By Alireza Jafarzadeh, Originally Published on the National Interest, May 21, 2022
The United States should hit the Iranian regime where it hurts by supporting and empowering its people
On May 16, the seventieth U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, met with Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian National Council of Resistance, at the Iranian opposition’s headquarters in Albania. While most newsrooms might be too busy or too biased to take notice, there are two major crises running in parallel, and they are the reason why this meeting matters to the world: the internationally disputed Iranian regime’s nuclear dossier and the nationwide uprisings in Iran over multiple socio-economic crises.
As leaders in Western capitals are trying to find a balance between their own domestic challenges and a Russian invasion that is already disrupting world order, Tehran is busy with a nuclear program that no sane mind believes is peacefully designed, let alone intentioned. But in the two decades since September 11, the clerics ruling Iran have deliberately taken steps towards a future where they think they can escape accountability.
Using its Iraqi operative Ahmad Chalabi to drag the United States into war with Iraq in 2003, Tehran removed an arch-foe from its 994-mile-long western border. Iran turned the country into a launchpad to claim hegemony over the entire Middle East. By supporting armed militias on both sides of the ideological divide, it also made sure the blood and treasure that the United States and its allies devoted reinforced the conclusion that Iran is hands-off. Tehran now believes it has successfully taken the war option off the table and that there is nothing to stop it anymore. READ MORE…