London, 19 Dec – Ever since the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has been dealing with an endless stream of international and domestic crises, including fevered unrest from the Iranian people who want regime change and various countries in the Middle East standing up against Iran’s malign meddling.
These crises are likely to be exacerbated given the constant threat of international negotiations over Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional destabilisation efforts.
International condemnation and Iran’s response
Iran has attempted to save face by showing ‘power’ from the Revolutionary Guards bully-boy tactics and the Iranian military’s excursions to other Middle Eastern states, but if the international community cracked down hard on the Regime, the mullahs would soon give in and give up their dangerous military strategy.
Hassan Rouhani’s government are desperate to preserve the nuclear deal- the only thing providing the Regime with international legitimacy- but are trying to do so in such a way that they look like they are standing up to the rest of the world. This is not fooling anyone.
The fellow signatories to the nuclear deal also seem more willing to hold Iran to account, with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian criticising Iran’s interference in Middle Eastern conflicts whilst visiting Saudi Arabia.
He said: “Iran’s role and the different areas where this country operates worries us. I am thinking in particular of Iran’s interventions in regional crises, this hegemonic temptation and I’m thinking of its ballistic program.”
The Regime has attempted to smear any attempt by the international community- in particular, signatories to the Iran nuclear deal- to hold Iran responsible as fake news but again, no one believes them.
The Iranian Regime is scared that negotiations surrounding their malign activities will lead to more international deals and prevent Iran from interfering in neighbouring states and abusing the human rights of its citizens.
This has also led to internal disputes amongst the different factions of the Iranian Regime, with those loyal to the supreme leader Ali Khamenei attacking Rouhani for negotiating the nuclear deal. This should not be mistaken as thinking that Rouhani is a ‘moderate’ who wants to work with the West. He was following orders from Khamenei when he organised the deal.
The number one concern for Iran is the rising levels of protests within the country- sometimes as many as 150 per day. International sanctions and even a trial before the International Criminal Court are relatively small fry when compared with the anger of the Iranian people who can- and soon will- overthrow the Regime.
Most protests start out as actions against government-backed financial institutions that stole money from the Iranian people but soon become protests about everything that is wrong with the Regime.
The international community needs to stand with the Iranian people, as cited by Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
She said: “The solution is showing firmness, not giving concessions. The EU has unfortunately abandoned its values in order to promote trade with the mullahs. It has turned a blind eye on the gross violations of human rights in Iran.”
This idea is shared by Shahriar Kia, an Iranian dissident and a political analyst.
He wrote: “A concerted and firm effort to counter Iran’s destructive meddling in the region and its ballistic missile program will the biggest contribution to peace both inside Iran and across the region. Washington and the Arab World have taken some positive steps in this regard. It is past time that the European Union follows suit and adopts a firm policy.”