Many analysts call the present situation in Ukraine and the Middle East “ Cold War 2”. Obviously Cold War 1 was the war between USA and the Soviet Union after the end of World War 2 (1945). It is true that the Cold War 1 never took the form of a direct military confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, but nevertheless it was a war between the two parties.
I posted yesterday a map of the Baghdad Pact (1955), which was an anti-Soviet alliance between the United Kingdom, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, in order to form a “wall” between the Soviet Union and the oil of the Persian Gulf. You can see the map of the Baghdad Pact below. NATO’s main concern was that the Soviets, who were very rich in oil, would take control of the Persian Gulf, on which the West was dependent for oil.
Map 1 The Baghdad Pact 1955
Today the situation is very different but also very similar to what was happening in the Middle East during Cold War 1. Today it is the Russians who are trying to build a “wall” between Europe and the Persian Gulf, in order to prevent the Turkish-Arab pipelines (Qatar-Turkey) from sending the region’s oil and gas to Europe. If the oil and natural gas of the Middle East reaches Europe the state owned Russian giants Gazprom and Rosneft will be hurt. Today Russia counts on Europe for most of her oil and gas exports.
During most of the Cold War 1 the Soviets were not selling oil and gas to NATO members, while today the Russians are exporting most of their oil and gas to NATO members i.e. Germany, Italy, Turkey etc. The “wall” that the Russians are trying to build between Europe and the Persian Gulf is obviously the wall of “Iran-Iraq-Syra”.
Today there is one more complication, because Iran wants to use what is a “wall” for Russia i.e. Iran-Iraq-Syria, in order to send its oil and gas to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. That would allow Iran to avoid the excessive discounts that the Turks are demanding from the Iranians in order to send their oil and gas to Europe. Russia would not be willing to allow Iran to reach the Mediterranean Sea, unless Gazprom managed such a pipeline (Iran-Iraq-Syria). Therefore Russia might have to build a second wall in the Mediterranean Sea in order not to only stop the Turks and the Arabs, but to stop the Iranians too. Russia has already done that with her increased military presence in Syria, and with her enhanced alliance with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Cold War 2 in the Middle East is very similar to what was happening in the Middle East during Cold War 1. Except that almost everything is reversed.
Map 2 Map of the Middle East
Map 3 Oil Fields (black) and Natural Gas Fields of the Middle East
See also “Who is Responsible for the War”
and “The Map of the Baghdad Pact”