Iran’s Out of Bottle Nuclear Genie

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by Adnan Qaiser       2 March 2023

Similar to too many cooks spoiling the broth; too many allied negotiators with opposing outlook and priorities can also never achieve a consensus, demonstrate seriousness of purpose or take a unified stance against a global threat.

In my August 2022’s paper titled The Iranian Nuclear Bomb,”[1] I had precisely highlighted that owing to a divergent worldview on Iran – driven by economic interests primarily – American and European Union interlocutors’ protracted nuclear talks with Iran remain inconclusive and futile.

It is thus, belated – and meaningless – for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to sound alarm; or for the CIA chief, William Burns, to express his “worries” at Iran reaching weapon grade uranium enrichment threshold.

While Europe remained preoccupied with the war in Ukraine (largely due to NATO’s over-ambitiousness),[2] and the U.S. continued to feel jittery over frivolous Chinese balloons, reports confirmed about Iran achieving weapon grade uranium enrichment capability up to 84 percent – just six points short of the needed benchmark.

The West’s procrastination for good 44 years to contain the ill-effects of Iranian Revolution[3] led to Middle East’s incessant turmoil and perpetual rivalries – especially the power supremacy tussle between the two paterfamilias of Islam, with Saudi Arabia representing the Wahhabis and Sunnis and Iran championing the Shiites.[4]

Western powers’ omission and misplaced outlook toward the region – such as unnecessary Iraq War and one of the longest (bleeding) Afghan War[5] – led it to take its eye away from the Iranian ball, allowing the tyrant Iranian regime to:

1) Run riot with human rights abuses, killing and incarcerating its innocent citizens at will;[6]

2) Arm and fund Houthi rebels in Yemen,[7] including a (deniable) game-changing swarm drone attack at Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil installations at Abqaiq and Khurais on September 14, 2019;

3) Arm and support its proxy militia force named Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), destabilizing neighbouring Iraq;

4) Support the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria by sending Revolutionary Guards advisors;[8] and through its Fatemiyoun Brigade (comprising of Afghan mercenaries)[9] and Zainabiyoun Brigade (made of Pakistani enlists)[10] as non-state actors in the Syrian conflict;

5) Acting as a bully, threatening the closure of maritime route at Strait of Hormuz[11] and hindering the free passage of ship-liners in the Persian Gulf;

6) Maliciously destabilizing oil prices at OPEC (in response to U.S.’ economic sanctions); and

7) Forming rival blocs in the shape of strategic military cooperation with Russia[12] and a 25-year pact with China[13] to collude against a “rule based world order”

Unsurprisingly, under a “renewed cold war” and a “great power competition” among the U.S., Russia and China,[14] an Iranian nuclear bomb remains unstoppable, as I had feared in my abovementioned paper.

What follows is going to be a fast-paced nuclear (weapon) proliferation and “nuclearization” of the Middle East[15] – already referred to as “Nuclear Gulf,” in reference to the Arabian/Persian Gulf. As Iran has many a times vowed to exterminate its arch nemeses in the region from the face of the earth, a nuclear conflagration cannot be ruled out.[16]

It is time, the international community adopts a meaningful collective response to stop the Iranian regime of religiously frenzied clerics from becoming another impetuous North Korea and pose an existential threat to the region – and beyond.

Following a cloudless path and keeping its commercial interests prime, while the West wavered to speak to Tehran with a singular voice, Iran’s nuclear genie has come out of the bottle to fulfil all the unholy wishes of its clergy – including annihilating civilizations.

 

Adnan Qaiser is an international affairs expert having had a distinguished career in the armed forces as well as international diplomacy. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Tweets @adnanqaiser01. Views are personal and do not represent any institutional thought.

 

Notes

[1] Adnan Qaiser (Author), The Iranian Nuclear Bomb, South Asia Journal (USA), Aug 6, 2022

https://southasiajournal.net/the-iranian-nuclear-bomb/

[2] (1) Adnan Qaiser (Author) Cornering Russia to Nuke Ukraine, LinkedIn, July 2, 2022

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cornering-russia-nuke-ukraine-adnan-qaiser-adnan-qaiser/?published=t

See also:

(2) Adnan Qaiser (Author) Frankenstein’s Monsters of West-Sponsored Insurgency in Ukraine, LinkedIn, Mar 3, 2022

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/frankenstein-monsters-west-sponsored-insurgency-ukraine-adnan-qaiser/?trackingId=smWmyedzlJFGola31dfztA%3D%3D

[3] Suzanne Maloney, The Iranian Revolution at Forty, Brookings Institute, Feb 25, 2020

https://www.brookings.edu/book/the-iranian-revolution-at-forty/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Institution%20Press&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=83699742

[4] Ildus G. Ilishev, The Iran-Saudi Arabia Conflict and its Impact on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Global Governance Middle East And North Africa, Wilson Center, June 2016

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/the-iran-saudi-arabia-conflict-and-its-impact-the-organization-islamic-cooperation

PDF Report:

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/publication/the_iran_saudi_arabia_conflict_and_its_impact_on_the_organization_of_islamic_cooperation.pdf

[5] The Taliban surged back to power two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled their regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.

1999 – 2021: The U.S. War in Afghanistan, TIMELINE, Council on Foreign Relations

https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-war-afghanistan

[6] Adnan Qaiser (Author) Mahsa Amini’s Death Must Decease Iran’s Tyrant Regime, South Asia Journal (USA), Oct 2, 2022

https://southasiajournal.net/35824-2/

[7] Brief by Seth G. Jones, Jared Thompson , Danielle Ngo, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Brian McSorley, The Iranian and Houthi War against Saudi Arabia, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Dec 21, 2021

https://www.csis.org/analysis/iranian-and-houthi-war-against-saudi-arabia

[8] Iran sends special forces to Syria as ‘advisors’: report, i24News, Apr 4, 2016

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/108495-160404-iran-sends-special-forces-to-syria-as-advisors-report

[9] Arian Sharifi, The Fatemiyoun Army: Iran’s Afghan Crusaders in Syria, The Diplomat, Apr 23, 2021

https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/the-fatemiyoun-army-irans-afghan-crusaders-in-syria/

[10] Analysis – Iran-backed Zainabiyoun Brigade could become Pakistan’s new national security problem, Anadolu Agency, Nov 5, 2020

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/analysis-iran-backed-zainabiyoun-brigade-could-become-pakistan-s-new-national-security-problem/2033585

[11] Iran’s Threat to the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. Congressional Research Service, Jan 23, 2012

https://sgp.fas.org/crs/mideast/R42335.pdf

[12] Although they preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Abraham Accords were a factor in Iran’s decision to boost its military relationship with Moscow

Javad Heiran-Nia, Iran boosts military ties with Russia in part to counteract Abraham Accords, Middle East & North Africa, Stimson Center, Feb 21, 2023

https://www.stimson.org/2023/iran-boosts-military-ties-with-russia-in-part-to-counteract-abraham-accords/

[13] Iran, China finalize 16 MOUs under 25-year agreement framework, Tehran Times, Dec 13, 2022

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/479673/Iran-China-finalize-16-MOUs-under-25-year-agreement-framework

[14] Michael J. Mazarr, Understanding Competition: Great Power Rivalry in a Changing International Order — Concepts and Theories, RAND Corporation, 2022

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PEA1404-1.html

Also read:

(2) Bruce Jones, Navigating great power competition – A serious planning start, Brookings Institute, Aug 3, 2022

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/08/03/navigating-great-power-competition-a-serious-planning-start/

[15] Hamza Mjahed, The Nuclearization of the Middle East, Policy Brief, Policy Center for the New South, Sept 2020

https://www.policycenter.ma/sites/default/files/2021-01/PB-20-76.pdf

[16] Michael Eisenstadt, Nuclear Politics in the Middle East, Policy Analysis, PolicyWatch: 145, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mar 23, 1995

https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/nuclear-politics-middle-east

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A Canadian of Pakistani origin, Adnan Qaiser began his professional career as a commissioned officer in the Pakistan Army, taking early release as a Major. Working at various command and staff positions he developed a thorough understanding of national politics, civil and military relations, intelligence establishment, regional geopolitics and the security and policy issues that surround them. Moving on to international diplomacy on his next career ladder, he fostered political, economic and cultural relations at bilateral and multilateral platforms, watching closely some of the most turbulent times in the South Asian, Far Eastern and Middle Eastern politics from a G7 perspective. Immigrating to Canada in 2001, he kept upgrading his education, while maintaining memberships and affiliations with various industry verticals for his professional development. Adnan has worked at key positions in public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Speaking many of the languages and having deep insight into the region he keeps publishing papers on South Asia (Pakistan and India), Afghanistan, United States, China, Middle East, religious extremism and radicalization. Adnan has been a regular commentator at Canadian and Pakistani televisions and occasionally gives online talks at YouTube. Having been associated with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, Canada since 2009, Adnan has delivered talks at think-tanks like CDA Institute and Canadian International Council (CIC). Adnan holds a Level-II (Secret) security clearance from the Government of Canada. He Tweets @adnanqaiser01 and can be reached at: [email protected]