Dangerous games in the Gulf

THE more things change in the Middle East, the more they seem to remain the same. As if tensions in the world’s most volatile region weren’t high enough, the United States has decided to “upgrade” its military presence in the Gulf. Washington is deploying new defences against possible Iranian missile attacks by placing battle ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf countries. It goes without saying that the ostensible provocation and justification for the US moves is the increasingly hawkish posturing and rhetoric of the Iranian regime and the apparent threat potential to America’s allies in the region. However, you do not have to be a genius to know that the real reason behind the US actions against Iran is Israeli pressure on the Obama administration. Tel Aviv has never really kept its designs against Iran and its nuclear ambitions a secret. Of late, with an increasingly belligerent regime in power in Israel, an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations looks like an increasing possibility.

So maybe the Obama administration is trying to send the message to both Iran and Israel that Washington means business and takes the so-called threat from Teheran seriously. For this dangerous situation, Iran has to blame no one but itself. Whether its nuclear programme is peaceful or not, its jingoistic rhetoric and confrontational posturing have provided the Western powers with a perfect excuse to increase their involvement and presence in the region. Teheran may be entitled to nuclear power under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). However, with its aggressive approach to acquiring it, it has isolated itself internationally and alienated itself from its Arab neighbours. Read more of this post

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