Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan
Eurasia, in its geopolitical sense, is a region covering the two republics of Ukraine and Belarus in the west, and includes areas from the Black Sea to Mongolia. Eurasia is a region that has emerged from the combination of the two continents of Europe and Asia, with no particular natural boundary, and is known in some parts of the world as the largest region among the five or six continents.
In addition to Russia and the Caucasus, this region also includes the Caspian region and Central Asia, however, it was less mentioned because it had fallen in the eastern bloc in the Soviet period. Eurasia plays an important role due to its proximity to the strategic Atlantic, Middle East and Pacific regions. Some Western strategists, especially at American universities, believe that Russia-China-Iran triangle in Eurasia will create the future of the world, and Russia will play an important role in building and strengthening this golden triangle and in introducing emerging powers to the world.
The Eurasian region is important for China because of its proximity, the availability of energy reserves, the transit situation and the fight against Takfiri terrorism. Today, the Western countries are trying to introduce China as an eastern power, while China is keen to be recognized as an Asian or even Eurasian power. To find new economic capacities, the country is trying to strengthen its look to the geographic West, Eurasia, policy and become an Asian and even Eurasian power. China can continue to be an influential sea power in eastern Asia, while at the same time, it can move toward becoming a continental power. China's $45 billion investment in the Gwadar port in Pakistan is an example of China's look to the West policy to achieve strategic opportunities in South Asia.
But for the Russians, Eurasia means the revival of the Russian Empire and the strengthening of relations with the republics separated from the Soviet Union. Currently, Moscow considers the CIS countries as "the near abroad countries", and the fourteen republics separated from the Soviet Union are still considered Russia's backyard. The Kremlin does not consider other countries in the world have the right to play a role in this region, and it only accepts structures and arrangements that are centered on Russia. For this reason, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), focused on Russia, intends to play a larger role in the region. Russia, which supplies 60 percent of Europe's energy, believes that by using energy as an instrument, it can put European countries under pressure through the Eurasian Union.
The Islamic Republic of Iran considers its national interest can be secured by having relation to the entire Eurasian region, and playing a role alongside Russia and China, thus Iran has put the strengthening of relations with Russia and China on its agenda. Iran, with its stable territorial and economic security, has a good world-wide balance of foreign investment in comparison with the countries of the region. Regional rivals, as compared to Iran, do not have the necessary security advantages and economic weight. For example, Saudi Arabia is no longer a safe and reliable country, since it is supporting terrorism and attacking Yemen, and Turkey has also faced with some problems due to its undermining trade and economic relations with Russia. Iran's success in dealing seriously with terrorism in the region is also considered as an important advantage for this country to play a role along Russia and China in Eurasia. Of course, in the bilateral relations, Iran has problems with some Eurasian countries, especially in the Central Asian region, and it will be able to play a proper role in Eurasia when it can remove its bilateral barriers and problems.
Since the European Union's approach is to prevent the spread of the regional crises into Europe, Russia, China and Iran can also attract Europeans peacefully in Eurasia, and prevent a kind of consensus being established between Europe and the United States.
But Russia-China-Iran triangle is also faced with the problem of American dissatisfaction with Eurasia. By playing a role in Eurasia, America seeks to prevent Russia from becoming the former power in the region, to control China not to become an economic superpower, and to contain Iran for the purpose of controlling the situation in the Middle East and providing security for Israel. This issue has an aggressive nature for the United States, and a defensive nature for Russia and China, and in particular, Russia should stabilize its position, and prevent its decline, and at the regional level, it should have important players such as China and Iran at its side.
© Jam-e-Jam Daily
Mohsen Pakaeen, Former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Azerbaijan, is the senior fellow at IRAS.
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