Geopolitics of Energy in West Asia: Competing Foreign Interests and Prospects for Regional Realignment

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  • November 2010

    The article analyses international politics surrounding the Iranian nuclear crisis, and its implications for stakeholders such as the United States and its western allies as well as for emerging market countries including India, China, and Turkey which are especially interested in Iran's energy resources. Given the existence of multiplicity of interests of these countries, often conflicting, the article analyses three possible scenarios of how the Iranian nuclear crisis is likely to be addressed. The first scenario examines the prospects of a peaceful resolution of the US-Iran tensions and examines its wider regional and international implications. Conversely, the second scenario considers the possibility of a war, led by the US and Israel against Iran. The third scenario analyses the possible emergence of Iran as a full-fledged nuclear weapon power. At the heart of the Iranian nuclear crisis is Tehran's ambition to be recognised by the global powers, especially the US, as an undisputed regional power. On the contrary, Israel, a premier US ally, stands vehemently opposed to Iran's drive to alter the status quo in a manner which undermines Israel's primacy as a leading military power in the region. Complementing the energy issues, an ongoing tussle between Iran and Israel is shaping the external international response to the Iranian crisis. The resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue, either peacefully, through military action or neither of the two ways, is likely to define the future pecking order in West Asia, and impact on a global power configuration that might emerge, principally involving the US, Russia and China, three members of the United Nations Security Council.