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Russia and Iran must put an end to the “turbulence” that has arisen over the area from Turkey to Kazakhstan

When the protesters who have captured the Erebuni police office in Yerevan took hostage a group of doctors, people realized that all that was a kind of anarchy. We are not going to dwell on this incident and its consequences as this is part of a complex process, and even if settled, this incident will not solve Armenia’s problems.

Much more significant things are happening around Armenia, first of all, in Turkey. Hardly there is a news agency in the world that has neglected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call on the United States to hand him out the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. Time will show if Gulen was privy to the last coup attempt in Turkey. Gulen says he was not, but the fact is that lots of sources from Iran and Russia regard him as the CIA’s “agent.” His key instrument is Hismet, a ramified organization that is regarded as terrorist in Iran, Russia and China. Now it can be banned in Turkey as well. The Turks call Hismet members – nurcular (supporters of Nur Movement). Hismet is said to have agents in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Russia, Iran, China, Afghanistan - and even in India and Pakistan.

In this light, Russia’s concerns about the “turbulence” along its borders – in Turkey, Armenia and Kazakhstan – look quite logical. The Iranians are also concerned. And even more, they are confident that the goal of the authors of this “turbulence” is not just to cause instability in “bad” Russia and “uncompromising” Iran but to create a zone of permanent chaos in the area between Russia and Iran, this including the South Caucasus.

Now that this “turbulence” has reached mostly Russian-speaking Almaty, it has become clear that backstage puppeteers, together with Gulen and Hismet, are looking for a spring-board that will help them to spread chaos over Central Asia, Afghanistan and Northwestern China, more specifically, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Some Syrian Arabs quote their Turkish friends as saying that Erdogan’s campaign in the army is aimed against nurcular, who are being replaced with Kemalists (nationalists), whom Erdogan has been harshly persecuting until recently.

Today intra-ethnic hostility in Turkey is extremely high. Erdogan’s men have even threatened to turn Gulen’s patrimony into a public toilet. The U.S. authorities have refused to extradite Gulen. They say they need real proofs of his complicity in the coup attempt but the point is that they still need Gulen’s services. When one hears some protesters in Yerevan saying that it is time for the Armenians to make it up with the Turks and to get free from Russia (why not from Iran?) and that the Turks will “save” Armenia, one begins to suspect that Hismet may have agents in Armenia too. We don’t mean the people who have captured the police office in Erebuni, but the people who have used this opportunity as if for preventing the police from “storming” the office but in reality for pushing certain ideas.

We are not putting it on thick: since July 14 the Iranians have detected a number of destabilization attempts on the part of the United States and Saudi Arabia. 1) they have arrested a group of people who were plotting a series of terrorist acts in Tehran, 2) they have killed almost 30 men who broke into Sistan and Baluchestan Province with a view to influence the local Baluchi, 3) in Khuzestan Province they have arrested a group of Sunni Arabs who had arms and explosives, 4) in the west of Iran they have killed almost 25 Kurdish fighters, 5) they rebuffed a group of saboteurs who attempted to get to West Azerbaijan Province from Turkey.

Are there proofs that Gulen and Hismet have a hand in this? No. But keeping in mind that Saudi Arabia is a collective network of the CIA’s agents, it seems to be quite logical that the Saudis may have contacts with Gulen. After all, Saudi Arabia and Hismet have a common boss, the United States.

Today, several weeks after the coup attempt, Erdogan has confessed that the Russians had informed the Turkish special services about the planned riot eight hours before it started. Perhaps, they did but as in the case of the four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the first to know were the Iranians. At least, Fars and Tasnim insist that Iran helped Russia to save Erdogan. This may well be true as neither Russia nor Iran would like to see U.S.-sponsored Gulen men come into power in Turkey.

In June, almost all mass media in the world were talking about Erdogan’s attempts to normalize the relations with Russia and Israel, but none of them reported any attempt to normalize relations with Iran. And there were things to normalize: after the four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh and the recent events in Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei’s senior advisor Major General Seyed Yahya Rahim Safavi said that Iran had to revise its political, economic and security-related ties with Turkey as the latter was an ally of the United States and Israel and was acting in line with their policies. In fact, it was a declaration of war. So, Erdogan rushed to improve the situation and the first thing he did was dismiss Ahmet Davutoglu - the one who boasted that it was him who commanded to shoot down the Russian Su-24, the one who promised to protect Aleppo and the one whom western mass media called America’s man in Ankara.

After all this, Russia and Iran decided to pardon Erdogan. But they need something more real than just apologies – for Erdogan has not yet closed the border with Syria, has not yet called back his “grey wolves” from that country, has not yet stopped subversive activities in Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast and has not yet stopped training anti-Russian “information troops” in Kiev. This is just part of possible Iranian-Russian preconditions. Some of them Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may convey to presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan during his planned visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia and some of them Erdogan may learn from Russian President Vladimir Putin during his forthcoming visit to Moscow.

There is one fact that was neglected by mass media during the last events in Turkey: NATO’s Incirlik base, where the Americans have at least 50 nuclear bombs, was blocked and de-energized for several hours. The local Turks expressed support for the rebels but the 1,500 Americans deployed there did nothing do show that they knew what to do “in case something happens...” Now the base has electricity and the Americans are not taking any additional measures to guarantee its security. But the last “fire” at the U.S. base near Izmir has shown that the concerns about Incirlik and its nuclear arsenal were not groundless. The loss of as many as 12 Turkish military ships proves that Erdogan’s regime has not fully suppressed the riot and is not aware who, when and how may wish to revitalize it.

So, we can see that the abovementioned “turbulence” concerns not so much Russia’s borders as the borders of Armenia and Iran. And it is clear who needs this chain of instability.

Now that the primaries in the United States are over, we may expect the Americans to lower the intensity of their special operations abroad. This means that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will not get enough foreign political “support.” But this does not mean that the United States will not resume its attempts to trigger instability in Russia, Iran, China and the regions between them. Nor does this mean that the future of Gulen is determined.

Sergey Shakaryants, political analyst (Yerevan), specially for EADaily

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27.09.2016

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