Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 18th, 2018

Political Rivalries Will Jeopardize Regional Stability

The tension between Iran on the one side and Israel and the US on the other side will pose serious threat to regional stability. The Tehran-Washington emerging cold war following the withdrawal of US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – signed in 2015 under which Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment program and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons – will be court disaster.
After the Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal in May 8, Washington threatened to impose sanctions on Iran but left it with one more option which was accepting a list of dozen demands released by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday and calls on Iran to practice tighter restrictions on its nuclear program than those of 2015 nuclear deal, halt its ballistic missile program, release the US prisoners, etc. It was added that Iran will face “the strongest sanctions in history” if she did not comply with the demands. Iranian officials showed a backlash against the list and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept that the United States decides for the world. Countries have their independence”.
On the contrary, Israel, the US long-term strong ally, hailed Washington’s pledge to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” and called other countries to follow the lead. Israeli Prime Minister said, “We believe that it is only policy that can ultimately guarantee peace”.
The tension and cold war have been mounted in the Middle East recently after a number of events. The US, UK and France carried out more than hundred missiles in Syria in April 14 following a week to threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Damascus. The act, which made the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting, was condemned by Iran and Russia as Vladimir Putin called the strikes an “act of aggression” adding that they would add to the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, but the strikes were supported by Australia.
In May 14, at least 60 Palestinians were killed, including a baby who died from teargas inhalation, and more than 2,200 were wounded in the wake of gunfire and tear gas carried out by Israeli soldiers as the US sought to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The violence drew widespread international condemnation. The UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres said he was “profoundly alarmed and concerned by the sharp escalation of violence and the number of Palestinians killed and injured in the Gaza protests.” Similarly, Riyad Mansour, ambassador of the permanent observer mission of the state of Palestine to the UN, condemned the issue in the strongest terms and called it “odious massacre”.
However, Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the Gaza violence and he was backed by White House saying Hamas “intentionally and cynically provoking this response” – the allegation denied by Hamas.  The move narrowed the chance of peace between Palestine and Israel as Palestinian said that US could no longer serve as an honest broker any peace process despite the fact that Trump said he would remain committed to peace between the two sides.
Subsequent to the death of 60 Palestinians, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and called the killing as “savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces” and Erdogan compared the action of Israeli forces to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews in World War Two. Iran’s President called on Muslim countries “to cut their relations with the Zionist regime and also to revise their trade and economic ties with America”.
All the aforementioned issues are believed to result in tense relations between US and Iran. In other words, the confrontation between US and Israel on the one side and Iran on the other has underlain the recent tense relation. Now the question is what is the implication of this tension for the regional stability?
The cold war and political rivalries in the Middle East will destabilize the region and fuel the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Palestine. That is to say, both political opponents and proponents will seek their interests and act to protect them even at the cost of people’s life. As a result, Israeli officials said that they killed Palestinians to protect their territory. This issue will apply everywhere in the Middle East and political parties will seek to defend their interests by jeopardizing the life of others. In such a case, no respect will be shown to international law.
Moreover, Afghanistan will not be immune to the consequences of regional conflicts, either. If the US be engaged in bigger issues, Afghanistan will be left behind. Despite Trump’s initial claim to eradicate the radical groups from the surface of earth, the unmitigated violence continue unabated in Afghanistan and both the Taliban and IS group carry out large-scale attacks killing soldiers and civilians in large number. The escalated insurgency in Afghanistan shows that the US pays less attention to the country’s conflict.
Regardless of the fact that who is right or wrong in the Middle East issue, the security situation will be worsened across the region, including Afghanistan, if the cold war and political rivalries continue. The world will have to stop political confrontation and practice upon international law so that no life be lost and no opportunity for peace agreement be missed.