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Iran talks of a changing landscape in which Tehran plays an active role

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Published: Updated:

Iran’s ILNA news agency quoted Major General Rahim Safavi, the top military adviser to the Supreme Leader, saying that his country’s forces were ready for a “hybrid” war.

“The political, economic, cultural, and security landscape in West Asia is changing and evolving, and Iran must play an active role in this change,” he said. West Asia includes Arab countries in the Levant and extends to the shores of the Red Sea.

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As Tehran inches closer to strengthening its nuclear capabilities, its hostile mentality escalates. In the last few weeks, Tehran has once again repeated that it is not planning on building a nuclear bomb but is rather content with achieving a state of readiness to produce one. Willingness here means that Iran has enough enriched uranium, production equipment, and knowledge to make it an imminent nuclear power at any moment without getting entangled in the web of international sanctions. It also reduces the justifications of a potential Israeli attack feared by Tehran. It aligns with an earlier article I wrote about how the Iranian regime does not plan to stop but is instead intent on expanding and waging wars against our countries. Recent statements by Iranian officials further elucidate this bellicose mindset.

Speaking recently to a crowd of military leaders at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps conference in Qom, Major General Safavi conveyed the regime’s directions, saying:

“Comprehensive relations between Iran, Russia, China, and India can be developed within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to form an Asian or Eurasian power that creates a new perspective of a multipolar world.”

Of course, it is unlikely that the regime will be able to form such a significant bloc against the United States and its allies, given the difficulty of bringing India, Russia, and China, each having different objectives and interests, under the same umbrella. Yet Safavi’s explicit belligerent statements targeting West Asia do not come out of thin air.

Iran’s regime is on the verge of having a deterrent nuclear framework that will reinforce its confidence on the ground, given the protection it grants Tehran from any significant counterattack. Before this nuclear readiness, Iran had been content in past confrontations with using proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, its militias in Iraq, and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, to realize its aggressive projects without risking a direct war.

In the West Asian system, the Tehran regime’s primary target will be Iraq, then the Gulf states. It indeed does not threaten other countries any less. King Abdullah II of Jordan warned last week of Iran’s threat, saying that Tehran’s increased influence in Iraq is putting it directly on his country’s borders. As for Israel, throughout Iran’s years of activity in Lebanon. The regime never aimed to attack Israel in Syria and Gaza because the Israeli nuclear arsenal could decimate Iran’s regime. It instead aimed to cripple Israel’s capabilities to prevent it from becoming a regional player against Tehran on the region’s battlefields and neutralize it in confrontations in Iraq, the Gulf and Syria.

By “hybrid warfare,” Major General Safavi means, in addition to military force, the “economy, culture and new technologies,” all geared toward war efforts, not local development.

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