“Surprise” was among the terms used repeatedly by analysts trying to interpret the post-October 7 events. But as the fire of war in Gaza continues to claim innocent lives and rage spreads across the globe with unforeseeable consequences, the role of the real arsonist, the Iranian regime, is becoming increasingly apparent and one should seriously ponder if the world was really caught off guard.

Since October 7, Western officials have come to realize that the terrorist regime in Tehran poses threats far beyond its borders. Mainstream media competes in eye-catching headlines that highlight the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ role in funding extremist militants from the Middle East to East Europe and from Africa to Latin America.

Indeed, this monster has been able to breed, cozied by Western oblivion, and fed by the blood of its victims. From the devastation in Iraq that enabled the regime to connect strategic dots, to the bloody suppression of the Syrian uprising and the devastating civil war in Yemen, everything happened under the watchful observation of Western policymakers that deemed the regime’s threats too farfetched to require action.

In a conference on December 13, 2004, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Mrs. Maryam Rajavi warned, “The regional terrorism threat posed by the regime in Iran is a hundred times greater than the threat of the mullahs’ atomic bomb.”

However, Western leaders preferred to turn a blind eye and interpret the warning as an overstatement, even though it was expressed by the very movement that exposed Tehran’s clandestine nuclear program.

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the regime had conducted over 450 terrorist attacks against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization. Every single incident was documented and news agencies had mostly covered those events. Yet, perhaps electoral calculus or economic interests were too precious for world leaders to recognize the danger posed by the regime’s terrorist capabilities.

Bereft of genuine legitimacy inside Iran and lacking economic stimulus worldwide, Iranian state officials have consistently highlighted the regime’s terrorist network as a tool for strategic influence. They openly acknowledged their interference and infiltration in at least four Arab-Islamic capitals (Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa), and the regime’s terrorist cells were either apprehended or successfully executed their terrorist schemes on five different continents. Nevertheless, condemnation did not lead to actions, as in every instance, the regime’s terrorists were released in exchange for hostages.

From the moment it came to power, the Iranian dictatorship has resorted to hostage-taking and terrorism to force Western powers to beg for the safety of their citizens. In every case, the regime has been rewarded with ransom instead of punishment.

From 2008 to 2017, a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operation codenamed Project Cassandra investigated the Iranian regime’s role in funneling drugs to the United States via Hezbollah. The DEA found that a vast network was using the money to advance Tehran’s terrorist agenda in killing Americans in the Middle East. The project was eventually shut down by the Obama administration as Washington feared it might jeopardize the nuclear deal.

After Iranian diplomat-terrorist Asadollah Assadi was arrested in 2018 for attempting to bomb the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance, Interpol seized Assadi’s green notebook that contained 289 entries with the names and information of the regime’s network of mercenaries in at least 11 European countries. Despite calls from the Iranian Resistance and public exposure of their names, including reports from European think tanks and intelligence agencies, these MOIS agents continue to walk free.

Over the years, dozens of agents of the Iranian clerical regime have been exposed as lobbyists who have infiltrated the judiciary, legislative, and even the executive branch of Western states. However, and with very few exceptions, none of them have faced serious consequences for manipulating public opinion and decision-making in favor of Tehran.

The regime has about 100 embassies and 34 consulates worldwide, which it is known to use for espionage and hiring mercenaries. Most of the regime’s extraterritorial assassinations and bombings have been carried out by terrorists who use the regime’s diplomatic facilities to plot and carry out their attacks, and then to flee and return to Iran.

The regime’s direct provision of weapons is actively stoking the conflict in Ukraine. The regime’s rockets and drones are responsible for the killing and maiming of thousands of people in Europe. The economic impact of this war is directly affecting the lives of people in Europe and beyond. Nevertheless, European leaders’ reluctance to move beyond mere verbal condemnations has led Tehran to believe it can engage in a new conflict with impunity.

Since signing the 2015 nuclear agreement with the P5+1, the Iranian regime has consistently violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by advancing its ballistic missile program. Since 2018, Tehran has also violated the nuclear-related clauses of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), edging closer to the threshold of nuclear weapons capability. The West’s failure to trigger the 2231 snapback mechanism has effectively conveyed to the regime that there are no meaningful consequences or redlines to be concerned about.

The international community cannot claim to be surprised by the complex dilemma in the Middle East and the socio-political upheaval that is visiting their capitals today. The very force that has been dreaded and warned against by the terrorist regime has also been the most effective in exposing the regime as well as fighting it inside Iran.

Regime change in Iran by the people and their resistance movement is the international community’s best chance to avoid another regional conflict.

Source » ncr-iran