Efforts urged to ease US-Iran tensions

Saturday, 2020-01-11 10:10:36
 Font Size:     |        Print

NDO – The Middle East is currently in need of “diplomatic rain” to alleviate tensions between the United States and Iran following the two sides’ moves to launch retaliatory air strikes on the Iraqi territory.

The international community has asked the two countries to exercise restraint, while accelerating efforts to prevent the US-Iran confrontation from getting out of control and avoid the occurrence of a possible hot war.

Tit-for-tat words and retaliatory moves in the field between Iran and the US have led analysts to put forward many scenarios for the situation in the Middle East. Many countries called for priority to diplomatic solutions aiming to ease the current situation. US allies in the Gulf also discussed and consulted with the US and their regional partners to relieve tensions and prevent the risk of war. Countries around the world continued to call for the de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East, while urging to find solutions through dialogue. As a bloc with many nations that are participating in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, the European Union (EU) is concerned about the tense new developments posing security threats to missions of its member states in Iraq. To prevent the risk of escalating conflict, EU foreign ministers are scheduled to convene a meeting to discuss the Middle East situation, including efforts to persuade Iran to comply with its commitments under the nuclear deal. Only the maintenance of the nuclear agreement that Tehran signed with the P5+1 powers can help cool down the current tensions.

Although US President Donald Trump said he does not want a war with Iran, the recent moves from Washington to prepare a response to Tehran have raised concerns within the US administration. The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on a draft resolution seeking to prevent President Trump from waging war with Iran. Democrats said they would push the vote because their concerns had not been resolved in a caucus chaired by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a number of other senior officials. US lawmakers want the White House to have a clear strategy to ensure the safety of the US people, as well as to reduce tensions with Iran and ensure stability in the Gulf.

The concerns of US congressmen stem from the reality that, according to the 1973 US War Powers Act, the Government needs to inform Congress about major military actions. However, President Trump still insisted it was legal for him to order an air strike against Iraq’s international airport without informing or consulting with Congress. In the meantime, even Republican senators called on the Trump administration to resolve tensions with Iran. Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Trump in the Senate, also stated that retaliation for the purpose of revenge is not necessary at the moment. Senator Mike Lee urged the US President to “step down the stairs” and consult with the Congress on any further steps concerning the Iran issue.

Although the situation in the Gulf continues to proceed complicatedly, diplomatic efforts are underway to ease concerns. Secretary General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Mohammed Barkindo said that Iraq’s oil facilities were safe and that oil production in the country still continues to take place normally. The United Arab Emirates said it has not seen a threat to oil shipment through the Strait of Hormuz, stating that the current situation is not a war and should not be exaggerated. While the media continue to report on the dangerous US-Iran confrontation, the international community urges the parties to refrain from escalating the tensions that are threatening security and stability in the Gulf.