The Iranian regime poses the most serious threat to peace and security in the Middle East, a new book by an American expert on the region has declared.
Author Dr Walid Phares, professor and commentator on global terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs, said the ongoing crises from Iraq to Gaza, and the destabilization of the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of North Africa are in large part created by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Tehran has meddled in its neighbor's affairs through the backing of terror networks and seized numerous significant opportunities over the past five years to expand its military influence in the region, destabilize moderate Arab states, intervene in Syria, arm and train Hezbollah in Lebanon, threaten Bahrain, and back the Hawthi insurgents in northern Yemen, Mr Phares said.
But Tehran's most destructive role could be most clearly identified in Iraq, he added, and analyses possible ways of tackling the terror threat from ISIS.
Against a background of Iranian history, he also examines Iran's involvement in Syria’s civil war, meddling in Iraq and suppressive campaign against Iran’s exiled opposition in that country.
He describes the Iranian opposition as the strategic Achilles’ heel of the Iranian regime, and also discusses the 'misguided' US policy on Syria and Iraq, particularly because under the pretext the government will confront al Qaeda, Assad is allowed to continue with his genocide and Maliki performs the bidding of Iran.
He recommends maintaining the current sanctions on Iran and focusing their implementation particularly on the regime’s elite, introducing a bill in the US Congress to slate foreign aid to Iranian opposition institutions, those in exile and civil society underground groups inside Iran, with a particular focus on the political recognition of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its allies in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
He also urges US policy-makers to focus on regime change by peaceful means and via 'coherent and systematic support' to the Iranian opposition, and inviting leaders of the Iranian resistance and opposition movements to the White House and the US Congress to elevate their international visibility and grant them moral and political support.
Interview with former Iranian political prisoner Mostafa Naderi