by Poorang Novak :

Protests in Iran are continuing and the people have their hearts and energy set on regime change. After too many years being ruled by a cruel and callous regime, the people have had enough. They have patiently waited for the great changes that they have been promised. In the most recent years, they have been promised great improvements to their lives following the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal. After this, they were told that the recently re-elected President Hassan Rouhani would bring positive changes to the lives of the people of Iran.

Nothing ever materialised. Even leaders of other nations believed that there would be political improvements in Iran. Yet, now in 2018, the people are still suffering with poor social conditions and extreme poverty. Job prospects are low and it is very difficult for the young population of Iran to see any hope for the future. The people are supressed in almost all areas of their lives and there is no democracy or freedom.

With the support of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, the people are saying that enough is enough. They want a new leadership; one that will put the needs of the people first. Right now, the regime is spending billions on funding conflicts, militias and proxy groups, terrorism and extremism and its plans for regional hegemony.

The people want change and it is quite possible that they will get it. However, there is one issue that must be seriously considered - the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which is unlikely to step aside if the regime is ousted. It is a particularly dangerous force because it is not a legitimate force. It is a terrorist organisation but it is yet to be designated as such by many international leaders.

Roger Godsiff, a Labour MP for Birmingham in the United Kingdom, has called on his government to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and to ensure that “appropriate punitive measures, including comprehensive economic sanctions, and for the pursuit of a strategy aimed at expelling IRGC operatives and counter destructive Iranian influence in other areas of the Middle East, chiefly Syria and Iraq” are sought.

Godsiff pointed out that there is great support for this measure and said that it would be a big step in highlighting the threat of Iran as it is now to regional stability. Furthermore, he said that “the Islamic Republic of Iran represents more than a threat to a stable future for an already volatile region of the globe; it represents a threat to the foundational principles of modern, democratic society”.

He emphasised the importance of all policy with regards to Iran as being watertight and comprehensive. The people of Iran are being let down by the British government’s Iran policy that is “too narrowly focused on the nuclear agreement”.

“How much more dire would that threat be if the British government and the international community made clear that they support the Iranian people’s desire for freedom and are prepared to back it up, even at the expense of trade deals with the de-sanctioned Iranian regime?”