Strategic Blow and Deadly Impasse of the Iranian Regime
Strategic Blow and Deadly Impasse of the Iranian Regime
The elimination of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, is an important and irreparable blow to the Iranian regime. Its importance is magnified by the uprising of the Iranian people, which began in November 2019. The uprising marks a new era and changes in the balance of power.
Iran’s nationwide uprising was preceded by mass protests in Iraq against Iranian interference in Iraqi society and political affairs. Both movements shocked the Iranian regime and shattered its strategic depth. In response, Tehran launched a series of operations against United States forces inside Iraq to restore the hollow hegemony of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and at the same time to divert the public attention from their just demand of expulsion of the Iranian regime from Iraq. During the operation, carried out by the regime’s Iraqi mercenaries and the IRGC Quds Force, one American was killed and three were wounded.
Good Read on #QassemSolemani's death.#Iranian dissidents hail #Soleimani’s death as ‘major, major blow’ for the regime in Tehran https://t.co/1iAaT5huch #FoxNews #FreeIran2020 pic.twitter.com/9Cx3tEWyT3— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 4, 2020
After attacking Aramco refineries and Saudi airports, Khamenei still had not seen a response from the US. This led him to conclude that the regime had an opportunity to consolidate its strategic depth through terrorist operations in Iraq. But pursuing this strategy turned out to be a miscalculation; this time he received a decisive response.
What led to Khamenei's miscalculation was his misunderstanding of the depth and the impact of the Iraqi people’s uprising and the November uprising in Iran, which had changed the balance. From the day of its foundation, the Iranian regime relied on its strategy of exporting terrorism and creating crises and war abroad. This policy intended to demonstrate the regime’s hollow hegemony that forced other parties to succumb to its blackmailing campaign. A misguided policy of appeasement towards the mullahs’ regime by the international community was the prerequisite and the key factor to the continuation of this policy by the regime that had begun to fail some time ago.
The uprising of the Iranian people in December 2017 and January 2018 elucidated their abhorrence of this regime and its policy of exporting terrorism. This was demonstrated in the slogans of "neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran" and "Let go of Syria, Think about us.” So, the regime’s strategy of exporting terrorism began to falter.
IRAN: Tehran Baazar Traders Protest for 2nd Day Against Rising Foreign Currencies Exchange Rate— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) June 25, 2018
Protesters chanting: "Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, My life for Iran"https://t.co/xpPCCVMdZl #Iranprotests #IranRegimeChange #FreeIran2018 pic.twitter.com/93KAt6U3lK
Popular protests in Iran represent a coup de grâce to Western policies of appeasement. The regime’s President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged as much when he pointed to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in 2018 as one sign of a sea change in America policy.
When Iran’s own protest movement effectively spread to Iraq and Lebanon, it demonstrated that the Iranian regime’s strategic depth is shattered, moreover the Iran Protests in November demonstrated the emptiness of regime’s hollow show of power. And when Qassem Soleimani was eliminated, it signaled the decisive end of the regime’s hollow hegemony. With his symbol no longer obscuring the hollowness of Tehran’s claim to hegemony, the world is now witnessing how groundless the regime’s shows of power have been.
#Khamenei acknowledged that #Soleimani was the regime’s number 2 and symbolized the Supreme Leader’s aura in and out of #Iran and that his elimination had been a crushing blow to the regime.#IRGCTerrorists #FreeIran2020 https://t.co/FcHTntrowf— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 8, 2020
The regime has tried its best to conceal the change. It has made threats of revenge, forced schoolchildren to fill out forms in support of the regime’s retaliation, and mandated public attendance at Soleimani’s funeral. But all of this is futile because the regime’s deadly impasse cannot be hidden.
If Khamenei could not materialize the harsh response to Qassem Soleimani’s elimination, as he has claimed, his hollow hegemony and authority will shatter for all of his forces and will be replaced with the fear of being toppled, leading to an increased pace of defections from his regime. However, if he does respond seriously, he will have to pay a heavier price. Khamenei is well aware of the fragile state of the regime. On the one hand, he needs his regime’s malign intervention in the region, and on the other hand, in the current condition, his regime is at the lowest level in the balance of power.
The mullahs’ regime is facing a dead end. No matter what path it chooses, the ultimate result will be the regime’s overthrow at the hands of a restive society with the resistance units. The International community is also facing a choice. Either in response to hollow rhetoric of the regime to retreat, and allow the mullahs to take the international community hostage by terrorism and continue the bloodshed in Iran and the region, or to adopt a decisive policy to make sure that the mullahs understand that the time of appeasement has passed.
#QassemSoleimani was one of the most vicious criminals of #Iran’s history. He was personally involved in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people in the region and in driving millions of others from their homes pic.twitter.com/kqEcP7htyH
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 7, 2020