Discussions on a sound policy toward Iran, specifically with regard to the nuclear and regional crises, have now turned into an imperative and serious matter for the West and particularly for the P5+1 countries.
On its part, the Iranian regime is attempting to portray itself as stable and a party to be reckoned with in regional calculations through its widespread interventions in the countries in the region, especially Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The supporters of the appeasement policy, intentionally and with specific political agenda, underline this sham image.
The reality, however, is diagonally opposite and points to an incurable strategic impasse devouring the regime in its entirety with the passage of time to its detriment.
Iranian Regime’s economic crisis
One of regime’s foremost problems is its economic situation. Although Hassan Rouhani came to office with the motto to improve the economy, 18 months later, not only there has been no improvement, but the economic crisis has further deteriorated. The nose dive in oil prices has dramatically deep-rooted the crisis.
Mr. David Cohen, the U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence overlooking Iran sanctions, in an interview with Wall Street Journal on February 1 explicitly stated that Iran’s economy is now fundamentally incapable of recovery without a nuclear accommodation with the West.
Soon to be Deputy CIA Director, Mr. Cohen underlined: “They’re stuck. They can’t fix this economy unless they get sanctions relief. I think they are coming to the negotiations with their backs to the wall.” Recent declines in oil prices, according to Mr. Cohen, could cost Iran another $11 billion over the next six months.
There are experts who call this assessment optimistic and aimed at justifying Obama administration’s policy. Nevertheless, facts speak for themselves and too strong to ignore.
Set aside regime’s propaganda, although Mr. Cohen’s statements are in the economic realm, anyone with the least familiarity with the clerical regime knows that Iran’s economy and its politics are well intertwined; in fact, the economy is a function of the political situation. Thus, the other side of the coin regarding Mr. Cohen’s statements is that the regime is in a political and strategic quagmire in its entirety with no cost free escape hatch for Khamenei.
In other words, not only the regime is not a regional power or stable, but to the contrary the crises postponed by the regime for years with the aid of astray Western policies and the policy of appeasement have now matured, reached critical levels, and are going to mark the destiny of this regime as a whole.
As numerously pointed out by the Iranian Resistance, it is now bare to see that given the fact that the regime was brought to the nuclear negotiations out of social pressures and international sanctions, Khamenei will only change regime’s strategic course if faced with further pressures, including ratcheted up sanctions and the prospect of downfall. Unfortunately for the regime, it is longtime now that the tic-tac of the clock has already started for Khamenei and his regime.