Jan. 2, 2020
- In a clear sign that the Islamic regime in Iran is worried about its survival, it has increased its attacks on American interests in Iraq.
- In response, the U.S. engaged in some signaling of its own, hitting five targets in Iraq and Syria on Sunday. Washington is calling the regime’s bluff.
- Good. Exposing the regime’s weaknesses, economically and now militarily, may be the best strategy yet for putting the squeeze on Tehran. The 13th century Iranian poet Saadi Shirazi had a saying: “If you want to bring a mullah down from his high horse, make sure both he and the four-legged animal are hungry.”
- The campaign of “maximum pressure” is wreaking economic and psychological havoc on the regime and the mullahs are scared. During the recent uprisings, the Revolutionary Guards killed more than 1,500 protestors in the deadliest uprising since the Iranian Revolution.
- Decades of economic mismanagement and political isolation have ruined the lives of Iranians and dashed the hopes of young people. To make matters worse, recent droughts and destructive floods have hurt the farmers and low-income households who traditionally form the base of the regime’s support.
- The Iranian regime has long been running on ideological fumes, imposing strict Islamic law on one of the Middle East’s most moderate, well-educated populations.
The writer is a political consultant on Iran, and a PhD candidate at St. Andrews University.