He stated that relations between the US and Iran remain polarised but because Western reporters are rarely allowed access, the debate on Iran is often reduced to a battle between “moderates” and “hardliners”.
However, there is no such thing as a moderate in the Iranian Regime. The ‘moderates’ currently in charge of the Regime, have executed over 3,000 people in just three years, routinely sentenced minor offenders to corporal punishments and sentenced a whistle-blower (who revealed the Regime’s campaign to eradicate their political opposition by killing 30,000 political prisoners in just a few months) to 21- years in jail.
He notes that, in fact, the Iranian Regime’s courtship of the US was not an act of moderation but a calculated act to increase inequality within Iran and ensure that the middle and upper classes benefitted from the lifting of sanctions, while the poor remained downtrodden.
Schewe said: “Even if [Trump] does not significantly alter the status quo in U.S. and Western diplomacy with Iran, many countervailing factors prevent such a simplification of Iranian politics… Perhaps the most significant new actor is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which placed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidency and has secured Iranian influence in Syria during its civil war.”
Schewe advises looking to the past, in order to predict the future. He notes that following the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, there was a spree of social movements led by the workers but these were crushed by Rafsanjani and current president Hassan Rouhani. When the Regime leaders feel threatened, they lash out at the most disenfranchised in society.
Iran needs a democratic government and the only group who can deliver that is the Iranian Resistance and now, while the Regime is unstable, may be the best time to act.