Pressure on Iran Mounts from Multiple Fronts
It is expected today that Britain, France, Germany and the US will address the UN Security Council regarding the path of addressing the Iranian nuclear crisis. With the Iranian regime in their crosshairs, their scope is sighted on firm sanctions against the mullah-run theocracy for their obstinacy in dealing with the international community’s concerns via the IAEA.
However, according a Reuters report, the group “probably will not distribute a text that Russia and China still oppose. Moscow and Beijing fear it would be a step toward sanctions or even military action.” What this means is that discussions will be verbal among the Council members as the Western powers continue their efforts to persuade The Bear and The Dragon to support concrete efforts to terminate the Iranian dash toward nuclear arms.
It is important to keep these discussions at Turtle Bay within proper context. That context is, in part, the growing sense that the UN handling of Iran is practically expected by most in the West to fail to achieve measurable results as talk of an extra-UN ‘coalition of the willing’ gathers steam. Such a coalition outside of UN actions (or in spite of UN inaction) can be expected to be a shorter list of dissident governments than currently seen as pressing the Security Council for action. Germany, for one, is part of the group addressing the Security Council, but, as Merkel has said, does not support any sanctioning outside of the UN body.
Iran’s National Security Chief, Ali Larijani, is the man ‘who would be king’ in Iran, the favorite in the presidential elections last year who was stunned by defeat at the hands of Ahmadinejad. Speaking in Abu Dabai, he offered support for the Gulf Cooperation Council to mediate between Iran and the West regarding their clandestine nuclear program. In an effort to assuage Arab fears of a nuclear Iran, the statement was designed to appear as an extended hand as Larijani attempted to rally his Persian Gulf neighbors around anti-Americanism.
Said Larijani, “The US is now planting seeds of discord between Shias and Sunnis in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.” That statement should be weighed within the context of Iranian meddling in Iraq via IRGC operatives scurrying throughout the Shia south in Iraq and the suspicions of Iran’s hand in fueling the current sectarian violence aimed at destabilizing the fledgling America-friendly Iraqi democracy.
While the US has no interest in a violent Shia-Sunni rift in Iraq, it is possible that there has been communication with and support extended to groups opposed to the mullah regime, be they Kurds in Northern Iraq, Balochs in southern Iran and western Pakistan and/or internal and exiled Iranian dissident groups. The end game is regime change in Iran. While Larijani may have over-stepped in his statement, his fears are likely well founded.
There has been talk, especially since the Iraqi claims of Iranian incursions against Kurdish groups in Northern Iraq, of concerted efforts to destabilize the Iranian regime. Some see the Kurdish attacks on Iran as the prelude to a wider non-American assault aimed at destabilizing or even dethroning the Iranian regime. In those circles, the wider effort is thought to be orchestrated and/or facilitated by American intelligence.
With this in mind, Regime Change Iran brings to the forefront the claim by the overthrown Shah’s son, Reza Pahlavi, that his group is planning an overthrow of the Iranian regime within months in order to establish democracy and discard theocracy. Just one of several groups of dissidents in opposition to the mullah regime, while there would certainly be a power struggle amongst them for control, the institutions of democracy, unlike Iraq in 2003, are firmly in place in Iran – albeit dominated by theocratic Islamist rulers.
Determining the extent of support that Reza Pahlavi (or other groups) may have internally in Iran and from the United States is far from an exact science. However, considering the alternative is a nuclear armed state sponsor of terror or an American military intervention or, conceivably, both, it’s time to start lending support to those who intend to do from within what we cannot from without.
A good layman’s look at the various Iranian opposition groups can be found here.