While assessing any large global conflict, such as the Iraq war, we look at the period before the destruction broke out and question why the international community did not do enough to prevent escalation. As it stands, today we are at the doorsteps to what could become another senseless, destructive conflict, that of between Iran and the United States of America, with its Gulf allies, and the reaction from the international community has not been helpful in de-escalating it.

It would not be far-fetched to say that the rhetoric surrounding this conflict has become alarming and close to genocidal. US President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton has pushed for war with Iran, and Trump himself has used highly inflammatory language, implying the US could cause “the end of Iran”. This rhetoric, along with the US’s unilateral leave of JCPOA has not worn well with Iran, whose Foreign Minister has said that Iran will not cooperate as long as aggressive language is used, and indeed, who can blame him?

With such startling threats exchanged and considering the US’s past of warring with Middle Eastern countries, it is disappointing that the situation is not being paid attention to adequately by international actors. Although the United Nations has expressed concern over the language used by Trump, the international body is not sufficiently focusing on de-escalating the conflict, as Iran again had to appeal to it to ease the alarming situation.

A war in the Iranian region would be a losing scenario for all parties involved in the conflict, as well as the other world. Apart from the devastation caused to Iranian citizens, it would heavily destabilise the area, leaving it vulnerable to radicals, and would irrevocably damage the Afghan peace process. The pitfalls of a war cannot be overstated- the world, including Pakistan, must do all it can to prevent this conflict from escalating.