Iran is biggest challenge to peace and security across the world

Originally posted in Al Riyadh Daily

By Shahriar Kia

Years ago, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, warned against the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism emanating from Tehran. But the appeasement policy by the West, especially during the eight years of the Obama administration, kept this truth hidden and allowed the Iranian regime to pursue its evil goals without fear of retribution and accountability. Presently, with the appeasement policy unraveling and the international community coming to its senses, there’s a global consensus that Iran is a bigger threat than even North Korea.

In his recently declared national security strategy, U.S. President Donald Trump’s framed Iran as a “rogue state” and primary competitor to U.S. interests in the Middle East.

In a recent press conference Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, revealed Iran’s destructive role in the region and pointed to a new U.N. report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which warns that Iran may be defying a Security Council call to halt ballistic missile development even as it complies with the nuclear deal with six world powers.

Elsewhere, former U.S. officials have described Iran as the principal security challenge across the globe. According to Washington Free Beacon:

“Iran has ascended as the No. 1 security concern in the Middle East following the military defeat of the Islamic States in Iraq and Syria, according to four former U.S. ambassadors to the region.

‘With the ISIS threat destroyed, malign Iranian interference is now the primary security challenge facing the region,’ said Stuart Jones, a former ambassador to Jordan and Iraq under the Obama administration.”

Europe, which has been usually loathed to confront Iran’s belligerence, is also showing signs of a turnaround. Tensions between Iran and France have risen in recent months after Macron said Tehran should be less aggressive in the Middle East, citing, in particular, its involvement in Syria’s civil war.

Speaking at an emergency session of the Arab League in Cairo in late November, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said Iran was aiming “to destabilize and fuel sectarian rift” in the region “and to drive a wedge between ourselves and our people”.

The mullahs who rule Iran are terrified and worried by the growing global momentum against their destructive agendas and their abysmal human rights record. Emami Kashani, who is representing the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the Friday prayer leader of Tehran, expressed those fears this week by warning against a global rally against the “Islamic Republic,” as the mullahs ruling Iran call their regime.

Iran’s economy is on the verge of collapse

Iran’s economic woes have led the society to an explosive state. Social unrest has peaked in the past months. Across the country, people are staging protests on a daily basis against poverty, unemployment and the plundering of their goods by the government and its affiliated.

In their slogans, protestors seldom point to a single official or institution anymore—they’re now targeting the regime in its entirety and its highest authorities, including president Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Alam al-Hoda, Khamenei’s representative and Friday prayers leader in Mashhad, pointed to the explosive state of the society on December 22, saying, “The status of employment and economy has already crossed the line of poverty and scarcity, and is now in a point of despair.”

The fears and concerns of Iran’s Friday prayers leaders stem from the internal and international crises that threaten the very existence of the regime.

While the regime tries to leverage Friday prayers to exude unity and power, it has in effect achieved the reverse, turning them to venues of manifesting its crises and its fear of nationwide uprisings.

It’s worth reminding that the Iranian resistance and the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) have had a prominent role in organizing and expanding social protests in Iran. The MEK, in particular, has revealed hidden aspects of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program to the world on numerous occasions, a feat it accomplished with the help of its wide network of activists and supporters inside the country.

Meanwhile, the Iranian opposition has also stressed time and again that toppling the regime of Tehran is the only way to solve the problems it is posing in Iran, the neighboring region and across the world. “Just as it was necessary to confront Daesh, it is far more imperative now to fight a hundred-times greater danger: the religious dictatorship in Iran, the IRGC and its mercenary militias,” said Maryam Rajavi in a speech to a conference in Paris focusing on “Explosive Conditions in Iran, Mullahs’ Regime in Crises”, on Saturday, December 16, 2017.

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