James Mattis, U.S. Defense Secretary, said in London, that Iran is continuing its behavior as an exporter of terrorism and supporting the activities of proxy militias.
Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., spoke at a meeting in the Council of Foreign Relations, saying that America must speak up for individuals such as Neda Agha Sultan, the young woman killed in the streets of Tehran during the 2009 uprisings. Haley also called Tehran a major obstacle in reaching peace in Syria.
General Joseph Votel, CENTCOM chief, at a House Armed Forces Committee Hearing, described the regime as the main element threatening any hope of stability in the Middle East. He said that the world continues to witness Iran’s destructive role in all of Iraq and Syria, and that the international community has failed to witness any improvement following the nuclear deal the U.S. and six other countries believed would curb Iran’s nuclear program, but also bring about major changes for the good in relations with this regime.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, praised improvements in relations between the U.S. and the Saudi kingdom to a level not seen in history, and delivered a warning to Iran, regarding its activities across the region.
Additonally, the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan held a meeting condemning Iran’s support for terrorism and meddling in regional countries. Riyadh’s southern neighbor, Yemen, heard President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi condemn Iran’s meddling through supporting the Houthi militias and the war in the country.
In recently published remarks, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out the necessity of guaranteeing a two-state solution for the Palestine and Israel dilemma. The Iranian regime has used this to justify its role across the region. Trump’s invitation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, made Tehran understand how its Middle East influence is jeopardized.
Iran’s greatest concern is the fate of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). House Speaker Paul Ryan called for them to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The U.S. has already declared new sanctions against Iran over the last two months, and further steps will possibly follow. The IRGC has significant influence inside Iran’s political and economic apparatus, supervising its domestic crackdown machine, support for terrorism and regional meddling, as well as the ballistic missiles and nuclear drives.
Many believe that designating this entity as a foreign terrorist organization would be an important signal to the entire Middle East that the policy of this new U.S. administration is in the interest of America’s regional allies, especially Saudi Arabia, strengthening the U.S.-Middle East coalition against terrorism and extremism.
All of this makes Tehran look weak, which is a recipe for disaster, with the upcoming presidential election. The regime worries that there is a potential for their society to repeat the 2009-like uprisings.