The frame work

For the last three years, somewhere in the days of COVID19, we started to witness a profound change in Iran’s agenda. Some believe, that the trade agreement with China was the changing point, others have pointed out suspicions as early as July 2019, when Iran raised the official enrichment levels of uranium. Be it as it may, Iran’s attitude seemingly changed dramatically. Iran has entered a new stage in her grand scheme.

In retrospective, the Iranian regime is advancing constantly, avoiding unnecessary collisions but staying on track without concession, despite severe sanctions, despite isolation, relentlessly striving to regain her regional, and eventually, her global status. The recent events might be the sign of Iran building enough confidence to go on a collision course with the West. Is the IRGC the leading force in this endeavor?

At first, this change might have appeared to be of a tactical nature, a means to an end as part of the negotiations, mainly with the EU partners. In fact, there are still some players who prefer to believe that in the end, Iran will “see the light” and join the liberal international community. To all of you, here is a wake-up call: Iran’s leadership has no reason d’etre in a liberal system and there is no way that the ayatollahs will agree to anything that might endanger their totalitarian grip on the Iranian people, the lands and the resources, not necessarily in that order. One should not mistake the Iranian leadership for a young government established in 1979. Shiite clerics have been a prominent part of the Persian leadership from the beginning, cherishing the concepts of the Persian empire and maintaining imperialistic strategic thinking throughout the conflict with the Othman empire, the transformation into Iran, the Shah era and the Islamic Revolution. Iran thinks and acts like an empire, thriving to return and rule whole region.

Once Iran’s spiritual leadership realized that the truth is out, that the Western world knew and understood the strategic need of Iran to be at least a threshold nuclear power, there no longer was a point in advancing the negotiations to return to the JCPOA, but there still was a point in maintaining those. In fact, to this day Iran is interested in keeping the EU partners in the JCPOA talking. The talks allow Iran some kind of diplomatic immunity, in Iran uses this to her advantage in several areas of activity, all of which aimed at gaining regional supremacy. COVID-19 hit hard on Iran, but brought her closer to China and the Ukraine war brought her even closer to Russia, turning Iran into a valued member of the counter-liberal world. They have her back, regardless of the potential outcome, for both Russia and China know that any transgressor other than them will cause the pressure on them to diminish.

This is the time for Iran to act, to fulfill the so-called Dhū l-faqār (Zulfiqar) agenda, containing four major issues:

• Use Shiite minorities in states of interest to take over as much of government as possible.
• Get their hands on resources, mainly oil, gas and water in neighboring countries, including those neighboring states being taken over.
• Reach a nuclear threshold status and getting it acknowledged by the international community. CR
• Achieving unlimited transport autonomy by access to third-part ports.

Regional efforts

Iran addresses most of her challenges in the traditional way, or at least makes it look like she does. As such, these challenges are answered by efforts, endeavors or so-called Jihad. By doing so, many who might object or believe differently, are coerced into the “old ways” of Islam tradition, when the individual is put aside. From the Jihad of clarification, a book that is supposed to help overcome foreign propaganda, through the Jihad of Agriculture and the Jihad of construction, including the holy Jihad, which is the “righteous war” against infidels.

When you combine the tradition of Jihad with imperialistic strategic thinking, you soon get a well-planned grand scheme to revive the Persian empire, in which Iran enforces a multi-disciplinary attack mainly on a regional level, using a variety of capabilities and resources from different eras of the Iranian history:

Military strength – modern Iran can look back with pride on the strength of the military in ancient Persia, but also take confidence in her current capabilities, how she withstood Iraq in very long war, how she learned to develop her own manufacturing facilities and especially the way Iran refined her reverse-engineering efforts. Nowadays Iran not only keeps her own regular armed forces and her IRGC army, but supplies armament and ammunition to several allies in the region and in remote destinations as well. The level of sophistication is not far from that of the highest echelon, improving all the time.

Cyber – Cyber capabilities in Iran are improving for several reasons. First and foremost is the understanding in the regime, that all leading world powers entertain a vast cyber program, and so should Iran. Therefore, Iran invests not only in cyber security, but also in a variety of attack capabilities, including information collection, shutdown of sites and infrastructure attacks. Iran doesn’t stop at regime owned structures and is willing to pay cyber mercenaries for exploits and hacking tools, as well as actual assistance to the Cyber-Jihad the regime is conducting.

Nuclear – Iran is conducting a nuclear program, allegedly on two different agenda. Even before the 1979 revolution, Iran invested in nuclear technology, with a variety of attempts to achieve autonomy. After the revolution, Iran ran in parallel a weaponization group in several efforts, the last one exposed was active 2000-2004 and named AMAD aimed at putting a nuclear warhead on a Shihab-3 missile. In all known cases, the insights of western intelligence services were forged several years after the project ended. This is why there is probable cause to believe that Iran may run a clandestine nuclear weapons project as we speak.

Religion – The Shiite’s have been the underdog of Islam for centuries. Iran is trying to change that mainly by funding religion schools, so called madrassa, in neighboring countries, in Europe, and lately more and more in Africa. Iran is infiltrating fundamentalistic organizations by funding and bribing lead figures and thus advances her agenda under a Sunni flag.

Targeting the population – Iran holds a gun against the head of all local minorities, which allows them leverage on neighbors. From time to time the gun goes off, especially when there is unrest and demonstrations. Iran also exports these resources to neighboring countries and third parties, like in Syria and Lebanon.

Economy – Iran is under severe economic sanction for more than a decade and a half, yet she is quite open to the Asian market. In order to allow Iran to trade on the international market she needs customers and infrastructure. Iran uses her neighbors, buys off companies and banks, transport capabilities but first and foremost, she pushes loyal officials in third party countries into key positions, unreluctantly abusing those to her needs. Nowadays Iran provides her connections to other sanctioned countries.

Through this looking glass

Now that we can grasp the grand picture, many instances, sometimes inexplicable at first, fall well into place. The systematic poisoning of mainly female students all over the country, but also in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and several cases in other neighboring countries now makes sense in targeting the population.

The alleged hypersonic missiles, the mass production of drones and their sale to Russia and building a very large variety of rockets and missiles, far beyond the need of any country in the region, including their usage in the region, in Syria and against KSA – the later already harvesting great achievements on a diplomatic level – all a manifestation of military strength.

Iran is running for years two or more parallel nuclear projects, from time to time advancing one more than the other, with a clear and imminent goal of achieving threshold status. With that in mind, Iran is challenging all nuclear control systems by one-sided steps of dismantling cameras, enriching close to high level in vast quantity and disregarding any guidelines – all to show her resolve in achieving her goal in the nuclear sector.

Unrelentless attacks against enemy cyber and other infrastructures, recruiting broadly, using rogue hackers and activating foreign frameworks, buying exploits on the dark net and demanding Ransome, while already making all information public. The leading factor in Iranian Cyber is the IRGC department for cyber, passing the traditional old school of the MOIS – a tell-tale sign of the IRGC cyber activity.

The IRGC is taking over any axis formations of Iran economy, while in any country of access, like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and several Gulf entities, they acquire control of major conglomerates and companies – as a part of the economic efforts, tunneling funds to the religion-jihad.

All over the world, Iran is funding more and more religion-schools called madrassa, while she is funding Sunni terror organizations and schools, producing leverage on the activity and timing within mainly Gulf and MENA countries through Quds Forces of the IRGC, influencing heavily the daily communications agenda – all to allow Iran a leading role in the Islamic world.

One can easily sight the IRGC handwriting, the masterminds of this takeover, clenching firmly not only the governmental apparatus, but gaining growing control over neighboring countries, coercing them into capitulation.