Iran: Forty years of terrorism and conflict with the international community
FRANCE: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani recently said that in the 40 years since the mullahs’ regime came to power, there has been a constant conflict with the international community. During that time, barely a moment has passed when the regime was not engaged in some kind of war or terrorism.
Iran’s theocratic system is unable to meet the pressing economic, political, and cultural needs of its people. Therefore, it has ensured its survival through fomenting instability in and exporting terrorism and warmongering beyond its own borders.
According to the State Television, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently told commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on October 2, 2019,
“We must not be content to our region & ignore threats beyond our borders… An extraterritorial vision, for which the IRGC is responsible, is the depth of Iran’s strategy & more important than anything else.”
Similarly, in an interview with state-run TV, November 22, 2011, Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council said,
“The reason we are in control today is because of having a clear strategy of fighting outside the borders.”
As the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ruhollah Khomeini was also the godfather of political Islam. His larger vision has also been a Shiite Islamic caliphate with Iran, Iraq, and Syria at its center. And that vision was taken up and actively pursued by Khamenei after he inherited the supreme leadership.
The Iranian regime’s inevitable need to exert its hegemony on the region, which is indispensable to its survival, is naturally in conflict with American interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. The slogans “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are not ideological statements but an attempt to justify this costly regional intervention for its own forces.
The terrorist Quds Force was established as a wing of the IRGC after the Iran-Iraq War ended.
Since then, it has grown steadily and has become the main exporter of terrorism and warfare to other countries. By establishing, organizing, nurturing and equipping fundamentalist movements, the Quds Force provides for the expansion of the regime’s theocratic system across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The Quds Force is also attacking American interests in the region, and Iranian-affiliated forces in Iraq have targeted more than hundreds of US troops since the occupation of Iraq. Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani is now in Iraq with his snipers, suppressing the rebellion staged by the country’s youth against Iran-backed corruption and the influence of Iranian-affiliated militias. And in years past, the Quds Force received help from Hezbollah in targeting the US Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Creating the terrorist culture
Not only has the Iranian regime personally promoted various forms of terrorism in the region, but it has also created a very favorable cultural and political context in which other forces such as ISIS could target Western interests. Although there was terrorism in the world before the Iranian regime came to power in the region, it was not so widespread.
Given the retrogressive nature of the regime, it is hated by the Iranian people. And this makes domestic repression as omnipresent as the regime’s spread of terrorism and warfare abroad. The regime is extremely weak because it has no base of support in Iran. Neither is it able to talk directly with the United States while its economy is choking.
It maintains its power inside Iran by resorting to hollow shows of power, hypocritical sanctimony regarding the theocratic system, and free rein for its agents of plunder, slaughter, and repression. Institutional embezzlement is normalized while individual citizens have their hands cut off for stealing a small amount to fight hunger.
Meanwhile, the regime seeks to amplify its show of strength through various means, including the pursuit of the atomic bomb, even though this has cost billions and exacerbated the poverty of the Iranian people. This project was impeded when the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran exposed it, and again when nuclear talks began.
But the theocratic regime compensates, upon orders from Khamenei, by expanding its missile development activities.
Regime’s struggle for power
Such begrudging compromise underlines the regime’s constant struggle to maintain its hold on power while occupying a position of weakness. Like feudal lords or gangsters, the mullahs trying to rule through blackmail and intimidation. The regime’s brutality, expressed through its own activities as well as its support of massacres in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, has given some people the mistaken impression that Tehran is powerful and therefore must be engaged with. Iranian officials such as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have repeatedly asserted that the regime is a regional power and should be dealt with as such.
The Middle East region is burning, as we see in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria.
The main cause of this is the Iranian regime’s effort to ensure its survival. This regime, by its very nature, understands only the language of force. The only way to push this regime back to within its own borders is through maximum pressure and the cessation of Europe’s policy of appeasing the regime in hopes of promoting a change in its behavior. When this has happened, the regime will no longer be able to delay the Iranian people’s uprising or demands for a democratic change.
Ultimately, that uprising is the thing that will bring security to American and European interests, as well as peace and stability to the Middle East.