Turkey, Iran, Qatar vying for ultimate power in Middle East - analyst

Turkey, Iran and Qatar are determined to capitalise on the current instability in the Middle East in order to maximise their gains against both the Arab world and the great powers involved in the region, Yossef Bodansky, director of research at the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), wrote.

The U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the revered commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) Quds Force, the death of Oman’s decades-long ruler Sultan Qaboos and the growing disengagement of the grassroots in many countries in the region from central governance have become both threats and opportunities for the three countries, Bodansky wrote in the Oil Price website.

Iran's has vowed "severe revenge" on those responsible for the death of top military commander Soleimani earlier this month, as it looks to expel the United States the region.
Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during a recent visit to Tehran, called on the United States demonstrate restraint in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East as a whole, otherwise vowing drastic measures to guarantee security and stability in the entire region

Meanwhile, Turkey has switched gears into a more aggressive policy in the region, flexing its military muscles in the war-torn countries of Syria and Libya.

“Weakened states in the region have thus far proven incapable of resisting the surge of the trio into regional preeminence,’’ the article said, pointing to however a surge in “vindictive radicalism which is a combination of militant Sunni Islamism and lust for blood revenge for all the torment of the past decade or so’’.

Turkey, Iran and Qatar are using radical Islamist forces — including Sunni entities, to attain their objectives, Bodansky wrote, pointing to Turkey’s support of jihadist forces from Syria, Iran’s sponsorship of a multitude of Sunni jihadists in Iraq Syria, Libya, Yemen and the HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, and Qatar’s help in funding and equipping all of them.

Both Tehran and Ankara continue to push hard, aware that they might spark an escalation of significant magnitude, the article said.

According to Bodansky, both countries’ contingency plans include “concrete preparations for the total destruction of the region’s energy resources and infrastructure in case of a major conflict“.