.-led Asian Development Bank, to fund infrastructure projects.
With the flurry of big projects announced recently, including the new version of the IPI – Iran/Pakistan/India – gas pipeline this announcement isn’t so much a diplomatic coup for Putin and Russia but rather a fait accompli.
It was always a matter of when not if Iran would join the EAEU. And with it on board, countries like India, Pakistan and Turkey can join and know that they have a level playing field on which to trade which will dampen down animosities and lingering disputes.
As Federico Pieraccini points out this morning at Strategic Culture Foundation, even the tensions between India and China have calmed down as it becomes obvious to all and sundry that the U.S. is simply neither willing under Trump nor able to maintain its dominance over central Asia anymore.
In this sense, the lack of interest from the Trump administration in certain areas of the globe is emblematic. While the chemistry between Trump and Modi appears to be good, the tensions between India and China, heightened by border disputes, seems to have nevertheless dissolved. Following on from the failure of the neocons to divide Russia and China, even the border tensions between India and China seem to be now dissipating. In addition, in Ukraine, even the decision to send lethal weapons to Kiev has been downplayed, and the country now faces a counter-coup led by Saakashvili (yes, him again). Ukraine is a country in a mess, experiencing first-hand the consequences of an evil Atlanticist posture with its vicious anti-Russia policies.
Pieraccini’s argument is the Trump is a mix of ineptitude and pragmatism when it comes to foreign policy. And that mix has led to the current state of affairs, where the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia are flailing about trying to remain relevant.
I won’t go nearly that far, as those countries all still have a powerful hand of cards to play, if only to stabilize most of what they currently have. And they will play those cards to the hilt in the creation of something approaching peace.
But, Iran is charting a new path, turning away from the open wounds in the West and towards the opportunities that lie all about them in every other direction. As I’ve been saying recently, the framework for a Grand Bargain in the Middle East is possible. And Iran joining the EAEU is a strong indicator that it wants to join the larger world economy as a trustworthy actor.
Putin has become the de facto negotiator for those allied against Israel and Trump is stepping up to do so for Israel. Once that deal is in place and Trump agrees to remove U.S. military presence in most of the region, then we’ll begin to see what the world can look like without manufactured conflict.