Containing the raging fire in the Gulf


Jordan was among the first countries that condemned the terrorist attacks on four ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Arab Gulf, and expressed solidarity with the Arab Gulf state.

Attacking commercial shipping, including oil freighters in the Arab Gulf region, is terribly ominous, with far reaching implications for the security and stability of the area and beyond. Much of the world’s oil and gas shipments go through the waters of the Gulf, and any interruption of this trade is wrought with untold dangers to regional and world peace and security.

There is already high tension building up between the US and Iran that threatens to explode at short notice. This escalating tension has been brewing for some time now, especially after Washington has moved upon the orders of President Donald Trump, armed naval units, including an aircraft carrier, to the area and deployed long-range bombers in the region, ostensibly to strike at Iranian military bases at any moment.

Any spark in the growing and escalating tension between Iran and the US threatens the start of a wide-scale war between Washington and Tehran, with widespread implications for the international community.

The immediate issue now is the identification of the country or party that attacked the four ships. Fingers can be pointed to several parties as possible culprits, including no doubt Israel, which stands to benefit if a large scale war erupts between the US and Iran. Yet, until there is more evidence on the identity of the perpetrator of this additional tension in the Gulf waters, a final verdict must be put on hold.

The main thing now is to contain the raging fire in the Gulf waters. An intervention by the UN Security Council could be the right step in that direction. Leaving the parties free to add oil to the fire in order to settle scores, old or new, is surely the wrong diplomacy. That is how major wars start if the immediate parties are left free and unimpeded to escalate tension between themselves.

One lone shot in the Gulf can ignite a major armed conflict. That is why the international community must not remain silent in the face of the growing dangers between Washington and Tehran.


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