Millennium Post

Prevent conflicts

Prevent conflicts
Matters have escalated in the Middle East to the extent that two countries all but declared open war at the 54th Munich Security Conference. The fact that everything happened as dramatically as it did only helped increase prevalent concerns and apprehensions. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif bickered on Sunday at the Security Conference and left everyone wondering about what would happen next. "Israel will act not only against Iran's proxies but also Iran itself, if necessary," Netanyahu said in a speech, adding, Iran is "the greatest threat to the world" and that "we will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck." Netanyahu recalled the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich and the 1938 Munich agreement, telling the security conference, "We will never allow a rewriting of history. We will not forget. We will not forgive. We will always fight for the truth." During his speech, he brought with himself a part of an Iranian drone shot down above Israel, yelling to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif: "Do you recognise this? You should. It's yours. Don't test Israel's resolve." He went on to describe Zarif as the "smooth-talking mouthpiece of a regime" who "lies with eloquence." On expected lines, the Iranian Foreign Minister hit back and that too, with plenty of sarcasm. Zarif described Netanyahu's words as "delusional attempts." "Our turmoil in this interconnected world will be everyone's turmoil," Zarif added, saying, "If Iran's interests are not secured, Iran will respond seriously." In addition, he noted that no country can claim to be completely innocent referring to the arms race in the region. Over 500 participants from around the world attended the major annual gathering for international security issues from amid uncertain transatlantic relations and challenges to the liberal international order. But, the spat between Netanyahu and Zarif was much more than that. It carries grave implications and the Middle East, driven by so many conflicts, cannot afford another. As matters stand, the United States is no longer the peace and power broker it used to be in the region. That role has been slowly but surely ceded to Russia which is trying to intervene as and when it deems fit. Interestingly, Arabs are no longer the principal players in what once used to be referred to as Arabia. Now, there are countries like Russia, Turkey, USA, among others, taking up the roles that would eventually decide the fate of the Middle East. But the region can ill afford another war. Everything may have started with the ill-fated intervention in Iraq in the early-90s only to move on to what is now a burning Syria. Too many have perished in the dreaded region. Any chance of another conflict must be nipped immediately.

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