On collision course

Published: May 12, 2019

Almost one year after US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal Iran signed with six world powers to scale back its weapons programme and uranium enrichment, the beat of war drums is louder than ever. In a reciprocal response to Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the crippling economic sanctions that followed, Tehran warned this week that it would resume higher uranium enrichment in 60 days if the remaining signatories of the international accord did not make good on promises to shield its oil and banking sectors.

Events have taken a dramatic double twist, after reports by Israel outlining a possible plan by Iran to attack US forces in the Mideast. In response, the increasing population of radical warmongers in Trump’s cabinet were prompt in dispatching an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region. These very hawks, in the Trump administration, with perennial records of agitating for the overthrow of the government in Tehran have worked tirelessly to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action better known as the nuclear deal since 2016. Perhaps this is their moment. They have managed to assemble a small disparate coalition of Iran’s opponents including Israel — all united in their goal to reduce Iran to modern-day Iraq — chaotic and mired in endless bloodshed.

The recent deployment of a US aircraft carrier is being used by National Security Adviser John Bolton as a unique threat against Tehran. A threat that must not be ignored. After all Bolton played a pivotal role in pushing former president George W Bush into the Iraq conflict. The movement of US military and naval assets is ratcheting up tension in Iran. There are hardliners in Tehran who are seeking degradation of ties with the US and other countries for their own political gains. The unfolding situation is dangerous and it’s incendiary, to say the least. Both sides must act now to prevent a cycle of unintended consequences in the near future.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2019.

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