Iran crisis May 22, 2006Posted by silentEcho in Politics.
Nuclear proliferation in Iran : this is the most important international issue in news right now. Iran has been known for its defiance and disregard for international opinion. Several instances of this have been seen since the revolution of 1979. Be it financial support to Hamas, support of anti-west groups in mid-east, Ali Khamenei's statement in 2000 about wiping out Israel or Mahmoud Ahmadenijad's restatement of this in October last year. With Ahmadenijad so insistent on nuclear proliferation against the common international outlook, we are seeing yet another instance of Iran's defiance.
Iran's intentions in enriching Uranium has caused a major unrest in Washington. US sees Iran's Nuclear Program as a major threat to it not only in the mid-east but at home as well. There are other aspects too. The US-Iran conflict is not new. Anti US sentiments in Iran were in place ever since the US reinstated the Shah in 1953. The CIA worked in close coordination with the Shah's SAVAK and helped it in executing its sinister plans. The US-Iran conflict became official when the Shah was overthrown in 1979. The rise of the Ayatollahs to power in Iran has been a major setback to US and US has tried to get on the Irani administration whenever possible. This was seen in the first gulf war when US helped Iraq and CIA armed Iraq with chemical and biological weapons. The Iranian administration has not helped. The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is against any sort of talks with the US. Iran has opposed Washington on almost every issue. It has been accused of supporting various anti US groups in Syria and Lebanon and it openly supported Hamas during a financial drawback in Palestine.
What worries US :
1. Iran might well be planning the nuclear enrichment for accumulating nukes. The autocratic nature of Ayatollahs can lead to use of nukes even when matters can be handled otherwise.
2. THe oil prospects in mid-east might suffer because acquisition of nukes by a mid-east country might lead to a never before mid-east alliance.
3. Iran's nuclear program will lead to a power balance in the mid-east where Israel is the only country which boasts of nukes as of now. This will affetc the US_Israel say in several afairs including Palestine.
4.The role Russia and China might be playing in the region.
5. Iran, as remarked earlier, has been supporting anti US groups. The rise of nukes in Iran will give it immense self confidence and will lead to a closer tie-up among anti US factions which might acquire WMDs through Iran.
Things have changed around. US has one of the most short sighted and foolish foreign policy. This nation has faced what India faced in its support for LTTE almost everywhere it meddled. The US supported Saddam's WMD program and finally had to go against him. Before this, they armed the Taliban and finally had to go against them US created Osama Bin Laden. Political stands depend upon which way the oil-barrel turns. In destroying Saddam and Taliban US wasted many lives and dollars and it also destroyed the power balance equation in the mid-east. This has turned out to be the greatest strength for Ahamdenijad. With non-Baathist Iraq and non-Taliban Afghanistan in scene, Iran is happy to have the field clear from its long term enemies. And Iran didn't have to do anything for this. As before, US demonstrated its I-dig-my-own-grave policy.
What supports Iran :
1. There is no rift in the Executive and the Ayatollah over the issue if we leave apart the rumored fatwa by Khamenei which disallows nuke accumulation. So Iran's leadership is united on the issue.
2. Ahmadenijad has the support of the people because as long as the people are safe and monetarily sound, they see the nuclear program as assertion of Iranian nationalism.
3. Iran has support in the mid-east. plus many countries which might be against it have vested interests in Iran. Syria has stood up with Iran for over 25 years now. Lebanon is supportive. Palestine, now led by Hamas is an ally. Iraq and Afghanistan are out of the picture. Pakistan, an ally of the US, sees Iran as a potential oil supplier throught he proposed India-Iran oil pipeline. Saudis have their doubts but they have never expressed concern in open. Infact the rcent trip of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia to Russia was painted as a visit to search for peaceful solutions for Iran crisis. Turkey is nofriend of Iran but the common concern of rebellious minority Kurdish people and high income through travel and tourism might affet Turkish stand. UAE has been an ally of the US but it too has economic interests with Iran. All in all the picture for Iran is that of a friendly neighborhood.
4. Iran has no fears for sanctions. An oil embargo is not a proper option for the US because it will only raise the oil prices.
5. Russia and China might play a friendly role here. China and some other countries have already proposed providing infrastructural installations to Iran.
The only restriction might be ecomomic. Most of the poplulation in Iran is unemployed. Note that two-thirds of this Iranian population is from the under 30 age group. Ahmadenijad's October restatement on wiping out Israel also scared off many private investors. However there are positive factors too. Iran's oil revenues have doubled in the last two years hitting $50 billion in the year that ended in March. Infrastructural development is on. Iran's administration knows how to manage public opinion and development simultaneously. Ahmadenijad announced several packages on housing, public works and government bodies like broadcasting authority. Big public banks are being setup or ordered to lend generously. He also promised to keep prices of petrol, electricity and basic food from rising.
The role of Russia and China is important. They might play a double game. Sanctions on Iran will prove to be a great earner for them because they will lure Iran to buy their stuff in face of sanctions. The Oil deals also matter. On the other end if they veto any action on Iran then again they will gain interms of Iranian goodwill. The picture is fuzzy, rendered transluscent by the oil politics. Ofcourse none of these nations want to see a nuclear Iran but they have vested interests regardless of whether Iran acquires nukes or not. Both the countries are reluctant on any action through UN Charter's Chapter seven. They cite the example of Iraq against it. But the roles are still dubious.
US has kept all opions open including nuclear attacks. What finally happens of this issue is still in the mists of time. Meanwhile we can just wait and see.