The US is already making waves in its opposition to the Iranian Regime, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson advocating support for peaceful regime change in Iran and the Senate voting overwhelmingly in favour of further sanctions against Iran because of their ballistic missile programme, human rights abuses, and destabilisation efforts in the Middle East.
Shafiee praised these actions, in particular the sanctions vote, for attempting to right the policy towards the mullahs, noting that the sanctions bill also targeted issues that the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the p5+1 countries had not.
He wrote: “It is for the first time in nearly four decades of mullahs’ rule that a U.S. Secretary of State clearly calls for regime change. It might be a coincidence that at the same time the strongest Senate vote to date against Iran’s religious dictatorship is passed with 98 votes out of 100.”
While some have worried that additional sanctions would upset the so-called moderates within the Regime, it is important to note that moderates would not allow human rights abuses to continue, would attempt to stop the proliferation of missiles by their government, and would speak out against destabilisation on other nation states.
Shafiee wrote: “Some in the West were falsely led to believe that Hassan Rouhani’s second term would reign in Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) ambiguous missile proliferation program. In the weeks after the sham election and before his official inauguration it became abundantly clear that no such change is in Iranian political horizons.”
Rouhani has, in fact, vowed to continue the missile programme and dismissed the US’s sanctions.
It is worth noting that the Iranian Regime did not halt its missile programme following the 2015 deal, and evidence from the NCRI and People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reveals that Iran is actually working with North Korea on nuclear technology and has secret nuclear sites.
Shaifee wrote: “Some things will never change with this regime. It is constantly looking for back doors when it comes to transparency and coming clean on its nuclear and missile programs. The two are indivisible components of keeping the mullahs’ regime afloat in the turbulent times.”
He also noted that the Regime is not backing down in terms of regional destabilisation either, as noted by its continued harassment of ships in the Persian Gulf and support for the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
Shaifee wrote: “The new sanctions bill is an effective first step to push back. Since its introduction the Iranian regime’s officials are terrified of consequences…It is obvious that a regime change policy, which does not involve U.S. military intervention, requires putting some teeth into it in another way. The bill and similar measures such as an outright blacklisting of IRGC as the main actor in all the regime’s devious activities in Iran, in the region, and beyond, requires such drastic measures. Recognising the legitimate resistance of Iranian people against the regime is another undeniable component of a regime change.”