Perhaps, the dark clouds have started gathering over the Gulf region as each passing day unfolds new formidable developments. The world superpower USA and a regional but major power Iran seem to be on the brink of ‘unwillingly escapable’ confrontation. In the wake of this daunting global uncertainty, none of the two appears to be willing to take a step back to avert this dogged predicament.
The obvious cause of ongoing instability can be traced back to the 2015’s Trump’s reprehensible decision of pulling out of Iran Nuclear Deal sealed by his predecessor Barack Obama. Henceforth, both the countries have unsurprisingly remained adamant towards a new deal where on one side, Trump wants a new deal with more stringent restrictions, on the other side, Tehran wants Donald Trump to show some respect towards the existing one (JCPOA). And significantly, that is the actual bone of contention behind the baffled and fragile relations between the two countries.
May 2019 has seen the most ups and downs in the long series of rising middle east tensions, with the latest being the deployment of 1500 extra troops to the region by US President. Trump, recently, even took it to Twitter to intimidate Iran of deadly consequences that may follow Iran’s inessential action against US and its allies. The sharp repercussion of Trump followed the attack on four oil tankers at the coast of UAE, publicly claimed by Iran backed rebels of Yemen. Another regional power Saudi Arabia, too, said that it is not in the favour of a war. But, the fact, that Israel and Saudi Arabia in the region are, secretly, pushing US to confront with Iran, continues to be the undeniable basic truth as both of them are looking forward to expanding their influence in the Middle East Region.
Although, US and Iran have had a bitter history of diplomatic ties, but, no sooner Donald Trump took over, he decisively started injecting the undying tartness in the relations. Trump went on to stretch that lacuna to the extent that he even tagged Iran’s most elite military force Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group. The lethal sanctions inflicted by US on Iranian economy have begun to bite the country in several ways, ranging from food inflation to the rising clamour in Iranian domestic politics. In order to squeeze out its exports, US is lobbying, persuading and, even, intimidating other countries against doing business with Iran, and, most importantly, against buying its oil.
In the backdrop of such rowdy acts of whimsicality by US, which the whole world is witnessing today, several global economies are set to suffer viciously. And, as far as India is concerned, sadly, it hasn’t escaped unhurt. India has, though unofficially, declared that it will stop purchasing Iranian oil by not doing so since past one month. Nevertheless, US has withdrawn from Iran deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), interestingly enough, European Union seems reluctant to let the deal die in vain. But, another significant fact remains tall that the European Union will, inevitably, find it hard to effect a real break with the US in the Middle East. However, the lacuna between the strategic perceptions of US and EU has come to the fore in the open world. Where on one side the US has almost grounded all the hopes of resurgence of the said deal, and on the other, the European Union is groping for a spark to allow it to take off again.
Apparently, the Middle East region, for the moment, has become the centrepiece of grave tensions and seems standing on extremely fragile ground. Wherein even a single unnecessary and false move may shove the entire region into the volcano of war, and, at the same time, bring the global economy to its doomsdays. Although, the Middle East region is not new to the war. The region, by itself, has been a witness to a string of grim wars, happened during the course of time here. If the history of the region is anything to go by, the war that looms so large over the region— if it happens—will not come as a surprise.
With Iran’s patience like a tinder box, waiting to explode anytime soon, Trump’s strategy of ratcheting up pressure on Iran seems egregiously internecine. With his austere and punitive policies and without holding a productive dialogue with Iran, achieving peace in the region is as difficult as it gets.
The ramifications of war—If it happens — will certainly not be limited to the Middle East Region, rather the world will bear the brunt of it for decades.