IRAN’S murderous regime is hellbent on destruction far beyond the Middle East – and it poses the greatest threat to world order, warns a former US ambassador.

Mark Wallace told The Sun that obtaining a nuclear weapon is just one strand in Tehran’s blood-soaked global campaign to reign terror and “the UK is firmly in its sights”.

“Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism and the most egregious, terroristic and destabilising actor on the world stage,” said Mark Wallace, CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

Wallace, who is the former US ambassador to the UN, is tired of the world not seeing the bigger picture.

He told The Sun: “It is Iran and not the hidden hand of Iran behind the horrific attacks of October 7 and those that predate it. The dots are well connected.”

That became explosively apparent when Iran-backed Hamas terrorists managed to break through Israeli defences and storm into southern Israel to slaughter 1,200 and drag some 240 hostages back into Gaza.

But the Israel-Hamas war isn’t just being fought between Palestinians and Jews, Wallace said. It is the current battlefield of a far larger war being waged by Iran and its proxies on the West.

“Whether it be at home or in commerce abroad, policymakers have lost the plot on Iran,” he argued.

Only this week a foiled Iranian plot to murder to UK-based journalists was revealed.

The overseas assassination bid – planned by the regime’s ruthless terror-waging wing, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – sought to kill two Iranian news presenters for speaking out against the regime.

For decades, the IRGC has been accused of carrying out global terrorist attacks and hostage-taking on foreign soil.

And with Iran now said to be posing the biggest threat to British national security, Wallace said: “I think the UK and its leadership have to have a hard look in the mirror.”
Investing in terror

For decades, Iran built up its proxy on Israel’s doorstep from the ground up, starting with its tunnels to smuggle in and hide a seemingly endless supply of rockets and hard cash.

US intelligence estimates that Iran invested a staggering £80million a year in Hamas.

However, the pariah state didn’t stop there.

Together with its terror proxies, it is part self-styled “Axis of Resistance” against Israel, with the explicit aim of destroying the Jewish state at all costs.

Wallace describes how Iran invested in a dream of a multi-front war against Israel by surrounding it with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to the west, Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the north and Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the south.

An all-out war might not have spiralled across the Middle East following October 7, but the former ambassador said Iran “by and large succeeded in its wildest expectations”.

Iran struck exactly when it did, he said, to “destroy the outburst of peace across the Middle East” and “unite its disparate proxies against its enemies.”

And as a result, “Palestinian innocence used as cannon fodder”.

“They celebrated the murder of Jews, but take no responsibility for Palestinian deaths,” Wallace said.
Proxy wars

And as Israel continues its brutal offensive that is tearing apart the bomb-blitzed Gaza Strip, Iranian proxies continue to unleash hell on the sidelines.

Hezbollah has a terrifyingly strong military and political grip on Lebanon and has already fought a devastating war against Israel in 2006 that claimed 1,200 lives.

It has become one of the most heavily armed, non-state groups in the world thanks to decades of Iranian backing.

Since war broke out, Lebanon’s terror group has been engaged in daily border clashes with Israel – forcing a sizeable chunk of the Israeli army to be pinned down on its northern border.

This is a calculated tactic by Iran to “take the pressure off Hamas,” said Sir Ivor Roberts, senior adviser to UANI and the Counter Extremism Project (CEP),

In his role as head of the UK’s counter-terrorism, he dealt with Hezbollah back in the 1980s while they pursued a vicious campaign of kidnapping Westerns.

Roberts was instrumental in securing the release of captured Brits, including Terry Waite, in what came to be known as the Lebanon hostage crisis.

He said: “Back then they were a small-scale terrorist organisation sponsored by Iran.

“Their extraordinary growth in terms of military force but also political control within Lebanon was something we certainly didn’t envision or anticipate.”

Simultaneously, a separate battle is being fought by Houthi rebels as Iran sponsors the hell they are unleashing on vessels in the Red Sea.

The militant group, which now controls most of Yemen, spent over a decade being largely ignored by the world.

Now, they have sprung from relative obscurity to holding roughly £1trillion of world trade hostage as they turn one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into an active warzone.

The Houthis have carried out over 100 drones, missiles and hijacking assaults on any ships they believe are travelling to and from Israeli ports.

Their leaders have pledged the attacks will continue until Israel stops its devastating bombardment and invasion of the Gaza Strip.

But as the world’s biggest shipping companies grind their operations to a halt, the Houthis have been directly challenging the US with a simple message – ‘If you strike us, we will strike you right back’.

A global menace

Despite previously underestimating Hezbollah, Sir Roberts said that in the 1980s, “We were under no illusions then that the Iranians were an absolute menace.”

But since then, he argues the “balance of power in the world has now shifted”.

Iran had tied itself up with a war with Iraq and once that finished in 1988, the regime – that has remained in power since the 1979 Islamic Revolution – was able to refocus on more global objectives.

Now, Iran poses a threat on three central fronts, the former head of the UK’s counter-terrorism explained.

Firstly, the threat to regional stability and peace with its support for terrorist groups using its “substantial military capabilities which is very close to nuclear capability”.

Secondly, the threat it poses to their own citizens who face severe oppression.

More than 127 Iranians, including women and children, have been put to death since October – a devastating climb in the same period last year.

“Just look at the brutal suppression of the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ protests,” Roberts said, referring to the extraordinary female-led revolution that rocked the Iranian regime in October 2022.

In response to the IRGC beating 22-year-old Mahsa Amini to death, head scarfs were burnt openly in the streets, protesters raged through the streets and the world waited with bated breath to see if the regime would be toppled.

Instead, Iran attempted to reinstate its authority by carrying out a brutal crackdown that led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests by rounding up, imprisoning and hanging innocent protesters.

Lastly, on a global scale, Roberts said that Iran has “brazenly carried out the ruthless silencing of dissidents and critics of the regime overseas for years”.

And in a new informational war, they are spreading their deadly ideology around the globe.

A growing coalition of evil

As new battle lines are drawn across the map, Iran is increasingly finding ways to fuse its interest with autocratic regimes and realign global power away from the West.

“What we have is an anti-Western axis of evil with Russia, Iran and North Korea, with China lurking in the background,” said Professor Taras Kuzio from the National University of Kyiv.

The expert in global politics and security told The Sun that Hamas’s bloody attack on Israel should confirm how “deeply this axis is embedded.”

He said: “That axis is fighting against us in the west on two territories, Israel and Ukraine. These are two countries in the world that autocratic regimes want to erase from the map.

“Russia has always seen its war against Ukraine as a war against the West – and this is the same for Iran’s war against Israel.”

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Iranian-Russian relationship appears to have reached unprecedented levels.

For 22 bloody months, Iran has been a major supply of armaments to Russia, who have made extensive use of their drones to blast civilian centres in Ukraine, while Moscow provides no opposition to Iran’s spiralling nuclear programme.

On December 7, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with Putin to discuss deepening ties and shared outrage at Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Behind closed doors, analysts believe the gleeful pair discussed the transfer of ballistic missiles to be used against Ukraine.

Last month, Russia finalised plans to send Iran Su-35 fighter jets and Mi-28 attack helicopters.

It followed a visit from Kim Jong Un to Russia’s Far East in September, where the pair of nuclear-armed tyrants vowed to fight a “sacred” battle against the West.

Experts have also argued North Korean weapons made their way into Gaza and were used in Hamas’s October 7 killing spree.

China is an essential ally of Iran as the pariah state seeks to entangle itself with what is expected to soon be the world’s largest economy.

Professor Kuzio said: “With Iran and Russia you have very angry, very impatient leaders. Whereas in China they’re just very patient.”

But this doesn’t mean that China’s involvement in the axis isn’t dangerous, he explained. Xi has the “time on his hands” to challenge the West.

The world is now at a dangerous point where “oppressive totalitarian regimes” feel the tide shifting in their favour, explained former US ambassador Wallace.

“We’re seeing a huge push for democracy and peace from Europe and North America and then Putin, Xi and Iran are disrupting that.

“Everyone else is moving forward and they’re moving backwards to an era of vampires and strongmen who are against human rights and against their own people.

“For Iran, the regime’s existence is dependent upon war against the United States, Israel and the rest of the West.”
High alert

The UK has long been considered by Iran as near-top of its enemy list – the “little Satan”, while the US takes the top spot as “Big Satan”.

And following Hamas’ October 7 slaughter, UK’s spy chief said the UK faced an increased risk of Iran-backed terrorist attack.

Director General Ken McCallum called the national threat level “substantial” and stated MI5 were “absolutely alert” to the myriad of new threats coming from Iran, China and Russia.

He warned the UK population that the world is a “very uncertain place right now”.

Retired MI5 officer, Annie Machon, told The Sun that his comments suggest the “severity” of the geopolitical reality.

In terms of espionage, she said: “Iran has serious capabilities. They are very effective and very capable and they act with intent.”

“They might be looking for possible nuclear designs for their new facility or securing any kind of high-level, long-term influence here.”

But she cautioned that the UK faces a newer “frontline with Iran” – cyberwarfare.

“We need to work out what makes us vulnerable,” Machon added.

Before any of the bloodshed unfolded in Israel, the former Home Secretary Suella Braverman called Iran in August the “biggest threat to UK natural security”.

Her statements followed fresh intelligence reports that the IRGC was stepping up its activities inside the UK and Iranian spies were attempting to recruit crime gangs to target opponents of the regime.

In February, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat announced that the Iranian regime was behind 15 credible threats to kill or kidnap British citizens or UK-based people.

Sir Ivor Roberts says this clearly “demonstrates how they act with impunity to silence its critics across the world”.

“I think they are very, we are very much in their sights,” he said. “The UK is a “high-level target”

“Just look at Iran International,” he said, referring to the dissident Iranian news channel that was forced to close its London headquarters when the Met Police could not guarantee their safety.

It was the same channel where the two reporters worked who were targeted in a recently uncovered IRGC assassination plot.

“Armed counter-terrorism police stationed outside its building weren’t regarded as adequate to protect them from the threat of Tehran,” Roberts said in disbelief.

The UK not being able to protect people on its own soil from a malign foreign power is “extraordinary.”

Source » thesun