What Is The Least Expensive Policy For Western Powers Toward Iran?
President Donald Trump’s new appointments for secretary of state and national security adviser signal the end of an era of appeasement toward the Iranian regime and its belligerent conduct both inside and outside of Iran.
The United States pursued a disastrous policy towards Iran for the past four decades, resulting in deep sectarian conflict in the Middle East and an egregious human rights dossier inside Iran.
Now after almost 14 months in office, President Trump has given the parties involved in the nuclear deal, including the E3 (United Kingdon, France and Germany), until mid-May to strengthen the agreement’s flaws or face potential decertification of an agreement he claims does not fulfill expectations, including deterring Iran’s provocative activities in the region and destructive policy across the world.
Scrapping the deal would be the first step in implementing a strategic policy to protect American national interests in the region. However, a free and democratic Iran is a vital requirement for this strategy to succeed in ushering the region toward longstanding peace.
Some experts argue that the United States should only curb the theocracy’s capabilities even after the nuclear deal has fallen apart. They believe that due to the vast influence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Arab nations neighboring Iran, pursuing a hawkish policy against the regime in Tehran would be a miscalculation.
These arguments naively expect the regime’s so-called moderate wing to enact reform at a time when a growing number of observers and activists acknowledge that the current theocracy ruling Iran is not reformable.
Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel Laureate who for many years advocated for reforms in Iran, rightfully admitted in an interview with Bloomberg’s Eli Lake recently that “she is done with reform and wants regime change.”
“Reform is useless in Iran. The Iranian people are very dissatisfied with their current government. They have reached the point and realized this system is not reformable”, she said during the interview.
Among the western powers, the European Union continues to push the dubious proposition of reform as its member states continue to refuse to designate the IRGC and its proxies like Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.
In October 2017, dozens of British MPs backed a parliamentary motion calling on the UK Home Secretary to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist group but the UK Government hardheadedly refuses to take such action.
Hence, the United States should not involve itself with a long, fruitless discussion on whether the European Union could fix or nix the deal. It seems that the EU leaders do not want to understand that they face a Hitler in the Islamic world in Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The European Union will eventually follow the U.S. policy because if it turns its back on President Trump, Russia will split and swallow the whole union.
Putting up with the IRGC’s malign behavior has political and economic cost, which is a certain road map to war with the regime. For Europe, Neville Chamberlain’s declaration of “Peace for our time” following the Munich Agreement in 1938 should serve as a historical reminder of this certainty.
Rejecting this dangerous appeasement policy, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iranian Resistance, believes “regime change by the people of Iran and their resistance is the only viable solution to the Iran crisis.” All other options have already been tasted by various American and European governments during the last 39 years.
To solve the Iran crisis, it is crucial to form a strategy based on Mrs Rajavi’s words complemented with the following steps:
- Impose paralyzing sanctions on the Iranian regime’s source of income, for example stopping it from selling oil;
- Designate the IRGC’s proxies and affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon as terrorist organizations, even if they hold power in these countries;
- Support the Iranian people’s nationwide uprising and quest to overthrow the theocratic regime by listening to their popular resistance.
These steps in combination are nothing short of a synergy between the Iranian people, their resistance and Western democracies, which will provide the least expensive policy to counter the Iranian regime and its destabilizing activities in the Middle East.
The ongoing popular protests across Iran since December last year expose the vulnerability of the regime’s security structures.
Hamid Bahrami is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist. He is a former political prisoner from Iran. He now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He tweets at @HaBahrami.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.