Tbilisi woos Tehran while Tel Aviv watches

The last thing Washington and Tel Aviv expected was pro-US President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili becoming friendly with Israel’s greatest adversary, Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he made that ‘political incorrect’ move. He has invited Dr. Ahmadinejad to visit Tbilisi before the end of this year. Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli visited Islamic Republic this week as result of which Tehran agreed to invest in Georgia’s agriculture sector begining with building a sheep slaughterhouse.

Mikheil (“Misha”) Saakashvili was brought to power in November 2003 via the “Rose Revolution”, which was funded and supported by the CIA, Israel and the Jew billionaire George Soro. The three-weeks street protests ended nearly three decades of West’s discredited regime of Eduard Shevardnadze.

Both Washington and Tel Aviv are using covert Al-Qaeda hoax to spread their influence over Muslim-majority Caucasus. It was Washington and Tel Aviv which engineered the Georgia-Russia military conflict in order to punish Moscow for its close relations with Tehran. Both the US and Israel are known for training and arming Georgian armed forces. There are over 1000 Israeli military personnel in Georgia involved in training Georgian army and intelligence agency. Both Georgia’s Defence Minister David Kezerashvili and State Minister for Territorial Integration Temur Yakobashvili (a former Zionist leader and speaks fluent Hebrew) are Jewish and hold Israeli citizenship.

On May 24, Geogia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nono Kalandadze has tried to calm down the US, Israel and EU’s itchy nerves by assuring the anti-Iran trio that Tbilisi is trying to build better trade relations with Tehran without risking the interests of its old allies. She said: “We have strategic partners, such as the United States as we maintain constant dialogue with them. We don’t believe this will cause any problem (in US-Georgia relations)”.

Georgia is also building close relations with another emerging power in the Middle East and Caucasus. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recepe Tayyip Erdogan paid a visit to Tbilisi early this month.

Giorgi Lomsadze, a jounalist specializing in Caucasus says: “One veteran Georgian foreign policy analyst said that Tbilisi, while aware of Washington’s priorities, must do all it can to survive within what he described as a geopolitical “Bermuda Triangle,” involving Russia, the United States and Iran. “Georgia cannot afford maintaining a distance from its big neighbors for someone else’s sake, especially now that Russia has become an aggressor,” said Alexander Rondeli, president of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi. “You need trade, tourism, cultural ties”. Iran’s advantage over other economic players comes down to three points: location, location, location. Just over 300 kilometers to the south, Iran currently holds a modest share in Georgia’s import basket, but imports of Iranian goods have been increasing by the year. In 2008, they peaked at around 0.8 percent of Georgia’s total $6.3 billion worth of imports, according to government data. Iranian raw materials, furniture, home appliances, detergents, and even a few cars are increasingly found for sale in Georgia.

There are signs, though, that Iran’s interests in a revitalized relationship with Tbilisi go beyond trade or cultural exchanges. Tehran has become increasingly eager recently to expand its regional clout, as well as search for new trade connections at a time when the United Nations is mulling the tightening of economic sanctions.

Tehran’s diplomatic activity in the Caucasus is by no means limited to Georgia. Iran earlier cancelled visa requirements with Azerbaijan, and has been involved in key energy security projects in Armenia, and wants to create a railway link with both countries. Iranian officials have also offered to help mediate the 22-year-old dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Now that Washington’s relations with Tbilisi have turned from affectionate to pragmatic, and Russia’s from bad to ugly, Iranian officials may see an opening to expand Tehran’s influence in Georgia. Speaking to Georgian journalists on May 21, Iranian Ambassador Majid Saber recalled Iran’s willingness to supply gas to Georgia after two Russian pipelines exploded in 2006. “No US help was there when you needed it most,” Ambassador Saber said, the Civil.ge news website reported. “Real friendship is demonstrated in hard times”……

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s