Following President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week, the state-run media in Iran has had a lot to say. One outlet quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif, the country’s foreign minister, as saying that President Trump is working alongside “the supporters of terrorism” and that he is making allegations against Iran with the aim of “milking” Saudi Arabia.
However, an adviser to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Amir Abdullahian said: “First of all, they intend to strike a blow to the axis of resistance in the region. This is a very important entity in the region as it has provided Iran’s utmost national security and interests. This is the initiative pursue by the Saudis following the election of Mr. Trump. In response to the existing Saudi Arabia, with a group of warmongering extremists at the helm, we must react with wisdom, power and force. We don’t consider Saudi Arabia as a strategic enemy. No. The Saudis lack such a capacity.”
These comments are nothing but bravado put on by the officials. The Iranian regime is in an extremely weak position and setbacks like these are showing to the world that the regime is not as tough as it makes itself out to be.
Some of the regime’s most serious concerns were voiced by the IRGC (the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps). An IRGC official said that Rouhani has “returned the shadows of war” over Iran despite his best efforts not to, but it was the conference in Riyadh that have underlined the weaknesses in the Iranian government.
The official said: “Despite Rouhani boasting of distancing the shadows of war from our country, the Riyadh conference, focusing on establishing an Arab NATO and sales of $110 billion in military equipment underscore how the weak actions of [Rouhani’s] cabinet not only emboldened the US to take aggressive actions against our country, even small Arab countries have reached the point of openly speaking of establishing an Arab NATO to launch a military confrontation against Iran.”
The Iranian regime has thus responded to Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabian in a number of ways, but the underlying emotion is fear. The Iranian opposition, on the other hand, viewed the visit and the resulting developments as positive.
The president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, said that the visit was good news for the opposition. For decades, the people of Iran have been denied the most basic of human rights, and the regime has been getting away with it. Iran is also involved in numerous conflicts across the region, including particularly macabre actions in Syria, and the international community has failed to stop Iran in its tracks.
Actions, like the trip to Saudi Arabia, are positive moves in the right direction. The Iranian threat and spread of terrorism will only come to an end when actions are taken to stop it.