That Iran has finally admitted to unintentionally shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner is a welcome move, as heart-breaking as the accident has been. Iran has termed the incident a “disastrous mistake”, where the doomed Flight 752 had been mistaken for a “hostile target” as a result of “human error”. Iran should now come forth with detailed reports of its investigations into the accident and what we can learn from it.
This incident brings to light a universal truth—that it is always the civilians who have to pay the ultimate price for the warmongering of powerful nations. While both the USA and Iran can keep blaming each other for the circumstances of this accident, these are not going to right the wrong that has been committed. This also further shows that war always comes at a terrible price.
The US’ attempts at de-escalation is also visible as it has decided not to retaliate after the Iranian attacks on its bases in Iraq. However, the US must realise that imposing additional economic sanctions against Iran—which is already bearing the burden of crippling sanctions imposed by the US earlier—does not help its calls for dialogue. The US, in order to really fulfil its goal of engaging in constructive dialogue with Iran, must demonstrate their openness to such a move through actions. Crippling Iran through stricter sanctions is likely to only force the country to be more belligerent.
As a result of the Ukrainian jetliner crash, other airlines are considering if it would be safe to fly over the Gulf in the current situation. And a war in the Middle East will not only be disastrous for the region, it will also create widespread reverberations that will be felt in the far corners of the world. In the wake of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination, oil prices had gone up by four percent, and its consequences have been felt in as far as Bangladesh, too.
While Bangladesh needs to prepare itself to face the repercussions should tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, especially in ensuring the safety of our migrant workers, the world—especially the US, Iran and the United Nations, along with other world powers—must do everything they can to diffuse the tensions. Let the Flight 752 crash serve as a reminder and a warning for all that it is ultimately the innocent who fall victim to power jostling between irresponsible nations, and that war must be avoided at all costs.