By Dr. Bassam Abu Abdullah
The latest developments in Iran seem to have a lot of similarities with the script theapplied in Syria. The prototype pattern of warfare applied in Syria provides us now with a measurement tool and a testing probe to sort out facts from fiction.
The United States and its allies have applied in Syria all kinds of thewarfare patterns they have been meticulously devising, developing and financing for long years now. They deployeda combination of two patterns of wars: a soft war and a proxywar. This combination might be termed as a “smart war” or a “hybrid war”.
The economic protests staged in several Iranian towns and cities are nothing new to the world. Almost all countries of the world have one time or another been scenes ofsimilar protests. In France, protests against the controversial labor law have been staged on a weekly basis. The famous “Occupy Wall Street”protests in the United States have been brutally crushed. Britain, Spain and several other countries also witnessed similar rallies either to protestcertain economic conditions or to express grievances against certain social or economic issues.
Fairly enough, the Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, have almost unanimously endorsedthe Iranian people’s legitimate right to peaceful assembly and peaceful protests. But they have unequivocally rejected acts of violence, rioting, vandalism or sabotage against public or private properties and facilities. This is how all civilized countries would do in similar cases. No country would tolerate law-breaking acts of violence or sabotage.
So, to objectively analyze the on-going events in Iran, we shall try to look into several aspects of these unfolding events:
The economic aspect: Iranian officials do not deny that the country was gripped by an economic crisis which hit hardest at the poorer classes of Iranians, who are suffering the most. Some unofficial statistical surveys showed a worrying rise in poverty rates, with about 20 million people categorized as within or below the poverty line. Official figures, however, estimate the number of the poor at about 12 million.
According to some media sources, Rouhani Administration has managed to bring inflation rates from the heights of 40 percent in summer 2013 to about 9 percent in March 2017. This positive success in terms of curbing inflation has not helped hampering down the staggering unemployment figures estimated at about 12.3 percent in 2016.
The Nuclear Deal Tehran has signed with the (5+1) group has not yielded the long-awaited fruits Rouhani Administration has promised to bring about. The deal was supposed to reflect positively on the economic situation in the country and should have helped improving the living standards of the Iranians.
However, although Iran has honored its commitments and adhered to the provisions of the deal, the US Administration showed dissatisfaction. President Donald Trump even lambasted it as the “worst” deal to be signed and has publicly vowed to tear it up. Moreover, the US has deliberately delayed the release of Iran’s frozen assets abroad, obstructed banking transfers and covertly and overtly threatened international companies against doing business with Iran. All of this has seriously hampered the potential flow of foreign investments into the country.
Trump Administration slapped further sanctions against 12 Iranian institutions, reviving thereby the once-muted black market in Iran.
According to the Iranian “Waght” website, the looming specter of imminent sanctions has cast its dark shadow on the entire economy. Let us remember that the harsh economic sanctions imposed on Iran date back to the late 1990s. These measures were tightened yet further first in 2006 and for the second time in 2012, at the behest of US-Zionist-Western lobbies and other interest groups.
President Rouhani’s Administration sought accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). But Washington inhibited this bid and blocked Iran’s attempts to join this significant organization.
Some conservative voices in Iran blame the current socioeconomic clutter on what they view as the “neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Rouhani Administration.” There are also some accusations relating to certain clauses of the Nuclear Deal and its potential repercussions.
The Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ali Khamenei has warned against “trusting” the United States. As an alternative to the liberal economy, he suggested that Iran should maintain a “resistance economy”.
There are so many other reasons being cited by various media means and analysts about the current developments such as the soaring hikes in various commodity prices, the high unemployment rates, and so on. Well, there seems to be some real grievances behind some of these protests, but the key question to be posed, as tweeted by President Rouhani’s Adviser MasoumaIbtikar: “To express grievances about some economic problems and to call for reforms are an ensured right for the citizens, but do these protestors know who is guiding them and who their leader is?” This tweet came in response totheimmediate“enthusiastic upbeat” by the US, Saudi Arabia and “Israel” who suddenly jumped on the bandwagon posing as “humanitarians” and “caring”.
They suddenly began to “care” for the Iranian citizens, their rights, their freedoms and their living standards!! This false‘care’ was too fake to fool anyone. It is the same sort of “care” and “enthusiasm” they showed for the “freedom, democracy and rights” of the Syrians and the same fake support for their alleged “demands for reforms”.
In other words, we are seeing the same script being replicated. Obviously enough, this a rerun of the Syrian scenario or better say it is the Iranianversion of the Syrian script.
The political and the security aspect: Iran has been in the crosshair.The socioeconomic stage was meticulously set in a way that allows for potential infiltration into the Iranian society. The former US President Barack Obama made it no secret that the main objective behind signing the nuclear deal with Iran was to use “soft power” in order to proceed down the path of regime-change agenda. However, the Trump Administration and the Prime Minister of the Zionist entity Benjamin Netanyahu saw that Iran’s influence in the region was growing.
They were alarmed to see the so many accomplishments being fulfilled by the axis of resistance, especially in defeating ISIS (also known with its Arabic acronyms DAESH) in Syria and Iraq. Admitting that they can not defeat Iran through direct war from the outside, they focused on the inside and tries to spot certain points of weakness and soft targets to stir troubles and disorder.
The planning to destabilize Iran has not started with the advent of Trump to the White House. We have to remember and remind the readers of the large gathering held in Paris on July 9-10, 2016 for the so-called “Iranian Opposition”.
Back then, the conference was attended by the former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki al-Faisal, who is also the “Godfather” of relations with the Israelis. Turki al-Faisal delivered a belligerent speech at the conference explicitly calling for regime-change. He addressed the leader of Mujahideen E Khalq (known with its initials MEK) and widely termed in Iran as the Hypocrites, Mariam Rajavi saying: “Your struggle against the Khomeini regime would come to fruition sooner rather than later.”. As voices from the audience, including a large number of paid Syrians, called: “The people want to overthrow the regime”. Turki al-Faisal said: “I, too, want the regime ouster”!!!
The relationship between Mariam Rajavi and the war-monger US Senator John McCain is so close exactly as his relations with the terrorists in Syria was. By the way, Rajavi has been an advocate supporter of the Saudi aggression on Yemen and an overt supporter of the so-called “Syrian opposition.”
In terms of the information, there is hardly anything secret now. At the Riyadh summit in May, 2017, Trump declared Iran as “the enemy to be fought”. He has reinstated this position in the US National Security Strategy made public only few days ago. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) publicly stated his intention to relocate the battlefield into the Iran, i.e. to ignite the war within Iran from the inside. In a public broadcast, the Israeli Channel 10 said that during the visit made by an Israeli military delegation to the United States in early December, 2017, several US-Israeli joint teams have been set up to curtailIran’s power.
The memorandum of understanding signed during this visit provided for the formation of four joint teams to deal with the following:
One of the teams would clandestinely oversee “diplomatic and intelligence activities” to confront and eventually preempt Iran’s nuclear “ambitions.”
A second team would try to deal with and eventually constrain Iran’s Presence in the region, especially in Syria and Lebanon.
A third team would deal with the Iranian ballistic missiles program to weaken it and to prevent any potential shipments of Iranian-made missiles to Hizbollah.
A fourth team was reportedly set up to deal with any potential Iranian involvement in any probable escalation of tension in the region.
Wall Street Journalrevealed that the US Central Intelligence Agency (the CIA) has set up an ad hoc task force to exert pressure on Iran. Michael D’Andrea, a top expert on Iran, will chair this taskforce, known as the Iran Mission Centre. Huge potentials were made available to this taskforce which will work under his directions with the sole focus of countering Iran.
Andrea has reportedly been disappointed to see the low-turn out of the protests, which failed to gain momentum. “The MEK account seems to be inaccurate. There is a lot of exaggeration,” he reportedly said.
In an interview with the Arabic-language al Mayadeen TV channel, the Secretary of the Iranian Security Council’s Supreme Council confirmed some of these pieces of information. “What is going on in the cyber space is a proxy war against the Iranian people,” he said. Some 27 percent of the anti-Iran campaigners are followers of MBS. This internet campaign is being conducted by Israeli and western elements, he added. The Saudis would be taken by surprise when the retaliation is due, he said. The greater majority of the Hashtags are mainly sourced in the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia as well as some other places. Angered by its failure in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is now on the bandwagon to incite against the Iranian people. But the Iranian people are far too smart to be fooled by such incitements, he said.
In conclusion: The war on Iran seems to be openly and overtly declared. The axis of the belligerents includes Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. They try to manipulate some real popular demands and some aspects of mismanagement to wage a pre-planned soft war of sabotage. The war is being run from operation rooms in Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Arbil, and Herat in Afghanistan.
It seems that in as much as they proved to know little about Syria, its people and army, they are repeating the same foolishness in Iran. The Iranian people are highly educated and the Iranians unite folds in hard times. They have enough military and security capabilities to defend their country and they have a wise and a robust leadership capable of navigating them through these rough seas competently.
The belligerents commanding this war are a bunch of defeatist psychopaths who are fully exposed and who should visit the nearest psychiatry to seek a cure to their chronic illnesses, collapses and defeats. These ailments would get even worse once their conspiracy gets fully exposed.
The prototype for the conspiracy against Syria has been defeated or about to. So, no matter what they might do, the same script can not be repeated in Iran. Tehran enjoys so many elements of strength. What is more important for the axis of resistance now is to tackle the points of weakness both in Tehran and Damascus. Some active workshops, brain-storming sessions and innovative approaches are required to deter the enemies against manipulating these points of weakness to their advantage in the future.
Translated into English by Syrianfacts. The article was originally published in Arabic in the local Syrian newspaper al-Watan on January 4, 2018.