Iran’s dangerous brinkmanship
Amid regional and global tensions stemming essentially from its expansionist and bellicose behaviour, Iran continues to engage in brinkmanship that threatens to spark a military confrontation in the region.
Iran has breached the level of enriched uranium stockpile as defined by the 2015 nuclear deal and plans other provocative moves.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Iran intends to carry out its threat to resume construction of a heavy water reactor and would proceed to the point that “according to you, is dangerous and can produce plutonium.”
Through its breach of nuclear stockpile and heavy water levels, Iran wants to force Europe into steering away from the implementation of US sanctions. It might trigger an opposite reaction — the imposition of new European sanctions against it.
Iran also continues its support to proxies in the region including armed groups in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.
Among such proxy militias, Yemen’s Houthis pursue their drone and missile attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, causing casualties among nationals and expatriates. Nobody has any doubt the Houthis’ military abilities, boosted by Iran’s active support, serve to carry out Tehran’s regional agenda.
A 2018 UN panel noted, for instance, the Houthis’ Qasef-1 unmanned aerial vehicle is “virtually identical in design, dimensions and capability to that of the Ababil-T, manufactured by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries.”
Iran’s behaviour only augurs further escalation of tensions. US President Donald Trump warned Iran is “playing with fire” but Tehran countered with threats of its own.
Alluding to the Iran hostage crisis of 1980, an Iranian senior official was quoted as warning the US president that Iran could make him a “one-term president.”
“We have unseated an American president in the past, we can do it again,” he tweeted.