The Strategic Triangle that Is Changing the World

Source: The Strategic Culture Foundation, by Federico Pieraccini

While the world continues to decipher, or digest, the new Trump presidency, important changes are afoot within the grand strategic triangle that lies between Russia, Iran and China

Away from the current chaos in the United States, major developments are progressing, with Iran, Russia and China coordinating on a series of significant moves crucial for the future of the Eurasian continent. With a population of more than five billion people, constituting about two-thirds of the Earth’s population, the future of humanity passes through this immense area. Signaling a major change from a unipolar world order based on Europe and the United States to a multipolar world steered by China, Russia and Iran, these Eurasian states are carving out a leading role in the development of the vast continent. As part of the challenges faced by these leading multipolar countries, the disruptive events originating in the post-WWII Euro-Atlantic world order will need to be tackled.

Looking at major projects within the Eurasian continent, one thing that stands out is the role of China, Russia and Iran in different areas under their influence. The One Belt, One Road project proposed by Beijing (investments of around one trillion dollars over the next ten years); the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) advanced by Moscow to integrate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia; and Iran’s role in Middle East aiming to bring stability and prosperity to the region – all are central to Eurasian development. Of course, being multipolar, all these projects fully converge, requiring concerted and joint development for the overall success of the Eurasian continent.

In this sense, the areas of greatest turmoil include areas that fall under the sphere of influence of these leading Eurasian states. The main concentrations of upheaval can be easily identified in the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention the area of ​​the Persian Gulf, where Saudi Arabia’s criminal war against Yemen has now continued unabated for the past 24 months.

Islamic terrorism, a source for cooperation.

The common source of instability for the Eurasian continent stems from Islamic terrorism, deployed as an instrument of division and conflict. In this sense, the Saudi and Turkish role in nurturing and spreading Wahhabism as well as the Muslim Brotherhood means that they are directly opposed to the stability of the Chinese, Russian and Iranian sphere. With the full financial support of China, and military support of Russia, Tehran’s role in the region unsurprisingly becomes decisive. Iran is the country in which Sino-Russian influence is manifested at all levels in the region and beyond. The deterioration of the military situation in Syria has nevertheless obliged Moscow to intervene militarily in support of Syria, a key regional ally of Iran, but also provided a perfect way to counter Saudi-Turkish influence in the region. The growing Shia crescent linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is vital for retaining the influence of a multipolar world in the region. Washington has thus far been able to dictate matters through the actions of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, its regional cat’s paws, whose interests often align with that of Zionist elements, neoconservative and Wahhabi, that exist within the US deep state. Of course, Washington seeks to preserve the unipolar world order through its regional allies, aiming to remain the ultimate arbiter of Middle Eastern affairs, an area reverberating with instability from the Persian Gulf to North Africa.

It is no wonder, then, that Moscow has sought to establish a special relationship with the post-Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) government in Egypt, which will curtail the Saudi-American influence on Cairo and North Africa, especially following the destruction of Gaddafi’s Libya. Al Sisi’s signals are encouraging, representing one of clearest examples of a multipolar world in the making. Egypt accepted Saudi funding during the time of highest tension between Doha and Riyadh, an obvious moment of weakness on the part of Cairo, especially after the coup that removed Morsi, who was supported by Qatar, Turkey and the United States. Yet in recent times, Egypt has been happy to cooperate with Moscow, especially in regard to arms. (The purchase of two Mistral ships from France assumes the further purchase of weaponry from Moscow; the same is the case with nuclear-energy development as an alternative to the massive importation of oil from Saudi Arabia, which was suspended by Riyadh following the commencement of dialogue between Cairo and Damascus). Egypt seeks a strategic positioning in the region that winks at the Russo-Sino-Iranian triangle (talks on Egypt joining the EAEU have been in the air for quite some time), although not completely ruling out the economic contribution of Saudi Arabia and the United States. On the contrary, the influence of Turkey and Iran is rejected and declared hostile, mainly because of the continuing relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, a major concern in the Sinai.

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Categories: Globalization, Politics

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