Monday, March 14, 2016

No Change in Iran after Elections

Iran resorting to known tactics in spite of nuclear agreement with the West

Despite much noise by many observers and media outlets in the West, there is no change forecasted in Iran following the recent “elections”. Heshmat Alavi, a known activists advocating freedom and democracy in Iran, has written an article entitled “Same Old Iran after Elections” for the providing insight on the sham twin elections and how Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the Iranian regime, suffered a major blow in the process. To this end and despite a nuclear deal sealed with the West, he will be resorting to his old tactics of terrorism and meddling in other country’s affairs while increasing domestic crackdown.
 Same Old Iran after Elections
 by heshmat
Iran held its first elections after the nuclear pact sealed by the international community. Both events had provoked some illusions that fundamental change is within reach over Tehran’s approach to domestic issues and the outside world. The elections’ turnout, which was a heavy blow to the outright and non-negotiable power of Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, signals more intensive internal conflicts in the higher hierarchy of this regime. Therefore, Iran has no alternative but resorting to its known tactics to contain its domestic crises and conflicts. This regime will continue its provocative practices and render increasing instability and hostility in the Middle East and beyond as before.
 Destination of Unfrozen Billions
 Logic leads us to believe that Iran would start pouring billions into its failing economy and begin reviving the aging oil and natural gas sector. To this day European automakers and aircraft manufacturers have benefited in signing contracts totaling a whopping $30 billion, leaving us to wonder what problem this will resolve for ordinary Iranians. No major projects to upgrade infrastructure, build schools and new hospitals, or provide homeless shelters, while the country’s population is in desperate need of jobs. Unfortunately, what is certain from the regime’s characteristics is billions pouring into the pockets of terrorist proxy groups. Tehran is insisting on continued funding for terror groups including the likes of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Rest assured the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militia groups in Iraq will also enjoy such assistance. Asked about the fate of the billions being returned to Iran even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry backtracked his previous remarks, admitting sanctions relief will provide new life to Iran’s network of terror groups.
 Iran Still Loves Taking Hostages
 Recent events after the nuclear deal reminded many of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover and the resulting crisis where diehard hardliners held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. When 10 American sailors somehow veered off course in Persian Gulf waters last month they were intercepted and apprehended by Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) members. While the issue was finalized with the sailors’ quick release, Khamenei actually went as far as honoring an IRGC admiral and his men for the entire ordeal. To add insult to injury Iran posted on YouTubehumiliating images of the ten sailors on their knees and Iranian state TV aired footages of an American sailor shedding tears after being captured.
 Appetite for Ballistic Missiles
 In October and December 2015 Iran snubbed its nose at the international community, especially America, by test-firing two long-range ballistic missiles in clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929. The “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also personally ordered the military to step-up the pace in producing such dangerous military assets. Iran is also known to be directing its efforts full speed ahead to building intercontinental ballistic missiles able to deliver a nuclear payload, according to U.S. intel chief James Clapper.
In further provocative measures the IRGC proudly paraded its “Emad” ballistic missile ' with a reported range of 1,700 kilometers ' in Tehran recently. Iranian Defense Minister also unveiled plans to upgrade this missile this year, taking no notice of criticism from the UN and sanctions by Washington. Further alarm is also provided in Russia on the course of delivered the highly sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system ' blocked before the nuke pact ' in the coming months, and Iran seeking more military hardware from Moscow. This sends a message defining Iran’s roadmap to continue enhancing its missile entire arsenal, already capable of reaching Vienna.
 Brewing Increasing Regional Turmoil
 Iran has used the nuclear agreement as a green light to escalate, not stem, its efforts in the already deadly Syria civil war. More so-called military advisors are heading to Syria, and various reports indicate tens of thousands Iranian and non-Iranian fighters have been dispatched to prop up the Assad regime under a lethal Russian carpet-bombing air campaign. Khamenei himself has emphasized on the importance of Iran’s troops fighting in Syria, citing in other circumstances their own soil would be threatened.
Saudi Arabia has also received its share of troubles fermented by Tehran, with Iran-backed Shiite Houthis pouncing on their southern borders in Yemen. Riyadh also witnessed its embassy and consulate stormed by organized regime diehards in Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran.
 Maryam Rajavi President-elect of the Iranian Resistance commented on Iran elections in her interview with the Forbes.  “The predominant judgment in the West hinged on the hope that last year’s nuclear deal would generate a change of behavior in the Iran theocracy, triggering internal reforms while strengthening so-called moderates in the elections after the lifting of international sanctions. But hedging bets on a theocratic ruler bringing in illusive moderates through sham elections is sheer nonsense. The West has fallen victim to an amateur sleight of hand. Who are the so-called moderates even if they manage to come out of the ballot box after all?  The ruling elite in Iran never actually viewed the nuclear pact threatening to their despotic character or ideology, but rather means to further entrench their rule. Though the No change in tactics, no shifts in priorities and no headings altered. Iran is misusing the nuclear agreement as well as democratic postures as a thumbs up from the West to continue the same old, same old.

Heshmat Alavi tweets on By @HeshmatAlavi

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