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16-31 May 2012    25 Jamadiul Akhar- 10 Rajab 1433 Hijri

Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East. The selection of an item does not mean the endorsement or concurrence with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND

The Etemaad Urdu Daily (The Confidence Urdu Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 29 May 2012, Tuesday
1. Big Powers are Targeting Iran
The negotiation between Western powers and Tehran on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme has failed again. In the talks that were held in Baghdad, the six world powers demanded from Iran to immediately halt development of uranium to 20 percent. A standard 20 percent development is supposedly close to atomic bomb. Iran argued that the heavy economic sanctions imposed in it shall be lifted and its right to develop uranium for peaceful purposes shall be recognized. The way this round of negotiation ended suggests that the talks did not come close to any agreement. However, the reaction of both delegations after the talks give an impression that the two sides very well understand each other’s contentions, which itself can be termed as a positive development.

If the big powers put aside their political inhibitions and recognize Iran’s right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes then the conflict can be amicably resolved. The Islamic leadership of Iran have reiterated more than once that Islam prohibits use of weapons of mass destruction and that Iran is committed to Islamic doctrines. Despite Iran is being prevented from exercising its rights only because of some rhetoric for political gains. Iran has maintained that its nuclear programme is for medical purposes but the stand taken by the five permanent members of UNSC and Germany is that it is not clear if a NPT signatory can develop uranium for medicinal purposes. Though, a state can use its civilian nuclear programme for developing uranium under IAEA scrutiny but Iran has not used it.

The decision to hold another round of negotiations on 18 and 19 June in Moscow indicates that there are still hope for a positive outcome. The two sides should also consider the after effects of military clash. Pushing (Middle East) into the brink of war merely on the basis of rhetorical threats cannot be a wise decision by the US. The situation would not have taken such a serious turn if the US and its allies would have pursued diplomacy rather than imposition of sanctions. Unfortunately, India has also deviated from its non-aligned policy and voted against Iran in the IAEA and has reduced oil imports from Iran under US pressure. Though India has good relations with both the US and Iran, but a confused policy has made it completely weightless.

The upcoming round of talks in Moscow would be last chance for Iran to avoid sanctions on its banking system and oil industry which are extremely important for its economy. These moves would be completely unjustified from any point of view. It also puts stamp on the death of non-alignment policy as far as international politics is concerned. Russia may still be a major player but it also has its own interests in Middle East while a number of countries in the region are under American influence. The region remained under immense pressure after the end of Second World War due to power struggle between two world powers. The Middle East has not been able to completely leave behind these influences.

Iran never claimed its superiority nor tried to bully its neighbours after the fall of Shah in the Islamic revolution but the American policy of weakening Iran came to the fore when Iraq attacked Iran in 1980. The long war destroyed the economy of the two big countries in the region and created political uncertainty. It was obviously unfortunate that two Muslim nations were fighting a war against each other.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy