The day after the world celebrated the ‘love day’ draped in red, television screens in the evening showcased the antonym of love. As Iran (for your geographical knowledge, a country to India‘s west sharing Pakistan’s western border) ventured into the territory of the N word, the world watched. What was described as ‘open defiance’ rattled the nerves of many a nations. As Tel Aviv grew cautious, the US moved warships closer to Iran. Media in countries like India fed people with details of the reactors, with a section not being able to decide whether to ridicule it and the other getting paranoid about it. Was the event seen as heralding of the ‘Islamic bomb’? Was it President Ahmadinejad’s challenge to the western world, presented in a pompous way, with the man himself lowering the uranium rods into the reactor, as the world watched? Or in simple words was it Iran‘s shouting out to the world that their time has arrived on the world stage with their entrance into the special N-club?
It could be a yes to all the questions above even though the emphasis of the yes could vary. Islamic bomb has been a mainstay worry of the west. With the control of oil resting with the Islamic countries of the Middle East and West Asian countries, the catapulting of any one of the nation to the nuclear club could see a shift in balance of its might. The western powers calling shots in such a situation will be firmly dealt with. The Bush administration could not find the WMD’s in Iraq, but the US sure sees the Iranian President as the MMD (Man of Mass Destruction). It has been some time now that the US has sent both covert and overt signals to Iran to backtrack from its nuclear program. So much so that sanctions have already been placed on the country.
The manner and the timing of yesterdays show of nuclear reactors could well be Ahmedinejad’s, who has a penchant for being taken seriously by the world, way of display of power. But his speech which was translated as he spoke talked about the peaceful use of nuclear power. Its usage for clean fuel, its usage in medical science among many others. Should the world believe the man for once? Or should there be distrust in his words right from the word go? Israel being paranoid about its Islamic neighborhood has tried to thwart any moves by Iran to go nuclear. The spate of assassinations of nuclear scientists has been attributed to Mossad and was a staple of News broadcast yesterday, with the Tbilisi, Delhi and Bangkok bombings. It would do more harm than good to impose more sanctions and side lining Iran at this stage.
Regarding the exclusive nuclear club, is it the fiefdom of US or the UK , or for that matter of India or of Pakistan? When these countries decided to go nuclear, there was debate in the world regarding their safety, their usage, and most importantly their intentions. But these along with China, Israel, France, Korea, did go nuclear. After all Iran doesn’t not yet have nuclear warheads, which are aplenty in the western and eastern world now. What rights does any other nation, unless rest assured about its rogue use, have to deny another nation the rightful use of nuclear power? For a developing nation, Islamic or non-Islamic, there could be plenty of usage of the technology.
Obsession with Iran could cause an imbalance in the world order. The immediate imbalance was seen when reports of Iran stopping oil supplies to six European nation emerged. It is important to engage the country, to strengthen bodies like the nuclear watchdog IAEA, create a healthy market policy among countries for fissile goods trade. Too much should not be read into yesterdays development spreading paranoia and needless scare, rather caution should be exercised.
|This is a Guest post by Sambit Dash. He is a Lecturer at the Dept. of Biochemistry & Genetics, KMC International Center, Manipal, India. His personal Blog is at SambitSpeak.|
As Tel Aviv grew cautious, the US moved warships closer to Iran.