ISSN 2330-717X

Who Needs Fire In Gulf? – OpEd


By Igor Siletsky

The Iranian nuclear programme has entered a new stage. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad introduced the latest achievements of that industry on Wednesday the 15th of February declaring that no one will prevent his country from mastering the peaceful atom. The western countries and Israel have a different opinion: experts believe that the period of active hostilities against Iran is not far off. Moscow, on its part, warns that Russia will not join anti-Iranian sanctions under any circumstances.

Western countries’ reckoning that tough sanctions and threats will make Tehran a good boy and curtail the Iranian nuclear programme does not come true. Incidentally, Moscow has many times warned its colleagues about it. Using today’s fashionable expression, Iran has a symmetric response to all measures taken by the UN and some western countries unilaterally. Tehran’s response to the ban on Iranian oil export to European countries came on the 15th of February: Tehran announced stopping oil deliveries to the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal. Later the Ministry of Petroleum reassured that the final decision had not been taken yet. Still, the announcement came as an unpleasant surprise to Europe which is stuck in the debt crisis and cold, because Europe was planning to give up Iranian oil only in the summer.

Meanwhile, the Iranian peaceful atom is taking new heights. On Wednesday, heat-emitting elements of Iranian production were fed into the Tehran research reactor for the first time. The first element was fed personally by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The state TV informed that the concentration of the fuel rods is 20% which proves the achievements of Iranian scientists. Nuclear physicists have produced new, fourth generation centrifuges for uranium concentration.

At the same time, clouds are gathering on the Iranian borders. The West, obviously, does not believe in the success of the sanctions and continues to build up military pressure on Tehran. A US and NATO military alignment is concentrating around Iran. It has 450 missiles at its disposal. As a result, the probability of starting hostilities in the region has grown manifold.

Announcer: News about terrorist acts also whips up tensions. Earlier this week terrorists made attempts at attacking Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi and Delhi. In the Georgian capital the explosive device was defused but in the Indian capital several people were injured. Israeli authorities accused Iran of arranging those attacks, and also the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah. Apart from this, several explosions sounded in Bangkok. The Thailand authorities also came to the conclusion that the terrorist acts had been prepared by Iranian citizens and one was even detained. Tehran dismisses all these charges. Indeed, it would hardly be in Iran’s interests to further whip up tensions, Vladimir Sotnikov, an analyst from the Centre of International Security, says.

“At present, there is neither strategic nor tactical benefit for Iran in aggravating the situation. Iran still hopes against hope that the international situation around the nuclear problem will somehow stabilize. It would be strange if in this context Iran carried out terrorist acts and provoked the international community to tougher pressure.”

Announcer: Moscow points out that some countries may cynically consider the current situation an opportunity to change the government in Tehran. The Russian Foreign Ministry declared that Russia completely rules out its participation in such a scenario. The tragic fate of Libya very well demonstrates what such steps can result in. The world community can and should help settle conflicts by peaceful means without imposing solutions on sovereign countries.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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