By Federico Pieraccini*
The Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 removed from power the country's monarch and replaced it with an Islamic republic. This revolution, in one of the most important countries in the region, served to highlight the importance of the state maintaining strict control over its political, economic and military sectors in order to effectively resist foreign meddling in its internal affairs.
The transition from a country led by the imposter Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, placed into power through the covert efforts of the UK and the US in Operation Boot, to one led by Ayatollah Khomeini, showed how important it was for a revolution seeking to expel imperialist powers to enjoy popular support.
In the four decades following the overthrow of the former puppet regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran has set about fashioning a foreign policy that aims to expand its influence and cooperation in the region and beyond. Far from being a tool in Western hands, when considering the petro-monarchies, the independent economic, political and military agreements that Iran has negotiated over nearly forty years with other nations has produced beneficial results for the entire region.
Even in a Middle East destabilized by war over recent years, the Islamic Republic has always maintained a leading role in the region, in contrast to those allied to the US. It has successfully formed important relationships, such as with post-Saddam Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria’s Assad, and Hezbollah. What makes Iran unique is the effort it devotes to dialogue and the inclusion of all Muslims in its projects regardless of the sectarian divisions that exist between Shiites and Sunnis. This sectarian divide has been exploited by outsiders keen to fan the flames of discord and feed on historical tensions and conflicts. If there is something that Tehran rejects in the strongest possible terms, it is to be characterized as only representing a part of the Islamic world, especially the Shiite. This kind of rhetoric, coming from Riyadh and Doha, blames Iran for a sectarianism that simply does not belong to its culture. Proof of this can be seen in the continuous dialogue that Iranian diplomacy has maintained with many nations in spite of difference in various areas. An example can be seen with Turkey, with which Iran has clear differences regarding the situation in Syria. But this did not prevent Tehran supporting Turkey’s suppression of the coup attempt against the government in power. Regional order is a requirement that Tehran keeps in mind in such situations, and a coup was a clear indication that a key player in the region could have descended into chaos, leaving consequences for all the neighboring nations.
This ability to balance actions and reactions, both in the diplomatic and military fields, has allowed Tehran to become more and more a reference point to counterbalance the influence coming from the Wahhabi Saudis, the Zionists in Israel, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar and Turkey. This is a difficult challenge, especially when we consider that often these three entities, together with colleagues from the Euro-American elite, generated a chaos that is impossible to manage with diplomacy alone (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya).
Ever since the proxy war that was launched against Iran by the US and the petro-monarchies in the 1980s using Iraq, Tehran has always been forced to defend civilization in the Middle East, currently dealing with the terrorists sent to every corner of Syria and Iraq. Iran has fought for everyone, while her adversaries have had one goal, namely the destruction of everything that is considered lawful.
In the West, Zionist propaganda has attempted to frame Iran’s actions in the worst possible light. A practical example concerns the role of Hezbollah in Syria, equated in propaganda to the Al Nusra Front. The problem with this false narrative concerns the absence in Hezbollah of sectarianism, which is in contrast to the approach of the terrorist Al Nusra Front. The Wahhabi fanatics burn churches, decapitate priests and kidnap and torture Yazidi, Shiite and Alawite minorities. Hezbollah frees Christian churches, rescues and protects their fellow Muslims, as well as every other minority, presenting a sharp contrast between civilization and barbarism. Iran’s power is subsequently increased thanks to such deeds that enhance its positive image in the region.
Wahhabi-Zionist-neocon propaganda has tried on every occasion to diminish Iran’s influence and achievements in the region and beyond. Recently, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict was doused by Iran and Russia, two key diplomatic supports to resolving a conflict that threatened to drag the region into more chaos.
To thoroughly understand the dynamics involved and the perception that the West wants to give about the Islamic Republic, it is sufficient to compare the abuses that local populations in Palestine and Saudi Arabia suffer because of Israel and the Saudi royal family. Europe and the U.S. are always ready to invent false news propaganda against Iran but rarely focus their attention on what is happening in Palestine or in the Saudi kingdom. It represents a clear sign of how lucrative the relationship based on supplies of weapons is between Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh.
Iran is continuously offered up as the big bogeyman in the region, requiring US allies to acquire increasingly expensive weapons systems from the US defense manufacturers. It represents a convenient enemy in a region of primary importance that allows the United States to sign lucrative contracts with Saudi, Turkish, Qatari, Jordanian and Israeli customers.
The Zionist narrative will not last forever. The nuclear agreements have shown how Tehran is serious and willing to reach a compromise with the West to ease tensions in the region. But what is still not realized, especially with the new Trump administration, is the inevitable path that will bring the Islamic Republic to regional hegemony, the efforts of Saudi Arabia and company to resist notwithstanding.
The role Iran has assumed for herself in Syria and Iraq, which involves the military alliance with Moscow, economic support from Beijing, and a strategic alliance with New Delhi has already led to major improvements in the regional framework. The continuous advances of the Shiite militias in Iraq, in overall coordination with Baghdad, means that Damascus and Moscow have made the efforts of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar less and less decisive.
In the same way, the economic changes taking place in Iran are refining the strategy that seeks cooperation with Europe. The shift away from a financial and monetary system heavily dependent on the dollar is occurring quickly, and the euro is becoming crucial to complete the revolution that began 40 years ago. Increasingly today's world reserve currency based on the dollar is vulnerable. Tehran’s aim is to attract European investors, very willing to enter into a market like Iran, to increase the technological and commercial synergies and focus on trade in euros and other currencies while excluding the dollar and US meddling in Iran’s internal affairs.
The efforts of the Israelis, Americans and Saudis to diminish Iranian influence in the region have led to unexpected consequences in the military sphere. The isolation imposed by sanctions has created a thriving quest for indigenous technology in order to create locally produced weapons systems. In the same way, the Iranian economy has had to look for other business opportunities, forging important ties with India and the People's Republic, who became major buyers of gas and oil extracted from abundant deposits.
The future for the Islamic Republic of Iran is certainly positive; the most difficult period has passed. The military threats emanating from the Zionist regime are diminishing in credibility, the strong alliance with Moscow and Beijing also greatly increasing the level of deterrence Tehran now enjoys.
A calm Middle East free from wars will depend on Iran. Tehran is destined to be the centerpiece of a new beginning in the Middle East. Foreign companies are not only ready to cooperate in the reconstruction of areas devastated by war, but great projects involving gas connections between Iran and the Mediterranean are afoot, though violently interrupted by terrorist raids in Syria and Iraq. In the future it will require the collective efforts of all nations in the region to deal with a rising power like the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The great danger for the Israelis is that they are afraid of losing the technological advantage that allows them to be untouchable in the region, even morally speaking. If this happens, even the shameful Palestinian situation could change radically. A huge fear for Tel Aviv is the thought of a free Palestine. In this sense, the rapprochement between Tel Aviv and Moscow is a desperate cry for help from Netanyahu now that the Israeli position has been compromised after yet another failure, this time in Syria. In Saudi Arabia the situation is even more desperate, with a possible internal revolt brought on by the collapse of oil prices and corresponding decline in the population’s lifestyle that is otherwise guaranteed by state welfare. It is now a distant memory when the Kingdom was under the complete control of rulers who saw no danger at sight. They are going to be substituted morally by Iran, a nation that displays a moderate side of Islam. This on its own will deliver a mortal blow to the Saudi dictatorship.
What is key for the United States is to continue to maintain influence in the region through its privileged partners: Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime. Despite Trump’s tough words, it is difficult if not impossible to imagine a military attack against the Islamic Republic in the future. Iranian military capabilities would shine a light on the limits the U.S. would face in defending her allies as well as bases abroad in the case of a war. It is a red line that Washington cannot afford to cross if it wants to continue to offer a credible deterrence posture.
However one looks at the Middle East and surrounding areas, Iran continues to demonstrate diplomatic and military competence, which is definitely useful for curbing the influence of the terrorists, imperialists or Zionists. Thanks to an alliance with India, China and Russia, the future seems to be decidedly on the side of Iran, and the nervousness erupting from the Saudi, Israeli and American capitals only confirms the bright future that lies ahead for Tehran.
*Federico Pieraccini is an independent freelance writer based in Milan, Italy. He specializes in international affairs, conflicts, politics and strategies. He has covered conflicts in Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.
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