[Marxism] The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

Paula Paula_cerni at msn.com
Sun Oct 7 23:55:47 MDT 2007

Dennis wrote:
> Iran may not be a hegemonic power today but it's certainly the remnant
> of a large imperial state that vied with other empires (Czarist Russia,
> Ottoman Turkey, Imperial Britain) for control of territory (Kurdistan,
> Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Baluchistan). As a reflection of its former 
> imperial
> status nearly half the people living within modern Iran's borders belong 
> to
> an ethnic minority.

Interestingly, the modern heirs of these old empires - Iran, Russia, Turkey 
and Britain - are at present some of the key players in the region. 
Additionally we have the US and now even China (eg, through the Shanghai 
Co-operation Organization, an alliance set up in 2001 involving China, 
Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). The combined 
effect of the rise of Asia and the break up of the Soviet Union seems to 
have heightened competition over this resource-rich area of the world.

By chance I was just re-reading a copy of The Economist dated August 4th 
2001 (ie, before 9/11) and found the following report:
"Last week an Iranian naval vessel forced two oil-exploration ships, 
British-owned and run jointly with an Azerbaijani company, away from a 
disputed bit of the Caspian Sea. Iran then sent military aircraft twice into 
air space claimed by Azerbaijan and said that, as the borders were not 
determined, it was doing nothing wrong .... The Azerbaijani media meanwhile 
quoted a senior Iranian official recalling that Azerbaijan was once an 
Iranian province .... Aliar Safarli, a former ambassador to Tehran, claimed 
to have evidence that "every year Iran allocates over $50m for acts of 
sabotage in Azerbaijan." .... But the row highlights the decade-old failure 
to decide how to divide the Caspian Sea, and its mineral resources, after 
the Soviet Union's collapse .... All five countries want their share, or 
preferably rather more than their share, of the estimated 70 billion to 200 
billion barrels .... The West broadly backs Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, where 
their oil companies have invested heavily. But only Russia and Iran have a 
significant naval presence in the Caspian .... The large Azeri-speaking 
population in northern Iran feels put-upon. It would like more rights for 
its language (akin to Turkish) and culture. Some Azeri nationalists dream of 
unifying all their compatriots in one country. Iran sees a western-backed, 
pan-Turkic conspiracy behind such talk ..."


More information about the Marxism mailing list