The Middle East is back at ground zero and Pandora’s box was opened after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal. The deal, and the imposed sanctions on Iran, were the result of an informal alliance between the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni monarchies of the Middle Eastern region. Panayiotis Tsakonas, Professor of International Relations, Security Studies and Foreign Policy Analysis at the University of Athens and Senior Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, compellingly deconstructs how the withdrawal seriously undermined the stability of the region, in his article for newspaper TA NEA.
Tsakonas explains that the more aggressive the game gets, the better it will be played by those who are willing to take risks. And the players are none other than Russia and Turkey. What is more, ELIAMEP researcher Triantafyllos Karatrantos explains that Suleimani’s execution has emphasized the dilemmas faced by the West when it comes to engaging in complex regional conflicts, where local states are neither the sole actors, nor the key ones. According to Dr. Athanasios Manis, Turkey and Middle East researcher at ELIAMEP, the key question that arises is whether Britain and the EU are determined to persuade Washington and Tehran to avoid either a direct confrontation or a proxy war, that could both have devastating consequences for both Iran and the wider region. Dr. Michalis Mirianthis, on the other hand, points out that pressure exerted on Iran, not only by the international community but also by ongoing protests within the country, is likely to push Tehran to act rather than compromise. Accumulated frustration and fanaticism have always been bad advisors, argues Dr. Mirianthis.