Al Seymour

There is little room for error

  • Point of defiance: President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has refused to cow to US President Donald Trumpís sanctions

There was bewilderment and relief when much of the world realised that what could have resulted in international consequences was at least averted for the moment when it was learnt that the Trump Administration, even without approval from Congress, had given the green light for a military strike on Iran but cancelled the order minutes before the trigger was pulled.

While this had all the elements of a late-night television drama, in reality it was a close brush with a situation packed with deadly ramifications in the nuclear age, which would undoubtedly affect life across the globe.

The downing of an American military drone by Iran sent tensions rising to new heights, especially after recent attacks on oil tankers that were attributed to Iran in waters off the Iranian coast. With the crew of one tanker needing to be rescued after their vessel burst into flames, there was little doubt things were not looking good for relations between America and Iran.

Donald Trump, riding a huge wave of credibility issues over his administration policies, dispatched additional military units to the area and dropped a hint that Iran would be obliterated should it choose to engage in a military encounter with the United States. Some experts on international matters expressed concern that much of the discord was a direct result of America withdrawing from a nuclear agreement with Iran. That, along with heavy sanctions that have all but crippled the Iranian economy, meant the gap was widening for any meaningful talks to improve the situation.

Despite military threats from the Trump Administration, Iran was adamant that any intrusion into its airspace by US drones will meet a similar fate from their armed forces. One observer who spent considerable time in the area pointed out during an interview that, while America could overpower the Islamic republic in a major confrontation, Iran remained capable of activating a reaction that could have grave repercussions for other parts of the world. Pressed on this, he touched on the many deeply hidden launch sites that no air force could knock out in one go.

America is bracing itself for another presidential election, and the atmosphere is ripe with burning issues over whether the nation has drifted from core values under Trump, with growing resentment even from some of its allies. It is no secret that most polls, even though they will always be disputed by some, show that Trump is trailing leading Democratic candidates seeking to unseat him. With this in mind, some observers are questioning the decision to launch a military strike on Iran and then pull it back moments before activation.

While most favour the halt, others are sceptical that it was all part of a move to make Trump look like a peacemaker. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

While this high-noon, military stand-off between America and Iran remains volatile, there is little room for error as both sides keep the world on edge over yet another potential war. There is never a military confrontation without casualties, and that should be known by every world leader. There are millions of people around the world suffering under such terrible conditions whose only wish is that powerful nations that spend more time seeking solutions for them, instead of trying to wipe each other out.

The world still has good creative talents in the arts, music and theatre, along with thousands willing to keep good values alive, often at great sacrifice.

These will always be the people who in a quiet way can remind world leaders that their responsibility should always be to protect values, life and liberty.