Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: From now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations—the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB)—whose acronyms you’re also unlikely to recognize. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.
Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.” And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia—a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the United States. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the war party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.
The Eurasian Silk Road
With the Vienna deal, whose interminable build-up I had the dubious pleasure of following closely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his diplomatic team have pulled the near-impossible out of an extremely crumpled magician’s hat: an agreement that might actually end sanctions against their country from an asymmetric, largely manufactured conflict.
Think of that meeting in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan, as a preamble to the long-delayed agreement in Vienna. It caught the new dynamics of the Eurasian continent and signaled the future geopolitical Big Bangness of it all. At Ufa, from July 8 to 10, the seventh BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit overlapped just as a possible Vienna deal was devouring one deadline after another.
Consider it a diplomatic masterstroke of Vladmir Putin’s Russia to have merged those two summits with an informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Call it a soft power declaration of war against Washington’s imperial logic, one that would highlight the breadth and depth of an evolving Sino-Russian strategic partnership. Putting all those heads of state attending each of the meetings under one roof, Moscow offered a vision of an emerging, coordinated geopolitical structure anchored in Eurasian integration. Thus, the importance of Iran: no matter what happens post-Vienna, Iran will be a vital hub/node/crossroads in Eurasia for this new structure.
If you read the declaration that came out of the BRICS summit, one detail should strike you: the austerity-ridden European Union (EU) is barely mentioned. And that’s not an oversight. From the point of view of the leaders of key BRICS nations, they are offering a new approach to Eurasia, the very opposite of the language of sanctions.