Many have interpreted Rouhani’s comments as threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a lot of global oil exports travel; something that earned the approval of Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, who sent Rouhani a congratulatory message which said that he was at Rouhani’s command.
Suleimani gave Rouhani’s threats the military backing of Iran’s terrorist militia and sent out the message that these were not just empty threats. While various other Regime officials also made threatening remarks about closing the Strait of Hormuz, including deputy parliament speaker Ali Mottahari.
The US has vowed that they will keep the Strait open, using military force if they need to, which should worry Iran as the Regime does not have the financial or military power to fight the US or its allies.
Threats and sanctions
These threats have been made by Iran a multitude of times, starting during the Iran-Iraq War, but they have never been followed through on. Not even when the international community last levelled crippling sanctions against the Iranian Regime during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Instead, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei kowtowed to global demands and came to the negotiating table in a very weak position, which resulted in the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Of course, despite the weak Iranian hand, they still got the better end of the deal, with an agreement that was highly skewed in their favor, which is why Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May and lined up sanctions against the mullahs.
It is more likely that the mullahs are resorting to threats because they are scared of the incoming sanctions that will bankrupt their economy and allow the people to overthrow the Regime. This is a key aspect in the Regime’s playbook; exporting crises abroad to distract from the fact that the mullahs are losing control of the region and Iran. That’s why Iran is involved in so many conflicts across the Middle East – to divert attention away from themselves and destabilise another country at the same time.
Iranian Resistance group, the (PMOI/MEK), wrote: “The harsh reality is that the mullahs, following six months of continuous protests inside the country and growing support for the Iranian opposition as the regime’s imminent alternative, sees its overthrow very close and is desperately searching to prevent the inevitable.”
Indeed, the Iranian Resistance enjoys a lot of support from around the globe, as evidenced by their Free Iran rally in Paris on June 30, which attracted about 100,000 people.
The Regime actually attempted to bomb the rally, but their conspirators were arrested by European authorities, so now the mullahs are directing threats elsewhere.
The MEK wrote: “The world, and especially Middle East countries, should not pay any attention to this regime’s threats, and instead provide support to the Iranian people and their organized opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).”