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Will the Iranian regime reach its 40th birthday?

By F. Mahmoudi

Al Arabiya, 17 April 2018 - Around the beginning of the Iranian new year, changes in the White House political pyramid started creating severe concerns within the regime ruling Iran.

It began with the dismissal of former United States secretary of state Rex Tillerson and his replacement with former CIA Director Mike Pompeo who is very much aligned with the political views of US President Donald Trump.

Tehran’s concerns increased when former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was appointed as Trump’s National Security Advisor. He is known to have had transparent and strong views against Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

On the consensus among White House to overcome Tehran’s threats, one of the regime’s diplomats by the name of Tajik said: “One of the most anti-Iranians governments is coming to the power in the US.” Tehran understands Bolton has good relations with the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

“Now there is underway…a policy review to determine what US policy will be on a whole range of issues, including how to deal with the regime in Tehran. The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday. There is a viable opposition to the rule of the ayatollahs and that opposition is centered in this room today,” he said at the Iranian opposition last major rally in Paris back in July 2017.

 

Socio-economic factors

 

Now the regime’s situation can be analyzed by trying to understand the country’s economic and social conditions and its regional and international standing. As the economic view, we are observing the fall of Iran’s currency, the riyal; capital exiting from Iran and inflation increasing to over 15 percent.

“In the new year, it’s not a selection between good and bad, but hard and harder! … We cannot do anything effective,” said Iranian Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs. Socially, we are witnessing deep dissatisfactory rooted in economic crises, poverty, the social gap and Velayat-e-Faqih policies.

Last December’s national protest is being referred to as an uprising that triggered the Iranian regime’s collapse. Each spark is turning to fire as in the Iranian new year we are observing the uprising of laborers, farmers, along with people in Ahwaz and other Arab cities against the regime’s policies.

The domain of these protests is widening despite the arrest of many protestors and heavy-handedness of intelligence and security agencies. All Iranian ethnicities are supporting and joining these protests.

Richard Goldberg, a member of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, in a speech at Hudson’s Think Tank, said that the reduction of the riyal’s value and continuing protests are the results of Trump’s threat to exit the nuclear deal, if not modified.

On the other hand, there is a sudden alteration of North Korea’s policy. Pyongyang is now requesting talks and an agreement with the US, the action that will help the US and the international community concentrate more on Iran. Only one month is left to the US deadline regarding the nuclear deal. Iran, however, has not taken any clear position so far.

Different opinions are under discussion inside the regime, including the consideration of approaching Russian and China, and European countries, or restarting uranium enrichment altogether.

 

What is the solution?

 

The answer can be found in the past and Iran accepting nuclear negotiations, meaning none of the mentioned solutions.

During the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the policy of “approaching the East” was developed by increasing relations with Asian countries, especially China. Based on the International Journal of International Studies, it has never resulted in widespread cooperation.

The Iranian regime was expecting European support, while the Green Continent prefers trading with the US rather than Iran. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s Iran visit was aimed at sending a message to Tehran to stop its missiles activities and destabilization policies. Iran simply failed to respond.

On March 28, ambassadors of 28 European Union countries discussed possible new sanctions against Tehran. Some EU countries believe those sanctions applied by France, Germany, and the UK cannot save the nuclear deal. The US has decided to take serious action against Tehran that might lead to the collapse of the nuclear deal.

The two-week trip of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US and his announcement that “since Iran has not corrected its political and economic behavior, there is no other method than confliction.”

This is a prelude to a global coalition against Tehran, with a regime in an uncertain situation. The economic tensions, social discontents, and international isolation have all increased Iran’s internal crisis to the point that somehow Ahmadinejad supporters have started an apparent campaign against Khamenei.

On Thursday, April 5, Ahmadinejad’s website released a letter with 300 signatures. The letter read: “We are entering the 40th year of the Islamic Republic of Iran while the concerns on the future of the country and the increasing gap between people and government to its highest level of the last decade. The uprisings in the last year are the warning bell of Iran’s social collapse.”

Many analysts, compare the situation in Iran to the last days of the Shah, with this exception that there is no way for the current regime to maneuver. The regime is passing through an uncertain stage facing organized opposition and dissidence. It’s a two-way road that will end with either overthrow or collapse.