The obligation to contain Iran’s threat

No one wishes evil for Iran but the international community has a duty to stop Iran’s evil from harming others.
Sunday 10/03/2019
A poster of a member of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani at Iraqi side of the Shalamcha Border Crossing in Iraq. (Reuters)
Spillover. A poster of a member of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani at Iraqi side of the Shalamcha Border Crossing in Iraq. (Reuters)

We often hear that many problems in the Middle East could be solved if Iran was contained and its role based on expansion of its influence diminished. This view might be simplistic but it contains quite a bit of truth.

Iran’s growing influence has caused some countries to lose their independence and capacity to manage development plans for the benefit of their citizens. Iran could have ended the difficulties of entire populations who dream of living in peace in the framework of citizenship based on the principle of social justice.

It is not in the nature of Iranian intervention to be confined to political contexts that are usually defined by alliances between countries. Rather, it sweeps over all aspects and interferes with all the foundations of social life, causing the social fabric to be torn and bringing about a collapse in service sectors such as education and health. Everything that can hold a society together becomes infected.

The Iranian presence anywhere expresses its intention to stay there for good through armed militias, which are ideologically loyal to the political concept of velayat-e faqih and directly affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

This automatically leads to either arming the whole society or subjecting it to the control of armed groups that blindly obey their commanders and refuse to serve society. They practise violence whenever they want and against whomever they want and have no qualms about usurping public money. They do not believe in nor recognise the existence of a national state.

Iran is fully responsible for the total collapse of Iraq, which, since the beginning of the US-led occupation 16 years ago, has not recovered from the shock or regained its health. Iran is responsible for marginalising the will of the Lebanese people through Hezbollah’s absolute domination over political decisions in Lebanon.

Finally, Iran is responsible for the war in Yemen through its ostensible endorsement of the Houthis, who have not confined themselves to Yemen’s borders but have started using their weapons to threaten the region.

Iran has done all of that and covets to do more, insisting that survival of its regime is crucially linked to military expansion at the expense of the countries of the region that have weakened political foundations.

The results of Iran’s meddling are in total opposition to the idea and ideal of building a modern state devoted to the well-being of its citizens, in control of its resources for the benefit of its people and sovereign in its political, economic and cultural choices.

The countries mentioned are under the cloak of the Iranian faqih, with all that implies in terms of backwardness, ignorance, poverty and primitive tendencies to the point that the people of those countries cannot possibly imagine themselves having a place under the sun with the rest of the world. They are lost peoples, hopeless, disappointed, intentionally oppressed and with their dreams shattered.

Those countries — Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen — face losing their history and geography. They serve as mere veils behind which Iran does battle with the free world.

The three countries have become like military barracks run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani has become the absolute dictator over them.

Therefore, limiting the influence of Iran in the region, especially in the three countries mentioned, could constitute a beginning for solving many problems.

With such a measure, armed sectarian groups lose their funding and weapons source. Even if some of them resist using their own resources, as is the case of Lebanese Hezbollah, time can be trusted to eat up those resources, provided there is the international will to help the countries rise again.

No one wishes evil for Iran but the international community has a duty to stop Iran’s evil from harming others.

16