Iran must be forced to reconsider its revolutionary aims
Iran is the world’s leading state supporter and funder of terrorism thanks to its insistence four decades ago on one project: Exporting its terrorist revolution. This has adversely affected the security and stability of the region and the world at large ever since.
Iran’s terrorist actions are increasing day after day, especially as it has armed for its own benefit terrorist militias in the region that carry out dirty actions on its behalf, including seizing four Arab capitals. These militias are the head of its war and terrorism in the region. The US recently realized this and targeted the head of Iran’s overseas operations, Qassem Soleimani, removing him from the scene. There is no doubt that this ideal American action came in response to Tehran’s terrorist practices in the region and its threat to global and US interests. It is natural that this provoked global reactions, from both supporters and opponents, and this clearly shows who stands with Tehran’s terrorism and who is against it.
Soleimani’s death will also have provoked a reaction in Tehran and among its militias deployed around the region, which may carry out terrorist operations in revenge for Soleimani.
Tehran has militias with ideologies that directly relate to its own, such as Hezbollah, the Houthis, Iraqi militias, and those that fill Syria today. Also, there are organizations linked to Iran indirectly, but that share many goals with Tehran, such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh, which agree on hostility to the region and the US. Therefore, Iran will carry out terrorist acts that primarily serve Tehran and will coordinate and carry out the work of the Soleimani file. Soleimani's natural successor in the region is the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.
Nasrallah is considered the premier candidate for Tehran in managing the region’s files so that the mullahs can catch their breath and rearrange their ranks — especially regarding the economic sanctions against them, canceling the nuclear agreement, and the tests of ballistic missiles. Iran’s multi-headed threat hangs over the region: It promises to ignite more wars and see a greater proliferation of nuclear weapons unless Tehran and its terrorist ambitions are checked.
There are three important ways to address the Iran threat and make Tehran think a thousand times about its behavior and alleviate its stubbornness.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
Stopping the Iranian threat depends on the positions of the influential countries in the region and major countries globally, such as the US. We have truly felt strong support from Washington on this since the advent of the Trump administration. It has shown its seriousness in facing up to Iranian terrorism with its classification of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah and other terrorist militias as terrorist organizations, as well as the liquidation of Soleimani.
There are three important ways to address the Iranian threat and remove it. First is from inside Iran, with the support of the Iranian people, who have refused to stop demonstrating since 2009 and every day hope to get rid of this unjust regime, which has ruled them with iron and fire. If the Iranian people could change the equation from inside the country, this would be hugely important because it would allow the Iranian constitution to be rewritten to cancel the export of the revolution and support for terrorism. It would also allow a new nuclear deal to be agreed, remove the ballistic weapons threat, and normalize relations with the countries of the world based on principles that serve common interests, security and peace.
The second way is to defeat the Iranian expansionist project and bring about the removal of Tehran from all the countries where its militias have influence, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Soleimani’s death, despite its importance, is only considered to be the beginning because the militias are still present and are performing their work, so the danger remains.
Finally, Iran’s military mechanisms should be neutralized, Tehran should be financially restricted, and those affiliated with the terrorist militias should be prosecuted. This would be enough to make Tehran think a thousand times about its behavior and alleviate its stubbornness. This may cause the mullahs to review their policies and consider it to be impossible to successfully export their revolution.
The idea of exporting Iran’s revolution was the initial catalyst for much of the region’s troubles. All countries interested in security and peace must send the Iranian revolution to hell.
- Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri