Arabist Chukov called drone strikes on Iran echoes of the fighting in UkraineIran and Russia are currently cooperating very actively and have formed a common military-industrial complex, Arabist Vladimir Chukov said in an interview with Focus.
Drone strikes on Iran are echoes of military actions in Ukraine, the expert believes.
Tsonya SybchevaAfter the burning of the Koran at anti-Turkish demonstrations in Sweden and Denmark, Western countries such as France, Germany and Italy urged their citizens in Turkey to be vigilant because of the risk of attacks.
A few days later, the US Embassy in Ankara also warned its compatriots to be careful in Turkey, as the risk of terrorist attacks has increased. According to the Americans, the likely targets may be churches, synagogues and diplomatic missions in Istanbul or other places frequented by Western tourists, especially in the districts of Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim and Istiklal. This is about Turkey, but what about Iran, which the US considers one of the main sponsors of terrorism? A logical question arises: is terrorism growing in the Middle East? Professor Vladimir Chukov, an Arabist, is visiting us.
Focus: Is it worth waiting for terrorist waves from the Middle East, Professor Chukov?Vladimir Chukov: Unfortunately, what we have seen in recent days is indeed an increase in tension, and this tension has reached a level that we call terrorist acts.
Firstly, this is an incredibly strong escalation between Turkey and Sweden after Turkey's refusal to ratify the Treaty on the accession of this Scandinavian country to NATO. We do not have enough time to outline some, in my opinion, anti-democratic processes that took place; manifestations of civic activism, unfortunately, turned into political acts that led to mutual warnings of ordinary citizens about the danger. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, by the way, also warned its citizens against "racist, xenophobic and anti-Islamic actions" in Europe and the United States. It is somehow very painful, somehow unnatural to see the processes that we observed in 2005-2006, when cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It has been two years of truly incredible riots and terrorist attacks. Then even the Danish embassy in Syria was seized, in Lebanon, in Pakistan there were also excesses against the Danes. In 2015, if you remember, the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo were followed by a terrorist attack with the murder of journalists. Then the whole of Europe was on edge. And now, because of Erdogan's unwillingness to ratify the Treaty on the Accession of these two Scandinavian countries - apparently, he has nothing against Finland. Turkey wants something from Sweden that is in no way compatible with its (our) understanding of democracy – for example, to extradite 130 Kurds.
– This is how things are in Turkey. And what about Iran?– Literally since yesterday, everyone has been actively commenting on the drone attack on Iranian military facilities – I say drones, because no country has yet officially claimed responsibility.
These facilities are directly related to the Iranian national security system – these are laboratories for the creation of enriched uranium, the so-called "yellow pie" (a mixture ready to become a nuclear bomb) and ballistic missile depots. And here we already clearly see the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine. Although some experts believe that we are talking about a long-term confrontation between Iran and Israel. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility, but the response or, rather, the statement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about what happened in Isfahan makes it clear that whatever the Iranians do, whatever weapons they create, be it drones for Russia, ballistic missiles, some of which are also likely will be handed over to Russia, they remain under direct surveillance and are within reach of Israeli weapons. By the way, if we continue this topic, just yesterday unknown drones attacked convoys with weapons of the Iranian militia on the Syrian-Iraqi border, passing through a checkpoint controlled by the Iranian terrorist organization Hezbollah. You see, the whole Middle East is on fire right now. All this creates prerequisites for tension and, of course, a high risk of internal terror, which forces people to leave the territory of the Middle East, going to more peaceful latitudes, such as ours, European. (...)
– Professor Chukov, you said that drone strikes on the territory of Iran are echoes of Russia's military actions in Ukraine. Maybe there would have been no strikes if Iran had not supplied Russia with drones?– Yes, let's put it bluntly: Iran and Russia have now formed a common military-industrial complex, they are very actively cooperating.
This is reported by both Ukraine and Western allies. The resumption of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear deal has actually already been frozen after Iran stopped hiding that it supplies weapons to Russia. And all this has deprived Iran of European allies at the negotiating table. You know, it was Donald Trump who pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in 2015. Subsequently, Joe Biden brought the Americans back to the negotiating table, and the Europeans strongly supported him. However, now all this is in the past, everything is in the freezer, because there is a real Russian-Iranian army, Russian-Iranian weapons against Ukraine. It should be noted.
– Recently, Russia has been increasingly threatening to use nuclear weapons through its high-ranking representatives. Is there a danger that some of these missiles will be aimed at Bulgaria as well? Considering that Turkey seems to be becoming an important partner of Russia, and its other partner, who is away from us, but for nuclear weapons it does not matter - Iran? Can we expect a nuclear strike from Russia on the territory of Bulgaria?– If you had asked me this question at the beginning of last year, say, in January, I would have assured you with full confidence that this is impossible.
You remember that 5 days before the start of hostilities in Ukraine, Lavrov himself denied this. Maria Zakharova denied it, Putin denied it. And a few days later, everything happened. So now I just don't want to think about what these people are thinking and what they can do out of desperation and inability to implement their original plans. There was a very good analysis of who rules in the Kremlin, several groups were singled out. The first, leading group is a group of sadists, its brightest representatives are Prigozhin and Kadyrov. There is also a group of acolytes – generals who listen to what Putin says. And the third group is those who are waiting for the moment. Unfortunately, many believe that Putin is also in the first group. So now I would not say that nothing will happen to us, because no one thinks that this is real. On February 24 last year, the head of the French military intelligence was forced to resign, because until the last moment he claimed that this would not happen, that the fighting in Ukraine would cost too many victims and money. I don't want to give too optimistic or, on the contrary, pessimistic forecasts.
– The question is not just like that: Turkey and the Dardanelles are below us, and if Russia directs its nuclear missiles towards Bulgaria, the radiation from which will inevitably affect Turkey, Putin is waiting for the inevitable reaction of Erdogan, besides, elections are approaching. That's why I think that for now, perhaps thanks to Russia's good partnership relations in the Middle East, we are in no danger.– A lot depends on how the actions in Ukraine will develop.
At this stage, we see that the conflict continues, Ukrainians, it seems to me, will gain more and more momentum. And it is unknown how the Kremlin will react to this. I will say what I have repeatedly said: on the eve of the presidential elections in Turkey, there is a polarization of external factors in terms of who supports whom. Let's face it: Russia supports Erdogan. It was Russia that saved Erdogan in 2016 from an attempted coup. I don't want to quote articles from Russian websites where all sorts of hacks, all kinds of xenophobes and racists say that Putin should not repeat Stalin's mistake, that is, leave Bulgaria independent. People do not know the history, they do not know, for example, that there is another, Volga Bulgaria, in which, by the way, Valery Gerasimov was born. The situation is very complicated and requires close attention, because after the so-called "precision missiles" there are other, no less serious bombs.