The escalating international brawl we are seeing is not between the US and Iran, even though the former may be taking the lead in pointing fingers at Tehran?s nuclear activities.india Updated: May 01, 2006 00:07 IST
The escalating international brawl we are seeing is not between the US and Iran, even though the former may be taking the lead in pointing fingers at Tehran’s nuclear activities. It is between the UN and Iran, occasioned by the latter’s refusal to accept a UN mandate to stop uranium enrichment. Contrary to what its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims, this demand is not to deny Iran’s right to nuclear technology. It comes at the head of a two-year long process that has not been able to provide a final answer as to whether or not Iran is clandestinely seeking to make nuclear weapons. Having, hopefully, learnt the lesson of ignoring the UN in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, the US is acting along with its Security Council colleagues to get Tehran to behave on the nuclear issue.
What is worrisome are the remarks that Mr Ahmadinejad has made about Israel, and the kind of preparations being visibly made in Iran to launch a global terrorist campaign against a putative US attack. In this, the Iranian President’s deeply held religious beliefs don’t give much comfort. He finances an institute in Tehran on the Twelfth Imam who went missing a millennia or so ago, and whose apocalyptic return would bring a perfect Islamic society in the world before the day of judgment. Similarly, millennial beliefs are shared by a significant numbers of US Christians who believe in the Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. And where the Iranians are seeking nuclear weapons, the US already has a lot of them. This isn’t a happy situation.
No one will argue that the world has a perfect system of global governance. But having a UN is better than having none. The world body has displayed deep flaws, not in the least in its mechanism to prevent war and maintain peace. Those with special authority in this area -- the P-5 of the Security Council -- have not been outstanding examples as upholders of the UN charter. But if their power is brazenly mocked at, we will be back in the pre-World War II era, when might was right. All things considered, the time for talk has passed and the UNSC needs to act now to corral Iran.