Middle East: Iranian Foreign Minister in Conversation with Charlie Rose (interesting insight but NOT the whole story)

A very interesting interview with Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif. The Middle East is/has been one huge hot potato for much too long, thanks to a large part to foreign interventions/meddling whether for controlling resources and/or establishing strategic objectives. Iran is certainly a major player in the region but as with other regional players they also have a bad habit of meddling into the affairs of other countries in the region not for resources but rather to establish strategic influence. All this external/internal meddling is what creates this gigantic mess of a region a ripe eco system for conflict/terrorism.  This compounded with political prejudices in west driven mostly by the lack of appreciating the intricacies of policymaking affecting this particular region whether due to lack of having unbiased historical context, ideological prejudices or pure ignorance.

My own personal opinion is that the only way out of this mess is for regional players – including Israel – to engage in a constructive dialogue to settle their differences from within based on compromise and reciprocity. The focus should be less on political meddling/interventions/ethnic cleansing and more economic development/integration-this should be the uniting factor; the Middle East has plenty to offer both in human & natural resources but has yet to capitalise on these assets due to the combination of conflict based on ethnic biases and flawed policy rather than a pragmatic inclusive vision-it’s NOT rocket science. Foreign interventions by the US & Russia have NOT (and probably will NEVER) help in driving this approach due to political prejudices and/or their habit of using the region as a power play zone – something they’ve been quite consistent in doing for ages. However, I do hope that Europe in the form of the EU in partnership other regional powers can champion this new approach/vision because;

a) This will NOT happen organically from within due to the current level of tensions between states in the region.

b) Our own security & social cohesion in the West is becoming increasingly dependant on a more stable Middle East region.

More importantly we need competent politicians with sufficient experience of the Middle East to take charge of policy formulation affecting the region – no cowboys/girls.