As the pressure on the Iranian regime mounts, the theocratic establishment is finding itself in a major predicament. In the four-decade rule of the regime, this is most likely the first time that the ruling clerics have faced enormous pressure from three distinct directions: Domestic, regional and global.
On the domestic level, the Iranian regime has shown that it is not willing to address people’s economic and political grievances. The authorities continue to put their revolutionary and ideological ideals ahead of the country’s economy.
It is hemorrhaging the nation’s wealth on funding, sponsoring and arming militia and terror groups across the Middle East. It was revealed this month that a British Royal Navy warship had early this year seized advanced Iranian weapons from smugglers, including surface-to-air missiles and engines for cruise missiles. The missiles were reportedly headed to Yemen and the Houthis have used the same missiles to target Saudi Arabia.
The regime’s policy of prioritizing groups such as the Houthis and Hezbollah rather than its own people has led to fury inside the country and chants such as, “Neither Majlis nor the government thinks about the nation,” “Both the Majlis and government lie to the people,” and “We heard a lot of promises, but our food baskets are still empty.”
While protests and demonstrations, which have become the norm in Iran, were initially anchored in economic issues, they have now become political in nature, including chants such as, “Death to (Supreme Leader Ali) Khamenei,” “(President Ebrahim) Raisi, mullahs must get lost,” “Death to the dictator,” “Disgrace to our radio and television,” being regularly heard.
The Iranian people should not face such poverty, especially as the country is rich in natural resources such as oil and gas. Iran has the second and fourth-largest proven gas and oil reserves in the world, respectively. People are fed up with skyrocketing inflation and the increasing wealth gap between the rich and the poor. There is a high level of corruption and nepotism at the top. For instance, while many people are in need of basic necessities, Khamenei’s estimated wealth is about $200 billion.
It comes as a surprise that even some politicians and clerics within the Iranian regime are warning the government about this predicament. For example, a member of the Iranian parliament from Isfahan, Massoud Khatami, said last month: “The people’s fury will break your government’s back if you do nothing.” Javad Nikbin, a cleric and MP from the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, added: “The previous government burned people with gasoline (price hikes in 2019), and this government strangles people with bread (price hikes).”
When it comes to the region, the Iranian regime has become more isolated than ever before, with more countries uniting to deter Tehran’s threat. The Iranian leaders have brought this on themselves. This is due to the fact that the regime continues to advance its nuclear program toward weapons-grade level, defying the international community and its rules, while also arming and sponsoring terror and militia groups, which are wreaking havoc in other countries in the Middle East.
In a historic summit in March, top diplomats from the US, Israel and four Arab countries convened in Israel. “This new architecture — the shared capabilities we are building — intimidates and deters our common enemies, first and foremost Iran and its proxies,” then-Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said alongside his US, Emirati, Bahraini, Moroccan and Egyptian counterparts.
The Iranian regime has also received several blows from Israel recently. Tel Aviv has been targeting Iran’s nuclear and military programs, as well as its bases in other countries, and reportedly destroyed hundreds of Iranian drones during a March attack on an airbase near Kermanshah, western Iran. The same month, Israel also carried out an airstrike in Syria that killed four people, including two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers. The state-controlled Sepah News, which is connected to the IRGC, warned that Israel would “pay for this crime” and identified the two Iranians killed as Col. Ehsan Karbalaipour and Col. Morteza Saeidnejad.
On the global front, the Iranian regime believed that it could score a victory over the Biden administration. However, as of now, the Iranian regime is losing the battle against the US. In spite of several rounds of negotiations, Tehran has failed to persuade the Biden administration to meet its demands, which include removing the IRGC’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and lifting economic sanctions.
The Iranian leaders need to fundamentally alter their policies, otherwise these domestic, regional and global pressures will ultimately break the regime’s back.
Source » arabnews