For Iran, A Hopeful Future May Be Closer Than We Think

Iran protest AFP/Getty Images

Wes Martin Retired Colonel, U.S. Army
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The Iranian people know they are no longer being ignored by the outside world. Fed up with the religious extremists who have dominated their country and their lives for the past 40 years, they are once again taking their plight into the streets.

In 2009, Iranian citizenry challenged the fraudulent elections that resulted in four more years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency. Unfortunately, the rest of the world remained silent.

For eight years, Iranian citizens had to suffer while the United States and the European Union were determined to appease the religious fundamentalists in Tehran. Nothing was going to interfere with the nuclear weapons negotiations.

When the negotiations were completed, the freeing of Iranian assets resulted in its receiving a $140 billion windfall in American cash. Unfortunately, none of it went to improve quality of life for the Iranian people. Instead, the ruling elite used the money to further support wars in Syria and Yemen, develop advanced weaponry, fund Hezbollah, control the puppet government of Iraq and advance Iran’s role as the number one nation-state exporter of global terrorism.

Instead of “leading from behind” as his predecessor did, President Donald Trump has clearly announced his support of the demonstrators. He has called out the “regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.”

On December 31, President Trump tweeted, “The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer”.  He was right on all accounts, but one. The Iranian people have wisely understood for a long time that their nation’s wealth, and their very heritage, has been hijacked by religious extremists. Until now, they have just been ignored while their oppressors were appeased by foreign governments.

Of all the Muslim nations, the Iranian people have the capability to be the most modern in the Middle East. They have the natural resources and intellect to develop a thriving economy. Most important, they have the desire to achieve democracy.

With the removal of Iran’s terrorist government, the prevention of a major religious war will be achieved. For the past several years we have been witnessing the formation of a double axis.

The Shia-dominated axis runs from Iran, through southeastern and central Iraq, to Syria. The Sunni axis extends from Saudi Arabia, through western Iraq, to Jordan, and into Egypt. The backing of the Houthi rebels in Yemen is nothing more than Iran’s effort to undermine this opposing axis.

The Iranian people hold the solution to the northern axis. A collapse of the Ayatollah’s government would free the Iranian people from tyranny and implode the Shia-focused terrorist operations throughout the region. Shia militias and death squads in Iraq would no longer be funded and armed by Tehran. The Assad regime in Syria would cease to exist. Hezbollah operations in Syria and Lebanon would be greatly diminished. The long-term Tehran-backed threats against Israel and Jordan would disappear.

Rather than a hostile relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is potential for a unity of effort which could lead the entire Middle East into an era of peaceful progression. The reforms and anti-corruption campaign of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman is a shining light to the nation of Wahhabi extremists.

Crown Prince Salman has already proven he is not against the Iranian people, but rather against the extremists who control their government. In that sense, he has a lot in common with the Iranian citizens now speaking out against tyranny.

The removal of Ayatollah Khamenei from power in Iran will have one major advantage over the removal of Saddam in Iraq. Khamenei will be removed by the people, not by foreign powers that failed to properly understand the region and consequences of their meddling. Both inside and outside of Iran are dedicated citizens who can lead the country to the greatness it deserves. The tyranny of Khamenei and his government is destined to fail. I fervently hope, for the sake of the Iranian people and all humanity that will be very soon.

Colonel Wes Martin served as the senior antiterrorism officer for all Coalition Forces in Iraq.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.