No more wars, please – If Israel, US carry strike Iran’s nuclea­r capaci­ty, we may see new trends in violen­ce.

Via Scoop.itparachinarvoice

Iran has watched two wars on its borders in Afghanistan and Iraq for almost a decade, trying to stay away and minimise negative fallouts. Interestingly, the regimes that the Americans and their allies destroyed through military intervention were no friends of Tehran. That comfort apart, the American presence in Afghanistan, its bases in the Gulf region and naval deployment with regular carriers place Iran in a security nutcracker. As one might know, the military facilities and forces assembled for one type of conflict can easily be diverted to other theatres, if need be. The political and security dust of the two wars hanging thick over the region’s horizon, and the Afghan war yet to see an end, Iran and Pakistan naturally have a sense of uneasiness about the future prospects of stability and security in the region.
There are many conspiratorial views about what America’s next move will be –– whether it will quit, stay put, or begin a new war front. If it is to transfer responsibility to local partners and quit, the security debris of the war in Afghanistan, in particular, very much like the wreckage of the Iraq war, will hit us all in the face.
Had there been some regional understanding and efforts to stabilise Afghanistan during the civil war of 1992-2001, perhaps, the suffering of its people and Pakistan could have been averted. Once again, there is an opportunity to think and work collectively for peace and stability of Afghanistan and the security of Iran that is threatened by the Israeli belligerence.
It is imperative to think of the economic, security and political future of the extended South and Southwest Asian regions of Asia, if and when Israel or the US, together or separately, strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. Even with a remote and push-button strategy, they may not escape some of the adverse consequences of harming Iran in the way they wish to. But for the region, the security and political implications may be far more dangerous and long-lasting. Already, the mere talk of strikes on Iran has caused a spiral in the oil prices. The increasing cost of energy is worrisome for Pakistan and other Asian countries in times of economic downturn.
One of the more worrisome factors is the diplomatic position of Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil-producing countries in its circle of influence on Iran’s nuclear programme. They appear to be as opposed to Iran’s nuclear quest as Israel and the United States. These countries have regarded Iran since its Islamic revolution as a threat to the stability of their regimes. In wake of the Arab spring and the new Arab consciousness emerging against the old regime, Iran appears to present a ‘grave’ threat.
If Israel and America carry through with their threat of crippling Iran’s nuclear capacity, we may see new trends in violence. The way Arab countries and Iran are divided over unrest in Bahrain and Syria may show how the divide may be along sectarian lines. And then, Iran and its social forces in regional Islamic countries may pitch them against the US and its regional allies.
Nor will the US and its European allies benefit from such a conflict. The challenge before us is how to make the Americans realise that more war means more pain and suffering for all of us. There are diplomatic alternatives and peaceful solutions, but that may require patience, hard work and perseverance.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.


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