For the world not to rue this day

Mohammed Al Shaikh
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On the same day that the US removed the Iran-backed Houthi militia from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, the mullahs’ state, through the Houthis, tried to bomb the civilian Abha International Airport, targeting the Khamis Mushait airport with a drone that was shot down by the Saudi air defense forces. Also, the Iranian arm in Lebanon, the Hezbollah militia, assassinated the human rights activist Lokman Slim.

US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea speaks during a gathering to pay tribute for lokman Slim. (Reuters)
US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea speaks during a gathering to pay tribute for lokman Slim. (Reuters)

It appears that the Iranians have sensed that the US is being lenient with them, which they interpreted as a weakness, so they further escalate the situation to push the US and its European allies to restore the nuclear deal former President Trump withdrew from. These behaviors indicate that Iran is a rogue state that only responds to power and firmness, as it must also be mentioned that the Iranians did not abide by the terms of the nuclear deal and went on to exceed the limits of uranium enrichment. The Iranian mullahs seem reassured that President Biden will eventually sign the deal to their liking.

I personally believe that it was a terrible mistake for the US to revoke the terrorist designation of the Houthis as this decision might signal to the Iranians that a US military strike has become an unlikely action, meaning that the US is disregarding Iranian moves in the region.

A photo taken on January 12, 2020 during protests in Iran shows a protester coming face to face with a police officer. (Twitter)
A photo taken on January 12, 2020 during protests in Iran shows a protester coming face to face with a police officer. (Twitter)

Iran is apparently ready to endure sanctions for another four years since it is the Iranian people who suffer from the sanctions, whereas the ruling mullahs are free from any pressures to their way of life. To achieve their military goals and possess nuclear weaponry, the mullahs have no issue with starving their already neglected people.
The nuclear arms race will therefore engulf the political disputes in the region. Indeed, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had clearly stated that if the Iranians were to possess nuclear weapons, the Saudis will follow suit.

I strongly believe that Iran will not cease unless it is hit by a sudden military strike. This would convince the Iranians that the US is serious regarding preventing them from possessing nuclear weapons, especially since Iran is extorting and haunting the entire world through its terrorist arms.

I must clarify that we neither want nor encourage war, but it is unacceptable for the region to remain rife with tensions and with no solution in sight while Iran is gradually getting closer to manufacturing a nuclear bomb. The US must take this situation into account, especially since Iran is much weaker on the military front than it likes to portray itself, and it is also too cowardly to retaliate if hit by a military strike.

Members of the media and officials tour the water nuclear reactor at Arak, Iran December 23, 2019. (Reuters)
Members of the media and officials tour the water nuclear reactor at Arak, Iran December 23, 2019. (Reuters)

Iran is fully aware that any military escalation would eventually hurt it badly. This is evident when we see the Israelis bombing Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq while Iran is all bark and no bite. We should ask ourselves here, if Iran really had its purported destructive power, then why does it not employ it to retaliate against Israeli strikes? Iran is at its weakest point, particularly when we examine it economically, and if the free world does not seize this opportunity now, I am afraid it will rue this day later.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi Arabian outlet al-Jazirah.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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