Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy and president of the International American Council, wrote an op-ed on Arab News to explain that the crises plaguing Iran are of the Regime’s own making.
The Regime alone is responsible for the corruption and mismanagement that lead to the country’s financial problems. After all, it was the mullahs who decided to steal money from their own people to spend on foreign warfare, terrorism, and proxy groups across the Middle East. Those actions caused the rial to drop to then-all-time lows in April, before Trump had even pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The economic crisis sparked the Iranian uprising in December, with other issues soon snowballing in to create an overwhelming anti-regime protest. This uprising has not gone away, despite a violent crackdown by the Regime that left at least 50 protesters dead in the streets and over 8,000 imprisoned. In fact, as pressure grows on the Iranian people, more have taken to the streets.
The US sanctions against Iran, which came into place today, will only worsen the economic situation and increase the protests, so why did the mullahs reject the US’s olive branch in late July?
Trump vowed to open discussions with Iran in late July, with no preconditions attached, and the Iranian currency quickly regained 10% of it values, but the mullahs mocked this offer and publically rejected it.
General Mohammed Ali Jafari, commander of the IRGC, said: “The Iranian people do not authorize officials to meet the Great Satan… Mr. Trump, Iran is not North Korea.”
But why would the Regime do this, when it will only make things more difficult for themselves? Well, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh advises that the mullahs would have two reasons for rejecting the demands.
1) They would only meet if they could be certain that the US would capitulate to their demands, which no one believes of Donald Trump.
2) Iran is trying to show strength by embarrassing the US, which will satisfy those in their base who truly believe the Regime’s lies about America.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “The Iranian regime is on its last legs. Its economy is in a shambles and the people’s frustrations have reached perilous heights. Talks with a top state sponsor of terrorism should be avoided as it only empowers the regime and grants it more legitimacy. Nevertheless, if any state decides to talk with Tehran, it should be conditioned on fundamentally altering the regime’s behaviour toward its people, as well as toward other countries in the region and globally.”