The Iranian regime’s predicament at home
The second instalment of US sanctions has gone into effect against the Iranian economy, which is exhausted and heavily laden with high unemployment, currency devaluation and tonnes of the regime’s daily, monthly and annual financial commitments to its proxy militias, parties and propaganda outlets in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and many others on God’s vast land.
The thing is, the Iranian regime cannot afford to lose its proxies and agents. Imagine the volume of expenditures that the Iranian regime devotes to lighting fires in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain, et cetera. Indeed, fomenting sectarian strife, wars and equipping and training thousands of terrorists, both Sunnis and Shias, require huge funds.
What kind of effect does this criminal waste of resources have on the lives of Iranian citizens?
Above all, can someone show the national or religious necessity that drives the stubborn and vain turbaned heads of the Iranian regime to butt heads with the rest of the world and punish it by besieging it and drowning it in endless crises, revolts and sit-ins? Surely, by constantly threatening everybody’s interests in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and even Iran itself, the Iranian regime will end up biting its own tail.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif admitted that US sanctions were going to hurt Iran’s economy but, then, like all the other stubborn heads of the regime, he only knows how to be defiant and warned Washington that its sanctions were useless. The man must be sleeping with both legs in the burning sun. Surely, he must have read, heard and seen that the Trump administration has convinced three of Iran’s biggest clients — India, China and Turkey — to stop importing Iranian oil.
Iranian satellite channels or Arab channels with an Iranian bent only broadcast stories of the glorious victories and achievements of the Iranian regime. The reality in Iran is completely different.
Protests and sit-ins have become commonplace and are likely to increase as the second round of US sanctions begin to show effect. These sanctions aim at nothing less than to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero to push its regime to abandon its aggressive policies towards its neighbours and the world, hoping against hope that it will regain some semblance of sanity.
The best indication of the extent of the Iranian regime’s predicament is the alert sounded by former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. He says there is “the possibility for the occurrence of social movements pushing for a regime change in case Iranian citizens become convinced that the reforms they are expecting will not be achieved.” He frankly states that “the regime’s mistakes, if they are not corrected, will turn criticism into opposition and then who knows what might happen.”
One day before Khatami issued his warning, Mohsen Ranani, a professor of economics at the University of Isfahan, warned of an impending revolution in an article he posted on social media under the title of “The Revolt of the Barefooted.” He was referring to the poor Iranians whose numbers are on the rise day after day.
“When the poor and the barefooted revolt, there will be only one path for us: either we keep silent or violently repress them. In the latter case, it won’t be the end of the road,” Ranani wrote.
When it is known that 40 million of the 80 million Iranian citizens live below the poverty line, as stated in figures revealed by Parviz Fattah, head of Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, there is a clear picture of the future reserved for the Iranian regime.
Half of the poor in Iran — 20 million hungry and barefooted people — had already revolted. The regime’s repressive campaign had killed, arrested or silenced half of them. I’m sure the remaining 10 million poor are adamant on pursuing their revolution and I’m sure that millions more will join them.
Some armed factions from the regime itself might even rebel in solidarity with the poor and the hungry. At that moment, the ruling regime will have to either remove itself from power or stand to be mercilessly removed by the deluge of angry mobs.