You are here

Testing the waters, playing with fire

Sep 25,2017 - Last updated at Sep 25,2017

Iran’s Friday testing of a ballistic missile with a range of around 2,000 kilometres is bound to stir yet another flash point in a region already rife with conflicts that defy easy resolution.

Tehran’s missile goes by the name of Khorramshahr, commemorating an important event: the liberation of this inland port city after a major engagement with Iraq during the war between the two, in 1982.

The new long-range missile is reportedly capable of carrying several warheads and cluster bombs, with the spectre of nuclear bomb hanging over.

In support of its launch, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country “will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary” without seeking anyone’s “permission to defend our land”.

That sounds like a legitimate right, but the next statement, “whether you like it or not we are going to help Syria, Yemen and Palestine, and we will strengthen our missiles”, irked the US president clearly anxious about Israel.

True to form, Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday: “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have.”

The North Korea thing must have been added for good measure. As for the pact pertaining to Iran’s nuclear programme, Trump was in disagreement with the agreement even before the latest Iranian move, so no news there.

Rouhani actually stressed that Iran remains fully committed to the accord it reached with six Western nations regarding its nuclear programme.

While the military race is worrying any sane citizen on this planet, letting spirits boil will not help.

Cooler heads should prevail like that of French President Emmanuel Macron who recently told the CNN that “although the 2015 Iran deal was not perfect, the international community should stick with it or risk facing another situation like North Korea”.

Some nations, spearheaded by the US and Israel, condemned the testing of the new Iranian missile, calling it a grave violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the accord struck two years ago, which stipulates lifting of sanctions on Iran in return for it stopping its nuclear programme.

Trump said the testing of the new missile is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that called on Iran not to undertake any provocative steps.

What the countries that voiced criticism of Iran’s latest move can do about it is another issue.

Trump already has much on his foreign policy plate, on top of which is North Korea’s nuclear testing.

The obvious thing is to closely monitor Iran’s activities on this front. No one wants to see a duplication of North Korea and, according to Rouhani, no one has a reason to fear that.

Still, the region does not need a development in the direction of nuclear capability, if only to match that of Iran.

An arms race on top of the myriad problems and armed conflicts in the area will only divert much-needed funds for economic development, which the countries of the region desperately need.

If the economic conditions in the Middle East do not improve, turmoil in countries where poverty and unemployment are widespread is bound to multiply.

 

The model should be money spent for peaceful undertakings that yield prosperity, not on means of destruction that could annihilate entire civilisations.

up
25 users have voted.

Comments

TTHIS IS ANOTHER CRAZY IDEA THAT SOME COUNTRIES CAN NOT AND SHALL NOT DEFEND THEMSELVES WHILE OTHERS CAN DO AS THEY WISH. IRAN IS NEITHER TARGETING ANY PERSON NOR BUILDING THEIR MISSILES SO THAT THEY CAN START WAR AGAINST ANY PERSON. DONT WE REMEMBER WHEN IRAN WAS A SITTING DOCK AND BARRAGES OF MISSILES WAS RAINING IN THEIR CAPITAL. IN MY OPINION, MIDDLE EAST SHOULD BE A MILITARY FREE ZONE NEVER MIND THE STOCK PILES OF NUKES BY SOME IN THAT REGION AND WE ALL SEE THEM BUT CHOOSE TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY. IRAN IS NEITHER VIOLATING ANY TREATIES, CONVENTIONS OR INTERNATIONAL LAWS SO WHAT IS THE FORCE ALL ABOUT. TO BE ON RECORD, I DO NOT LIKE THE MILLITRIZATION OF THAT REGION BECAUSE IT IS A BEAUTIFUL REGION AND HOMES TO MANY RELIGIOUS SITES. IN FACT, IT IS GOD'S HOME AND THESE CRAZINESS OF TWO THAT HAS CONVERTED THE REGION INTO TESTING GROUNDS FOR THE TOYS OF WAR IS DANGEROUS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN STOP IT BUT NOT IN A STRATIFIED MANNER.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
9 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.