In the present century, the world has been divided into six regions, and other regions falling outside this division are considered to be of little importance. Each of these regions -North America, Western Europe,Middle East (Persian Gulf), Southeastern Asia, Moscow-Leningrad axis, and India-is considered to be a geo-economic power (Barzgar, 2009). Most of these regions are large manufacturers with a large export value, while only one is used for the export of raw materials. The Persian Gulfis the most important corridor used for the transportation of raw materials (oil and gas) from the region to the Strait of Hormuz and from there to the Makran (Oman) Sea and Indian Ocean. In fact, Sea of Makran and its coastline play the most important role in improving the economic position of the region (Turkan and Shahbazi, 1394: 41). The Persian Gulf connects coastal countries to open waters, which apart from the military aspects, provides them with several economic benefits including: transport of their export by water which is considered to be the cheapest type of transportation, the richest human food resource and an important mineral resource, beautiful beaches attracting many tourists and many trade opportunities in the ports and free-trade zones (Salehi, 2009).
Human geography and population distribution are the first group of geographical and geopolitical variables affecting the role of Makran coast in the regional security ofthe Persian Gulf. Concentration of population in certain areas may result in vulnerability to anti-urban practices of possible enemies. However, the Makran region is considered to have some advantageswith which it can face these practices and related defense strategies. Accordingly, examining issues such as population distribution in the region and determining concentration or decentralization of population in specific areas are very important. Economic geography, indicating the concentration of economic activities in the region, is the second variable affecting the role of Makran coast in the regional security of the Persian Gulf. The spatial distribution of industrial hubs throughout the region and provinces of neighboringcountriessignificantlyimpactsselected strategies andtheir roles in the regional security. Concentration of industrial hubs in a single region makes the country more vulnerable and necessities more conservative roles. Similarly, concentration of mineral resources (such as oil and gas resources) in a singleregion and the presence of strategic competitors in neighboring countries raises the issue of defense capabilities nations need.
On the other hand, the more a region is geographically difficult to occupy, the more that region is important in terms of security. The presence of mountains, forests, deserts and communication networks in an area greatly reduces its permeability. Examining components of physical geography inMakranCoast can result in greater understanding ofits important role in security of the region. It should also be noted that the principle of decentralization can be implemented in this region which once more indicate the importance of the area in the security of the Persian Gulf. Extensive lands,and the presence of vast deserts and plains makes decentralization possible. Moreover, sparse population in many areas of the region significantly impacts the process of designing defense or offensive security strategies.
Results and discussion
According to the SWOT analysis diagram, the most important roles of Makran Coast in Regional Security of the Persian Gulf includes:
1- Defensive Role (WT)which pays attention to security capabilities of Makran Region in regard to threats in the Persian Gulf and seeks to improve domestic capabilities and deterrence against external threats.
2- Competitive Role (ST) which is related to the status of Iran outside its territory and evaluates negative points (threats) related to this status. This role aims to increase deterrence against external threats as much as possible.
3- Conservative Role (WO) which seeks to take advantage of opportunities in Makran Region and compensate for security weaknesses inthe Persian Gulf. Conservative Role is related to the internal situation of Makran region.
4- Offensive Role (SO) can rely on internal strengths and create a kind of synergy in Makran Region. To play such a role, the region must take full advantage of external opportunities using its capabilities.
The following variables affect the role of Makran region in the security of the Persian Gulf:
- Human geography and a sparse population affecting the selection of defensive or offensive strategies.
- Economic geography and concentration of economic activities in the region which require a conservative role and defensive strategies.
- Physical geography (a combination of mountains, forests and deserts) creating a permeablecommunication network and anespecially important position in the security of the region.
- Regional geography which affects national security strategies. The offensive dimension of regional geography increases the expenses related to the security role.