This article posted on the Hill.
By Shahriar Kia
The Syrian people’s six-year uprising for freedom from decades of dictatorship in their country, now evolving into a regional war and global crisis, is proof of two undeniable facts:
First, proving the international community’s inaction and a failed Western policy in the face of Middle East challenges.
Second, devious intentions pursued by Iran, as the root of all current unrests and crises engulfing the region.
Far from any political or economic interests, determining the root of this dilemma will make the true and lasting solution for this Middle East calamity crystal clear.
Currently, following the Aleppo tragedy and the loss of nearly half a million people in Syria, we should seek to end this humanitarian catastrophe and reach peace and security in Syria, and across the Middle East.
However, all yet solutions have failed to target the actual source of the Syria predicament, being none other than the Bashar Assad regime and Iran. Doubts and reservations in adopting a firm solution will lead to the disaster intensifying, and various parties getting involved in an unwanted war plunging the entire region into further bloodshed.
The Assad regime and the religious dictatorship ruling Iran are attempting to portray the Syria crisis as the war between a legitimate government and extremist/terrorist groups, especially Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).
Iran, chasing a strategic objective of safeguarding its very existence, sees its interests in hindering any efforts to reach a lasting peace, while canvassing its role as an effective party in the war against ISIS.
“If the ill-wishers and seditionists–who are the puppets of America and the Zionists–had not been stopped in Syria, we would be fighting them in Tehran, Fars, Khorasan, and Esfahan. They grounded the enemy,” said Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
It is worth noting that hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians seeking life under a free state are paying the price of Khamenei’s ruthless dictatorship.
Iran’s meddling in the region and provoking sectarianism have rendered increasing fundamentalism and the rise of Daesh and al-Qaeda.
The horrific crimes committed by Iran-backed Shiite militias against the Sunni community in Iraq, Syria and other countries have prepared the grounds for Sunni fundamentalist groups to expand and recruit more members.
Parallel to appeasing Iran to maintain the mullahs at the negotiating table, silence and inaction seen from the West in the Middle East, especially by the Obama administration, have further intensified the Levant inferno and complicated regional conditions, especially Syria. To this end, Iran has been the main benefactor as a result.
The status quo further proves a warning issued by Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
“Four years ago I warned the threat of the mullahs’ meddling in Iraq is 100 times more dangerous than its nuclear ambitions,” Rajavi said in a speech on June 30, 2007 in Paris.
Although Iran failed to obtain nuclear weapons thanks to continuous NCRI revelations, Tehran’s destructive meddling and crimes carried out by affiliated Shiite militias in Iraq, Syria and abroad are far more dangerous. This campaign has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the region, leveled cities and displaced millions.
Tehran’s interventions in the Middle East have brought any and all efforts to establish peace, stability, and security to a complete halt. Of course, this is not due to Tehran’s strength and capabilities. In fact, it is all the byproduct of inaction, silence, and policy of appeasement adopted by the West vis-à-vis Iran, and 16 years of strategic mistakes by Washington in this flashpoint region of the globe.
Occupying Iraq and delivering the country in a silver plate to Iran, parallel to disarming the leading organized opposition entity, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were all gifts provided by the West and U.S. to the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“Iraq’s Governing Council voted yesterday to expel the leading Iranian opposition group and confiscate its assets, a surprise move that could alter the regional balance of power,” reads a Washington Post article on Dec. 10, 2003, following a Council ruling.
Without a doubt any involvement of Iran in the war against Daesh will only register as an aberration in establishing regional peace and security, forcing the international community to pinpoint resources on derivatives of Iran’s terrorism crusade.
Of course, true and lasting Middle East peace and security are only possible through regime change in Iran and the establishment of a democratic and secular government in Tehran.
This is the objective set by the Iranian opposition under Mrs. Rajavi’s leadership. Her 10-point-plan for the future Iran, enjoys the support of thousands of MPs, political, religious, legal and civil dignitaries across the globe. These articles are based on recognized international basics of democracy, social freedoms, gender equality, equality amongst all religions and ethnicities, peaceful coexistence with others and a non-nuclear Iran.
A bi-partisan letter signed by 23 former top officeholders in the past five administrations to the president-elect urges the incoming Trump administration “to establish a dialogue with Iran’s exiled resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),” which has called for free elections to establish a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic in Iran as well as an end to what it calls Tehran’s “religious dictatorship.”
Middle East stability can only be achieved in bringing an end to Iran’s meddling in Syria and across the region.
Moving forward, Iran’s state and proxy entities supporting terrorism, including the Revolutionary Guards and affiliated Shiite militia groups, must be sanctioned.
With Iran evicted from the Middle East all forms of fundamentalism, including Daesh, will have no reason to exist. And naturally, the West will be relieved of the current wave of lethal terrorist attacks.
Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.