- 21 May 2015
Public Program | "Collapse Middle East – German Influence und German Responsibility in a Difficult Region."
On 21 May 2015, the Aspen Institute Germany hosted a talk with Omid Nouripour, member of the German Bundestag and foreign affairs spokesperson of the party Alliance 90/The Greens. Under the headline “Collapse Middle East – German Influence and German Responsibility“ he first focused on Iran: Although the negotiations about nuclear non-proliferation with Iran were close to being finished, Nouripour advised against early relief. Until June 30, the details would still need to be finalized, and after that the agreement would either be ratified – or not.
Iran had now been more willing to compromise as the regime was running out of money due to the economic sanctions imposed on it: Supporting the Syrian Assad regime and the Hezbollah in Lebanon cost lots of money, the alleged support of the Houthis in Yemen as well. The treaty meant to avoid the nuclear bomb could thus lead to an increase in conventional armament, as Saudi Arabia and others were worrying.
Nouripour was furthermore worried about the further existence of Syria and Iraq as these two were being disintegrated by the “Islamic State“ (ISIS). He was very concerned about a potential disintegration of Lebanon and called for help from the West to stabilize it, especially with regards to the critical amount of refugees populating the country.
Nouripour named the Eastern African country Somalia as a surprisingly positive example in recent years. Although referred to as a “failed state“ for years now, signs of rule of law had been developing again around Mogadishu and the separatist entity “Somaliland“ had even developed a kind of a democracy.
Nouripour concluded that, since the 20+ states of the Middle East, from the Comoros to Pakistan, were very diverse, fragmented solutions for every country and every region individually would be needed while at the same time the sense for the consequences on the whole region should not be lost.
The conversation revealed the depth and complexity of the subject and raised many new questions.