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Our Problem with Iran is its Regime

Our Problem with Iran is its Regime

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 - 05:00
I have to admit that I am not a fan of US President Donald Trump; nor am I someone who likes the views of the ‘Neo-Cons’ from whom Trump has inherited many policies, as well as many personalities, such as John Bolton, the President’s National Security Advisor.

On the other hand, I am fully convinced by the famous quote “even a broken clock is right twice a day". Indeed, in politics, no politician can always be right while his opponent is always wrong. Thus, I believe that there can be no half measures with regard to Iran and the dangers its current leadership pose to the Arab world; and more specifically, the Gulf States, not to mention the suffering of the great patient Iranian people.

The current leadership in Tehran understands nothing but the language of force, and totally disregards peaceful civilized coexistence.

In my humble opinion, it is here, where former US president Barack Obama committed a fatal mistake; and Trump would commit a similar mistake if he fails to understand that for Arabs and Iranians that the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) has never been one of physics, but rather of politics.

The issue has nothing to do with percentages of uranium enrichment, quantity of stored nuclear fuel, number of working reactors and ready-to-use nuclear warheads, or means of delivery. It is precisely with a theocratic mafia-based militaristic regime that is aggressive inside Iran, and expansionist against its neighbors.

Of course, the international community has every right to stand against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, although there are no less than nine countries that possess these weapons, including the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, plus India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. In addition to these states, there are also countries that process and rely on nuclear power, but have not turned their expertise to military use, led by Germany, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Spain and Sweden.

Therefore, theoretically – at least – there is no problem if certain countries acquire nuclear capability, provided they respect international peace, care about the welfare of their people, and refrain from threatening their neighbors and boasting about ‘controlling’ their capitals!

The fact that tension is rising today in the Middle East, following Washington’s escalation against the Tehran regime, is both logical and understandable; more so, given the strategic oil-related importance to the Gulf region.

Also logical and understandable is the way the Iranian leadership has raised the tempo by resorting to the two techniques it has mastered for years: the first is military escalation on the ground; and the second is the diplomatic and propaganda distortion it spreads throughout the world’s capitals and media outlets in America and Europe.

Militarily, the Tehran regime – which has increasing fallen under the sway of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) militia since the ‘Iran Iraq War’ (1980 and 1988) – has realized that it was futile to ‘export the revolution’ through direct confrontations. So, the alternative for this project of hegemony was to ‘plant’ IRGC-branch militias in every non-Iranian area that may be a useful fertile ground; and, so these militias would fight for the Iranian hegemony project spilling the locals’ blood.

Furthermore, after adopting the logic of ‘attack is the best form of defense’, many regime spokesmen said, on several occasions, that it was better for Iran to fight its wars in the city streets of neighboring Arab states than being forced to fight then in the streets of Tehran, Esfahan, Tabriz and other Iranian cities!

This is exactly what has happened. The former leading conservative politician Ali Reza Zakani, went even further, a few years ago, boasting that “three Arab capitals have today ended up in the hands of Iran and belong to the Iranian revolution”. He then noted that Sanaa has now become the fourth Arab capital that is on its way to joining the Iranian revolution.

In the same vein, General Hussein Salami boasted that “Iran was about to reach new levels of power… our confrontation with the West to the Mediterranean; which means changing regional equation, whereby our power is increasing while our enemies’ are decreasing”. He then added that Western governments were ‘pleading’ with Iran to join them in fighting ISIS.

Such talk leaves no doubt on Iran’s intentions. Then, looking at how the situation has unfolded in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and even Lebanon, it becomes clear that Washington’s gamble on a ‘change of behavior’ from the Iranian leadership and the IRGC command – which run Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis, Gaza’s Islamic Jihad and their ilk – has spectacularly failed.

Still, what is noteworthy, is that Washington’s Middle Eastern affairs planners, refuse to link the support accorded to Benjamin Netanyahu and full adoption of his extremist and expansionist plans have been the greatest help to Tehran as it attempts to justify its own plans. I say ‘noteworthy’, not ‘strange’ or ‘surprising’ because what we are facing is obvious.

Tehran’s extremism benefits Tel Aviv, and vice versa. Thus, both sides are now carving out what remains of the Arab Middle East, and encouraging the ‘third regional power’ Turkey to enter the arena and claim what it regards its own under the excuse of defending the Sunnis.

No one desires war in our region, which is already in deep trouble. Moreover, any wise individual knows that the only people who are going to pay the cost of war are the people of the region.

However, what can be done to stop Tehran’s ongoing wars against our Arab states, in fact, inside these states?

What is the solution with a regime that is hell-bent on conquering the region, and spreading its ideology and extremism in the name of what it claims to be the real Islam?

What will become of us if extremism and counter-extremism were allowed to dominate our region, undermine its culture and resources, and destroy the future of our youth?

This is our fatal nuclear problem!

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