Today’s developments in the international system make the expansion of relations among Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan which are among the largest Muslim states in west Asia more than ever important. Experiences from the history of the regional cooperation among Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan as well as those three states’ presence in numerous other regional and international organizations, are telling of the importance of convergence and active participation in establishing regional and international security and enjoying from trade and energy capacities. Therefore, although the three states are participants in the process of the Economic Cooperation Organization (Eco), it is appropriate, with regard to the regional developments, especially more than ever a necessity for balancing the region, a council as an outcome of the strategic cooperation of the three states be established. This can include wider interactions such as with China, India, and Arab states like Iraq and Egypt.
Today’s developments in the international system are indicative of the fact that the development and survival of the countries, on regional and global levels, fully and completely dependent on the nature and amount of cooperation, convergence, and participation among these three states. No doubt, the procedure,quality of the cooperation, and participation have a close and direct relation with the geopolitical specifics, especially the political, economic, and cultural capacities of the states. Therefore, the relations among Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan as three countries among the largest Muslim states in west Asia are, totally, a heavyweight for the human and economic strategy in the Muslim world.
The globalization of the economy, development of information technology and communications have brought about the primacy of the geopolitical role of the seas compared to the geopolitics of land in regional and global convergence. Therefore, having alongshore and access to the free seas and many ports, as well as strategic straits in the seas, determine geopolitical supremacy in the competitive spheres in the 21st century. Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan, on one side, enjoy wide shores and active ports in the marine spheres of the Persian Gulf, the Oman Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean, the black Sea, and the Marmara and Aegean Seas, and on the other side, have dominance strategic straits like the Hormuz, Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits which give them a special and advantageous position in the region. This characteristic has served as a bridge to connect Asia, and large countries like India and China to Europe and by their resourceful geopolitical capacities have a part in China’s Road Belt Initiative.
2-Geoeconomic and Geostrategic Importance
Having a shared history and civilization, and with regard to the geographical situation, security challenges, demographic connections, and shared interests, Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan have broad specifics and capacities for influenceability. These three states, by having over 3 million square kilometers of wide geographical area, long borders and bordering numerous countries as well as high industrial infrastructure and wide areas of land under modern cultivation have managed to play a worthy role in the security of the common borders and food security. Enjoying various mineral reserves and fossil fuels in these three states, especially in Iran, has promoted the status of Tehran, Ankara, and Islamabad among the developing states and it can establish a link among the three states for creating an industrial complementary cycle and a shared market. Besides, having 450 million young, efficient, and active population along with a GDP of about two trillion dollars are advantages for their economic convergence.
Also in the military area, the capacities of Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan are of such a proportion that after the US, Russia, China, and India the armies of the three states are among the largest in the world. Also, the three states have a de facto technical nuclear capacity and Pakistan practically owns nuclear arms. The existence of common threats, including the state terrorism of Israel, radical terrorism, the ominous phenomenon of immigration, human trafficking, and narcotics has doubled the importance of common security cooperation.
In addition, these three states have valuable experiences in scientific, industrial, and modern technological advances, especially, in the convergence of the tradition with modernism which can greatly help with balanced development by smartening up the handling of the communities. Most importantly, the historic, lingual, and religious proximities and lack of disputes over the recent century create an inseparable connection among Tehran, Ankara, and Islamabad which can well pose as a model of sustainable regional convergence in an imbalanced situation.
No doubts, experiences acquired from the history of regional cooperation of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan ranging from the Baghdad pact to CENTO, RCD and Eco, parallel with their presence in other regional and international organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Non-Aligned Movement and so on, are indicative of the importance of convergence and active participation in establishing regional and international security and the capacities of trade and energy.
For this, although the three states are partners in the process of the Eco, it is appropriate, with regard to the regional variables, especially the more than ever necessary for balance in the region, a council as an outcome of the strategic unity of Tehran, Ankara, and Islamabad be established. The said council can, with regard to the fluid regional and international conditions, include wider interactions such as with China, India, and Arab states like Iraq and Egypt.
(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)