New balance from collapse of a weakened Iran The death of Iran’s terror chief, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the second most important figure of the regime, and Abu Mahdi Mohandis, the central figure of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Sha’abi paramilitary force in Iraq, has brought the strategic edifice of the Iranian regime crumbling down. The Iranian regime is facing a resilient uprising at home and in Iraq and Lebanon, countries it once called its “strategic depth.” The uprising in Iraq is expanding further, into more cities and provinces every day.
Over the past 20 years, Soleimani extended the regime’s strategy by building proxy forces all through the region, moved to hollow out state institutions in regional countries, and supplant them with Qods Force-supported terror organizations posing as political factions.
As leader of the Qods Force, he aimed to establish a “Shiite crescent” of Iranian influence extending to the Mediterranean Sea and encircling conservative Arab countries in the Gulf.
With an ideology rooted in medieval Islamic dogma, the Iranian regime is unable to respond to the cultural, economic, and political demands of the Iranian people in the 21st century.
Domestically, the regime has sought to control widespread popular dissatisfaction with brute repression and gross human rights violations. At the same time, it has fanned sectarian conflicts and wars while interfering in the internal affairs of regional countries.
This is how the regime survives – by maintaining the strategic depth that would spare it from fighting on its own streets. For this reason, regime insiders remember Soleimani as the guardian of the regime’s security. Foreign adventurism allowed Soleimani to deploy terror and repression inside Iran as well, creating an illusion of security. Soleimani’s death has put Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a precarious position as he is fending off intensifying, cyclical uprisings.
Khamenei rationalized his foreign warmongering by saying, “If we do not fight the enemy in the streets of Iraq and Syria, we must fight them in the streets of Kermanshah, Hamedan, Tehran and other cities of Iran.“
Now, Khamenei’s nightmare has come true, and his war with the Iranian people over their legitimate demand for freedom and prosperity has come to the streets of Iran. Amidst policies of appeasement over the past decade, Western countries have closed their eyes to the terrorism and the militaristic policies of Iran’s religious dictatorship in order to pursue their own economic interests.
But these policies are now over. With the withdrawal of the US from the JCPoA treaty in 2017 and the application of articulated sanctions on Iran, Khamenei was left alone on the battlefield, opposite the Iranian people.
The recent military confrontation with the United States has shattered the solemnity of the regime both locally and globally, burying it along with the regime’s terrorist power. Early on Wednesday, January 08, 2020, the Iranian regime fired several rockets for ‘tough revenge’ and attacked the al-Assad base near Baghdad, where US troops are stationed.
In contradictory statements, the Revolutionary Guards announced the firing of dozens of missiles at Ein Al-Assad and US military bases in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan), which resulted in four Americans being killed and four others injured. Deliberate Error! But what is the reality? The regime’s claims were not backed up by any government, military or news sources.
Reuters news agency, however, said, “Iran is said to have intentionally fired missiles to the US forces in Iraq.”
Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, also tweeted that the regime had already contacted him about the missile attacks. Obviously, he revealed this information to the US authorities. Therefore, the regime’s slogans about ‘hard revenge’ and its other threats were suddenly exposed as absurd, followed by the regime’s fear of US counterattacks.
The Iranian regime had thought that the US was without a plan for war. They had the ambition to embarrass Trump by attacking the US embassy and executing other acts of terrorism in advance of the US election.
Their likely goal was to remove him from office, force the lifting of sanctions, or inspire disaffection in his supporters. Instead, they shattered their own fragile body of power by setting the stage for the death of Qassem Soleimani.
Prior to this, the regime wanted to convince European countries that they were a regional power and that they should be considered in setting Middle East policy.
Now, the fragile awe of the regime has collapsed, and a new balance has been established between the Iranian people and the regime.
As a result of this new equilibrium, in a new wave of mid-January demonstrations pioneered by students after the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, slogans targeted the supreme leader himself. Protesters have started asking the commander in chief to resign.
“A little prince in the land of the Mullahs”, a denunciation in a Comic Book version
Discover the interview with the author of this article, Raouf Massoumeh, who presents his book “A little prince in the Land of the mullahs”.
The story of his young brother, Ahmad Raouf Bachari Doust, arrested five years before – at the age of 16 – and who will be among the 30,000 political prisoners executed.
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