London, 8 Dec – The Iranian Regime should be held accountable for its horrific crimes against humanity, according to an Iranian-American political scientist.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, wrote an op-ed for Arab News lamenting that little attention has been given to the Iranian Regime’s role in the assassination of Yemen’s former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
While the Houthi gunmen are the ones who pulled the trigger, the Iranian Regime are the ones who effectively loaded the gun and told them where to aim.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, president of the International American Council, wrote: “It is important to point out that any strategically or politically critical move conducted by Iran’s proxies and militia groups requires prior approval from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), such as Mohammed Ali Jafari, or top generals from the Quds Force including Qasem Soleimani.”
The Iranian Regime are the ones who call the shots with their various proxy groups across the Middle East because they have funded, trained, and armed them, which means that the group owes them.
Effectively, the Houthis would not have survived so long in the Yemen war without the Regime smuggling weapons and technology into the country. If the Houthis dared to go against the Regime, the funding and weapons would be immediately pulled and the Houthis would have made a dangerous enemy.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, who serves on the boards of the Harvard International Review, the Harvard International Relations Council and the US-Middle East Chamber for Commerce and Business, wrote: “More broadly, this gives an insight into the tactics and long-term strategies of Iranian-trained and armed proxies across the Middle East, which are anchored in four pillars: Destabilization, conflict, assassination, and rejection of any solution that has international legitimacy.”
The Iranian regime choose to conduct war via proxy in order to make it difficult for the international community to hold them accountable. The Regime effectively has plausible deniability. Eventually, the international community gets used to terrorism, breaches of international law, and violence.
The Iranian regime is skilled in sending third party hitmen after foreign adversaries and influential Iranian dissidents, as they did with Hezbollah and former Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
That was cited as one of the reasons that Hariri’s son Saad resigned as Lebanon’s current Prime Minister in November- he believed there was an Iranian plot to assassinate him as well.
The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center links the Iranian regime to at least 162 assassinations in 19 countries since 1979.
Its report states: “The evidence makes it clear that the Iranian rulers not only approve of assassinations abroad and that they honour and reward the assassins, but that they themselves plan these kinds of assassinations against people who, for purely political reasons, become undesirable. For the sake of preserving their power, they are willing to liquidate their political opponents.”
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, concluded: “The Iranian regime and the Houthis share a dangerous ideology that we need to take seriously from now on, because such episodes as the assassination of Saleh will not be their final iteration. The perpetrators of such crimes against humanity should be held accountable and brought to justice.”