Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
Last Friday, all media outlets across the world were buzzing with one news i.e. Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers. I wonder how far was Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb and does it really need a nuclear weapon? Why did it take six mandatory resolutions by the United Nations and 13 years of negotiations to reach an agreement that could be interpreted in seven different ways? Deals on the nuclear issue should not be lost in translation. The deal on Iranian nukes could be interpreted differently if read in a different language. It gives a new meaning upon translation to Persian, French, German, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew. A pertinent question is: Who is really the winner in this deal? Or maybe we should ask who is the loser? Apparently, no one won but the only loser is our planet earth. It is clear that no one is sure as to how close Iran is from acquiring the N-bomb. No one knows, not even a former CIA director. Last February, I attended a symposium held in Washington. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden was the main guest speaker at the event. When the question about Iran’s nuclear capabilities was raised, he answered it in a way that gave an impression that either he really was in the dark or he avoided going public on this sensitive matter. In other words, if such a high-profile official like Hayden was unaware of Iran’s nuclear activities then who else could provide a satisfactory answer in this regard. Or should we presume that nuclear activities in Iran and other countries around the world are not monitored. In such a situation, we should expect the next nuclear talks to take place between the United Nations and some obscure militant organization. And this is not far-fetched. This is something the world had talked about in the past. So, because no one is sure about the present or future impact of the Iranian nuclear deal, let us talk about the nuclear deals and our great planet earth. What concerns me, as a human being living on planet earth is, on what basis we humans are speeding up the process to destroy our planet? We have no other planet in the universe to rely on. We don’t need nuclear deals because the whole world doesn’t need nuclear weapons. It is ironic that we all forgot about the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), designed to limit the strategic arms race decades ago between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Allah has created our planet. Since the time of its creation, there was and still is, enough water, food, air and space for all humans on this planet no matter what the world population is. Unfortunately, we humans enjoy seeing the resources depleted. The Amazon forest is shrinking, there is serious global warming, the world is still reeling from the effects of nuclear accidents occurred in Japan and the former Soviet Union and there is serious threat to the environment from the nuclear leaks from old Soviet era submarines. All the planet’s resources are being depleted or misused. At the end of the day, and with all the problems facing the world, we are happy the superpowers have reached an agreement with Iran to limit its nuclear capabilities for the next 15 years. I still wonder why we don’t respect our planet. Is it hard for each one of us on this planet to conserve one gallon of water a day and plant a tree. Is it difficult for all people living on this planet to stop and think for just one minute and look at the fact that people around the world have to get along with each other because there is no other planet in the universe that is hospitable to humans. And who really needs nuclear supremacy if we already have nuclear arsenal that can destroy our great planet in the blink of an eye. It is clear that the nuclear arms race is not between the superpowers. It is becoming global. We should seriously consider the danger posed by nuclear weapons. Nuclear capabilities and irresponsible countries don’t go together. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Iran’s Deal and Our Planet reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.