Wer gewinnt den Kalten Krieg im Nahen Osten?

LONDON – An einem sehr heißen Ort findet momentan ein Kalter Krieg statt. Eine Schlüsselkomponente des sektiererischen Wettstreits zwischen dem schiitischen und dem sunnitischen Islam ist geopolitischer Natur. Der Iran kämpft gegen Saudi-Arabien und dessen verbündete Golfstaaten um regionale Dominanz.

Wie im ursprünglichen Kalten Krieg zwischen der Sowjetunion und den Vereinigten Staaten gab es – zumindest bis jetzt – keine direkte militärische Konfrontation der beiden Hauptrivalen. Der Krieg wird auf diplomatischer, ideologischer und wirtschaftlicher Ebene geführt, insbesondere auf den Ölmärkten, und durch Stellvertreterkriege, beispielsweise in Syrien und im Jemen. Im Nahen und Mittleren Osten gibt es kaum Probleme, die sich nicht auf die Machtrivalität zwischen Saudi-Arabien und dem Iran zurückführen lassen.

Im Moment scheinen die Iraner im Aufwind zu sein. Nach der Entscheidung des Obersten Religionsführers Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, einem internationalen Abkommen zur Beschränkung des iranischen Atomprogramms auf friedliche Zwecke zuzustimmen, wurden die westlichen Sanktionen weitgehend aufgehoben. Jetzt, wo mit dem Iran wieder Geschäfte gemacht werden dürfen, steht dessen kränkelnde Wirtschaft vor einem Aufschwung. Unterdessen geht die schleichende iranische De-Facto-Besatzung von Teilen des Irak – erstaunlicherweise mit amerikanischer Billigung – weiter, da sich mit Ausnahme des so genannten „Islamischen Staats“ niemand traut, etwas dagegen zu unternehmen.

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