BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, February 3, 2024, Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director
Iran’s clerical regime, skilled in deceit and outsourcing terrorism and nefarious activities, presents itself as pious and pro-poor in Islamic nations while secretly supporting paramilitary groups to influence politics abroad.
This regime also collaborates with unlawful entities worldwide to advance criminal objectives. The U.S. recently charged Iranian Naji Sharifi Zindashti with hiring hitmen to assassinate Iranian refugees in Maryland, suggesting Zindashti’s ties to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
Tehran further exploits Hezbollah’s global reach, transforming criminal enterprises into political forces conducting terrorism and evading international sanctions. Hezbollah’s involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering aids mullahs’ destabilizing efforts and ideological expansion.
Tehran’s power projection strategy and evasion of accountability are apparent. Yet, its lack of domestic support and economic strength reveals its fragility, akin to a paper tiger reliant on terrorism, warmongering, and domestic suppression.
The regime’s focus on external aggression is a threadbare, futile attempt to mask significant internal challenges. Iran’s society, a simmering powder keg, is poised for democratic change, with a restive population and a structured, globally recognized Resistance movement.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, earlier this week emphasized at the French National Assembly that the regime’s internal crises have been the guiding force for its destructive actions in the Middle East.
She stressed the need to recognize the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy, gender equality, and sovereignty.
The key to addressing Iran’s domestic oppression and regional hostility is to focus on its internal vulnerabilities by supporting internal opposition and advocating for democratic change.