Senior political commentator Seyyed Hossein Mousavian says the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have made a huge investment in pushing for a regime change in Iran.
Mousavian, a senior research fellow at Princeton University and a former member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team has, in an editorial in Donya-e-Eqtesad daily, weighed in on Washington’s approach vis-à-vis Iran and plots by regional states to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
The full text of the analytical piece follows.
Following the resignation of former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and ex-US national security adviser Herbert McMaster, US Defence Secretary James Mattis made every effort to get incumbent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on board with the necessity of preserving the Iran nuclear deal and keep Bolton and Pompeo from forming an alliance in the White House to stop moving on the path of confrontation with Iran, but to no avail.
Although the veteran American general is against Iran’s regional policies, he opposes a pullout from the JCPOA and waging a war against Iran. Moreover, he is not against contacts and talks between Tehran and Washington on regional issues. Therefore, and up to this point, Bolton, heading the US National Security Council, and Pompeo, heading the country’s diplomacy apparatus, have managed to isolate the Pentagon chief to pave the way for the adoption of radical policies against Iran.
Anti-Iran lobbies in Washington mainly run by the Israeli regime, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have gained so much weight that they have even baffled American experts.
Mark Dubowitz, a radical Zionist and the CEO of the hawkish think-tank Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD), runs the anti-Iran lobby in Washington. His salary amounts to around $600,000 per year while the US president receives $400,000 annually. When the US Congress was reviewing the JCPOA, he attended 17 congressional hearing sessions in a span of 18 months. Major Zionist capitalists in the United States such as Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and Barnard Marcus, have also gone into action, allocating tens of millions of dollars to anti-Iran measures.
Saudi Arabia has signed contracts with 24 Washington companies specializing in lobbying, and spends tens of millions of dollars annually to sponsor anti-Iran propaganda. In one case, Riyadh gave $6 million to the lobbying group MSLGROUP to prepare a five-page propaganda report about what they call Iran’s interference in Yemen, and another report about claims that the Iranian government is the biggest sponsor of terrorism.
The United Arab Emirates, too, allocates even more money than Saudi Arabia in Washington to anti-Iran moves. As a case in point, bin Salman invited top American journalists to Riyadh and held one-on-one talks with every single one of them to brief them on how to file reports against Iran. This came as the journalists received a red carpet treatment, namely first-class plane tickets and staying in luxury hotels.
Compare this with the situation of Iran which does not agree to invite renowned American journalists to visit Iran, even at their own expense, to interview low or medium-ranking officials.
The anti-Iran axis focuses on two periods of time in mind:
First, the US congressional election this autumn, and second, the US presidential election in autumn 2020. They are trying to take maximum advantage of the chaotic situation in Washington before the congressional vote in order to realize their objectives against Iran. They predict that the Democrats are likely to win the election and stop radical moves against Iran. As for the US presidential ballot, they consider Trump’s presidency as a golden opportunity to achieve their objectives. Meetings are underway of joint working groups by the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel to channel anti-Iran moves in different political, security, economic and public opinion domains.
The Arab anti-Iran axis has pledged $83 billion to Washington annually to implement the regime change project.
The new strategy which the anti-Iran square kicked off months ago revolves around the following objectives:
- The dismantling of the JCPOA
- Imposing a series of new sweeping sanctions
- Officially announcing an overarching strategy against Iran. Pompeo announced the 12-point strategy with the assumption that Iran would accept none of them; and, of course, the points were not acceptable.
- Starting intense talks between Washington and its European allies as well as other countries which are actively conducting trade deals with Tehran. The move is aimed at pushing Iran’s oil sales to below one million barrels per day, canceling key industrial and economic agreements, and blocking Tehran’s banking and financial transactions.
- Destabilizing the situation inside Iran by stirring up sectarian unrest and public protests
- Fueling political differences among political factions, top officials and the three branches of government of Iran
- Creating fake conflicts and confrontation in the region in a bid to set the scene for limited military action against Iran.
An informed source told me that the Arab anti-Iran axis has pledged $83 billion to Washington annually to implement the project. All in all, the above-said square of countries’ strategy aims to paralyze the Iranian economy, create tension and unrest and instability inside Iran, and eliminate Iran’s presence and influence in the region.
Moreover, their key target in the region is to provoke a standoff in Syria, which they are going to push through via three schemes: First, shattering the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah unity; second, disrupting cooperation among Tehran, Ankara and Moscow; and third, laying the groundwork for a military standoff between Iran and US via Syria. I already warned in an interview with BBC World that Israel aims to get engaged in a military conflict with Iran in Syria to use the conflict as a pretext for the US to get involved in the military faceoff with Iran, as well. They are also determined to stop the trend of the Syrian government’s gains in fighting terrorist groups.
In its private contacts, Riyadh has assured the Americans that events in Yemen will soon take a turn in favour of the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia believes this turn of events is close at hand, and, hence, it would not be necessary to involve Iran in the process of Yemen peace talks. Hence, Washington should not care about Iran-Europe negotiations about Yemen.
The Tel Aviv-Riyadh-Abu Dhabi triangle keeps telling the White House that they wouldn’t like the US to launch a war against Iran similar to the Iraq war; rather, as they say, a limited military operation would be enough to make Iran claw back its influence and presence in the region. Nevertheless, their covert objective is to start their move with limited military action that would trigger retaliation in kind by Iran, and this would eventually bring about a full-scale military conflict between the two countries.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Washington-Tel Aviv-Riyadh-Abu Dhabi square is pursuing their objective of “regime change” in Iran with a vengeance, and have put wide-ranging operational programs on their agenda. And their ultimate goal is to create instability and chaos in Iran, and to disintegrate the country at the end of the day.
Iran lacks a lobby in the US, Europe and other major countries. This is while the Iranian diaspora is the most important asset to counter the negative image of Iran in the world public opinion.
In order to counter such a big threat, Iran needs a consistent and stable domestic situation in the country in the first place. Fuelling internal divisions at this point in time would be deadly venom. The working groups of the four countries meeting in Washington have arrived at the conclusion that the internal situation in Iran is so fragile that it would be possible to bring people onto the streets by exerting all-out pressure and to make the ruling system desperate and topple the government. What is more surprising is that the Riyadh-Tel Aviv-Abu Dhabi triangle has given assurances to Washington that they have Iran’s internal situation under control!
Secondly, Iran lacks a public diplomacy which conforms to the current situation. Moreover, the Islamic Republic lacks a lobby in the US, Europe and other major countries. This is while the Iranian diaspora is the most important asset to counter the negative image of Iran in the world public opinion. News was announced recently that the US Congress had passed an enactment opposing Washington’s military action against Iran. But something that many people probably do not know is that a few dual-nationality Iranians residing in the US, who had a close relationship with a lawmaker, were able to monitor the activities of anti-Iran lobbies and were concerned about a possible US military attack on Iran.
And the third point is the necessity of reinforcing Iran’s official diplomacy. Iran should take maximum advantage of the current rifts between world powers and the US-Israel-Saudi Arabia-UAE square over the JCPOA. At the same time, Iran should boost talks and cooperation with regional countries such as Iraq, Turkey, Oman, Qatar and the like in order to establish a proper diplomatic shield at the regional and global stage. Our diplomacy apparatus is under the most intense attacks by the anti-Iran square. This is enough reason for the Iranian government and nation and all political factions inside the country to throw their weight behind those who are at the forefront of the country’s diplomacy front.