The proxy war between the US and Iran is nothing new. Only recently, the sanctions against Iran were removed by the Obama government but with Trump in power he has re-imposed sanctions. Today nations are not permitted to buy oil from Iran nor trade with them in any way. Such an action would invite sanctions from the US and countries like India have desisted from such actions in the past. But was exactly is the genesis of the war between the US and Iran?
How the US – Iran standoff actually began?
The decision of the US to wage war against Iraq in 2003 was already a Himalayan blunder. IT is true that Saddam Hussein was an autocrat but then the allegation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was too far-fetched. As later investigations would bear out, these were absolutely baseless. Eventually, the US ended up spending trillions of dollars on the war, gained nothing in return and only ended up perpetually putting the Middle East and West Asia in a state of turmoil. Now, the US may be doing something similar with Iran. But first let us go back to 2015 and look at the truly good initiatives that the US took to readmit Iran into the global trade and commerce mainstream.
Back in 2015, the U.S. led many nations into a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, which contained an affirmation that Iran would never seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons. The agreement contained commitments including an inspection protocol designed to make sure that Iran complied and clear consequences if it didn’t. It was under Donald Trump that the US actually backed out of the deal despite verified proof that Iran was in full compliance of its side of the deal. With the US backing out, Iran has also made it clear that it would renege on its commitments and restart its nuclear-weapons program. That, in a way has been the genesis of the war, or rather the potential war, in the Middle East.
Donald Trump ups the rhetoric to appear macho American
The president has already stated at a recent NATO summit that there might be an escalation of tensions between the US and Iran. In fact, Trump has even gone to the extent of expressing his opinion that a series of attacks could take out Iran’s nuclear capacity. Ironically, it was Donald Trump who had decided to tear up the deal despite Iran living up its part of the deal. Ironically, it is not just Trump but even the UN ambassador Nikki Haley, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani have made similar comments about Iran.
There is also an Israeli and Saudi Arabian angle to the conflict
Israeli and Saudi leaders are also encouraging increased U.S. action against Iran. The reasons are not far to seek. Israel has long alleged that Iran was supporting the anti-Jewish organizations like the Hamas and the Hezbollah to carry on a religious fight against the existence of Israel. Saudi Arabia has a different issue altogether. Saudi has long held the mantle of the leader of the Arab world. With the rise of Iran, the Shia dominated nations like Iraq and Syria are clearly siding with Iran. Also, Iran controls the all important Strait of Hormuz which moves nearly 30% of global oil movement. For Israel and Saudi Arabia, a weakened Iran suits their regional ambitions perfectly. In fact, the US and Israel have even formed a joint working group to pressure the Iranian regime by even provoking internal unrest and protests. US, Saudi Arabia and Israel have another problem in the form of Syria. Iran has long been a supporter of Syrian dictator Assad even as Iran and Russia have been directly and indirectly propping up Assad’s regime.
Real problem is the way Iran is being handled
Back breaking sanctions has never been an answer. In the past we have seen that such sanctions only lead to illegal sale of oil and that eventually gives rise to terrorist organizations like the ISIS. The big question is how it is handled. The need of the hour is greater restraint and better diplomacy. Iran, unlike Iraq, has a strong army and has the capacity to carry on the war for long. Iranian terrain is difficult and it could be a prolonged war. Not forget that Russia and China may be inclined to support Iran. That is entirely possible if the situation worsens.
We have recently seen Iran seizing two British tankers and shooting down US drones. They hold the key to major world trade routes and a war in the Middle East will mean that Iran will make it painful for the entire globe. That is something best avoided.