0426 GMT January 19, 2019
The recent protests in Iran started with domestic economic difficulties and other rightful demands of the people. However, hidden hands tried to change the path of civil protests and turn them into violent ones. Now that the chaos has subsided we can see the invisible hands that planned to make another Syria out of Iran.
It is vital to attend to the recent turmoil from different aspects; however, this article focuses on another important question:
Why did Iran’s enemies try to foment chaos and impute violence into the rightful demands of protesters in the new emerging regional power in the Middle East?
Iran successfully reached a nuclear deal.
It was the first time in the history of international relations that Iran was peacefully removed from Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This happened neither by passing a UN resolution nor by regime change. Iran showed world powers and the international community its capability to solve international issues based on mutual respect, through dialogue and diplomacy. The Middle Eastern country introduced itself as a rational regional power. As a result of the deal, the threat of war disappeared and foreign investors began to view Iran as a great market.
Last May, Iranians cast their ballots gloriously.
In a region in which the nation-state process has not been completed yet and tribes are still in power, a big turnout, with 72 percent participation, represents a real effective democracy. Iranians elected a moderate government once more to continue their movement toward constructive interactions with the great powers and the international community.
Iran, the unbreakable wall against Daesh
While Israel was killing innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip with “beautiful” American arms, and precisely when it was under world pressure for its crimes against humanity, all the world media was forced to turn their cameras to a new disastrous development in the region, the emergence of a highly dangerous terrorist group, Daesh.
Although Daesh began its crimes to divert the attention of public opinion from the above-mentioned Israeli crimes, Iran and its allies defeated the extremist group on the ground. The Western world realized if there were no Iran in the region, they should have negotiated with Al-Baghdadi in Baghdad.
The rise of Iran as a regional power
Being the strongest military power with immense spiritual influence in the Middle East, Iran’s role is undeniable in any regional decision because of its inevitable weight in any regional equation.
Saudi Arabia’s new fiasco
Saudi Arabia, known as “White Daesh,” with no sign of democracy and respect for its minorities, has failed in its investments on extremism and Wahhabi ideology in Iraq and the Levant. While shocked by the fruitless massacre of civilians in Yemen, the kingdom faced another fiasco in its attempts to isolate Qatar. Hence, it tried another aborted political gamble:
Precisely when the world was witnessing the end of Daesh, the ambitious young Saudi prince astonished the world by his new hallucinatory decision to take the Lebanese prime minister hostage and force him to read out an anti-Iran statement, which added another failure to the newcomer’s list in world politics.
Iran welcomes avid investors
As the most secure and stable state in the Middle East, during President Rouhani’s second term Iran has accelerated its economic diplomacy. During the last three months, Rouhani’s administration has signed contracts worth $42 billion of foreign investment.
Problem of Jerusalem (Beit-ul-Moqaddas)
Trump [the US president with the lowest popularity rate during his first year in office] and his unpopular ally, Netanyahu, made a bad decision on Beit-ul-Moqaddas. Consequently, they faced self-made isolation. The triangle of United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia face similar problems: Corruption, failure in domestic and foreign policies.
Although the protests in Iran began with the rightful demands of disgruntled people, the said triangle tried to cover up their failures by fanning the flames of domestic protests in Iran to turn it into violent unrest to undermine Iran’s might and its regional influence.
The fact that the upper and middle classes in Iran did not join the protests indicate that despite their grievances, a majority of Iranians prefer gradual, peaceful reforms to any violent, rapid change. However, the ball is in the government’s court: It must attend to the people’s rightful demands to ward off any foreign attempts to capitalize on such complaints.
Ali Amini is an MA student at the School of International Relations in Tehran.