Tuesday, 30 January 2018- The widespread protests across Iran this past month came as a shock to the Mullah’s Regime and the world at large, but this isn’t over yet. The first wave of protests may have been quelled but the people’s anger with the Regime hasn’t been extinguished.
To make matters worse for the mullahs, they are facing expanding isolation on the international stage, with many in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, getting tougher on the Iranian Regime. The ordinary Iranian people are watching this closely, knowing that less international support for the mullahs will translate into a Regime less able to fight the tide of regime change.
Support for the Iranian Regime is waning by the day, especially after Donald Trump set a May deadline for significant improvements to the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and threatened to withdraw the US from the deal if it were not fixed.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has now met with his European counterparts to discuss Iran's ballistic missile programme and regional interference and it is believed that the European view on the JCPOA and the Iranian Regime is coming in line with the American one.
This should come as no surprise given the previous comments from politicians in France and the UK, as well as Germany’s recent investigation into an Iranian terror plot. Even though European companies have been trading with Iran since the JCPOA, there is evidence that the European governments will still impose sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile development and other malign behaviours.
The Arab World has also heavily criticised Iran at the World Economic Forum at Davos, with many Gulf Arab officials in Davos slammed Iran for its destabilising regional behaviour.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif cancelled his participation in the event, presumably fearing criticism of the Regime’s crackdown on protesters, like Aladdin Borujderdi, head of Iran's parliamentary Security Commission, received during his recent visit to the European Parliament, but that didn’t stop the criticism.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said: "[Iran] is using sectarianism and terrorism in order to interfere in the affairs of other countries.”
While UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash accused Iran of spreading “transnational sectarianism” across the region.
He said: "The whole idea of not Gaza, not Syria but Iran is what you [Iran] should concentrate on, is a clear message, not from us across the Gulf, but from your own population. Don’t spend $5/6bn annually in Syria, don’t spend a billion on Hezbollah.”
Changing the Regime’s perspective
The Iranian Regime does appear to recognise that they are facing major opposition though, as evidenced in reports on websites associated with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. They write that they know the JCPOA is looking increasingly fragile and this implies that they know that international support for the mullahs is falling.
Human rights activist Heshmat Alavi wrote on Al Arabiya: “It has become a known tactic of Iranian media and figures close to the ruling elite to launch a brouhaha about the JCPOA, while remaining silent on sensitive issues, such as their ballistic missiles and foot-sprints across the Middle East. Why Iran needs to remain silent in this regard is quite obvious. At a time when people across the country are placing the very pillars of this regime in their crosshairs and demanding regime change, Tehran understands its weakening positions in the international spectrum will have a direct impact on domestic issues.”
International governments have a duty to stand with the Iranian people and oppose the Regime. They must increase pressure on the Regime to end its ballistic missile programme and interference in the Middle East, while supporting the Iranian people. This is what will bring the Regime to its knees.