By Shahriar Kia
U.S. President Donald Trump is on a mission to neutralise the Iran regime threat. His administration has taken a number of steps including pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), re-imposing crippling economic sanctions and designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorism organisation (FTO).
The Trump administration has identified Iran as the number one threat to peace and security in the region and the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Over the past few years, as the regime is becoming increasingly desperate, its behaviour has worsened and its treatment of the people of Iran has become even more horrific.
Regime officials, in the past few months, have indicated that the export of the Islamic revolution is going to step up a gear. In other words, the Iranian regime is going after further influence in the Middle East, likely in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen where it is already heavily involved.
The Iranian regime’s treatment of the people at home is also worsening because it is being backed into a corner because of all the widespread calls for regime change. The people have made it very clear over the past 18 months that they will accept nothing less than regime change. They are taking their future into their own hands and want to make a change so that they and future generations can experience freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights.
The Trump administration has decided to target Iran regime’s revenue. This seems like the most reasonable strategy considering that Iran spends billions of dollars per year on terrorist activities and the funding of proxy groups and militias across the region, while completely ignoring the many domestic issues that require urgent action.
The strategy is already having a positive effect as reports indicate that the Lebanese Hezbollah which is heavily funded by the Iranian regime is facing huge financial cuts. Active fighters have seen their pay significantly reduced and retired personnel have not been receiving their pension payments.
One very promising move by the Trump administration is its toughness when it comes to its forced reduction regarding the imports of Iranian oil. Last year, the State Department announced that it wanted to see all countries reduce their imports of Iranian oil to zero. It was impossible for the biggest importers of Iranian oil, and for the global oil market, for this to happen in one go, so a number of countries were given waivers. It was announced earlier in the month that no more waivers would be granted, meaning that by 3rd May, any country continuing to import Iranian oil will face action from the U.S.
This may be the final move that pushes the regime over the edge. It will result in a significant reduction to its revenue and may finally stop it from plundering the nation’s wealth on terrorist and other belligerent activities. In any case, regime change is the only option. The more pressure, the faster this will happen, and the quicker the people of Iran can get on with their lives and the rest of the region can recover.