Deescalate tension


WITH each passing day, tension is unfortunately mounting between Iran and the Western nations. The increased presence of US military in the region and now the Iranian seizure of a British oil tanker in the strategic waterway – the Strait of Hormuz – have further flared up the situation. This ongoing showdown has caused jitters around the globe with each manoeuvre bringing fear that any misunderstanding and misstep by either side could lead to war.
Indeed, there is no point to point fingers and hurl accusations of which side is responsible for the current situation but the fact remains that tension in the region has been escalating since US President Donald Trump withdrew the US last year from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Iran, including its oil exports despite the fact that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal. It is something that was also admitted by the UN nuclear monitoring agency the IAEA in its recent report saying its inspectors were given unfettered access to the Iranian nuclear facilities. If go by the facts, the US had no reason to back down from the deal. Anyway, the current situation indeed warrants a diplomatic push as any military misadventure will have disastrous consequences for the whole Middle Eastern region already hit hard by various conflicts. Dialogue is the only way forward to calm down the situation and take the matters towards improvement. US President Donald Trump had come to power with the promise of ending wars and we expect that the way he has handled the situation with North Korea, the Iranian matter should also be treated in the same manner in order to make this region and the world at large free of conflicts. Imposing sanctions do not serve any purpose but it is the greater level of engagement and confidence building measures that will help remove misunderstandings. We will also ask the United Nations Secretary General play its role and mediate between both the sides. Important capitals as well as the neighbouring countries of Iran have also a responsibility and they need to come forward and help negotiate a peaceful way out of this crisis.