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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Iranian and Syrian Government Papers on Renewed Superpower Role for Russia to Counter U.S. in Middle East


In a December 20, 2006 op-ed in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, columnist Issam Dariwrote that the uni-polar world order that the U.S. has sought to impose upon the world is a thing of the past, and that today Russia is playing a role no less important than that of the U.S. in promoting world peace and security.

In a December 21, 2006 article, the Iranian government daily Tehran Times discussed Russia's attempts to restore its international status throughincreasing involvement in the Middle East. The paper speculated that Russia's close friendship with Syria could help the latter emerge from the isolation imposed upon it, both by the West and by some hostile Arab countries which are trying to implicate it in Al-Hariri's assassination.

The following are excerpts from both articles:

Teshreen:"Russia Has Begun to Restore Its Central and Important Role in the Global Arena, and Especially in the Middle East"

"The global events and changes of the last decade have exposed the frailty of the New World Order that [the U.S.] sought to impose on the world as an alternative to the order that prevailed during the Cold War - the bipolar [world] order and the nuclear balance of power. [The Americans] wished to create a uni-polar, rather than a multi-polar, world [order], disregarding the facts of the world in which we live and disdaining forces and superpowers which play a crucial role with regards to world peace and security.

"The decision-makers in Washington perhaps thought they could neutralize the superpowers that have political, economic and military weight in the international arena. The first and foremost [of these] is Unified Russia, the successor of the Soviet Union, which has major interests in the region and the world, and is the current partner in the peace process which has been buried alive by the American administration and the leaders in Tel Aviv.

"The [failure] of the efforts of the American hawks, who wish to monopolize the decisions and policies on a global level, has left the Americans stunned. They have not yet realized that the [New] World Order is a figment of the past, and that the [U.S. plan] for the New Middle East is going the same way.

"We must acknowledge that the role of Unified Russia was limited for a while following the fall of the Soviet Union, when the Russians were busy reorganizing their domestic affairs after going through some rough times... But now, Russia has begun to rebuild its central and important role in the global arena, especially in the Middle East...

"If the American administration has a central role in today's world, stemming from its political, economic and military power, then Russia's role is no less important in terms of world security, stability and peace. Syria, which has strong, long-lasting ties of friendship with Russia, has long been calling on Russia to play an active role in the problems of this region, and especially in the peace process. Syria is [relying] on Russia to play its role alongside Europe and the U.N., so that the region will not remain hostage to the Americans, who tend to support Israel's aggression and terrorism..." [1]

Tehran Times: "The Main Goal of [Russia's Peace Efforts] is Restoring [Its] International Status, Which was Greatly Diminished After the Collapse of the Soviet Union"

"Amid tensions in the Middle East, Russia is trying to regain its former role in the region and has thus invited senior Lebanese and Syrian officials to Moscow.

"Lebanon is currently experiencing a serious political crisis, as its citizens are continuing their protests, which started on December 1, with the aim of forcing Prime Minister Fuad Al-Siniora to resign so that a national unity government can be established. Al-Siniora was in Moscow on December 14 to discuss regional developments with Kremlin officials. It was Al-Siniora's first visit to Moscow since assuming power. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

"In recent years, Moscow has been diplomatically involved in all regional crises, and Kremlin officials have prioritized efforts to establish peace in the Middle East. The main goal of these activities is restoring Russia's international status, which was greatly diminished after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"Beirut is arranging an international tribunal to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, which has in effect paved the way for Moscow to play a role in the Middle East.

"Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa's inability to calm down the situation in Lebanon has provided a window of opportunity for Moscow. Although Moscow does not have as much influence over developments in Lebanon as some Western countries, Syria can pave the way for Russia by making use of the strong Syrian-Lebanese ties.

"After the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, Syria became the main target of Western countries, which have accused Damascus of involvement in the Hariri assassination and various other crimes. In addition, Syria's cool relations with some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, have caused political headaches for Syria in the Middle East since the 1980s. However, Damascus's close relations with Moscow have provided a means for Syria to emerge from this imposed isolation.

"Assad's visit to Moscow was intentionally scheduled a day after the prescheduled date for the submission of a report by the head of the international team investigating Hariri's assassination. Agents of Beirut, Washington, London, and Paris are searching high and low for the least scrap of evidence to implicate Syria in the Hariri assassination." [2]

[1] Teshreen (Syria) December 20, 2006.

[2] Tehran Times (Iran) December 21, 2006.

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