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After Everything That Has Happened, What Are Iran’s Choices?

After Everything That Has Happened, What Are Iran’s Choices?

Saturday, 14 March, 2020 - 12:30

It is not for the sake of criminalization saying that Tehran has angered the world with the manner in which it intervened in the affairs of neighboring countries, planting sleeper cells and funding terrorism. All of these are dangerous matters that have dragged it to confront painful choices. Iran has not left a single illegitimate practice that it has not adopted. The most recent among these practices was its irresponsible behavior as it facilitated the entry of Saudi citizens into the country without stamping their passports as the new Coronavirus was spreading. This has posed a serious threat to the health of citizens and residents of the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia was right when it described Iran’s actions as “undermining of international efforts to fight the virus” and that consequently “Iran is directly responsible for the spread of the virus”. News published earlier also confirmed Iran’s aggressive policy, as it prevented international inspectors from entering two sites suspected of conducting nuclear activity. We need only to rewind a little to remember when it provoked neighboring countries by criminal piracy, planting landmines, confiscating cargo ships, and disrupting maritime navigation which is vital to the global economy. Despite this, the international community did not lift a finger, including the international institution responsible for protecting it. A realistic reading of what is happening in the area would conclude that Iran is the one who dragged the region to where it is today with its aggressive behaviors and practices that go against the principles of international law.

Iran’s chronic dilemma is in empowering its ideological vision over its national interest. This has been the case since the Iranian revolution succeeded in February 1979, at exporting its revolution, even if in different forms. The regime started favoring security and military affairs over internal affairs, including its miserable economy, erratically growing population, and the deterioration of its educational system and society.

We respect the Iranian people and the Shiite sect, but we reject the Mulla-system. Intervening in the affairs of others through sectarian vision, movements, parties, and elements, seeking a larger role and influence in those countries. Every once in a while, we hear Iranian officials talking about the importance of cooperation and shared values between religions, brethren, and neighbors, only to later see that those were only words, a PR stunt as it were, that culminates in no action. The Iranian political mentality is expansionist and leans towards escalation and creating crises. Some Arab leftists call for dialogue with Iran to spite the Kingdom, and despite their awareness of what is really going on, I would like to remind them that Iran is part of the problem, not the solution. It is one of the sides in the regional conflict and does not want peace. How else would it impose its opinion in conflicts and disputes that would not have existed without its direct meddling? Years ago, Rafsanjani accused people in his country of being responsible for the deterioration of relations between Riyadh and Tehran, saying that they undermined what he had done to improve those relations. That statement redeemed the Gulf countries from responsibility and put Iran in a precarious position.

If we look at history we would see that Tehran’s escalations with the Gulf are systematic, with the exception of the Khatimist era that witnessed some improvements to the Gulf-Iranian relations. Iran creates enemies in order to delude their people that it is in a defensive position, protecting its rights, always depicting itself as a target extorted by other countries. It consequently justifies repressing any protests or demonstrations internally as no voice is louder than the voice of battle. This is exactly what happened.

Saudi Arabia was and still is a political and ideological fear for Iran and its conservatives. They have consequently used several means in order to suffocate the Kingdom and have tried very hard to put pressure on and negatively influence it, knowing that their expansionist strategy would not succeed so long as Saudi Arabia represents the voice of moderation and balanced discourse and is influential in the area and the world.

What are the choices before the Iranian regime so long as it is aware that it cannot resist Washington’s strategy and military capabilities? The answer is clear: it must succumb to the just American and international demands in regards to its nuclear program and ballistic missiles, cease its interventions in other countries, and stop funding terrorism.

If Tehran remains intransigent, the sanctions will be implemented very strictly and would lead to an unprecedented economic disaster. Despite this, whoever listens to Iranians' statements sees that they have yet to let go of their arrogance. Iran may succumb to the storm, but this will not save it from facing difficult days ahead. The choice of war will always be on the table, even if nobody wanted it. Iran knows that it would be the biggest loser if that were to happen, as everybody knows who is more militarily powerful. Tehran’s behavior is political suicide, and it has to succumb to reality and change its aggressive behavior. It has to realize that it cannot change this state of affair if it does not use the state instead of the revolution.

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