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A New Power Balance in Iran


Sadegh Amoli Larijani

NCRI Staff

NCRI – Last week, Donald Trump called for new targeted sanctions on Iran while extending widespread sanctions relief for the last time under the Iran nuclear deal.

The targeted sanctions were, in part, issued as a response to the Regime’s crackdown on the large-scale nationwide protests which threaten its existence.

One of the people being sanctioned was Iranian judiciary Chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani, who has ordered his employees to be harsh with the protesters, leading to 8,000 arrests and threats of the death penalty.

This followed the United Nations Security Council’s emergency meeting to discuss human rights abuses in Iran, called by the US delegation.

At the meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “Let there be no doubt whatsoever: the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation.”

With internal and external pressures on Iran building by the day, will this change the balance of power in Iran? Could a Free Iran be on the horizon?

Well, human rights activist Heshmat Alavi wrote on Al Arabiya, that these new sanctions focus on Iran’s Achilles’ Heel, human rights, while giving moral support to the anti-regime protesters.

He wrote: “It is quite obvious that Iranian officials remain concerned about Washington’s possible exiting from the JCPOA and the resulting crippling economic impact for their regime. With protests continuing across the country, however, Tehran’s concerns multiply and senior officials are facing a devastating impasse.”

The US’ plan is to put Iran at the centre of international attention, increase global pressure, encourage Iran’s remaining allies to abandon them and embrace the American policy.

But Alavi wrote that this plan should also contain public support of the Iranian people in their quest for freedom. After all, the other Western countries cannot simply turn its back on human rights abuse and violent crackdowns on protesters in favour of trade deals, when the US is helping present it.

Alavi wrote: “The new Iran uprising is changing the balance of power against the ruling regime’s favour both inside the country and abroad, with more voices raising against Tehran across the board. Looking forward, the JCPOA and all others subjects will increasingly haunt Iran’s regime in the near future.”

He continued: “The grassroots nature of these protests also underscore the undeniable fact that when the inevitable transformation begins to realize in Iran, the Iranian populace, without any unnecessary foreign intervention, will determine their future.”