Any new war to leave disastrous impact on ME: Indian Expert

New Delhi, April 15, IRNA - An Indian university scholar believes that the launch of any new war in the Middle East would be disastrous for the region.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Dr. Reshmi Kazi who is an associate professor at the Nelson Mandela Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi, commented on the US launching a missile attack on Syria and the recent developments in the Middle East.

She said, “President Donald Trump’s missile attack on Syria under the pretext of response to the alleged chemical attacks on the civilians in Douma has certainly raised the escalation bars.'

'While any chemical weapon attack on the innocent civilians is highly condemnable, any military action in Syria would be of serious implications for the region. The US attack may not make the Syrian government change its policies, but it can definitely further worsen the crisis in the country. Russia did warn the Trump administration against any military action in Syria.”

“There is a visible effort on the part of Israel for a more proactive anti-Iran strategy in Syria. Israel has sought the US help in this matter. However, the state of affairs as it exists at present can only exacerbate brinkmanship by all the stakeholders involved. This would only deepen the crisis,” she added.

Expressing concern over any fresh armed conflict in the Middle East, the expert of the nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation said, “The consequences of a new war in the Middle East can be disastrous. There will be a shift in the balance of power between rivals mainly Saudi Arabia and Iran that can escalate a regional power struggle. Any tectonic shift in the balance of power will invariably heighten sectarianism in the region and also act as a catalyst for fuelling sentiments and certain separatism and destabilize power equations in the region.”

Commenting on the latest developments in the Middle East, she said, “The recent visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the US is, basically, an investment that Saudi Arabia is making towards nurturing cordial bilateral relations. Post 9/11, there was enormous US resentment against the Arab state. Besides, there exists a popular perception of Saudi Arabia as a supporter of Wahabism. The purpose of the young prince’s visit to the US is to present a moderate image of Saudi Arabia as distinct from a supporter of Wahabi culture.

“Also the young prince seeks to develop better relations with the US for building a more stable strategic space in the Middle East. Further, Saudi Arabia seeks to destabilize the Houthis in Yemen and bring about a regime change there. The Crown Prince looks forward to full support from the Trump administration in countering the influence of Iran in Yemen and Qatar,” the university scholar noted.

Terming any new war in the Middle East as highly detrimental for India’s energy security, she said, “India’s oil import from the Middle East is intertwined with the military situation in the region. Any adverse situation in the Middle East will definitely affect India’s oil imports from the region significantly. Hence, India would look forward to a less uncertain geopolitical state of affairs in the Middle East. Besides, India has inked several investment projects with Iran including development of the Chabahar Port as steps towards deeper its economic cooperation with Iran. Any adverse military situation can wreck such possibilities and ruin infrastructural development plans in Iran.”

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