ANALYSIS: Iranian concerns heightened after US midterm elections

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With the dust settling after the US midterm elections, a look at the impact of this important development for the Iranian regime is called for. It has become a known fact that Tehran’s mullahs seek to wait out the presidency of Donald Trump in hopes of him not being re-elected come November 2020.

In line with this train of thought, the Iranian regime was closely following the US midterm elections, rooting for the Democrats to take over all of Congress. This rooting was seen specifically in Tehran’s lobby efforts in support for Democrat candidates.

Not see in the media was the reaction from Iran as reality continues to sink in for the regime and the road ahead looks even more troubling, in their own words.

The Iranian regime was closely following the US midterm elections, rooting for the Democrats to take over all of Congress. This rooting was seen specifically in Tehran’s lobby efforts in support for Democrat candidates

Heshmat Alavi

“Maximum pressure”

Different approaches with similar objectives is how the “Youth Journalists Club,” an outlet known to be linked to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij paramilitary entity, analyzes the remarks and actions seen from US Democrats, especially in pursuit of America’s foreign policy.

“Trump, through imposing his ‘maximum pressure’ policy… is eventually seeking regime change in Iran… and the Democrats have never denied their dreams of regime change in Iran,” a YJC piece reads.

“If senior Trump administration officials, such as National Security Advisor John Bolton, have a history of taking part in meetings held by the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader and the individual most likely to become the new House Speaker, has no better track record.”

Hatred & enmity

Kayhan Daily, and especially the editorial written by Hossein Shariatmadari, are considered the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

“If the Europeans and Americans, Democrats and Republicans agree on one subject, it is their enmity against [Iran’s regime],” the November 9 editorial reads. “The evidence of this claim is in the actions of European countries and these two American parties in at least the past five years… Did [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo not recently say we have a large coalition supporting us in our sanctions? European countries and some Middle East countries are supporting the sanctions. Even the three European countries remaining loyal to the [2015 Iran nuclear deal] are supporting the sanctions.”

“Some parties are happy about the Democrats taking control over the House of Representatives. Does this not mean we have no capability to run the country and are placing all our eggs in a basket several thousands of kilometers away?” he added in mockery.

“History shows the Democrats have no lesser hatred for us than the Republicans, and they have actually provided twice the support for sanctions against [Iran’s regime].”

US sanctions

Following last Monday’s formal announcement of the second wave of US sanctions, it was expected for the Iranian regime to claim they will overcome such measures – all intended to save face. There are certain remarks that stand out and provide an image into a grim future for Tehran’s rulers.

“When they sanction the banking system, it impacts everything,” Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani said in his remarks on Saturday. “They have targeted the banking system, oil exports, meaning they are targeting the entire country’s revenue… They have prepared a long list of banks, adding to that their branches, along with a flight company…”

Other officials are taking the entire issue one step further and pinpointing the regime’s main source of concerns in such circumstances.

“This year and the next, [Iran’s] currency will sink in value to such an extent that people will pour into the streets due to extremely dire living conditions… clashes will begin! Who is behind all this! The PMOI/MEK… and in the middle of all this mayhem, it just needs two people to chant one or two slogans,” said Hassan Abbasi, known as a theoretician close to the IRGC and Khamenei.

On the ground

It goes without saying these sanctions are the harshest imposed on the Iranian regime in history, with John Bolton making it crystal clear more such embargoes are in the making against Tehran.

It is becoming obvious that as Tehran’s international crises and isolation grow, this phenomenon is fueling the main faceoff on the ground that will define the future: the ongoing forty-year struggle between the Iranian people and an oppressive regime known for its crackdown and human rights violations.

As the regime weakens, Iran’s powder keg society will advance day by day. The days of those sitting on the throne in Tehran are numbered.

Disclaimer - This author is writing under a pseudonym to protect his identity.

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