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Iran: Regime’s Deadlock, With No Clear Path To Survival – OpEd

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The November 2019 widespread uprising of the Iranian people in 191 cities across the country, that began under the pretext of protesting rising gas prices, showcased the dislike of the Iranian people for a regime hallmarked by repression, discrimination, looting and corruption.

The November uprising was a strategic blow to the regime and was instrumental in cornering it internationally. The killing of Qassem Soleimani, too, was a serious blow to the regime’s credibility beyond its borders. The mullahs employed an array of propaganda tactics to portray Soleimani as a national hero and organized funeral ceremonies in different cities.

By magnifying Soleimani’s loss, the regime’s intention was to cover up the killing of 1500 protesters in the November uprising and to solicit for international criticism of President Trump’s order to kill Soleimani. But, the downing of the Ukrainian airliner by the IRGC’s missiles turned the tables against Iran. One more time, the world faced the lies of the regime in Tehran. The downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane became a source of internal fights and disagreements between different factions of the regime.

Iran has not yet handed over the aircraft’s black box to the appropriate authorities. The deputy prime minister of Canada declared that she intends to stay firm in finding the truth about the crash of the airplane and the loss of so many innocent passengers. She is calling for an independent inspection of the Ukrainian plane’s black box.

On another front, as Iran has materialized its intentions of stepping away from the nuclear agreement and has taken its so-called fifth step, Europe had no choice but to activate the trigger mechanism embedded in the nuclear agreement for themselves.  

In reality, Europe seems to be becoming less cozy with Iran and getting closer to the US approach to dealing with the regime, even though the European signatory countries of Britain, France and Germany are talking about drafting a new nuclear agreement with Iran.

Looking for a scapegoat, Iran’s foreign minister, Zarif told Der Spiegel magazine “He never rules out the possibility of negotiating with the US.” In a humiliating response, President Trump tweeted: “The Iranian Foreign Minister (regime) says he wants to negotiate with the United States but wants sanctions lifted. No thanks”

Trump’s response caused the different factions of the regime to criticize and blame each other and created chaos within the regime. It is worthy of note that Zarif’s “negotiation” comment would not have been offered if he did not have Khamenei’s approval and green light.

On a regional level, the recent surge of the protests in Iraq, condemning Iran’s meddling in Iraq and widespread government corruption, alongside with the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi have further weakened the regime in Iran. Even Moghtada Sadr, Iran’s strategic partner in Iraq, is losing its credibility among the people of Iraq. Because of it being election year in America, US President Donald Trump is not looking for a tense standoff with Iran

 But Iran, playing with very weak cards now, is desperately trying to pull Trump to the point that he is apolitically harmed.  It is also using its proxy forces to harm the United States, such as the missile attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. But every time the Iranian regime creates a problem outside its borders, the United States has been very quick to respond, cornering the regime on its own turf.

What may happen in the future essentially depends on the continuation and spread of the uprisings in Iraq and Iran. We are facing an era that the appeasement policy of the west regarding Iran is at a definite end, and the regime has no other way forward than to surrender fully to the demands of the international community and to bear the consequences.

If so, Iran must give up terrorism, and as a result, the terrorist IRGC will have to disintegrate. Such measures will translate into the collapse of the velayat-e faqih system. If Iran fails to submit to the demands of the international community and continues its destructive role in the region and beyond, the collapse of its economy, due to the sanctions and the spread of the uprisings in Iran will eventually bring the life of this regime to an end.

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Hassan Mahmoudi

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.

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