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The Solution Is With Iran

The Solution Is With Iran

Thursday, 19 September, 2019 - 06:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Statements launched by countries around the world to condemn and denounce a criminal or terrorist act are no longer enough or convincing, following the Iranian attacks that hit the backbone of the global economy.

The time has come for the world to move to a higher level than mere repetitive statements. Curbing the Iranian threat to the world economy is more dependent on actions than words.

Perhaps one of the most important solutions is the policy of collective response, proposed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson twice. The first came in his joint statement with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the second during his telephone conversation with the Saudi Crown Prince.

International partners, especially Europeans, are convinced that the Aramco attack was a serious blow to all their attempts to contain the Iranian regime; not only because it could cause an economic disaster in their own countries, but because it greatly deceived the most sympathetic to the regime.

Once the facts that the Aramco attack was a war act by Tehran are shown to the world, international partners will be forced to choose “collective action”.

This scenario has long been absent from the policy of dealing with the revolutionary Iranian state, allowing it to penetrate the international community under false pretexts, threaten the security and stability of the world, and launch ballistic missiles at its neighbors, in an unprecedented violation of basic rules of the international system.

If these acts of aggression are overlooked, the world will turn into a jungle with even more insecurity, especially after the failure of the carrot-and-stick approach with the Iranian regime.

Undoubtedly, most European countries that have gone along this path are now ashamed of all their attempts to contain the regime and use their diplomacy with a rogue state.

The proposed policy of collective retaliation may be the appropriate stick that will deter Iran and prevent it from continuing to tamper with the international system. More exactly, this policy will be a firm message to any state that will seek in the future to follow the path of the Iranian regime and to remain intact after achieving its subversive goals with impunity. It will make Iran think a thousand times before a future sabotage, knowing that its price would be too high and too costly.

Those who think that the Kingdom is incapable of responding to Iranian military action against it are mistaken. The Saudi Air Force, for example, has the ability to retaliate strongly to this attack. However, Saudi Arabia is a state that adheres to the international system and international laws, and refrains from carrying out reckless acts without a legal basis and international evidence, and mainly without an international cover.

Just as Saudi Arabia is assuming its role in preserving global oil supplies, which helps maintain world security and stability, countries of the world, small and large, also have a responsibility to stop any country that shakes this stability.

For those who demand the Kingdom alone to respond to these Iranian attacks, we say, therefore: Do not ask Saudi Arabia to bear alone the responsibility for the security and stability of global oil supplies.

Just as Saudi Arabia has fulfilled its responsibilities as no else has done, the major powers have a shared duty to respond collectively to Iranian aggression against their economic interests.

But how would the proposed collective response be? The NBC reported that US President Donald Trump’s options include military strikes on oil installations.

Here comes the role of the states’ collective responsibility within the context of "collective response."

But any firm and strong collective reaction must greatly change the equation and make Iran consider a thousand times before repeating such attacks against world security and stability.

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