The term ‘third world countries’ is used to describe nations whose class of economy is inferior to the first or second world countries.

The term, less used in recent years, does not expunge the reality that these countries exist.

They are in Africa, Asia and Latin America and lie at the rung of the ladder.

This is enough reason they ought not get tangled between heavy world powers, especially the recent events of the US-Iran feud.

Whether it is an actual war or just skirmishes, there are many reasons third world countries should steer clear from the US – Iran conflict. Here is why:

1. They are not in the picture.

During the cold war era, the first and second world wars or international events that matter, third world countries are clearly not in the scheme of things.

in infact, to be strictly candid, when it comes to world politics, the power play and intrigues, they are practically nonexistent.

They cannot stand or make decisions on their own but align with countries in the higher levels.

Therefore, interfering amounts to sticking their noses into affairs not of their business. We can categorize them as ordinary interlopers and busybodies.

In Africa for example where third world countries are more, their colonial masters still rules them, albeit indirectly.

This act is called ‘neocolonialism‘ – the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies.

This practice is worse with former French colonies whom they(France) still exercise lots of control over.

The British and US are not left out of this advance form of colonialism either. In a nutshell, their opinion does not count and even if aired, it is best ignored.

Worse still, if the US and its allies or Iran and allies react, it could inflict serious damage on their barely-surviving economies.

2. They have their own problems.

From corruption, to high rate of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, to inflation, poor infrastructure, lack of access to proper health care, or just anything plaguing third world countries so numerous to mention, adding fresh and more complex ones like external security threats, especially from nuclear weapons or something of sort, will be obviously too much to handle.

According to a United Nations 2015 statistics, 736 million people lived below the international poverty line of US$ 1.90 per day and as at 2018, 55% of the world’s population have no access to at least one social protection cash benefit.

It is not suprising that majority of the people in the figures stated are from third world countries. This is quite alarming, they should find solutions to these problems rather than inviting more.

3. An action may provoke a reaction.

Any action, careless or thoughtful or just a statement in support or against any of the countries may have dire consequences.

One can only imagine, sadly at that, if the US, or even Iran (who are not even a world power), attack a third world country.

Bearing this in mind, they will have themselves to blame if attacked as a result of their own action.

Secondly, the reaction may not necessarily be by launching physical attacks or air strikes, it may simply be by sanctions.

The US can impose strict sanctions on a third world country and the remains of that country’s economy will come down crashing.

The sanctions placed on Iran by Trump’s administration, asking other countries not to buy crude oil from them is a good example.

Third world countries can barely provide enough for their citizens, let alone deal with economic sanctions like cutting of supply or stopping them from selling.

Additionally, another option is to prevent access to loans, grants and monetary aids.

According to statistics, third world countries are given huge sums by world powers and international bodies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as financial aid. Denying them this could disastrous.

In all, it could be fatal to cause provocation by a third world country’s action to a world power.

4. They don’t have the weapons and technology if there is a war.

Third world countries are technogically behind when it comes to modern-day warfare.

They have not invested enough in technology hence not at par with first or second world countries who invest so much on military technology and weapons engineering.

Advance military technologies such as the use of laser, stealth aircraft or nuclear, still eludes them.

Most of these countries still rely heavily on the powerful countries where they buy their arms and ammunition from.

As bad as this is, new military weapons are very expensive, to cut cost and at the same time fill-up their armoury, they resort to used weapons, which come cheaper.

No doubt, having second-grade weapons instead of new ones has its own downsides.

If a war breaks out between the warring factions and a third world country is enmeshed in the whole melee, how do they intend to withstand the superior firepower of whoever they crossed path with?

5. To avoid ripple effect.

Already, many third world countries are divided along ethnic, racial, religious and political lines.

Pitching tent with a particular warring faction may create ripple effects internally, within themselves.

The killing of Soleimani prompted reactions from major heads of states.

When heads of states of third world countries lean on any side of the divide, this can generate into crisis especially along religious lines which can quickly escalate into chaos.

If this occurs, who gains? The higher world countries of course! They will not hesitate to sell arms to them to fight. Third world countries are already guinea pigs and dumping ground where the world powers carry out tests and supply used weapons to, they should not make it more complicated for themselves.

These are enough reasons for third world countries to remain neutral to forestall being caught up in the crossfire, ensure safety of their citizens and at the same time, seek for ways in solving their problems.


If you missed the first article, please read it here:

Reasons Why Third World Countries Should Neglect The US vs Iran War: Part I