FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Iran, the new target
Posted:Jun 7, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Into the cauldron of Middle East and Gulf politics, the militant Islamic State group has once again inserted itself with potentially terrifying consequences for a region already mired in tension, conflict and war. The twin terrorist strikes in Tehran yesterday were designed not just to inflict casualties on the Iranian people, but also to send a signal that the state of Iran itself is under attack. T
 
he choice of targets — the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, who founded the present-day Iranian state — could not be more potent. The IS, with its explicitly sectarian agenda, appears to have demonstrated that it has the resources to strike in the heart of the most important Shia-majority country in the Muslim world. And it has managed to do so at a time when, instead of uniting against the threat the group poses to all nations, the Muslim world is riven by some of the most bitter politics and disputes in years.
 
Much will depend on how the Iranian state reacts and the position that the Saudi Arabia-led cluster of Muslim countries takes on the attack. The sensible approach is clear: Saudi Arabia should recognise the peril that the IS poses to all states and immediately adjust its increasingly hawkish approach to Iran and countries allied with it; Iran should reconsider its provocative search for more influence in the Middle East and the Gulf and, instead, focus on the necessary fight against the IS. But the sensible approach is likely to have few takers and already hawkish elements in Iran have suggested that Saudi Arabia may have had a role in the Tehran attacks. 
 
With Tehran in recent years accused of cultivating sectarian proxies and non-state militant groups across swaths of the Middle East, the possibility of a fresh wave of violence across the region cannot be ruled out.
 
Yet, more conflict cannot be regarded as a foregone conclusion in a region where historical rivalries and even enmities have been managed for long stretches. While the Middle Eastern and Gulf countries will have to take responsibility for maintaining the peace between themselves, two factors appear to have contributed to the new imbalances in the region. A metastasising IS is clearly a threat to everyone — a terrorist super-group that threatens all countries but that few states appear to truly understand. It is impossible for states to manage relations among themselves while the IS remains active on the scale it is today. 
 
The second factor is US President Donald Trump and his seemingly mindless quest to destabilise the world order and supplant it with his vision of ‘America First’. From the Riyadh summit last month have already flowed dangerous new ideas and measures, not least the rapid isolation that Qatar now faces at the hands of fellow GCC members. Ignorance and recklessness can trigger the most profoundly destabilising of consequences.
 
Dawn News, June 8, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image A career diplomat, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, is the first woman to be the island nation’s envoy to India. As Foreign Secretary, she was Sri Lanka’s top diplomat for 18 months before being posted to New Delhi.
 
read-more
Israel has announced the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Jewish state since New Delhi established diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv in 1992. The visit will take place July 4-6. 
 
read-more
These are depressing times. For quite some time I have been watching with utter dismay the Secular India which Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, Abdul Ghaffar Khan and others fought for being systematically undermined by ultra-Hindu nationalists. The obsession with Mother Cow has
 
read-more
With weird concoction like "Beer Yoga" getting popular as the next big international fitness craze, the ancient art of inner blossoming is seemingly going topsy-turvy. And as yoga hogs the limelight on its third International Day, the loud call for saving the spirit of the ancient and modern practice can't be swept under
 
read-more
“We cannot allow the state brutality to which we are subjected each day snatch our humanity and values,” the Mirwaiz said, asking: “What will be the difference between them and us then?”
 
read-more
The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim section of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries has led to a suspension of the Kailash Mansarovar yatra via the new Nathu La route.
 
read-more
The city of Marawi in the south of the Philippines has been engulfed by a deadly, ongoing siege since late May, when government forces began to take on heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State. Local media estimate the death toll to be above 300. Over 200,000 residents have fled what has effectively become an urban battlefie
 
read-more
The Iraqi city of Mosul this week celebrates its first Eid free of the oppressive rule of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in three years.
 
read-more
President Donald J. Trump hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at the White House on June 26 for an official visit to Washington, D.C.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  A former Indian civil servant, who is currently a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, US spent long periods in distant villages and city slums of India. The result? A scholarly book that presen...

 
Column-image

  Title: The Exile; Author:  Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Pages: 640; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive