The global arms embargo against Iran, imposed by UN in its Security Council Resolution 2231, will, shockingly enough, be lifted in five months.
If it’s lifted, the obvious will happen: An escalation in Iran’s export of terrorism, destabilization of its neighbors, and a surge in domestic suppression. The issue has drawn great concern in the international community and among human rights organizations. Because if the mullahs have wrought as much havoc as they have with sanctions on them, imagine what they will do with no sanctions whatsoever.
It’s an ugly prospect.
The great powers of the world have reacted to this reality in accordance with their own individual interests; China and Russia want it lifted, the U.S. is using all the leverage it has to extend the sanctions.
Last week, Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran warned that if the UN Security Council does not agree to an extension of sanctions on iran, Washington may use an important mechanism embedded in the resolution, which grants the possibility of reviving the arms embargo and also all sanctions against Iran.
Here is a brief look at the negative and lethal fruits of lifting the arms embargo for the whole region:
1- It will enable the Iranian revolutionary guards (IRGC) to obtain military equipment at lower prices to supply its proxy groups including Houthis in Yemen, Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as its forces in Syria, with weapons of war.
2- The allocated budget to Iran’s revolutionary guards this year has increased to $3.8 billion. To this, one must add IRGC’s other sources of income (having in mind that IRGC dominates Iran’s economy). Such a budget will provide this military organ with the money needed to purchase cruise missile parts, equipment needed for its helicopters, and drones for combat and suicide missions. They will have cash for assault helicopters, ships, missile platforms, high-speed boats, sea mines, and night vision equipment. It will also, help the IRGC to upgrade its Russian-built T-72 tanks and providing its spare parts as well as training for its minions.
3- Iran while being under arms embargo nevertheless carried out three major assaults last year:
· Retaliation attack against a U.S. base in Iraq with ballistic missiles
· Mining oil tankers in the Persian Gulf
· Using speed boats to take an oil tanker hostage
In addition, it downed an Ukrainian airliner by cruise missiles killing 157 souls.
4- According to Reuters, in its semi-annual report to the UNSC, UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Gutierrez, has stated that both the cruise missiles fired and the drone used at the blitz on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities originated from Iran.
5- According to a report published in the Independent, Iran’s air force consists of 304 fighter jets of different models, 89 of which are ready for combat. Among these only 25, F-4E PhantomII bombers and six Su-24MK bombers are capable of carrying out missions beyond Iran’s border. Lifting the sanction will increase this capacity.
6- If the arms embargo is lifted, the Iranian regime will have greater capability to detour the sanctions and acquire materiel or use its assets of dual purpose. As an example, the regime supplies its Quds force militia in Syria through Mahan Air; the lifting will give it a free hand to translocate its militias and Quds Force commanders as well as ammunition and weaponry. Currently, Mahan Air is under sanctions.
7- If sanctions are lifted, the Iranian regime will be able to buy a vast array of armaments including VT-4 tanks to equip several of its corps. As an instance, only a few days past JCPOA, a military mission visited Russia Max exhibition negotiating the purchase of military equipment after UNSC’s arms embargo was over with Russian officials. Regime expressed its willingness to buy a great number of SU-30SM bombers to replace its old bombers and compensate for its shortage of modern bombers.
8- As the sanctions are lifted the regime will be able to export some cheaply manufactured weaponry by its Defense and Armed Forces Logistics to the regional states thus compensating a part of its heavy expenses for research, development, and production of military armament. This will lead to an armament contest among the states, leading, in turn, to destabilize the region, baring very dangerous consequences.
9- Since 2013, IRGC is producing various models of tanks, armored carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines, man-free vehicles, and jet fighters. Lifting the sanctions will swiftly accelerate its productions turning the region into a powder keg.
Any lifting of the arms embargo has proven beneficial to the Iran regime. The regime in fact has found its survival in this, and using that space to disturb the peace in other countries. The Iranian people in their uprisings in November 2019 have demonstrated their will and shown that they have made up their minds to get rid of this violent
and medieval religious dictatorship. The regime, on the other hand, has realized its survival depends on the export of crisis and instability beyond its borders. This, of course, includes the export of terrorism against its opposition in various countries. This was the backbone of the regime’s policy of survival for the past four decades. Any logical mind rules out giving weapons to mullahs, because that would aggravate the region’s war and facilitate the killing of deprived people in many countries. Therefore, the world must act to keep the arms embargo in place, directed at Iran.
The US military is operating in more countries than we think
“Irregular warfare” is defined by Pentagon as “competition… short of traditional armed conflict” or “all-out war.” A new report finds that Pentagon uses ‘security cooperation’ programs for ‘secret wars,’ recommends that Congress rein them in.
U.S. military forces have been engaged in unauthorized hostilities in many more countries than the Pentagon has disclosed to Congress, let alone the public, according to a major new report released by New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice.
“Afghanistan, Iraq, maybe Libya. If you asked the average American where the United States has been at war in the past two decades, you would likely get this short list,” according to the report, Secret War: How the U.S. Uses Partnerships and Proxy Forces to Wage War Under the Radar.
“But this list is wrong – ‘off’ by at least 17 countries in which the United States has engaged in armed conflict through ground forces, proxy forces, or air strikes.”
“This proliferation of secret war is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it is undemocratic and dangerous,” the report’s author, Katherine Yon Ebright, wrote in the introduction. “The conduct of undisclosed hostilities in unreported countries contravenes our constitutional design. It invites military escalation that is unforeseeable to the public, to Congress, and even to the diplomats charged with managing U.S. foreign relations.”
One such program authorized the Defense Department to “provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating authorized ongoing military operations by United States special operations forces to combat terrorism.”
According to the report, that “support” has been broadly — or, more accurately, too broadly — interpreted by the Pentagon. In practice, it has enabled the U.S. military to “develop and control proxy forces that fight on behalf of and sometimes alongside U.S. forces” and to use armed force to defend its local partners against adversaries (in what the Pentagon calls “collective self-defense”) regardless of whether those adversaries pose any threat to U.S. territory or persons.
“I’ve got guys in Kenya, Chad, Cameroon, Niger [and] Tunisia who are doing the same kind of things as the guys in Somalia, exposing themselves to the same kind of danger,” bragged Brigadier Gen. Donald Bolduc (ret.), who commanded U.S. special forces in Africa until 2017 and is currently running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. “We’ve had guys wounded in all the types of missions that we do.”
The report, which relies on published work by investigative reporters, interviews with knowledgeable officials and congressional staff, official documents and records, as well as the author’s legal analysis, identifies such countries as: Somalia, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.
But it stressed that the list is almost certainly not exhaustive.
Fifty countries, from Mexico to Peru in the west to Indonesia and the Philippines (where U.S. forces are known to have taken part in combat operation) in the east, and covering 22 countries in North and sub-Saharan Africa alone (not to mention Ukraine) had programs in place as of mid-2018, according to the report.
“Broadly speaking, the purpose of the authority is to take the Pentagon’s approach of creating and controlling partner forces and wield it against countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea,” – according to the report.
Gung-ho statements by India’s jingoist military and civil leaders
Cross fire between Indian and Pakistan forces was a recurrent phenomenon. It usually hurt the unarmed civilians rather than the troops. Realising futility of intermittent exchange of fire across the border, India and Pakistan, always at daggers drawn, agreed to ceasefire that is still being upheld. However, an agreement on no-firearms use between the two countries, akin to Sino-Indian agreement, is nowhere in the offing. Despite the accord, India and China still engaged in fisticuffs at Galwan.
As if in deliriums tremens, India’s Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi shouted, “As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the Government of India [to annex Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan “(Whenever such orders are given, we will always be ready for it, The News International, November 22, 2022).
His statement is a sycophantic follow-up to a similar statement by India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh “of taking back PoK”. Besides Rajnath many other Indian leaders including Bipen Rawat, Ajit Doval and Narendra Modi have made provocative statements about AK and GB. Pakistan’s army chief has replied to Dwivedi’s statement in befitting words. In 1994, India’s lok Sabha (house of people) passed aresolution under the then prime minister Narasimha Rao. The resolution stated that AJK and GB are an integral part of India by virtue of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India.
India’s claim to accession of the Jammu and Kashmir is unfounded. India never showed the so-called Instrument of accession to the United Nations. The UNO passed two resolutions to outlaw probable accession by the puppet JK assembly to India. The UN resolutions recognise that the dispute could be resolved only through a plebiscite. Till about 1954, India continued to owe allegiance to the UN resolutions. Then in a volte face, Nehru declared that the UN resolutions are mediatory, not mandatory in nature. India’s unilateral renunciation of the UN resolutions eminently qualified it as a rogue state subject to international sanctions.
India treacherously annexed over 500 other princely state by hook or by crook. For instance, Junagadh annexation is still an unresolved item on UN agenda.
Dwivedi means ‘one who knows two vedas’. In Sanskrit, Dvi means ‘two’ and Vedi means ‘to see’. Therefore, a Dwivedi is one with ‘two-fold vision’, or someone who is able to distinguish between right and wrong. The general’s statement reflects that he has purblind vision, not seeing consequences of a war between two nuclear armed neighbours. Victory in case of a nuclear confrontation will, at best, be pyrrhic.
Dwivedi appears to have been infatuated by provision of K9-Vajra self-propelled howitzer (50 mile range) is being manufactured by Larsen and Toubro in Gujarat. China has already provided Pakistan similar howitzers to neutralize India’s fire power (China supplies mounted howitzers to Pak to maintain arms parity with India, Hindustan Times Jan 27, 2022).
Dwivedi appears to be oblivious of facts about Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
On November 1, 1947, the governor of Gilgit, Brig Ghansara Singh surrendered to the Gilgit Scouts and signed an instrument of surrender on November 3, 1947. The people of the region proclaimed Gilgit as part of Pakistan and hoisted Pakistan’s flag. Skardu was liberated after about a year on August 14, 1948, when Lt Col Thapa of 6th Jammu and Kashmir infantry along with 250 soldiers surrendered to liberation forces.
Historian Yousaf Saraf if of the view that Gilgit –Baltistan is a part of Azad Kashmir as is evident from Accord signed between AK and Pakistan government. Sartaj Aziz committee recommended to the federal government to make Gilgit-Baltistan a full-fledged province with representation in both the houses of parliament.
A psycho-analytic view” Indian leaders “frogs”
Indian civil military leaders suffer from a fight-and-flight complex. The human beings, particularly the macho typos, like Indian military leaders, think they are independent decision makers. But, subconsciously they are slaves to the subconscious to the scripts they have learned to live with. In his book, Scripts People Live, Claude Steiner analyses “life scripts” which we choose at an early age and which rule every detail of our lives until our death. Steiner postulates that people are innately healthy but develop a pattern early in life based upon negative or positive influences of those around them. Thus children decide, however unconsciously, whether they will be happy or depressed, winners or failures, STRONG or dependent, and having decided, they spend the rest of their lives making the decision come true. For those who choose a negative script, the consequences can be disastrous unless they make a conscious decision to change.
The tragedy is that the person who needs to rewrite his or her life script most is unwilling to admit that he needs to revamp his life script.
Narendra Modi is such a person who by his conduct and political statements reflects that he suffers from a negative life script. He wants to pose as a “prince”, though he is actually a “frog”. Modi’s recent statements provide a clue how he is neurologically programmed.
Modi is convinced that his electoral achievements are due to his Macho (strongman) image. Lest his image should be shattered he delayed withdrawing anti-farmer laws for about a year since the farmers began protesting. He trumpets his “surgical strikes”, celebrates “Kargil victory”, and anti-Muslim citizenship laws.
Modi is still fettered to his teen-age memory of being a waiter at a tea-stall. The Modi government should turn a new leaf in India’s relations with its neighbours by shunning the strong-man image. He could do better by attending to the economic welfare of the masses and promoting social harmony.
Ukraine recruits fighters from Africa
“If Ukraine decides to pay me a very good amount of money, which I know I cannot earn here, I will definitely go there and fight,” Kimanzi Nashon, a student in the Kenyan capital Nairobi said. “When we go there, and then the war ends before anything happens, I will come back to Kenya and be a millionaire.”
And Nashon isn’t alone in harboring such naive thoughts of being a hired fighter in Ukraine.
“If an opportunity presented itself for me to fight in Ukraine as a mercenary, I would be on my heels running there,” Beatrice Kaluki, who is unemployed in Kenya, told ‘Deutsche Welle’. “I would rather die on the front line in Ukraine knowing that my family would be compensated even after my death, rather than die from depression because of the insane unemployment rate!”
However, African countries have come out strongly to condemn Ukraine’s call for African fighters to join the “international legion” against the Russians.
Now Nigeria, Senegal and Algeria have criticized Ukraine’s efforts to enlist international fighters as it resists a Russians. Analysts say those who have responded to the call need to reconsider.
According to Ryan Cummings, director of ‘Signal Risk’, a South African-based security risk management consultancy, ‘President Zelenskyy might be capitalizing on Africa’s challenging socio-economic conditions to lure African fighters to Ukraine.’ According to the Nigerian daily, ‘The Guardian’, more than 100 young men registered their interest in fighting for Ukraine at the country’s embassy in Abuja.
A spokesperson for Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Francisca Omayuli, said Nigeria would not allow its nationals to volunteer as mercenaries.
Senegal has also expressed its displeasure with Ukraine’s government, saying that at least 36 people in Senegal were ready to confront Russian forces. Senegal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was astonished to learn that the embassy of Ukraine in Dakar had posted an appeal on its Facebook page for foreign citizens to come to Ukraine’s military forces.
In a statement, the Senegalese government criticized the initiative and warned its citizens that recruiting volunteers, mercenaries, or foreign fighters on Senegalese soil is illegal.
“These young people who want to get involved [in Ukraine] have not fully considered political or religious implications,” said Serigne Bamba Gaye, a researcher on peace, security and governance at the US-based Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI).
“They are only interested in answering a call without perhaps understanding the issues surrounding the Ukrainian conflict,” Gaye said.
For security and risk analyst Ryan Cummings, African countries need to consider the implications of allowing their citizens to travel to Ukraine as hired guns. “Russia has stated any country that is actively assisting Ukraine in this war, or as Russia calls it: ‘A special military operation to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine,’ will be considered at war with Russia,” he said.
He warned that the Kremlin could also retaliate by ending diplomatic relations with African countries that support Ukraine in this way.
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