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Saudi Aramco attack: An old page in the Iranian regime’s playbook

On September 13, 2019, the Saudi Aramco complex was targeted with dozens of missiles coming from Iran
On September 13, 2019, the Saudi Aramco complex was targeted with dozens of missiles coming from Iran

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 21, 2019—Since they rose to power in 1979, Iran’s mullahs have kept their regime afloat based on two pillars: domestic repression and the export of terrorism abroad. These two implements have been key to the survival of the Iranian regime. Whenever the regime is faced with internal and international crises, it has sought the solution in spreading war and chaos to neighboring countries, and intensifying domestic repression in parallel.

This is a tactic that worked well for the mullahs during their devastating eight-year war on Iraq, when their fledgling regime needed an excuse to repress and slaughter Iranian opposition groups, such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who were standing up against their fundamentalist rules. The regime used the war as pretext to associate all opposition groups with its enemy and to arrest, jail and execute their members and supporters.

After four decades, the mullahs are still resorting to the same old page in their playbook. The Iranian regime’s recent attack on the Saudi Aramco complex can be seen in this context. The mullahs staged this attack while facing growing discontent and protest movements in Iran, increasing pressure from the international community on an array of illicit activities, and growing support for the main alternative to their tyrannical rule, the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

But the question is, will this tactic still work for the regime?

Dr. Mohammad Mubarak, an expert on politics, writes, “The terrorist attack on the units of Saudi oil giant Aramco caused the Iranian regime to ensnare itself.” Mubarak adds, “The Houthis haste in assuming responsibility for this act of terrorism is just an Iranian show to conceal the real source of this attack against Saudi Arabia.”

After it became obvious that the attack had been launched from the north and not the south, the Iranian regime found no other option than to reject its involvement in the attack, despite all signs and evidence proving that the attack was in fact launched from Iran.

In an article titled “The Russian roulette of the mullahs’ regime,” Ahmed Abdul-Aziz Al-Jarallah, the editor-in-chief of Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah, called the attack “a provocative measure by the Iranian regime to deceive Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Persian Gulf region.” Al-Jarallah added, “The goal [of the attack] was to cause a gap in the wall of internal crises that have engulfed the regime.”

Al-Jarallah also confirmed that this is a scenario that the regime has been repeating since hijacking the 1979 revolution of the Iranian people. “[Ruhollah] Khomeini used this tactic to repress the reactions to the wave of killings and executions he launched after the revolution,” Al-Jarallah observed, adding that the regime used the eight-year war to expand its terrorist activities.

In the past years, the regime has been faced with increasing pressure by the U.S. and the international community on its continued human rights violations, ballistic missile programs, nuclear activities and terrorist meddling in the countries of the Middle East. The regime is struggling to fund its illicit activities as the noose of sanctions tighten around its financial resources and its repressive and terrorist institutions.

But more importantly, the mullahs have found themselves amid growing anger among Iranians who no longer tolerate their brutal rule. Since protests erupted across more than 100 Iranian cities in December 2017, the Iranian regime has been hard-pressed to maintain its authority and control across the country. Protests by all segments of the Iranian society continue in various cities on a daily basis, and they sometimes turn into confrontations with security forces. In their demonstrations, the people are regularly chanting slogans against the regime’s terrorist meddling in neighboring countries and how it's taking its toll on the country's economy and their lives. 

And finally, the regime has failed to destroy or contain its main opposition group. After relocating from Iraq to Albania, members of the MEK have redoubled their efforts to expose the regime’s destructive role in the region and the world and echoing the voices of millions of Iranians who are fed up with this regime. And they’re doing a great job of raising awareness on the regime’s illicit activities and the situation in Iran. These efforts were highlighted during the five-day Free Iran Rally in Ashraf 3, Albania, where hundreds of dignitaries and politicians from dozens of countries gathered in the MEK headquarters to voice their support for regime change and the establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran.

Under such circumstance, any attempt by the Iranian regime to kick the can down the road will be met by the angry protests in the streets of Iran and the organized efforts of the Iranian resistance across the world.