Iran: Regime Change Is Within Reach
By Shahriar Kia
The Iranian regime has been identified as the number one threat to peace and security in the Middle East.
Its malign interventions in numerous nations across the region have cost the lives of many, and has cost Iran billions of dollars. Billions of dollars that could have improved some of the horrific social conditions in Iran.
Freedom in Iran is non-existent and the people have been brutally denied the most basic of human rights.
The economic and social conditions are getting worse and worse and an increasing number of people are falling into absolute poverty. Corruption is rife and is present at all levels of the country's leadership. The notorious IRGC - the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - is tasked with protecting the country's clerical rule. It plays a major role in all major activities and it has a huge stake in the country's economy.
It has the backing of the regime’s Leader Ali Khamenei. In fact, one could say that the government has less control than the IRGC. It does not have to pay tax and it oversees the violent crackdown on the widespread popular discontent through its paramilitary branch - the Basij force.
Democracy is also non-existent in Iran and any candidates for presidency are vetted. The main contenders in any election have been effectively hand-selected. This means that the people are voting from a very limited selection of candidates in which anyone the authorities deem not being suitable being eliminated from the very start. The IRGC heavily depends on this selection process for its survival too.
The people of Iran took to the streets at the end of 2017 and have maintained domestic pressure on the regime ever since. They want to take their future into their own hands and they want to make sure that change, for the better, happens soon. They have watched the regime celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolution and it is an anniversary they hoped the regime would not be in place to witness.
The people know that moderation is never going to appear with the clerical regime. It relies on repression, suppression, the export of terrorism and the spreading of chaos across the region for its survival. It has had many opportunities to change its behaviour and it had the opportunity to make positive change when the nuclear deal was signed and billions of dollars were freed up. But it blew the opportunity and made it very clear that the Iranian people are not a priority.
The domestic pressure is mounting and the international pressure is increasing. Most of the international pressure is from the United States. President Donald Trump has had Iran on his agenda for some time and he has vowed to tackle the threat thoroughly and effectively.
The European Union, on the other hand, has been perversely light on the Iranian regime considering the number of attempted terrorist attacks and assassinations that intelligence agencies have foiled.
Regime change is within reach and it will be precipitated by the international community recognising and responding to the Iranian regime’s threat effectively.