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Strategic and Defense Policies of India Post Ladakh Clash with China

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India shares a disputed border with China in Ladakh region which regularly faces transgressions from People’s Liberation Army(PLA) of China. The current stalemate of China-India began at the banks of Pangong Tso lake. The major portion seventy percent of this lake belongs to China and the rest belongs to India. This lake is of tactical significance for the Chinese. China has now been working on the project to build a developed infrastructure and to ensure the speedy build-up of troops in and around this lake. Chinese invasions in this locale are pointed toward moving the Line of Actual Control (LAC) towards the west, empowering them to possess key statures both on the north and the south of the lake and conceding them advantage over the Chushul Bowl. Up until now, the main motive of the PLA has been to watch the Indian side of the LAC. The Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a massive face-off and confrontation with each other at the Sino-Indian border including the Pangong Tso lake and Galwan valley. This border dispute has been the deadliest between both the nations for the first time after more than four decades.

STRATEGIC POLICIES OF INDIA

India has well record perspective on this border issue but there is very little discussion on the bilateral nuclear relationship. According to the findings India gave serious attention to China’s nuclear policy while Chinese have somewhat reluctant views about nuclear weapons while considering China- India relations. China and India have their own defensive strategies but their civilian governments are not accepting the importance of avoiding nuclear conflicts. The tampering effects of economic interdependence of both countries is dwindling the no first use of nuclear weapons policy and is facing an internal prob. China wants to put an end to this massive war but strategically it is way far from the negotiations which is clear from their non- escalating statements and is marked a low in bilateral talks.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured his nation that retaliation is inevitable for the killing of Indian soldiers. Meanwhile, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also claimed that China is not in the control of his country’s territory. However, this looks like a surrender to the new harsh reality for India in the Galwan valley and Pangong lake where the People’s Liberation Army of China has established its positions now which did not existed previously before may. This statement by the Prime Minister could encourage China to persue additional small gains across the Line of control(LAC). India has also criticized the Belt and Road Initiative of China and it has also withdrawn from the Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership over the increasing Chinese dominance. Such an approach would stamp a significant takeoff from India’s customary fixation on ensuring its strategic autonomy.

As India has realized the dominance of China in military and economic sector in the south Asian region, it’s now demanding for hardliners Hindutva supremacists to negotiate for peace. The rise of RSS which is an Indian right wing and Narendra Modi in the political map of India has transformed the foreign policy of India on more aggressive terms. RSS and Modi have promoted the image of the nation as a superpower in the region which has been blindly accepted by the common citizens of India and it is nothing but an fallacious domestic perception. The Indian Prime Minister is having a Hyper nationalistic approach in the current scenario which is humiliating the nation of India and it is also formidable for Indians to accept military weakness of the nation and also its strategic limitations. Today, Modi has been trapped by the Populist- nationalist defender of Bharat Mata. This has limited his options to a large extent.

Strategically India is looking to develop a long term coherent national strategy which is realistically achievable within countries material and technological constraints. Once India is able to form such strategy India must move boldly and dynamically to secure a network of Global alliances. This strategy will include economic, technical and military support from these alliances which will work for mutual defense. The Indian policy makers should also look to consider Ladakh’s geostrategic location, delicate environment, asset possibilities and the aspirations of the people of Ladakh. India should also consider the advantages of investing the locals in the safeguard of Ladakhi border. Furthermore India is also looking to maximize its ability to partner with ideologically similar nations like US, Western Europe to gain their support for the development and innovation of Indian infrastructure and also for the technology exchange.

China is now viewed as a neighbor whose actions are inimical to India’s interests post the recent clash. The Anti-China sentiments are growing rapidly in Indian public. This has gotten manifest in calls to blacklist Chinese items and even stop the trade with China, and sometimes even has brought about open displays of unloading Chinese products. India has sought after some financial reprisal, forbidding 59 Chinese applications on information security grounds. It is likely soon to banish Chinese organizations from other worthwhile open doors in its tremendous market. Yet, given India’s reliance on Chinese imports including drugs, car parts and central processor extreme limitations could add up to removing its nose to show disdain toward its face. India however have two strategic options one is that it should bow down before China or the other is that it should align itself with a broader international alliance in order to curb the geopolitical ambitions of China in the South Asian region. However, despite its Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparent policy of capitulation it is believed that India will go for the latter approach in future.

India will likewise likely hope to assemble more noteworthy collaboration through designs, for example, the “Quad in addition to” (extending the current gathering of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to incorporate New Zealand, South Korea, and Vietnam). India is now looking for a partnership with the US that will go beyond arm sales, technology exchange, intelligence-sharing and is going towards deepening bilateral security ties. The Trump administration views India as a key geostrategic player and considers India as a partner in building out its Indo-Pacific strategy because it considers India as a growing power both in military and economic sector having the capacity to counter balance China along with US. This alliance with US will help out India a lot in order to deal with China in near future.

DEFENSE POLICIES OF INDIA

After the recent clashes with China over Ladakh region India has made some significant defense policies. The Indian Army and Air Force along India’s Ladakh border with China have been put on high alert post the deadliest clash between the two countries. According to  a report the Indian Navy was also put on high alert in the Indian ocean as well. On the LAC, the Indian Army’s 81 and 114 Brigades are conveyed to restrict the Chinese powers on Daulat Beg Oldi and connecting jurisdictions. The government of India has given hold   to the military to make  necessary acquisitions to load up its war reserves in the wake of raising clash with China along the Line of Actual Control. The Indian Navy has also been given the thumbs up to convey its resources close to the Malacca Strait and, if necessary, elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese activity in the region. The Indian Air Force corps resources, including the fighters too, also have been moved up to advance areas in the Ladakh region. The government of India has also asked the Chief of defense staff General Bipin Rawat coordinate with the three defense services to make necessary amendments which are required for the betterment of defense sector.

Why India changed the rules of engagement?

Almost 50,000 soldiers of the Indian Army are sent in a high condition of battle status in different hilly areas in eastern Ladakh in freezing temperatures. Under the previous rules of engagement, according to the agreements signed in 1986 and 2005 neither of the sides opens fire on the other .The rules of engagement have been changed at the Line of Control(LAC) by Narendra Modi post the recent clash between Chinese and Indian troops. According to the previous rules of engagement certain restrictions were imposed on the soldiers and now the Indian government had informed the Chinese about it at both military and diplomatic levels. The Indian army commanders have been given full freedom to put in use any of the instrument under his command for the tactical operations after any kind of aggression from the other side. The Indian government has a clear stance that it will not compromise with the integrity and sovereignty of the country. India will counter forcefully any kind of violence or misstep from the Chinese side. Reacting to the new rules of engagement by India, Xijin the editor in chief of Chinese government’s mouthpiece global times tweeted,“ If true, this is a genuine infringement of the agreement, and the Indian side will follow through on a hefty cost for any such activity”

In July, following the China-India conflict in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh that saw the passing of 20 Indian officers mid- June, the Indian Army was accounted for to have sought after 100 agreements for emergency procurement of weapons and supplies including ammo for fundamental fight tanks, man-compact air protection frameworks, just as Israeli-made Heron observation drones   with each agreement covered at  5 billion Indian rupees. The Indian military forces have maintained that the political leadership of India is  assuming China to be a long term strategic threat till the onset of crisis in Ladakh region. Such emergency measures understandably also highlight the never ending problems with India’s defense acquisition and planning. Modi is making public statements and is also visiting the border front at Ladakh region. However, this does not compensate for the insufficiently equipped Indian army.

The Indian security analysts  are also having  serious  focus to China’s nuclear policy and capabilities because India’s native military technologies are significantly behind the military capabilities of China. As the U.S- China competition intensifies it is of great advantage to India as India will look to strengthen its defense technology cooperation with U.S and it will also result in change geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific region.  On the other hand, India’s progressions in atomic weapons innovation for the most part don’t concern Chinese experts. They trust India’s atomic advancements are tied in with picking up notoriety and accomplishing large force status, instead of reacting militarily to China’s nuclear modernization.

India has fortified its military resources on the LAC to fight off further attacks, and would like to squeeze China to reestablish the norm bet through discretionary or military methods. For instance, it could capture the land somewhere else on the LAC to use as leverage. However, that is more difficult than one might expect it to be. Moreover, India has no revenue in placing all of its essential investments tied up on one place. It remains vigorously subject to Russian military equipment and supplies (however it has as of late differentiated its buys), and Donald Trump’s US isn’t actually a reliable partner.

The India’s Ministry of Defense on September 10, affirmed the acquisition of 21 Russian MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI contender airplane costing $2.43bn to expand its flying corps in the wake of the outskirt deadlock with China. India is additionally anticipating the appearance of the principal bunch of 36 Rafale contender jets requested as a component of a $8.78bn bargain endorsed with France in 2016. India  also intends to welcome Australia to partake in maritime activities it conducts with Japan and the United States, while likewise consenting to a defense agreement that permits the two nations to utilize each other’s army installations. The opportunities for such collaboration are unending, restricted simply by the creative mind of the particular organizations. However, The Chinese Prime Minister XI Jinping is trying to deflate Modi’s persona and regional influence. Xi Jinping is also exposing the splits in the emerging strategic convergence between India, Australia, US and Japan. India is aware of this strategy of China and is looking to counter that as well.

CONCLUSION

This recent horrific events at Ladakh have plunged the relations of India and China to the lowest point in decades. India is now looking to strengthen its ties with US in order to cope up with China.It is more likely to happen that we will now see a far greater partnership between India and US on the issues of mutual interest which in the current environment is likely to have a substantial China component. The two countries China and India have held several rounds of diplomatic and military level talks. It was concurred at the discussions that the round of military discourse should be held at an early date so the two sides can pursue an early and complete withdrawal of troops as per the current bilateral agreements and conventions. Both the countries are trying their best to resolve the dispute by mutual coordination. India and China have held a few rounds of strategic and military talks in the last few months to resolve the standoff between both states but no significant or concrete breakthrough has been achieved so far.

I am Hashim Kamal born on 16th April 2000. Grew up in Rawalpindi a city of Pakistan. Basically belonging to District Karak Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. I am currently enrolled in Bachelors in International Relations in National Defence University Islamabad. My interest areas are regional, ethnic and global conflicts, terrorism etc. I have a keen goal in persuing my career as a diplomat to serve my country.

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Defense

Kickbacks in India’s defence purchases

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Prime minister Narendra Modi of India boasts his government of being corruption- free. But, his claim has become questionable in the light of recent audit of Rafale purchase in France.

India had ordered 36 of these fighter aircraft from France in September 2016. The 7.8 billion government-to-government deal for 36 fighter jets was signed in 2016. The Indian Air Force has already raised its first squadron of the Rafale jets at Ambala and is due to raise the second one at Hasimara in West Bengal.

India expects to receive more than 50 percent of these fighters by April-end. The first batch of five Rafale jets had arrived in India on July 28 and was officially inducted on September 10 by the government.

In a startling disclosure, the French Anti-Corruption Agency, Agence Française Anticorruption

has announced that their inspectors have discovered an unexplained irregularity during their scheduled audit of Dassault. According to details, “the manufacturer of French combat jet Rafale agreed to pay one million euro to a middleman in India just after the signing of the Indo-French contract in 2016, an investigation by the French publication Mediapart has revealed. An amount of 508,925 euro was allegedly paid under “gifts to clients” head in the 2017 accounts of the Dassault group  ( Dassault paid 1 million euro as ‘gift’ to Indian middleman in Rafale deal: French report India Today Apr 5, 2021). Dassault tried to justify “the larger than usual gift” with a proforma invoice from an Indian company called Defsys Solutions. The invoice suggested that Defsys was paid 50 per cent of an order worth 1,017,850 for manufacturing of 50 dummy models of the Rafale jets. Each dummy, according to the AFA report, was quoted at a hefty price of 20,357. The Dassault group failed to provide any documentary evidence to audit about the existence of those models. Also, it could also not explain why the expenditure was listed as a “gift to clients” in their accounts.

Shady background of Defsys

Defsys is one of the subcontractors of Dassault in India. It has been linked with notorious businessman Sushen Gupta. Sushen Gupta. He was arrested and later granted bail for his role in another major defence scam in India, the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper case.

The Enforcement Directorate charged Sushen Gupta for allegedly devising a money-laundering scheme for the payouts during the purchase of the helicopters.

Rampant corruption in India

Corruption in defence deals is a norm rather than an exception in India. They did not spare even aluminum caskets used to bring back dead bodies from the Kargil heights (“coffin scam”). Investigations into shady deals linger on until the main characters or middleman is dead. Bofors is a case in point.

Why investigation of defence deals since independence recommended

India’s Tehelka Commission of Inquiry headed by Mr. Justice S N Phukan had suggested that a sitting Supreme Court Judge should examine all defence files since independence.

Concerned about rampant corruption in defence purchases allegedly involving Army personnel, he desired that the proposed Supreme Court Judge should by assisted by the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central bureau of Investigation.

He stressed that unless the existing system of defence procurement was made more transparent through corrective measures, defence deals would continue to be murky. He had submitted his report to then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, but to no avail. The Commission had examined 15 defence deals including the AJT, Sukhoi, Barak missiles, T-90 tanks, tank navigation systems, simulators, hand-held thermal. imagers, Karl Gustav rocket and Kandla-Panipat pipeline. The irregularities in the scrutinised defence deals compelled the Commission to suggest de novo scrutiny of all defence purchases since independence.

Tardy trial

The courts have absolved Rajiv Gandhi of involvement in the BOFORS scam. However, a considerable section of Indian people still believes that ‘Mr. Clean’ was not really so clean. The BJP exploited Rajiv’s acquittal as an election issue. Kuldip Nayyar, in his article “The gun that misfired” (Dawn February 14, 2004) laments, “There was practically no discussion on Bofors-guns kickbacks in the 13th Lok Sabha which has been dissolved for early elections. Once Rajiv Gandhi died the main target – the non-Congress parties lost interest in the scam”.

According to analysts, the mechanisms of public accountability in India have collapsed. Corruption has become a serious socio-political malady as politicians, bureaucracy and Armed Forces act in tandem to receive kickbacks. The anti-corruption cases, filed in courts, drag on for years without any results. To quote a few case: (a) There was no conviction in Bofors-gun case (Rs 64 crore), because of lethargic investigation (the case was filed on January 22, 1990 and charge sheet served on October 22, 1999. Among the accused were Rajiv Gandhi, S K Bhatnagar, W N Chaddha, Octavio, and Ardbo. The key players in the scam died before the court’s decision). (b) No recoveries could be made in the HDW submarine case (Rs 32.5 crore). The CBI later recommended closure of this case. (c) Corruption in recruitment of Armed Forces.

Legal cover for middlemen

Central Vigilance Commissioner P Shankar had alleged (October 2003): “The CVC had submitted its defence deals report on March 31, 2001. Yet a year later, the government has not conducted the mandatory departmental inquiry to fix responsibility”. Shankar explained that the CVC had examined 75 cases apart from specific allegations made by former MP Jayant Malhoutra and Rear Admiral Suhas V Purohit Vittal. Malhoutra’s allegations were about middlemen in defence deals. After his report, the ministry lifted the ban on agents in November 2001 to regularise the middlemen. Purohit, in his petition in the Delhi HC on a promotion case, had alleged unnecessary spare parts were bought from a cartel of suppliers instead of manufacturers, at outrageous prices and at times worth more than the original equipment.

Past cases forgotten to continue business as usual

There were ear-rending shrieks about the Taj-heritage corridor case, Purulia-arms-drop case and stamp-paper cases. Indian Express dated November 11, 2003 reported that the stamp-paper co-accused assistant Sub-Inspector of Police drew a salary of Rs 9,000, but his assets valued over Rs 100 crore. He built six plush hotels during his association for 6 years with the main accused Abdul Karim Telgi. The ASI was arrested on June 13 and charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. Investigations by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the stamp scam had found that the ASI Kamath accepted Rs 72 lakh from the scam kingpin, Abdul Karim Telgi, on behalf of IGP Sridhar Vagal.

The problem is that the modus operandi of corruption ensures that it is invisible and unaccounted for. There are widespread complaints that the politicians exercise underhand influence on bureaucracy to mint money. For instance, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner complained to Indian Prime Minister (November 8, 2003) that at least “six cabinet ministers, handling key infrastructure ministries, are harassing chiefs of public sector undertakings for ‘personal favours’, and in some cases even for pay-offs”.

For example, one PSU (Public Sector Udertaking) chief is said to have complained that he was asked to get Rs 20 crore delivered to his minister’s party office and when he refused, he was “denied” an extension. Indian Express dated February 19, 2004 reported, under reportage titled “Figuring India” that ‘Rajiv Pratap Rudy is only one in a long line of ministers who have misused the funds and facilities of Public Sector Undertakings”. The newspaper appended the following bird’s-eye view of the funds (available for corruption) at the PSUs command: Rs 3, 24,632 crore total investment in PSUs, Rs 36,432 crore profits, 12,714 crore profits of monopolies in petroleum, Rs 5,613 CRORE profits of monopolies in power Rs 7,612 crore, profits of monopolies in telecom Rs 10,388 crore, Rs 61,000 crore invested in PSUs in 1991-1998, Rs 19,000 crore returns during 1991-1998.”

Corruption as proportion of gross Domestic Product

Professor Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari claim in their book Corruption in India: The DNA and RNA that public officials in India may be cornering as much as ₹921 billion (US$13 billion), or 5 percent of the GDP through corruption.

India 86th most corrupt (Transparency International corruption ranking Jan 29, 2021)

India’s ranking on the Corruption Perception Index– 2020 is 86. The index released annually by Transparency International ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero signifies the highest level of corruption and 100 is very clean.

All-round corruption

In India, anti-corruption focuses on big ticket graft. But it is petty corruption that hurts common people more. Both need to be weeded out. A former World Bank president Robert Zoellick once said, “Corruption is a cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fibre, and destroys trust.”

According to Transparency International, CPI-2020 shows that corruption is more pervasive in countries least equipped to handle Covid-19 and other crises. “Covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage,” Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International said. “The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge. But even those at the top of the CPI must urgently address their role in perpetuating corruption,” she added.

Concluding remarks

Click Wikipedia to know that Narendra Modi’s “Net worth” is “₹ 2.85 Crore” (June 2020). This figure defies his humble financial background. He has a penchant for hobnobbing with “crony capitalism”. It appears he is worth a lot more.  Those who make illicit money have a knack to hide it.

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Defense

Turkish Expansion of Libya Threatens Wreck NATO

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Despite the fact that the parties to the Libyan crisis are gradually coming to a political solution, the situation continues to become heated both within and around the country. It is mainly influenced by the states involved in the conflict.

At the same time the instability in Libya has a negative impact on international relations, including growing contradictions between strategic partners. In particular Turkey’s military activities raise fears among at least three NATO members – France, Italy and Greece.

Relations between Ankara and its partners in the North Atlantic Alliance are exacerbated due to the actions of the Turkish leadership, which not only delivers weaponry to the former Jamahiriya avoiding the UN embargo, but also conducts geological exploration of the hydrocarbon fields in the eastern Mediterranean sea.

Contradictions between NATO partners have already begun to take the form of hidden clashes. For example, the French frigate “Courbet”, operating as part of the Alliance’s “Sea Guardian” operation aimed to prevent arms smuggling into Libya, approached three Turkish warships and a cargo vessel on June 10 last year. The French military attempted to inspect a civilian ship suspected of illegally carrying weapons to a war-torn country. In response, the Turkish warships illuminated the Courbet by the targeting radar for three times.

After the incident, Paris pulled out of the “Sea Guardian” operation. Moreover, the White House national adviser, Robert O ‘Brian condemned the Turkish military actions and expressed support for France. “NATO allies shouldn’t be turning fire control radars on each other. That’s not good. We are very sympathetic to the French concerns,” he told.

The contradictions between France and Turkey are also evident in the geopolitical sphere. Paris considers the Libyan National Army commander Halifa Khaftar as one of the key figures in resolving the Libyan conflict, while Ankara refuses to recognize him as a significant political force in the country.

In addition, there are growing tensions between Turkey and Italy. Rome as the largest importer of Libyan oil has been long cooperating with Tripoli’s authorities in oil and gas spheres. After throwing its weight behind one of the rival administration, Turkey seeks to revise the status quo in the Libyan hydrocarbon industry by sidelining France’s Total and Italy’s Eni in a bid to gain full access to the natural resources of Libya. Although Turkey urges countries and companies to joint collaboration, no one highly likely will consent to it, considering this suggestion as a “toxic asset.”

Greece, in turn, is annoyed by agreements between Ankara and Tripoli that deprive Athens of its legal right to the sea shelf between Rhodes and Crete. This part of the continental shelf belongs to Greece and Cyprus, but Turkey is trying to contend for its rights to the fields through the memorandum of understanding on maritime zones with the Government of the National Accord, predecessor of the newly formed Government of National Unity. The Turkish side sent warships to the Mediterranean to reinforce the “legitimacy” of its actions, which was negatively perceived by Athens. The situation became heated to such an extent that many experts have not rule out the outbreak of armed confrontation between the allies.

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Firmly Address Tehran’s Ballistic Behavior

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The recent change in US administrations has spawned a lively debate about the potential path back to a deal with Iran, especially concerning the latter’s troubling nuclear ambitions. Some argue against reviving the 2015 nuclear deal while others counsel for a swift US return to it. But there is a big problem with an undemanding US revival of the deal. Over the past five years, the regime has displayed extremely disturbing behaviors that endanger the region, Europe, the United States, and the broader international community.

Indeed, Iran’s nuclear escalations and its burgeoning ballistic missiles program are major threats. But much more troubling is Iran’s ballistic behavior.

There are four significant hotspots where the Iranian regime is active. This means any return to the Iran deal cannot exclusively address technical nuclear issues. The geopolitics of the entire region have changed. For instance, in Yemen, Houthi militias control a large segment of a sovereign country, and they are armed by the Iranian regime, including missiles. They are at war with the legitimate government of Yemen, and they have had a terrible record of human rights abuses.

In Iraq, Iran has used its militias to establish control over the entire country, with some exceptions. These militias are not only controlling the government, major parts of the economy or the banks, they are engaged in suppressing the population. In the fall of 2019, hundreds of thousands of young Iraqis from all walks of life took to the streets to demand meaningful reforms. But they were met with lethal force. More than 700 Iraqi citizens of all communities have been killed by pro-Iranian militias.

The Iranian regime’s forces in Syria have brought in radical Shia militias from as far as Afghanistan. More than 700,000 people have been killed in that civil war. Five million Syrians have been displaced.

And, last but not least, in Lebanon, Hezbollah is armed and funded by Tehran, and its secretary general does not shy away from publicly announcing his group’s complete allegiance to the Iranian regime.

So, the Iranian regime is effectively involved in the quasi occupation of four Arab countries. All this means that there cannot be a swift return to an “Iran deal” without addressing the regime’s regional ambitions and destructive meddling, which have resulted in instability for Europeans and American interests alike.

Meanwhile both in European capitals and in Washington, there are major interests that echo calls for a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Absent in their inexplicable haste is any consequential consideration to pressing geopolitical demands.

Proponents of the Iran nuclear deal are eager to do business with Iran. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. But shouldn’t the cost of that decision be soberly evaluated before rushing back in?

Are there not important destabilizing factors that must be urgently addressed, including the deployment of ballistic missiles in the region, the preponderance of Iranian proxies in strategic hotspots, and persistent deadly attacks against Western allies in the region?

So, what should be done?

Any potential discussions with the Iranian regime must take into consideration the security of the Middle East as a whole.

First, regional security and the regime’s behavior must top the list of potential negotiation topics.

Second, the regime’s ballistic missile program should not proceed under the radar. The Houthi-fired missiles targeting Saudi Arabia and its oil facilities are designed and delivered by Iran. The missiles fired against the US and coalition forces in Iraq are also designed and delivered by Iran. And, Iran has deployed missiles in Syria, which are then aimed at Israel. Similarly, the Lebanese Hezbollah has boasted about having thousands of missiles in its arsenal.

Therefore, as an important step toward stability, the international community must ensure that the proliferation of these missiles is stopped, and they are removed from these countries.

Third, it would only be logical to include countries like Saudi Arabia and other impacted governments in the negotiation process because they bear the brunt of Tehran’s malevolence.

And lastly, international community should begin seriously engaging with the Iranian opposition. For the past three years, hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens have loudly protested the ruling regime and its policies. There is another image of Iran that the world needs to acknowledge and engage. That’s exactly what the US policy is trying to do in Yemen, for example, by engaging both the Houthis and the legal government at the same time.

When dealing with the multilateral and strategic threats emanating from the Iranian regime, it is only natural to engage with the organized Iranian non-violent resistance, including representatives from the Iran protests and exiled leaders, particularly the very active National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and to hear their voices during any negotiation with Tehran.

The Iranian regime will be emboldened to continue its egregious behavior if it senses weakness in the international community’s response. By firmly addressing its ballistic behavior, responsible international actors can harness the strategic domestic and international reserves to curtail Tehran’s threats.

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