Contributed by Adam Carlton
The United States political leadership is once again playing s dangerous game, posing a significant threat to the world, as it builds the naval presence at the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, to put pressure on Iran.
This is being justified as necessary to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
This raises questions over whether there has been a significant building towards nuclear weapons in Iran, whether the United States has the right to dictate the course that other nations take, and whether there is a double standard when a nuclear powered and perhaps even nuclear armed ships are sent into the region.
A nuclear agreement in regard to Iran was singed in 2015. Although progress has been slow, there has been a lessening of tensions and some shift towards normality. That is, until now.
The new rise in tension, was brought about with Washington’s imposition of tougher economic sanctions. Iran’s leaders have retaliated by threatening to turn towards the nuclear option, if the pressure is not lifted.
It is the United States that has pulled out of the 2015 agreement.
The other signatories, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia the United Kingdom and China still support it.
No evidence that Iran has violated the agreement has been put forward. Donald Trump himself has admitted the real reason behind his administration’s shift. The escalation of sanctions is tied to the accusation that Tehran has is “providing support for militant groups.”
In reality, this is a major public relations exercise, in part, following significant setbacks in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where Tehran has given support for forces fighting American backed factions, or direct foreign military attacks, such as is the case in Yemen.
The rising aggressiveness of Israel over the treatment of Palestinians and annexation of occupied territory. Washington continues to back Israel is another crucial factor.
Most important of all, is the failing American plan for regime change in Venezuela, which resulted in the spectacular collapse of the attempted Juan Guaido coup, which Washington had planned and backed all the way.
The simultaneous failure in Venezuela and rising tension with Iran is no accident. Washington has been hit by a significant blow to its global standing and finds itself in need of a diversion.
Iran fits the bill. It has had the affront to support the elected Nicolas Maduro administration in Venezuela, on top of being blamed for failures in the Middle East and Persian Gulf.
The diplomatic strategy is to accuse Iran, along with Cuba, for propping up Maduro. Both countries had increased sanctions imposed on them. This is what has escalated into a military standoff.
This is what is behind the present standoff.
There have been some reported attacks in the Persian gulf. Although some Saudi tankers are said to have been involved, it is not yet clear who is responsible. But this creates the scenario for accusations and increases the risk of shots being fired.
This confrontation must end. There must be a pulling back from sabre rattling that risks the whole world. It must be replaced with diplomacy, to provide the best conditions to minimise the risk of a nuclear arms race, and enable Iran the breathing space to move forward, without being boxed in, under constant threat and having its economy attacked.
This is not going to happen until the world insists on some basic standards of behaviour. Standards that apply to apply to all nations without exception.
The first one is that the internal affairs of one is a matter for it’s people and not for an external power to decide. The doctrine of regime change must go.
Achieving this requires adherence to another principle, and that where there are differences, these should be resolved on the foundation of mutual respect, without the use of gunboat diplomacy, or other forms of bullying of weaker nations by more powerful ones.
The world is becoming a more dangerous place and only the insistence of of peoples and governments and will bring about a change.