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By Siavosh Hosseini
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Why a Policy of Rapprochement Is Emboldening the Iranian Regime?

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Within the international community, there has been an ongoing debate about how important diplomacy is in creating change within the Iranian regime. Many have noted the “moderates” in the Iranian government, arguing that change from within is the only option available for change within the regime’s dealings with its people regarding human rights.

Yet, despite all the efforts to work with the “moderates” within the regime, little change has actually taken place. The Iranian people are continuing to suffer, with repression of human rights and steep economic consequences as a result of the regime’s focus on military might and supremacy within the region.

Those who oppose a firm policy deliberately refuse to acknowledge that the past policy of trying to appease the mullahs has drastically failed. Every conceivable concession has already been used to make the regime fall in line, yet the consequences have been disastrous. The world now finds itself in an agreement with Iran that does not stop them from achieving their nuclear ambitions, but only temporarily slows down their progress. The regime continues to work on their ballistic missile program, demonstrating that they are still actively involved in the world of nuclear weaponry and view the agreement as a temporary pause at best.

During the nuclear agreement discussions, which eventually led to the creation of the JCPOA, Iran repeatedly refused to disclose its secret nuclear weaponization. The regime also refused to allow the IAEA access to its people and inspections of its military sites in which nuclear activities have been conducted. A severe inspection is needed to understand the true depth of the nuclear capability of the regime.

While the agreement signed in 2015 allowed for the lifting of various sanctions, the Iranian regime has not changed its behavior. It still continues to work toward its nuclear ambitions, while increasing its support for Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. This regime is playing the most destructive role in the Middle East, namely in Syria, Iran, and Yemen.

The illusion of a moderate Iranian regime is long over. For the past three decades, the West has been looking for non-existent moderates within the regime. Yet, the international community should be well aware that no such moderates truly exist. Rouhani’s first term was evidence of that, with executions on the rise and an increasing number of arrests of foreign nationals, meant to bend the international community to the will of the Iranian regime.

The reality is the regime will not change without external pressure to match the internal domestic pressure that is already present. Yet, with a firm show of support, the Iranian people can achieve true regime change.

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