Russia, Iran and Turkey Hold Tehran Summit While the Paranoid West Views it Suspiciously

Tehran Summit

“Intellectuals must be seated in chosen assemblies and systems of public governance to overt individualistic insanity against the people.” German philosopher Immanuel Kant (“Perpetual Peace”, 1795).

Western Leaders Skeptical of Tehran Summit

Most Western leaders enjoin lingering suspicion if President Putin, President Ebrahim Raisi and President Erdogan will meet or could produce any tangible outcomes of Tehran Summit. Despite political discards, they met and shared their differences to cooperate for change and future-making. Why can’t the US, NATO and the EU do the same to end the military confrontations and agree to a ceasefire in Ukraine? The Teheran summit demonstrated that Putin and Raisi could engage with the West in dialogue to stop the acceleration of military conquests and perpetuated political animosities.

Historically, Teheran Conference reminds us of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin (1943) Teheran Conference planning to invade Southern France to dismantle Germany Nazi occupation and seeking freedom movement for the rest of Europe. Ironically, this time Teheran Summit  on July19,  2022, President Putin, President Ebrahim Raisi and President Erdogan met to talk about peace in Syria and how best to coordinate their policies and practices to strengthen their futuristic relationships. This appears to be in sharp contrast to what Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had in mind – a collective offensive action to challenge the Nazi German occupation of Europe and its continuous military strength against the US and its European allies victims of German aggression.

Come to understand the contemporary issues of the 21st century’s  Russian-American and European discard over Ukraine, Syria, Iran and the future of  oil and gas supplies, grain exports and economic relationships all under scrutiny between those who once stood united against foreign aggression and killings of fellow human beings . There is amassed collection of fear, ambiguity and distrust that spells out the prevalent reality of current global affairs. There is no corresponding communications and dialogues between the superpowers to change the horrible present into a sustainable and peace future for the humanity populating this planet. All that is happening or could happen will be interpreted paradoxically befitting to their own self-interest or national policies and practices carved out by senior civil servants aligned to their masters. The perplexed statistic of weapons and money to aid Ukraine represents a shaky scenario of encountering the military onslaught,  it is an elite obsession embodying the decision-making at NATO and the EU. Victory is not in sight for the five months old proxy war.

The Trilateral Tehran Summit with a Reason for Change

Comparatively analyzing the recent visit by President Joe Biden to the Middle East and self-repeating the myriad of support for Israel and more oil production in Saudi Arabia and opposition to Iran’s nuclear deal,  Russia, Iran and Turkey have organized  a trilateral  summit at  a critical time in history and were able to listen and learn to each other without any tragic fallout against any enemies. The summit acquired a reasonable cooperation and credibility to facilitate meeting between many political odds, yet without any regrets they did reach a political understanding on Syria and to enhance their collaborative efforts to resolve more serious issues at future gatherings in Astana and Istanbul.  The unchallenging truth arising out of the Teheran Summit clarifies the scenarios that leaders with divergent opinions and rational choices could meet, cooperate, agree to disagree and try to sort out their differences with reason and sense of moral responsibility. Not so, for the US, NATO or the EU leadership, they are allergic to meeting with President Putin and Iran’s President Raisi to discuss the political problems or the revival of the Iran’s nuclear agreement including the Ukraine crisis or stalled natural gas or diminishing oil supplies to Western Europe. These leaders live in conflicting time zones as if Russia, Iran and Turkey are just symbolic entities to be pushed aside or not worth listening to and are treated as people of the primitive past. This characterization injects history into a negative direction that once there was Russian Empire, Persian Empire and Ottoman Empire dominating the Middle East – European hemisphere. The Western leaders try to belittle the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey in their hollow laughters and after dinner jokes, yet these nations are equally credible, sincere and vital to global interest, peace and security across the world.

Are the leaders of America, NATO and the EU living in stunned embarrassed silence to watch Putin, Raisi and Erdogan having concluding a successful conference?  At the Tehran summit, their differences on Syria and its future were noticeable but they discuss their rationales and agree to disagree on Syria and its future course of peace and nation-building. Turkey explains its opposition to the authoritarian rule of Bashar al Assad and the operations of several terrorist groups launching attacks against Turkey.  Russia keeps considerable military presence in support of the Al-Assad and helps him to avoid the end-game; and so does Iran to provide continuous military support to the dictator for almost 11 years. There is no end in sight of the Syrian prolonged war but the leaders were open to discuss it. Perhaps in time and future context, if they continued to manage the differences, the besieged people of Syria could see the light at the end of the tunnel for peace and normalization of life.  Russia and Iran do not host Syrian refugees but Turkey and Germany have the largest number of several millions displaced Syrian refugees without any imagination of peaceful return to their homeland. In sharp contrast to Ukrainian refugees, Europeans other than Germany and France have not shown any interest to accommodate Arab refugees in their socio-religious midst.

Global Leaders must be Realist, Not Opportunist

Would the acrimonious debates for peace and ceasefire in Ukraine stick in mud across America, NATO and the EU?   Politically and logically reflecting on current global affairs, the US and its Western allies will sooner or later hold meetings with Russian and Ukrainian leaders to imagine a peace deal. Why to waste time and opportunities and extend unpredictability and unthinkable frightening trends to future-making and start the dialogue right now for an immediate ceasefire and peace-making?

At the threshold of the 21st century, America, NATO and its European allies appear to have lost the moral and intellectual capacity necessary to visualize the vision and phenomenon of realism to serve the interest of people – the larger humanity for peace and security.  This scenario of realism demands urgency in current affairs for rational approach to conflict resolution and peace-making. Hans Morgenthau (Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 1978): the legendry theorists of the 20th century points out that:

“Realism, believing as it does in the objectivity of the laws of politics…politics must be subjected to the dual test of reason and experience…..for realism, theory consists in ascertaining facts and giving them meaning through reason….If we want to know the moral and political qualities of his (politician) actions, we must know them, not his motives.” 

Viewing the catastrophic war and daily human causalities in Ukraine, the political realism demands urgent consideration to stop the tragic tension of history and try to cease a moment for navigational change overpowering the individualistic absurdities of Western national interest and NATO’s agenda for increased influence across the world. Naïve egoism shrouds the strategic mystery as to why the US, NATO and the EU failed to stop the war in Ukraine. The hilarious impersonation of enemies in Russia and Iran dwells into unthinkable consequences for the whole of mankind. America or NATO are not the sole leaders of collective security of Planet Earth. It is the shared responsibility of all nations – a collective proactive vision to be at peace on this fast track moving Earth. The sense of mystery and mortal danger to the interest and security of mankind must not be allowed to become an agenda item of  political intrigues and global cataclysm  in–waiting, be it the gas–oil supplies, be it the grain export and above all realism of morality to be One Humanity living in con-existence on One Earth. Otherwise, the prevalent political and hypocritical ignorance and arrogance could lead to a Third World War. The equality of human beings and states sovereignty synthesizes an equal consideration and treatment of all involved in this warfare. The global awakening of human soul and consciousness demands an immediate ceasefire and return to face to face negation between Russia, Ukraine, NATO and the EU. If they reject, surely, a debacle could swept unthinkable catastrophic consequences and ends for all on this planet. Immanuel Kant advice that “intellectuals must be seated in assemblies” to ensure rational policies and practices is a timely reminder to all the leaders in America, Russia and Europe.

Isn’t true that intelligent leaders and people always readily accept reasoned advice?

The Brotherhood of Truth  is one in all ages

It is narrow men who create divides- sects

Let them not think that the goods of this world can shield them from evil or its consequences

God’s Truth and His Messengers can be known to all: for He in His Mercy

Has given us faculties and judgment, if we would but use them

The Message is not New: all Creation proclaims it:  High above all is the Lord of Glory Supreme.

(The Qur’an: 23: condensed narrative: 51-92).

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 12/2019.


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