The recent renewal of hostilities between the United States and Iran, which led to the killing of an Iranian Army General, Maj.-Gen. Qassim Suleimani, has, no doubt, raised fresh fears of a threat to world peace.
This is coupled with the retaliatory missile attacks on the U.S. military bases in neighbouring Iraq, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
To further aggravate the situation, the subsequent downing of a Ukrainian airliner in Iran led to the death of 176 people on-board, including a Nigerian, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.
This has also heightened tension across the globe as the countries, whose nationalities were killed, talked tough and demanded full investigations with utmost cooperation from Iran.
Though the U.S. President, Donald Trump, rather than recourse to military, might as earlier threatened, eventually doused the tension in the Middle East by resulting to place further sanctions on Iran, it is yet to be seen whether there would be no further counter measures from the Iranian authorities.
The tension within the international community, owing to the claim of nuclear weapons by Iran, led to heightened fears of a third world war amid several high-powered meetings across the globe.
To prove a point, Iran launched 22 missiles at two American-run bases in Iraq. Though the attack was only symbolic in nature because it resulted in limited damages and no loss of life, it was also significant as it demonstrated the ability of the Iranian government to hit American assets in the region.
However, it is a widely held belief that Tehran would not let the assassination of one of its most senior officials go unpunished, though the Iranian attack, which could have escalated the tension to an all-out war, was said to have been deliberately calculated to ward off an impending war.
After the attack on the U.S. military base in Iraq, Trump had said Iran was “standing down” and that he is also ready for fresh negotiations with the Arab nation, a statement that could have brought relief to the world, but the U.S. president could not manage the ‘victory’ as he maintained that Iran would never be allowed to own nuclear weapons, aggravating a bad situation.
Though there is relief in Tehran after Trump’s speech, a senior Iranian commander had also aggravated the tension when he said Iran’s missile attacks against the U.S. military bases are deliberately aimed to “strike the enemy’s military machine” and not to kill, but that there would be more decisive attacks in future.
The head of the Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Force also said the attacks, in which no one was killed, marked the beginning of a string of attacks across the region.
This statement has heightened fears across the globe, where there is a growing political pressure on leaders to act boldly and urgently against nuclear arms.
The nuclear threat has attracted much attention because the world is facing a dangerous prospect of a new nuclear arms race.
This year, 2020, which began on a note of conflict, marks the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War and of the birth of the nuclear age, when atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Year 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN), which was built on the ashes of the terrible conflict of military aggression that raged for six years
It is our advocacy that this year, the world must recommit to the values of the UN, so that there would be a peaceful world.
Over the decades, the UN has helped to end numerous conflicts through the intervention of the Security Council; this present case should not be different, as we all know that the UN Security Council (UNSC) is primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The risk of a nuclear war is higher now. As such, all hands must be on deck to quell any war. Though, many people are of the opinion that even if the United States and Iran avoid direct confrontation this time, this may not be the end of their hostilities, as Iran has vowed to continue avenging General Suleimani’s death and ensure that it rids the Middle East of American troops, believing that when American soldiers are expelled from the region, the super power would be less aggressive.
When the initial tension goes down, it is possible that there would be a return to a life of hostilities in the near future, but it is advisable that the world sustains this cessation of hostilities and fragile peace among the two countries.
All countries with super weapons should be concerned with happenings in the world and how their powers must be restricted and limited.
The focus should be on the scramble for economic gains and not military might. Iran and other aspiring super powers who are trying to challenge the global hegemony of the U.S. need to channel their intentions through diplomacy and not war.
Adhering to UN resolutions and building lasting peace is the way to go in order to ensure a conflict-free world. It is better to jaw jaw than war war.