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Time for statesmanship

May 20,2019 - Last updated at May 20,2019

The drone attack on two oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia last week is an ominous escalation in the war between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack. It is now a foregone conclusion that when the Houthis say they have done this or that, it is axiomatic that Iran lies behind its actions, given the close alliance between them.

The recent attacks on four ships off the coast of the UAE are now attributed to the Houthis, which means that Iran is also behind them in a bid to escalate tensions in the region and beyond after US President Donald Trump imposed an oil embargo against it in an effort to cut off revenues to the country and render it unable to pursue aggressive policies in the region.

If Iran succeeds in cutting off oil shipments from the Gulf to the world, or even interfering with it, it would have succeeded in cutting off the lifeline for many nations across the globe. If Iran is allowed to wage war against international shipping by proxy, then the international community is requested to take immediate action to stop this grave threat to world peace and security.

Such growing threats cannot be allowed to continue with impunity, as world peace and stability would be threatened. Iran is a regional power and if it has genuine grievances against the US, then it must endeavour to rectify these grievances by political means and not by terrorist actions perpetrated by actors on its behalf.

The international community, including the western European countries, is open minded, if not sympathetic, on addressing the legitimate concerns of Iran. Iran must not spoil the goodwill that it still has among many countries by waging proxy wars that end up hurting international and regional peace and stability.

Now is the time for statesmanship rather than brinkmanship. The Iranian authorities should be in the vanguard of nations that appreciate this truism.

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