KARACHI             -           The global powers had plundered the Middle East region, rich in mineral resources, leaving the people helpless, said renowned scholar Professor Dr Talat A. Wizarat here on Thursday.

She was the keynote speaker at a seminar, which was organised by the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi (KU) on the topic, “The current state of Iran-U.S relations: Implications for Pakistan.”

Professor Wizarat, who is also the former chairperson of the Department of International Relations (KU), began her address by an anecdotal remark regarding her time as a student at KU as well as a professor. She insisted that the topic was of immense importance, considering regional implications. She said the coup against Mossadegh, who had nationalized the oil fields owned by Western companies, was planned and the CIA overthrew him and reinstalled the Shah of Iran.

“The shooting down of an Iranian air flight by the US Navy, in which Pakistan’s Military Attaché to Iran had lost his entire family, was a clear violation of the international law,” she said, and added, “The United States of America desires regime change in many countries like they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. They then diverted their attention to Syria, which resulted in a civil war. Iran became a hurdle to US plans in Syria, alongside Russia which was a big blow to the American interests.”

She was of the view that in order to understand the US actions, its designs and objectives in the region, we have to look at the past and recent developments in the region. She stated that another goal was to break up the states in the region.

“They are doing this by virtue of promoting sectarian and ethnic conflicts, thereby weakening the states from within. Turkey’s importance in the region is another concern for the West. After 2023, all restrictions on Turkey will be removed and it will have a clear path to re-emerge as a prominent player in the region,” Professor Wizarat prophesied.

She reiterated that the resources of the region were of immense importance. She observed that the game in the region was to stop the growth of China by denying it trade routes and resources of the region. Professor Wizarat said that Chahbahar’s progress was slow and despite Americans insistence that they cared about Iranian people, they had clearly shown by their actions that they did not care about people. “U.S designs for Iran are focused on regime change and once it occurs, India will once again get a green signal,” she expressed the fear.

“With the resurgence of multi-polarity, America’s ability to be openly aggressive has been curtailed. Despite having slogans of humanitarian intervention, American designs in the region remain ugly. On the other hand, Iran needs to be a little careful. Iran needs to reassess its policy and try to win over as many friends as possible.” Professor Wizarat remarked that the west will not give up and may utilise fifth-generation tactics as well as biological and chemical warfare.

“The role of ‘plausible deniability’ is one of West’s biggest weapons,” she argued.

Her lecture was followed by a question and answer session from the students and faculty in attendance, which was moderated by one of the adjunct lecturers at the department, during which students and faculty asked deep questions regarding the topic.

Earlier, Dr Naeem Ahmed, while giving introductory remarks, informed the audience that Dr Wizarat had been associated with the department for over 30 years, and was an expert on Middle East.

He stated that the recent events had greatly altered the regional dynamics, and the new developments had far reaching implications for global and regional politics as well as for Pakistan.

He dedicated the lecture to the memory of former chairperson of Department of International Relations (KU) Dr Shamim Akhter, who passed away recently.