US-Iran tussle not conducive to world peace

The Gulf is heating up with the ominous presence of aircraft carrier USS Arlington, a US amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery that is supposed to add strength to the B-52 bombers on board. And USS Abraham Lincoln, another aircraft carrier, has also crossed Suez Canal. This step was taken against the perceived threat from Iran, which the US says was planning an attack somewhere in the region.

 From the statements of the US spokespersons regarding sending war ships to the doorstep of Iran and Iran shrugging off any imminent threat, there seem to be many ifs and buts amidst rhetoric of hyperbolic proportion. While the world remained quizzical about the Iranian threat and the necessity of such demonstration of strength, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said that the deployment of the aircraft carrier and bombers was aimed at sending a clear and unmistakable message to Iran about the consequences of any attack against the US or its partners in the region.

Many including some of America’s friendly countries criticized saying that it was overreacting and driving up tension in the region. In response to US move, Iran actually shrugged it off and said that ‘Bolton’s statement is a clumsy use of an outdated event for psychological warfare.’ As for the war ships in the Gulf, CNN quoted government officials saying: “Iran's moving ballistic missiles by boat in Persian Gulf led U.S. to move warships into region. So, it seems, the United States is well determined this time to ‘teach Iran a lesson’ for all its follies.

Media, columnists and political analysts have reacted in many different ways to the attitude of the US towards Iran and observed that escalation of tension and further muscle-flexing by big powers will not be conducive towards maintaining world peace. Surprisingly, none of them think Iran could be any threat to the US or the western power.

The escalation of tension between the two countries has in fact begun last month. In one article published in Washington Post in April, columnist Ishaan Tharoor wrote that Trump wants to push Iran to the point of no return. He further said that of all the countries in the world, Iran seems to be President Trump’s main squeeze — and not in a good way.

Tharoor’s article goes on to say that recently, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo justified the measure as a bid to further reduce what leverage the Islamic Republic may have on the world stage. “The goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it has used to destabilize the Middle East,” he said, adding that the United States wanted to bring Iranian oil exports “to zero." That means tightening the screws and compelling some major importers of Iranian oil — including China and India — to turn off the tap.”

Joyce Lee of The Washington Post commented that under President Trump, United States-Iranian relations have taken a decisive turn for the worse. We remember that very recently USA listed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “foreign terrorist organization.” In a clear signal to other nations doing trade with Iran USA has said that “Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”

But many countries that are trade partners of the United States are not happy with Washington’s pressure tactics. Among these countries are India, Turkey, South Korea and Japan. Gerald Feierstein, senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, observed that the eleventh-hour White House demand that all countries must immediately stop purchase of Iranian oil or face U.S. financial sanctions will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve,”

Media reports that both China and Turkey refused to go by the U.S. unilateral sanctions and said that they would continue doing business with Iran. In other media reports and analyses it became clear that Trump’s attitude to Iran has ‘already antagonized allies in Europe and they are trying to persuade Tehran to remain within the nuclear deal.

If USA is serious about getting involved in a bloody warfare with B-52 bombers dropping bombs on the Iranian cities, what would be the role of Russia, China, Turkey and India? What the European allies and the UN would do in that case? Will they only give lip service or do something tangible this time? We urge all parties to show utmost restraints and sit across the table to thrash out differences before going into war. By now they have seen how innocent lives get lost and properties get destroyed in warfare. Dialogue is the best medium to resolve any issue therefore we hope both Iran and the US will sit and talk to ensure peace in the world.