Tension continues to flare up following the Israeli stunt in Natanz nuclear facility with an unknown party, possibly Iranians, attacking their merchant vessel Hyperion in the Persian Gulf.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That excerpt is perhaps one of the most well-known verses within the Bible, stressing the importance of reciprocity for the faithful. That same principle with slight variations applies to international politics and a tit-for-tat response often prevents an adversary from either going far with its plan or at least pacifying the incensed sentiments within a country.
Yesterday morning the Israeli-owned Hyperion belonging to Ray Shipping Company came under attack near the shores of UAE. Though no one took responsibility for the incident, it is widely believed that the attacks were carried out on orders from Iranian officials. There are two principal reasons for this assumption; First, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif repeatedly warned Israel for its recent actions against Iran’s nuclear program culminating in the assassination of a top nuclear scientist and several independent attacks on facilities. Secondly, the targeted maritime vessel MV Helios Ray which belonged to the same Israeli company that came under attack back in February, a retaliatory attack not so dissimilar from this one.
Aside from this recent attack, Iran also responded to the lack of cooperation from E3 countries who reportedly have either tried to stall the talks or to prolong it indefinitely. Whether they are doing it to know how the next Iranian president will react or for some other purposes is not clear. What is clear is that the Iranian government has had enough of empty promises and deliberate abnegations regarding their situation. For that reason, Iranian officials have now announced that they will enrich their uranium up to 60% in an effort both to send a message to the enemies and to have the upper hand in the talks that are likely to happen in the near future.
Either way, it appears that the time for the Americans is running out. Iranian officials have said that the nuclear talks shouldn’t be prioritized anymore whilst the representatives in the parliament have called for the replacement of the damaged centrifuges with newer more advanced IR-6 variants capable of enriching at a much faster pace with greater capacity. What is quite apparent is that the more the U.S. and Europeans try to appease their allies and reward them for their wrongdoings, the more audacious Iranians moves become. Furthermore, even though Iran has repeatedly said that it has no intention of militarizing its nuclear program so as to soothe the world, it has never said that it would not fight for his allies and the fulfilment of its agenda in the Middle-East. For all we know, Iran is one of the strongest players in the Middle-East and their cooperation is vital to bring stability to the region.
Like what we said before, a tit-for-tat response is often a good course of action against a hostile threat. Unfortunately, headstrong or radical individuals, whether driven by passion or bad intent, might take things too far. The hostility between Israel and Iran dates back to decades ago and has been going-on ever since. When the U.S. under the Trump’s administration singlehandedly decided to pull out of the JCPOA and impose the harshest sanctions ever, Iran was pushed to its limits and the coming of Biden did the very same with Israel. Now both countries are almost always on the edge, using every opportunity to undermine the other. Unfortunately, with this kind of escalation there is no telling when the last straw breaks one of their backs and when that happens, the U.S. wished to have acted more decisively in restraining rogue elements before things got out of hand.