HT editorial U.S. and Iran retreat from the abyss – editorials
Two claw creatures, then circling each other cautiously and walking, snarling, is one way to see the most recent crisis in the Persian Gulf. The United States (United States) and Iran have been aggressively occurring in recent years, especially in Iraq. The Iranian siege of the US embassy in Baghdad and the assassination of Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani both crossed red lines. Fortunately, neither an isslating Us president, Donald Trump, nor a Tehran regime, fighting the economic recession, were interested in a full-fledged confrontation. Washington lacked the will to fight, Tehran lacked the means to do so. Still, another violent entirre cannot be ruled out. Nothing has been resolved, including exactly a step too far for either country.
India is inextricably linked to the world’s most unstable region for reasons of finance, energy and geography. West Asia remains unstable because there is no sense of a geopolitical status quo. Iran sees itself as the region’s natural hegemony. The United States is losing interest in the region, but it is renouncing its dominance and, under the Trump administration, with a degree of inconsistency. Complicating things is that Iran’s heavy-handed hand has given rise to a loose-handed coalition, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, determined to contain its influence. No one is strong enough to have their own path, but no one is willing to accept this reality. So the region is fissured with power battles, covert wars and economic conflicts.
The U.S.-Iran relationship, poisoned by nearly four decades of confrontation and miscalculation, is particularly dangerous. Mr. Trump is curiously healthy with Tehran’s goal to end the U.S. military presence in the Gulf. But it is also determined to ensure that the United States is not humiliated as it withdraws. Washington’s establishment remains close to traditional allies, Tel Aviv and Riyadh. What was notable about the most recent crisis was the complete lack of understanding between the two governments. India cannot play as a mediator because neither the United States nor Iran has shown real interest in such a role, but there is a place for a messenger. New Delhi is in a position to talk to both countries. At the very least, it should investigate whether there is a mutual interest in India playing such a role. The idea is not to make peace, but to avoid mistakes. And for India, it’s about betting some diplomatic capital to have some voice in the greatest external risk for its future.