A potential conflict | Pakistan Today

A potential conflict

  • A US-Iran war would be devastating

For years, the USA has had its eyes set on Iran, or so the world thinks, its nuclear programme being the pivotal point of conflict. While US President Donald Trump’s predecessor entered into a deal with the Iranians, the incumbent president was quick to pull out of it.

Trump’s quick move however, endangered the long-lost stability in the region. It has been rumoured for far too long now that the USA wants to invade Iran just like it did Iraq. Considered an enemy and potential threat to its forces in the region, the USA has rallied against Iran every chance it gets and continues to do so. The West, naturally, follows its lead.

Despite tensions for years, the two countries have never actually come into a potential conflict situation. Though a few isolated encounters can be ticked off the list, yet a full-scale military confrontation has not been witnessed in the recent past. Iran has stepped on the jugular vein of the oil supply to the West, the Strait of Hormuz. This being a quite narrow stretch, in between which, a substantial amount of the world’s oil supply sails through. The USA has been made to feel uneasy by the occasional, veiled threats let out by the Iranians regarding the Strait.

Considering all the contributing factors, Pakistan, without choosing a side, should actively advocate restraint and play a more significant role in bringing both parties to the table. It would be in the best interest of Pakistan to defuse the tension

In spite of threats, Iran has not actually acted upon it by moving in to close the Strait, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of doing so. And the USA knows and appreciates that. Probably why the USS Abraham Lincoln finds itself sailing through Persian waters. The USA foresees Iran acting on its threats and as a precaution, or so it says, has deployed its fleet, effectively escalating tensions between the two countries.

The nuclear programme and the Strait, however, aren’t the only two reasons behind the troubled relationship. Israel, is the third player in the triangle. In the event of an attack by the USA, the Iranians have time and again threatened to lay waste to the illegal occupied territory of Israel. Due to the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, Iran continues to criticise the Israelis and has seriously threatened to attack and destroy it many times in the past. One of the predictions behind the recent escalation is also a pre-emptive strike against the Iranians so as to avoid a disastrous attack on Israel, though this seems to be a far-fetched conspiracy theory.

The beating war-drums by the USA in the Persian waters will soon be silenced as it seems. It is unlikely that the USA will engage Iran in a full-scale military conflict. Iran might actually carry out the threat against Israel in retaliation and there would be no stopping it. By isolating the Iranians, the USA has effectively silenced all channels of communication which could have been used to broker peace between the two countries. The sanction-ridden country has already faced the brunt of the most part of the world and seemingly, has nothing to lose. It would be suicidal. But for the Iranians, it would serve a purpose. They consider it a spiritual duty to fight the Americans and the Israelis. The USA is considered the mother of all evil in their eyes. Hatred for the USA is what a new-born child carries from the womb. It would indeed be difficult to fight off such a charged-up nation willing to spill its blood if that means the destruction of either Israel or the USA or, preferably, both.

It is imperative that the escalating tensions between the countries should be eliminated at the earliest. Not only a potential conflict would be disastrous for Iran, it would be catastrophic for the entire region. Thousands of innocent people, who have nothing to do with the corridors of power, would suffer. Neither the Iranian leadership nor the White House would be spilling blood. It will be soldiers, without fault, on both sides who would be slain in the egocentric fight.

Nonetheless, the Iranians remain confident. Their foreign minister laughed off the threats as being hallucinations and categorically stated that no one was foolish enough to attack them. He may or may not be right. Though, the list of the countries who would eagerly want to see Iran attacked has grown over the past years. The USA, Israel and the Arab nations under the umbrella of the Saudis, consider Iran an enemy. And yet, the isolated nation continues to look all of them in the eye. The Western world naturally rallies behind the USA and blames Iran for almost everything it has ever been accused of. So, do we.

Unfortunately, Pakistan has always relied upon external factors whilst making decisions of its own. To please our Western friends and the Saudi ‘brothers’, we have pushed Iran away and created a no-go area in between. Notwithstanding the fact that we share a border with Iran, we have managed to create an uneasy relationship with them. The lack of trust is evident.

At the moment, what Pakistan needs to realise is, the threat it faces in light of an ensuing conflict in the region. With Iran out of the way, all the guns would turn towards us, or more so, towards Balochistan. Even otherwise, a conflict of this scale would contribute to lives lost, economic activity suspended and may even potentially be the trigger of a much greater war. Maybe, the conflict lifts the curtain on the final war. The war which has the potential to bringing about an end the world as we know it.

Considering all the contributing factors, Pakistan, without choosing a side, should actively advocate restraint and play a more significant role in bringing both parties to the table. It would be in the best interest of Pakistan to defuse the tension. A potential conflict, on the other hand, would risk the very stability that we ourselves have sought after for the past so many years. The explosions in the Persian Gulf would vibrate through the foundations of our country and would have the prospects of having a trickle-down effect.