What a post-Islamic Republic Iran will look like is no longer a theoretical question pondered only in the hall of mirrors in Washington and the glass houses of Tel Aviv and Riyadh. It will be a reality in the not too distant future, regardless if it is brought about internally or externally.
The events of the last few weeks in Iran have shown that the Islamic Republic’s expiration date is well past due. Its ideology has failed. Its leader is dying and no charismatic successor is in place. Things are not looking good for the mullahs.
Their response to popular protests so far has been underwhelming. Their words carry little weight. They murder defenseless protestors at night and lie to defend the murderers in the morning to save face. But killing and lying only works in a country of stupid sheep. Iran’s youth have proven Iran is not that.
Regimes that rule by deception and terror eventually collapse. The scary thought is that the leaders of the Islamic Republic would rather see Iran burn than recognize they have lost legitimacy and give up their power.
They would want to see the region go up in flames before giving up their fantasy of a Middle East without Israel.
But Israel is a reality of the region’s geography, and will be in the future. The bluster of Iran’s leaders and the Islamists across the region can’t change that reality. They are all talk when it comes to confronting the “enemies” of Islam in any meaningful way.
Trump gave the mullahs an opportunity to declare war against America and Israel when he killed their most popular general in a brazen act of war but all they did in response was shoot up a few pockets of sand in the Iraqi desert.
They proved then, as they do today, that they are weak, dishonourable, and cowardly old men who have no business ruling any country, let alone one with as much history as Iran’s.
An excerpt from, “Iran Stops Pretending” by Karim Sadjadpour, The Atlantic, June 20, 2021:
For many inhabitants of the Middle East, though, Raisi’s selection is important for reasons that go beyond its impact on Tehran’s nuclear program. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy makers debated whether the road to peace in the Middle East went through Jerusalem or Baghdad. Today it is clear to many liberals in the Middle East that the politics of Tehran are inextricably linked to the politics of Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Sanaa, and beyond. Although the malaise of the modern Middle East has many fathers, as long as Iran, one of the region’s largest and wealthiest nations, is ruled by a theocracy that actively uses its sizable energy revenue to fund and train armed militias that espouse its intolerant revolutionary ideology, a more stable, tolerant, prosperous region will remain a distant dream.
Iran’s security and stability upon collapse of the current regime and through transition to democracy is a top concern for both the Iranian people and the international community. Nevertheless it is rarely strategized. This Cyrus Forum discussion focuses squarely on the issue, featuring Victoria Coates from Heritage Foundation, Farzin Nadimi from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Behnam Ben Taleblu from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Cyrus Forum Advisor Jason Brodsky moderates.
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