Iran – is it war?

Mashari Althaydi
Mashari Althaydi
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The entire world was waiting for the US’ decision regarding the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, including the deal’s godfather Barack Obama and his enthusiastic European friends.

The deal has not been faulty from the start because it restrained the military aspects of the Iranian nuclear prorgam – on the contrary this is the only good thing about it – but because it intentionally neglected the ballistic missiles program and, more importantly, it ignored, if not agreed, Iran’s destructive influence in Arab countries from Iraq to Syria and Yemen. This is in addition to its influence in Lebanon which is in the grip of the Khomeini Hezbollah Party.

These are the major flaws of the deal, and there are of course other ones. So how will the next day after Trump announced his final decision from the nuclear deal be? The seriousness of the US stance is not in the military aspect, i.e. in declaring war on Iran as this is a complicated scenario and it’s perhaps far from happening at this current phase unless unexpected surprises happen, but it’s in the economic and diplomatic consequences on Iran.

When Obama and the Europeans saved the Iranian regime and lifted economic sanctions allowing cash to flow to the Revolutionary Guards’ pockets, the Khomeini regime was faltering under the weight of economic sanctions.

This is why the regime officials realized the threat of the new American move and escalated their usual loud rhetoric.

The Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as saying: “It seems you can only talk with the Americans using the language of power, and there’s no other solution.”

Truth is, the mullahs’ regime has had financial troubles even before the American financial sanctions were imposed. Head of the Iranian Central bank Valiollah Seif has resigned days after the second drop of the currency within weeks. The exchange rate of the Iranian riyal reached 63,000 against one US dollar.

According to some Iranian media reports, more than $800 billion in capital exited the country. According to the Iranian daily Shargh, $200 billion worth of capital exited the country during Ahmedinejad’s era.

In an article published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Iranian writer Karim Abdian Bani Saeed commented on these developments saying: “This reminds us of the situation prior to the Shah’s fall. Three months before his fall, Central Bank employees published a list of 178 people who at the time transferred $13 billion of their wealth to banks outside Iran. Most of these people were well-informed about the situation and they had expected the eruption of a revolution and its victory. They had also expected the possibility of the fall of the Shah’s regime.”

Abdian said that he attained the names of these people from a friend of his at an Iranian bank. The mullahs’ regime does not call for military efforts as economy and politics are enough.

This article is also available in Arabic.


Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy

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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