Iranian Regime Chooses Isolation at the Expense of its Own Survival
The Iranian regime is facing a series of unprecedented challenges that could lead to the end of its rule. The ever-worsening economic crisis, the growing popular protest movement, the rise of the MEK Resistance Units, the reinstatement of crippling U.S. sanctions, and the regime’s increasing isolation among the international community have led many officials within the regime to fear that the forty-year reign of the mullahs might be at its end.
Ali Rabiei, the former labor minister, shows concerns about protests in 160 cities in January 2018. He added that people’s dissatisfaction, injustice, & dysfunctional politics caused these uprisings.https://t.co/MobOuTx4aN pic.twitter.com/lgyy6gbfUG
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) January 15, 2019
Ali Rabiei, a former Iranian intelligence officer and regime President Hassan Rouhani’s Minister of Labor until 2018, expressed his deep fear for the regime’s future when he said, “The Persian year ends while very few people expected such an end at its beginning. Fast developments in international relations and global rules, economic uncertainty, and a change in people’s perceptions and values.”
Rabiei then blamed U.S. sanctions for economic issues that existed prior to 2018. “We started last year with [U.S. President Donald] Trump’s threats and his unilateral sanctions. A lack of readiness for an internal and effective counteraction and some wrong decisions made us end the year in a not very well situation,” he said.
Mutual Economic Dependency
Referring to the disastrous effects of Iran’s growing isolation in the international community Rabiei said, “Some people still don’t believe in the fact of globalization and an increasing and irreversible mutual economic dependency of the world and interpret economic and social issues with a view limited to internal political competition.”
He added, “Policies and decisions also showed that we lack a structural readiness and sufficient knowledge and experience for crisis situations.”
Rabiei also alluded to the possibility of a popular uprising leading to the overthrow of the regime. He said, “I believe that if we continue the new Persian year as before, there won’t be a bright prospect in front of us and I very much imagine the possibility of social movements and turning of conceptual upheavals into the physical realm.”
Mostafa Tajzadeh, a well-known figure in the “moderate” faction, also made the argument that Iran cannot survive while remaining isolated from the international community. He said, “I predict a very difficult year for the country in the economic sector.”
Tajzadeh said that “Especially if the sanctions aren’t lifted and continue, the economic situation will become more complicated and difficult. Rouhani’s government hasn’t much space to maneuver under the sanctions” he said.
A Lack of Friends in the International Community
Mohammad Gholi Yousefi, an economist with close ties to Rouhani’s faction, agreed that Iran’s lack of friends was costing it dearly. “The country’s economy isn’t well, there have been no investments, the country’s manufacturing industry’s production has decreased dramatically, and agriculture isn’t in a good shape. In terms of international issues, we haven’t been able to have wide-reaching engagement and solve our issues on the international stage so that we can have a good situation in terms of trading or attracting foreign investments. Unfortunately, we don’t have many friends among world countries and sanctions are increasing,” he said.
“Problems are aggregating and will show themselves one day,” Yousef added.
Self-Destruction Before Defeat
Iran’s isolation from the international community is certainly a problem for the regime, but it is far from the only problem facing the country. Decades of corruption and mismanagement have left the economy in ruins. The U.S. sanctions have exacerbated a problem that had already brought thousands of people into the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime during the nationwide uprisings in December 2017/January 2018.
Further, the mullahs are unlikely to bow to pressure to comply with sanctions. The same hubris, incompetence, and corruption that led to the economic crisis and the sanctions will ultimately sabotage any attempts at seeking real solutions.
Regime pundits may talk about solutions, but given the fact, the country is run by the regime Supreme Leader, and given the inhumane nature of the corrupt dictatorship that has no value for its people’s lives,