Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the Western-backed Shah was overthrown, and Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini was elevated to power, the country has been under the rule of the Ayatollahs.
In recent months, the country has been rocked by protests that began in December of last year, and continue to today. These past few months, demonstrations have escalated. In fact, more than 100,000 ordinary Iranians took to the streets last month. Chants of “death to the dictator” have become common.
In early August, Iran was hit by the first round of US sanctions, after US President Trump exited the Iran nuclear deal in May. The second round, which affects Iran’s oil exports, is due early in November. These sanctions are expected to devastate Iran’s already shaky economy.
General Wald claims that, “The anti-government movement has increased in recent months,” and therefore, “People are tired of the economic situation in their country, they are tired of crisis.” Further, General Wald said the some five million Iranians living abroad were also playing a key role in destabilizing the regime. “Social media will change the world,” he said.
General Wald, who has served in Viet Nam as well as Bosnia, warned Iran’s leadership, “Only more unrest is coming. This is the beginning of the end.”
While there have been thousands of pro-government rallies in Iran to challenge the demonstrators, with many people holding placards that said, “Death to America and Israel” and others waving pictures of Ayatollah Khamenei, these large-scale gatherings are staged to demonstrate to Tehran’s rivals abroad and its opponents inside the country, that there is significant support for the Iranian establishment.
They claim that the US is more interested in regime change than in genuine democratic change in Iran.
But the US has only the interests of the Iranian people at heart, according to General Wald, who insisted that, ”We in the US would like Iran to be an ally.” He added, ”Our final goal is stability in the Middle East.”
Just a week ago, Iran’s leader called for military strengthening amid increasing tensions with its Middle East rival Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of “exporting terrorism” to its shores.
Last month, President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, Patrick, said in an interview, that Iran can no longer co-exist with the US.