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January 17, 2020

Superpower’s regime change policy destroying one country after another, says scholar


January 17, 2020

The region in the Middle East where Iran, Iraq and Syria are located is rich in resources but the global powers have plundered it to save their interests, leaving the people of the region helpless.

This was stated by scholar and academic Dr Talat A Wizarat as she addressed on Thursday a one-day seminar, ‘The current state of Iran-US relations: Implications for Pakistan’, hosted by the University of Karachi (KU) international relations (IR) department.

Explaining the history of global powers’ interference in the region, she talked about the coup against Iranian leader Mossadegh, who had nationalised the oil fields in his country owned by Western companies. The CIA overthrew him and reinstalled the Shah of Iran, she said, adding that the shooting of Iranian air flight by the US Navy, in which Pakistan’s military attaché to Iran had lost his entire family was also a clear violation of the international law.

The US acted in the past to fulfil its desire of regime change in many countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, she remarked, adding that the superpower then focused on Syria, which resulted in a civil war.

She was of the view that Iran alongside Russia had become a hurdle for US plans in Syria. To understand the US actions, its designs and objectives in the region, we need to look at the past and recent developments in the region, she said.

Dr Wizarat stated that there was goal to break up the states in the region, which was being pursued through promoting sectarian and ethnic conflicts, weakening the states from within. Turkey’s importance in the region has been another concern for the West, she said, adding that after 2023, all restrictions on Turkey would be removed and it would have a clear path to again emerge as a prominent player in the region.

She reiterated that the resources of the region were of immense importance to international powers. She observed that the game in the region was to stop the growth of China by denying it trade routes and resources of the region.

The scholar said despite the US’s insistence that it cared for the Iranian people, it had clearly shown by its actions that all what it cared for were its interests. The US designs for Iran are focused on regime change, she maintained.

“With the resurgence of multi-polarity, America’s ability to be openly aggressive has been curtailed. Despite having slogans of humanitarian intervention, American designs in the region remain ugly. On the other hand, Iran needs to be a little careful. Iran needs to reassess its policy and try to win over as many friends as possible.”

Dr Wizarat remarked that the West would not give up and may utilise fifth-generation tactics as well as biological and chemical warfare. The role of ‘plausible deniability’ is one of the West’s biggest weapons, she said.

Her lecture was followed by a question and answer session from the students and faculty members in attendance, which was moderated by one of the adjunct lecturers at the department.

Earlier, Dr Naeem Ahmed, the chairman of the KU's IR department, gave introductory remarks and informed the audience that Dr Wizarat was associated with the department for over 30 years and she had been an expert on the Middle East. He stated that the recent events had greatly altered the regional dynamics and the new developments had far-reaching implications for the global and regional politics as well as for Pakistan.

He dedicated the lecture to the memory of former chairperson of the department, Prof Shameem Akhtar, who passed away recently.