Don't misjudge the Iranian regime.
Its intention is still to destroy Israel
The recent charm offensive of the Iranian regime through its new president, Hassan Rouhani, has given the forces calling for an Iranian Gorbachev the ammunition they need to present the classic claim that the Islamic Republic will be reformed in some indescribable way, a claim that these forces first presented in 1997, when Mohammad Khatami was elected president. The circle is closed. A smiling Mullah has been replaced by another smiling Mullah. However the nature of the regime is the same.
The starting point for these pro-regime forces who are looking for an Iranian Gorbachev is that the regime in Iran is acting rationally. All that the Islamic regime has done since 1979 suggests otherwise. The mullah's actions are irrational and any logic in their actions is first seen when studying the irrational worldview that they have.
Nobody expected that the U.S. embassy in Tehran would be stormed on Nov. 4, 1979, because the action is completely irrational in a Western context, but takes its meaning in the anti-Western world view that the regime in Tehran has, where all the trouble is mainly due to U.S. and Israel , which are two states that according to the regime in Tehran must be destroyed.
The fact that a country which has an inflation rate of more than 30 percent and an economy that is near collapse, still gives money to militant Islamist organizations around the world is not rational because Hamas and Hezbollah are not constructive forces that can bring peace to the Middle East, and give Iran a chance to rebuild its economy. The Iranian regime's geopolitical strategy in the Middle East receives its meaning in a world where the goal is Shia hegemony and a Middle East free of Western influence. It is only in such a context that the Iranian regime's support to violent organizations in the Middle East makes some sense. The conclusion is that the regime in Iran is not rational, and no "expert" can ensure that Iran will use nuclear energy in a peaceful way.
The mullahs in Iran are very aware that there are forces in the West who are looking for an Iranian Gorbachev and they use this misunderstanding by the West as a tool to achieve their own strategic goals. If we take Hassan Rouhani as an example, how is it that we had not heard of this "peaceful", "democratic" reformer before? Suddenly, in a country where the government controls the media, it became known to all that Hassan Rouhani is a reformist who wants peace. Obviously, this was planned by the regime to fool the West. The mullahs will build nuclear weapons because they need nuclear weapons for a Shiite hegemony in the Middle East.
A regime can not promise to destroy Israel for more than 25 years and then suddenly change opinion. The mullah's constant conflicts with forces representing the West is part of the regime's legitimacy. The idea that Israel will be destroyed is integrated into the regime's discourse at all levels. Anyone who believes that peace is possible between Israel and Iran as long as the mullahs remain in power puts aside all that the regime in Tehran has said and done. Iran has provided the most advanced weapons to Hezbollah, who are at the border of Israel. Hassan Rouhani can smile as much as he wants, the regime's actions exposes its true intentions. If a regime for more than 25 years promises to destroy Israel and reinforces this promise in every way possible, there is a great risk that it actually keeps its promise when it gets nuclear weapons.
Those who preach about the rational Iranian regime should take a look at how the mullahs have used science. The regime's scientific achievements have often been used against the Iranian people instead of being used for their welfare. The regime uses the latest technology to control mobile phones and the internet in Iran. While many Iranians do not have access to clean water, Iran has managed to create an arms industry that can produce functioning drones, which they give to Hezbollah, who uses it against Israel. There is nothing to suggest that the regime in Iran would use nuclear power for the people. All indications are that they would use nuclear power as they have used science for the past 25 years: either to oppress their own people or to acheive their strategic goals in the Middle East.
If we ignore the smiling Mullah, then we have a regime in Tehran with clear power ambitions, which has demonstrated that they are ready to use violence to achieve their ambitions. In addition, the regime is not very popular among its own people and could start a war, in order to legitimize their existence and avoid a revolution. The support that the regime has left are among radical Islamists who believe that Israel must be destroyed. There is absolutely no political conditions for someone to reform the Islamic Republic right now.
Even if the Iranian regime would compromise when it comes to nuclear weapons, the real problem is their ideology that constantly creates conflicts in the Middle East. Those who talk about peace must understand that the mullahs support Hezbollah at Israel's northern border and Hamas on Israel's southern border, while they are talking about destroying Israel. The mullahs are preparing for war, and it is this aggression and these power ambitions that needs to be dismantled. Nuclear weapons are only a tool that creates massdestruction. The West must be ready to fight the driving force behind the mullahs destructiveness, their worldview and their strategic goals in the Middle East. The West must see the hostile nature that this regime has, and stop pretending that the mullah's want peace. “Peace” is not in their political vocabulary.
The belief in the Western World that irrational regimes with totalitarian ideologies, would for some unknown reason still be rational, have caused a world war. If this misjudgment is repeated, it will cause a nuclear war.
Nima Gholam Ali Pour
Secretary-General Association for Democracy in Iran
Representative for Perspective on Israel
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