By Haider Ali.
State run news agencies inIranhave released statements pertaining toIran’s latest nuclear energy advancements. They have managed to produce their first nuclear fuel rod, which will in turn be used for powering the atomic research reactor presently residing in Tehran. The news is a great blow to the United States and her western cohorts who were hoping to deter Iran from progressing any further in their nuclear research. They fear that the nuclear program is in fact a complete facade and that they intend to develop a nuclear weapon.
The news comes on the back of the Iranian navy test-firing its long-range Qader surface-to-sea missile; clearly indicative of a retort towards the American provocateurs who have ratcheted up tensions via their only military drills commencing in the region. The anxiety caused by these recent war games has prompted the Russians to release a cautious statement of the repercussions such a war between the two embattled states could have. The Chinese have also promoted the idea of conciliatory talks between both sides in order to avert an impending war, but thus far have fallen on deaf ears.
Obama signed into declaration on New Year’s Eve a legislative bill renewing far more stringent sanctions upon Iran. The intended affects are clear to see, tightening the bolts around the Iranian Central Bank from operating and trading worldwide. Certainly considered an act of war by many, the Iranians have responded in kind with the threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz. A vital strategic location between Iran and Oman, as it is the trade route used by many to facilitate the export of at least one third of the world’s oil on a daily basis.
The mere notion has caused market prices to fluctuate with crude oil prices surging to a hundred and one dollars a barrel in the week of December 27th, before slowly decreasing to ninety-seven dollars a few days later. In light of this, the Iranians have tried to make diplomatic overtures by trying to bring the Europeans back to the negotiating table. The country’s main nuclear mediator, Saeed Jalili, planned to send a letter to the European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, which may be followed by a new round of talks.
Mann stated on December 31, ironically on the day Barack Obama was signing into law crippling sanctions, that Ashton had not received a response to a letter sent to Jalili in October. The EU is willing to follow a “twin-track approach” and is “open for meaningful discussions on confidence-building measures, without preconditions from the Iranian side,” Mann cautiously said with a hint of pessimism.
It certainly appears stupid when thinking about the implications of what this whole debacle could cause. The sanctions, which come into affect within a month, will completely debilitate the Iranian economy as it will deter companies and foreign investment groups from wanting to invest, fearing they could get hit with hefty fines eventually causing the Iranian economy to suffocate. With their western antagonists hoping it will create a stranglehold on Iranian revenues, which won’t allow them to fund their ambitious nuclear project. In reality only the Iranian people will endure difficulty causing resentment on a more endemic level towards the west.
If the Iranians do retaliate in kind and close the Strait of Hormuz, the blockage of oil into the west could be catastrophic for their own economies, which are still feeling the impact of the current recession. Not to consider what the lack of energy will do for homes and for people who depend on it to provide petrol for cars and energy for businesses. The stock market will lead to chaos causing this unnecessary paradox to become a reality.
Not only is this diabolical pursuit of aggression againstIranlikely to have blowback ramifications, but the efficacy of these measures will lead to an inevitable war, one such theUnited Statescan’t afford. One must ponder about whether it could afford to fight a long and protracted war against Iran, a nation far more equipped than Iraq, bigger and resilient. Besides the geostrategic principles involved the reality on the ground has to be considered as well. With the vast majority of the United States forces stretched across the Middle East, the countries economy in complete strife and a rebellious anti-war movement brewing, the US can ill-afford to battle Iran.