Islamic Republic of Iran
Ramifications of Foreign Military Bases in Sovereign States
As stated in Article 146 of the Iranian constitution, “The establishment of any kind of foreign military base in Iran, even for peaceful purposes, is forbidden. The establishment of any kind of foreign military base in Iran, even for peaceful purposes, is forbidden.” As such, Iran strongly feels that, “...the network of foreign military bases which is encircling it is a violation of regional peace and security” (Lersch and Sarti). The ramifications of these foreign military bases in the Middle East include the fact that these bases cause environmental problems by creating pollution, increase local crimes, and, “are integral to preparations for war, and as such undermine international peace and security” (Luthra).
Although we do not house foreign military bases in our sovereign nation, other Middle Eastern nations including Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Turkmenistan. Iran is, therefore, surrounded by foreign military bases. In general international peace is threatened by the presence of these foreign military bases. “Without the bases in Turkey, Germany, Diego Garcia, Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf States, the Iraq invasion could not have happened. The bases serve to proliferate weapons, increase violence, and undermine international instability.” Also, with open-air trash and other pollution causing operations at foreign military bases, the environment is harmed by foreign military bases. (Luthra).
One of our neighbors that houses foreign military bases is Iraq. The US recently announced that it would keep long-term bases in Iraq. However, as was already seen, such bases were essential to the Iraq invasion of 2003. With emerging economic relations between Iraq and Iran, we would not wish to see a repeat in the disruption of peace in Iraq. Furthermore, Iran would not want its economic partner to be damaged environmentally. As we have stated at other times an insecure Iraq means an unstable Iran (Barzegar). Therefore it is in the interest of both Iraq and Iran for these bases in Iraq to be taken down. We wish to add that our growing relations with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait allow us also to wish for a more stable UAE and Kuwait without foreign military bases.
Bahrain and the foreign military bases there, as well as the deployment of Saudi troops to Bahrain during the Bahrain conflict, there are especially worry Iran as they appear to show foreign ambitions on the part of America, the UK, and Saudi Arabia to take over and violate Bahrain’s sovereignty. This should not be allowed in Bahrain.
While Oman claims to want stability in the Gulf, the fact that it allows US soldiers to use bases in Oman is very counter-intuitive.
Finally, Iran would like to address foreign military bases in Afghanistan. As Iranian Deputy Parliament Speaker Reza Bahonar stated on June 19 of 2011, security in Afghanistan would greatly improve if US soldiers left the region. This would mean the disarmament of US foreign military bases in Afghanistan. We hope to see a more stable Afghanistan with the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Our close ties to Afghanistan and economic relations, especially in oil which we provide Afghanistan with for about half of its imports, compel us to wish, for the benefit of a more stable Afghanistan and a more stable, therefore, Iran, that foreign military bases in Afghanistan be taken down. Also, a 2010 report found that almost all US military bases in Afghanistan have open-air trash sites incinerating items including medical waste, plastic, and petroleum products. These sites operated 24 hours a day and created a polluted fog in nearby areas. Such pollution near living areas should not be allowed simply in the interest of Afghanistan (Luthra).
As we have stated above, Iran looks for stability in our neighbors in the Middle East who have foreign military bases. These foreign military bases undermine peace and stability as well as, as we have seen in Bahrain, undermine that nation’s sovereignty. Additionally, we have seen that these bases cause pollution in the nearby areas. With such statements, Iran concludes that foreign military bases should be removed from the Middle East.
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