With Iran’s determination to do what it wants and US’s and Israel’s steadfastness in preventing them, the atmosphere is getting damn hot in the heat of summer in Gulf.
Many deadlines have come and gone. Patience is wearing thin on both sides. The language of consensus turns out to be that of the latest warning and threat. When both the sides are challenging each other, Gulf region is going to be more anxious.
Now the number of players has increased. Besides the US and Israel, the European Union also warns Iran on its controversial nuclear policy. One side is filled with major powers. A confident Iran is defending itself with firm determination on the other side. Iran’s missile test and Israel’s response and the US’s warning has led gulf region into a cloudy state of war.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini said this week that Iran would press ahead in its nuclear path. Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Asghar Soltanieh Ali said that no deadline has been accepted. On the other hand, the US, Israel, and Germany reminds Iran continue to issue fresh ‘deadlines.’
Diplomacy mixed with threat of attack: ‘Carrot and Stick’
The US is reportedly covertly joining with Israel to plan an attack within few months, if it is necessary, after more sanctions fail to work. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said that Iran’s move towards a breakthrough in development of nuclear technology and thereby, a capacity for making weapons, can not be tolerated.
Iran also seeks advice from Arab allies and diplomats for a counter attack if needed. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s arrival in Iran for talks is said to be a strategic move by Iran, according to experts on International relations. Iran’s recent missile tests were not as advanced as the media hype and the West fear, according to independent diplomatic analysts.
Followed by the test, the representatives of world powers – US, Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain attended a meeting in Geneva with Iran. All of them agreed and put together a framework for future talks and Iran expressed their consent. Peace lovers all over the world heaved a sigh of relief. Many international diplomats described this development as a good sign.
The US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed that the US had shifted its position on diplomacy with Iran. But new hopes of constructive talks reached nowhere. The Geneva meeting was a rare face to face dialogue between Iran and America because all the diplomatic relations with the two nations had come to a halt in 1979. Soon after the talks Rice’s repeated demand for Iran’s answer on suspending of uranium enrichment and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ruling out of the move of freezing the same, again turned all the hope upside down.
It was clear soon that the apparent calm in the tension was short lived.
Iran has already answered this sensitive diplomatic question without much difficulty, “they repeated that their development of nuclear technology would continue as it is”.
What will be the price of more provocative questions and answers? We have to wait and see. Iran has reiterated that their Uranium enrichment is entirely for peaceful purposes and not for making nuclear weapons. But the western powers do not accept Iran’s statement on face value. The US has warned that if Iran fails to freeze Uranium enrichment, they would impose more stringent sanctions on Iran. The European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran in June.
Show of strength – the missile tests:
Iran’s demonstration of Shahab missile with a range of 2,012 kilometers is said to be aimed at Israel. But soon after the image of missiles appeared in the media, a new controversy also arose related to its capabilities.
All the missiles showed off by Tehran recently were medium range and not a threat to Israel and its neighbors, many experts on diplomatic strategies opined. There is also opinion that the photos were doctored to replicate the number. “There’s no doubt that the photo was doctored “said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation Program for the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Condoleezza Rice stated that the missile tests underscored the need for a US defensive missile system in the region. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell stated that the test was taken seriously and was an attempt to destabilize the region.
Tehran staged the missile tests as a show of strength in response to a recent Israeli military exercise.
Even though Tehran claimed it as a warning to Israel, many opined the video footage of Iran’s missile test was just a recurrence of old tests. Iran will target “the heart of Israel” and 32 US bases in the Gulf if they launch an attack on Iran, an Iranian official had warned. Iran said it was prepared to negotiate with major world powers, but insisted the talks must address Iran’s nuclear rights. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s provocative statements to ‘wipe out’ Israel from the map have only escalated tensions in the region says, Parthasarathy, former Indian High Commissioner to Karachi.
US to Iran : freeze enrichment and take home the benefits!
The western powers offered Iran benefits in civil nuclear energy, trade, finance, agriculture, and high technology if Iran freezes uranium enrichment. But the reactions on the part of Iran show they have ignored the package. The tolerant attitude of Iran on dialogues and the policy change of the US had made a progressive sign at least for few days before sliding into a war of words yet again.
Israel does not worry about the missile tests because they have a strong army and advanced weaponry that Iran can’t develop in near future. Hence they ignored the missile tests as passé which many condemned. Some among the Israelis compared the test to Saddam’s rockets and said Iranians would go the same way.
Iran has repeatedly said that it is prepared to negotiate with major world powers, but insisted the talks must address Iran’s nuclear rights.
Iran’s neighbors such as Saudi Arabia are also nervous about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had repeatedly emphasized that Iran would not surrender to international pressure. “The Iranian nation will not succumb to bullying, invasion, and the violation of its rights,” he had said. Ahmadinejad announced a nuclear expansion too. He said Iran now possesses 6,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium. He declared that this increase was already accepted by the West.
But the US and western powers are said to be skeptic on this statement of the Iranian leader in the changed scenario.
The west fears that Iran can develop a nuclear bomb within two years, if they move ahead with enrichment of uranium with better speed. Many foreign diplomatic analysts already pointed that Iran had no such progress. They believe Iran has been moving with outdated technology and older missiles. Still the US and world powers pressurize Iran on the nuclear issue. No wonder many suspects the real intention of the US behind this move.
There are two options for the US:
Avoid a language of threat and war until they get foolproof evidence that Iran is going to develop a nuclear weapon. Engage in more positive talks with Iran and reach a consensus and try to lift the economic sanctions. Iran can co-operate with diplomatic talks and keep away from provocative statements. Creative dialogues and debates would help avoiding crisis and conflicts.
With provocative words and warning tones none can reach a consensus whether it is a small or big issue. The entire world is learning the terrible lessons of war. The destructive war in Iraq still haunts many in Gulf region. Victims of war have been suffering the aftermath, both physically and mentally.
The cries of helpless children, troubles of widows, broken hearts of mothers who lost their progeny, aggrieve all the humanity. “Violence has overtaken dialogue and compassion has lost out to anger.” Queen Rania of Jordan points out the present day environment of the world in general. The need of the hour is tolerance and consensus.