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Geopolitics, natural wealth give Ahwaz strategic importance in international equations

Different factors in each country or region can play a significant role in international powers’ calculations, such as geographic location or economic wealth and resources linked to the global economy that affect fundamental issues like energy. However, playing a positive role in international calculations requires political and economic investment by nations’ central authorities and a strong relationship with neighbouring countries. Given its location, an independent Ahwaz has the whole range of assets that could enable it to play a positive and supportive role in global powers’ equations; at present, however, the leadership in Iran acts as a barrier to this role which threatens the security of other countries and harms the political, heritage and economic identity in Ahwaz.  

The global powers’ calculations have various meanings in international politics, but one of the most critical definitions is “the set of rules, standards and norms that govern the relationships between key actors in the international environment.” International equations are a “stable and orderly pattern of interstate relations, including a mixture of emerging standards, rules and international political systems”.

The distinguishing feature of any government or regime is its stability and organisation in its relations with other countries, but the Iranian regime distinguishes itself only in managing chaos and hostile relations through its sponsorship of violent terrorist organisations in the Middle East and even nations in Africa and further afield on different continents in order to harm the international equations that focus on economic and political stability.

Ahwaz, by contrast, has a centuries-old history of nurturing positive relations with all countries and adhering to the international rules, principles, and norms of politics, assisted by its economic wealth and geopolitical advantages, which enable it to communicate with the world to protect and support international relations and equations. Due to its fortunate geopolitical location, Ahwaz is the largest and most important pivotal centre linking three continents, namely Asia, Europe and Africa. The presence of a vast range of resources and Ahwaz’ links with the world’s rich countries in the three continents makes it one of the most strategically important regions in the Middle East and even worldwide. Ahwaz is also considered to be of great regional importance to Iran on the Arabian Gulf coasts. The Iranian foreign policy strategic decisions are always taken and formulated to interfere in regional countries’ affairs through Ahwaz. 

As the wealthiest region in Iran and one of Iran’s water borders with the Arabian Gulf, Ahwaz is considered a strategically vital region for the Iranian regime in terms of its economic, security, military and political advantages. In the years before 1925, Iran’s political, economic and social structure were blossoming due to its geopolitical and geostrategic assets, including the presence of vast mineral wealth in Ahwaz, which had massive economic potential; these were what drove Tehran to annexe it that year, using it ever since to threaten the stability of other countries, specifically the countries of the region, through leveraging this vast wealth. 

Ahwaz is also located in a geopolitically vital region on one of the most important sea routes, not only for Asia but globally. This crucial location led to Ahwaz being viewed by the rulers in Iran since 1925 as “an important centre for the development and establishment of Persian identity”, which required the destruction of the indigenous Arab identity in Ahwaz in order to establish a new Persian entity reflecting a character and culture hostile to Arabs and other peoples in the region. In recent years, especially since the current regime took power in 1979, Ahwaz has come under ever-more severe political and security pressure from Tehran due to the great importance of oil and gas production there, with the Iranian regime essentially turning the region into a large military camp for the army, the so-called Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia in order to threaten the Arab Gulf states and their allies such as America and Britain.

Ahwaz has distinctive features in various fields compared to other regions that also have oil and gas wealth, such as the Caucasus regions and even some African countries. These characteristic features, which include the wide borders with the Arabian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and the massive economic wealth, give Ahwaz a unique and prominent position in international relations. Through these distinctive features, Ahwaz could once again play a major role in the stability of the Middle East, such as supporting the economy of South Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Baluchistan and Turkmen, as well as Iran, resolving the Palestinian (Arab) Israeli conflict, and resolving the Syrian and Palestinian refugee crisis by exploiting its wealth and distinguished geographical position in the current international equations.

Since ancient times, Ahwaz has played an essential role in maintaining the stability of trade routes between Middle Eastern nations and Asian countries, such as India, as well as European countries such as Britain. Since the expansion of strategic political rivalries and oil discovery, Ahwaz has been a crucial region in linking trade between regional countries and the world. Today, the Arab Gulf region is undoubtedly one of the most important strategic areas in the global economy. Due to Ahwaz’ location, bordering the Arabian Gulf, it occupies a vital position that means it could act as a buffer to help strengthen political and economic stability regionally and globally. instead, at present, the Iranian regime exploiting’s Ahwaz’ position for terrorism, extremism, violence and threatening other nations.  

Ahwaz is considered one of the most critical areas for exporting oil and energy to the world through its coastal cities and islands in the Arabian Gulf since it has the most extensive coastline with the Arabian Gulf, running from the mouth of al-Faw in Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz. There is no doubt that all coastal Ahwazi cities have a central economic role to play in trade and the economy, acting as centres for oil and gas, trade, agriculture, fisheries and mineral wealth. All these factors mean Ahwaz could play a major role in helping strengthen unity among Middle Eastern countries and in the region through economic and political investment and trade exchange rather than being dragged backwards by wars and violence. Stability in Ahwaz would help to build positive ties with the countries of the region, with Western nations and others further afield, playing a beneficial role in helping to protect everyone’s interests. 

The world currently relies on the Arabian Gulf nations to supply 65% of its oil needs; in addition to oil, the region also contains about 40% of the world’s gas reserves. The Arabian Gulf is also one of the most strategically vital regions in the world due to the Strait of Hormuz, one of the eleven most essential straits globally, connects the Arabian Gulf with the Sea of Oman. This means that Ahwaz owns about 12% of the global oil reserves and 16.2% of the gas. It has the largest number of coastal cities and minerals on the Arabian Gulf, so the transport of this wealth would be easier and faster than other methods; at present, however, Iran prevents any such networking for political reasons, leading to continued marginalisation and destruction of Ahwaz and negative results for the countries of the region. In effect, Iran uses the wealth of Ahwaz and its geographical position to threaten the world’s security.

According to the latest estimates, the Arabian Gulf basin contains about 730 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and more than 70 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, the world’s largest energy reservoir and further underlining that the stability of the world economy is linked to the stability of the Arab Gulf region. This underlines why, through its economic wealth and geopolitical status, Ahwaz can give far greater prominence to the Gulf region’s position and concerns in the international arena. There is no doubt that the Gulf’s stability through the Ahwaz gateway would help to ensure flourishing economies for other countries and regions in the Middle East, with Iraq, Kurdistan, Baluchistan and Azerbaijan being among the potential beneficiaries of greater economic and geopolitical interaction that could help the Ahwaz economy and people to connect with the world. 

Abundant oil resources in Ahwaz region, ease of extraction, low production costs, increased production capacity, high-quality of crude oil, ease of transportation, the high production capacity of oil wells and the possibility of discovering sizeable new oil and gas reserves in Ahwaz compared to other regions are among the advantages offered by the Ahwaz region. Getting the full advantage from these assets, however, requires political, security and military stability in the region, all of which are currently prevented by Iran. Thus, Ahwaz can play a significant role in ensuring greater stability for the region and developing the country the economy and geopolitics of Ahwaz to support development in regional countries and territories in order to end the idea of extremism and violence of the Iranian regime.

As mentioned above, the concept of international equations is a broad topic, but more specifically, economy and geopolitics give Ahwaz region more credibility to play a major role in international relations. There are several ways to support international equations but supporting security in the Gulf region by communicating with the Gulf countries and their allies, such as the United States and Britain, will help stabilise the Gulf countries’ economy and security. Second, many regions in the Middle East such as Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Baluchistan will benefit from the economy of Ahwaz. Ahwaz will be able to support the economic growth of these regions by investing in infrastructure, energy, transportation, airports, and other issues. More importantly, other countries in the Middle East will also benefit from Ahwaz, such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, Israel and other countries, including Turkey, by linking these countries to the Arab Gulf and supporting investment and growth in those countries, solving the refugee crisis by resettling them in Ahwaz and settling the long Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Therefore, ignoring Ahwaz region’s issue will lead to these countries’ continued suffering from the crisis made by the Iranian regime.

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