The geopolitics of chaos

The geopolitics of chaos

iran_nuclear_iaea_850864233Translated by Ana Maria Miu

Lately the world has been in an extreme state of tension caused by an old concern: the development of nuclearprograms by so called “dangerous states”. After the United States used this phrase in 2003 as an argument to invade Iraq and establish a democracy in this country, it was Iran’s turn to make the American’s list. The situation is not new, of course, sanctions have been imposed on this state long before this, but the lack of cooperation on Iran’s part and pressures on an international level have transformed the Iranian situation into a smoking barrel, ready to explode at the slightest spark ignited by some benevolent neighbor, perhaps Israel…

While the great powers of the world are engaged in a public duel of almost apocalyptic statements, the truth remains that an intervention in Iran , however strong the coalition initiating it might be, would start chaos and war in the Middle East, maybe even on a global scale. The somewhat desperate measures adopted by some European states, such as France and Germany, to impose sanctions on Iran in the hopes of forcing it to retake a seat at the negotiation’s table and undertake a transparent attitude regarding its nuclear program will, in my opinion, only affect Iran’s population, the only one who is really suffering from said sanctions’ effects. The resemblance to Iraq’s situation is quite striking, in both cases the population being the one who ultimately suffers the penalties imposed by the West, a population already in an extremely precarious condition. However, all these sanctions imposed on Tehran do not remain without consequence, and I believe the most visible are those recorded in the rising levels of oil prices, which could lead to a decline in supplying the global demand by approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, and this coming from the world’s fifth oil producer. From a political point of view, concerns are also quite relevant, many analysts even predicting an indirect attack from Iran against the United States or one of its allies.

Although worldwide these sanctions are regarded as representing a new and important stage in the international community’s efforts to increase pressure on Iran, there are disagreements between the states which impose such severe measures, which demonstrates the fact that there is no statement of unity in the international community in countering the Iranian nuclear program threat, over which there still hovers a trace of uncertainty and doubt. It is enough to observe the attitudes of states such as Great Britain, Russia or China to realize that the world’s great powers are not in tandem regarding a response to the Iranian situation. Ever since tensions began to increase, the UK stated that it does not want an armed conflict with Iran, even though it will deal with it firmly. Russia’s position is also interesting, as it has issued a warning that Israel’s belligerent attitude towards Iran could have catastrophic consequences, leading to increased tensions at an international level and the imminence of an armed conflict.

Iran’s attitude is, in my opinion, extremely controversial and contradictory. Although it strongly states that its nuclear program has no other purpose than peaceful use for population benefits and electricity consumption, it is not, however, willing to give the international experts the possibility to exactly assess the veracity of said statements. Iran’s decision to impose new restrictions to the general population’s internet access, its only means of contact with the outside world, also seems quite repressive. Access to popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, is now restricted in Iran, considering the fact that the internet has played a major role in 2009’s wave of anti-governmental protests following the extremely contested reelection of president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejah.

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