On October 13, 2017, Donald Trump announced his new policy against the destabilizing behaviour of the Iranian regime in the Middle East, particularly its missile activities.
This new US policy, unlike its previous ones that ignored the will and interest of Iranian people over the past 60 years, is surprisingly beneficial for the Iranian people.
Iranian destabilization policy
The important countries in the region (particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt), who have always been concerned about the destabilizing activities of the Iranian regime in the Arab world, have strongly welcomed the new US policy and have emphasized on making the Middle East a region without weapons of mass destruction and one of respect for principles of good neighbourliness.
The Iranian opposition movement led by Maryam Rajavi is leading the campaign to isolate the regime in Tehran. It has welcomed the new strategy of the White House that rightly delegitimizes the Iranian regime. Rajavi has called on Trump and the international community to now work toward "the ultimate solution” — the overthrow of the regime and establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran.
The new US policy is targeting at the heart of the Iranian regime by refusing to give approval to the nuclear deal and by designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the list of terrorist organizations. This policy has brought joy to the people of Iran and the region and fear to the regime and its appeasers.
According to the Washington Post the strategy marks an important change in US policy on the Middle East, which marks a shift from focusing exclusively on war against ISIS and towards the end of Iran's expansionism in the region.
The practical steps taken by the White House in carrying out this policy include the visit by US Secretary of State to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, imposition of sanctions on Hezbollah for being the military wing of IRGC in Lebanon and sanctions on companies, financial institutions and individuals related to the regime’s ballistic missiles programs.
The main goal of the US is to clip the wings of the Iranian regime and cut down its hydra-like tentacles in the region.
Decisive US policy
Thus, there has been a dramatic change in White House policy from the one characterized by compromise under threat during the Obama era to decisiveness in confronting the Iranian regime’s destabilizing role.
The new White House policy is to defang the Iranian regime and its proxies within the region and to fill gaps in the nuclear deal in order to prevent the regime from building a nuclear bomb and ballistic missiles.
Therefore, there is no reason for any objection by European countries to the new White House policy. European states are only thinking of securing their financial and economic interests with Iran, as not only the political and military power of the Iranian regime but also economic control lie in the hands of the IRGC.
Sanctions against the Iranian regime, IRGC and Hezbollah, who are actively involved in the export and expansion of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering will definitely put European companies and banks in real and serious danger if they deal with this regime and its affiliates.
Sanctions and the terrorist designation of IRGC have forced Hasan Rouhani, who earlier presented himself as a moderate cleric to the West, to fully support IRGC and its history of atrocities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, which has now fully revealed his true colours. However, European merchants and companies could not control their greed for petrol.
The desperate and the helpless Iranian regime appears to have reached its dead end. It is no longer possible to hide behind the ruse of there being a moderate side within the theocracy to cover up IRGC’s terrorism as well as human rights violations, which are all conducted with the apparent support of Hasan Rouhani and Javad Zarif.
In these circumstances, it is not possible for anyone to accept the risk of being punished by sanctions for having economic and financial relations with the Iranian regime.
Trump has put Iran "on notice" over charges that Tehran violated a nuclear deal with the West by test-firing a ballistic missile. (Reuters)
Europe’s support to Iran faltering
Reacting to the new US strategy, supreme leader of regime Ali Khamenei defended the IRGC’s presence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and asked Europeans to stand strongly against Trump’s policy. However, few people within the regime hope of continued European support.
They understand that Europe will eventually choose the US instead of Iran and it will not sacrifice billion of dollars in trade benefits with the US. Additionally, Europe cannot accept the risk of Trump’s threat of leaving NATO.
In spite of growing awareness about the harsh realities it might face in wake of the new US policy, Iranian regime continues to destabilize the region and pursue its ballistic missile program.
In an interview to state TV channel, an aide to Khamenei admitted that sanctions on IRGC and its designation as terrorist organization poses a grave threat to the regime because even the army could come under the purview of sanctions because of its close association with the IRGC, along with the ballistic missiles programs and other warfare projects.
Does the Iranian regime have capability to confront the US strategy by destabilization through expansion and export of terrorism and prevention of inspection of its military sites?
There is clearly a need for more US action, especially the review of the nuclear deal by the Congress. There is also a need to distance Iraq from the Iranian regime and the expulsion of militias affiliated with this regime from Iraq and Syria.
The effects of the existing, new and expanding scope of sanctions that can target everyone in the regime along with its affiliates can put the regime in an inescapable situation that has to finally make a serious and crucial decision.
Need to recognize Iranian opposition
Confronting, retreating or buying time until the end of the Trump presidency are the only options left with Iranian authorities. Creating crises, war and bloodshed such as the occupation of Iraqi Kurdistan by Hashd Al-Sha’bi and expanding terrorism are some of the tools left with the regime’s IRGC.
However, there are many other factors that can work against the mullah regime, including the deep-seated social disaffection within Iran towards the regime and the recognition of the main opposition movements, namely National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI) by US and its allies in the region.
These are the most important factors that can lead to regime change and put an end to its destabilization activities in the Middle East.
The current international situation provides a golden opportunity for the Iranian people and its main opposition movement (NCRI and PMOI) and also for the people of Middle East and the whole world to celebrate the end of the mother of fundamentalism and terrorism once and for all.
F. Mahmoudi is a Kurdish-Iranian political and human rights activist.