The regime in Tehran enters its 40th year facing several different crises.
The fundamental pillars upon which the theocracy is established are export of terrorism and domestic repression.
Since the Iran-Iraq War, the West has pursued a failed policy of appeasement toward Iran in order to mitigate the threat from the regime. This includes a series of mistakes such as the Iran-Contra scandal, the designation of Iran’s main democratic opposition, the MEK, as a terrorist organization, handing Iraq to Shiite clerics on a silver platter and lastly, the catastrophic nuclear agreement better known as the JCPOA.
Today, political and economic impasse have caused the supreme leader to lose clout over the repressive forces under his control.
The reality is that the recent uprising opened a new chapter of possible policies towards Iran. Currently, Iranians who are forced to live under the poverty line and western governments both know why the regime is more rapidly becoming vulnerable. The Iranian people are up in arms against the systematic corruption that has crippled the economy and rubbed ordinary citizens of their lifesaving.
This popular discontent is shaking the regime to its foundations. Regime leaders and authorities all agree that if they do not find a permanent solution to the impasse, the overthrow of the regime will be inevitable.
As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is selling himself as a moderate, he dazzles both Eastern and E.U. traders by offering them lucrative trade deal. For example, during his recent visit to India, Rouhani signed several contracts with the Indian government and companies.
But as the Trump administration is closely watching Tehran’s activities, President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE may decide to withdraw the U.S. from the JCPOA and reimpose sanctions. Thus, having economic relations with Iran is like betting on the wrong horse.
Now Trump has given America’s European allies a ”last chance” to strengthen the JCPOA and address Tehran’s regional mischief and its missile program. It is a known fact that the flawed JCPOA legitimizes and provides facilities for Iran’s destructive behavior in the region and suppression of its own people.
Considering that U.S. withdrawal will end the JCPOA, the E.U. is now trying to save the deal by complementing it with restrictions on Iran’s missile program and regional behaviors.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged Tehran to put its missile program under international monitoring. During a visit to Berlin, British Prime Minister Theresa May highlighted the regime’s destabilizing actions adding, “we are ready to take further measures to address the problems.” This show that both the British prime minister and French president share American concerns in this regard.
Inside Iran, the regime has marketed itself as the most powerful country in the Middle East. At the same time, the regime spares no efforts to create an atmosphere of fear in the country. However, the recent protests in Iran tore down the wall of oppression.
If the regime’s missile program and regional intervention are also restricted, the theocracy will lose all its ideological, political and practical leverage over its forces and proxies inside and outside of Iran.
In addition, reimposing the nuclear sanctions will put more pressure on the regime that is facing a bankrupt economy, which was the main reason the starving people of Iran took to the streets.
The recent nationwide protests in Iran expose the regime as a weak dictatorship. This presents the West with an excellent opportunity to end IRGC’s destructive actions across the region. During the Munich Security Conference, the U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster urged the international community to take practical actions against mullahs’ role in the Middle East.
However, a less expensive way to end the complicated situation in the region is to concentrate on Iran’s domestic crises and support the people of Iran that the regime leaders fear most. The leader of Iranian opposition Maryam Rajavi recently highlighted the Iranian people’s determination to end the theocracy noting,, “Iran’s uprising is not only for the overthrow of a political regime, but is a revolt against religious fundamentalism. This would be a blissful dawn not only for the people of Iran but for all the peoples of the region and the world.”
Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner from Iran. Living in Glasgow, Scotland, he is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist. Bahrami has contributed to Al Arabiya English, American Thinker, Euractive, Newsblaze and Eureporter as his work cover’s Iran’s Middle East actions and domestic social crackdown. Follow him on Twitter at @HaBahrami.