The Iranian regime surrenders - ANALYSIS

Tehran's war on the Arab world is bringing the end of the country closer

The supervisory patrol service of the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be abolished, Iran's Attorney General said Saturday. This can be the first step towards a more important decision. Currently, the issue that is being actively discussed in the echelons of power is the abolition of the compulsory wearing of the hijab. The foreign policy line under the influence of Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) also remains unfavorable for the United States. Washington intends to focus not on the "nuclear agreement", which cannot be concluded yet, but on preventing military supplies to Russia.

Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the chief prosecutor of Iran, said that the moral police has nothing to do with justice. He also announced that the institution will be abolished. The protests that started in Iran in September after the murder of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini continue today. They were joined by the most diverse sections of the population, workers, intellectuals and even athletes of the Iranian national football team.

Despite the fact that at least 500 people died during the riots and more than 400 casualties among the SEPAH forces, the authorities did not dare to take the most severe measures. The issue of reform remains open. The change announced by the Prosecutor's Office cannot be called revolutionary, because other structures also have control functions, including the regular police and the SEPAH. But this could also be the beginning of other changes. Will these reforms, which are the main issues of Iran's internal political life, happen?

Another remarkable event also took place. It was announced that Iran has started construction of a new nuclear power plant in the south (the country has the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the construction of which was assisted by Russia). The NPP built in the west of the country with a capacity of 300 MW is called "Karun". The project is planned to cost 2 billion dollars and could be completed by 2030.

But right now the US is not as concerned about the development of nuclear energy in Iran as before. There is no prospect of a nuclear deal in the near future, and Washington wants to block the supply of Iranian weapons to Russia, Robert Malley, the US special representative for Iran, stated in an interview with "Bloomberg" agency. The representative said that Washington will focus on supporting the protesters and preventing potential military supplies to the Russian Federation. Malli also added that Iran makes unrealistic demands against the United States, and the parties have not engaged in dialogue on the restoration of the nuclear deal since August.

The question remains as to how Washington will put more pressure on Tehran, with the toughest sanctions against the Islamic Republic already in place. The protests are perhaps on a scale not seen since 1979. Moreover, there are similarities between the discontent that led to the fall of the Shah's regime and the current unrest. The active participation of young people can be an example as well. Even secondary school students do not attend their classes. These unrests are a threat for the regime, but it is likely that the outcome will spell the end of Iran. The Iranian regime has the power to quell dissent, and an extensive security system is not lacking, for example, the Basij militia within the IRGC, which excelled in suppressing protests after the 2009 presidential election, deserves special mention. But for now, the authorities are trying not to resort to radical means.

The discontent of the population not only includes different sections of the Iranian population, but also has several aspects. For example, the ethnicity of the girl who was killed was Kurdish, and the protests also affected the north of the country - Azerbaijan, where the ethnically Azerbaijani population lives. The economic component is also important: under sanctions, the economy survives, but does not develop. As for the religious approach, the protests include areas of the country where Sunnis live, not Shiites. Finally, the activation of this potential will lead to major political changes that will call into question whether Iran will remain an Islamic Republic. Will Tehran make major concessions or stop at symbolic limitations? This is the main intrigue of the unrest, which comes at a time when Iran's elite are divided over the next step.

A new clash between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Iraq

The Iranian-backed Shiite group Kataib Hezbollah (KH) has called on Middle Eastern countries affected by Saudi Arabia's policies to form an alliance and "take the conflict to the streets of Riyadh." The statement of the organization operating in Iraq was released a few days after the visit of the new prime minister of the republic, Mohammad Sudani, to Tehran.

"The best solution to the fight against the Saudi authorities is to create an alliance of countries suffering from its crimes to take the conflict to the streets of Riyadh," said the leaders of the Shiite group responsible for the attacks. According to them, any talks with Riyadh are pointless, as it will give the kingdom time to "strike the arrow of resistance".

Kataib Hezbollah's statement was made in the style of statements made against Saudi Arabia by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a military-political organization that influences the decision-making mechanism in Iran in recent months. Commanders of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have publicly blamed Riyadh for the ongoing street protests against Tehran since September. The kingdom was accused of funding the Iran International channel, the flagship information platform of the Iranian opposition abroad. Against the background of all this, information has been spread that the process of negotiations on the normalization of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been frozen. The kingdom began to fear a military scenario and called on its partners, including the United States, to protect it.

Even under former Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi, Iraq tried to create a neutral platform for negotiations on the restoration of relations in Tehran and Riyadh. The delegations of the two countries managed to hold several rounds of negotiations on the territory of the republic. After Sudan took over the leadership of the Iraqi government in October of this year, the center of Baghdad released a statement saying that "Iran-Saudi dialogue has shifted from a security-related direction to a diplomatic dialogue." But in light of the radicalization of Iran's official rhetoric on Saudi Arabia, the viability of the concept of negotiations is in doubt.

Iranian officials also have claims against Iraq. Since September, Tehran has claimed that the north of Iraq has become a stronghold of the forces that allegedly incite the demonstrators. First of all, we are talking about the Kurdish parties, which the Islamic Republic accuses of trying to force separatist sentiment in the heavily populated provinces of Kurds. Iranian security forces faced fierce resistance there.

Sudani made a two-day visit to Tehran last week before going to Riyadh. His area of ​​political responsibility is related to the national security of both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Western analysts have noted that Shiite groups have made flights from Iraqi territory to Arabia using explosive-laden drones at least twice. According to these estimates, they participated in the attack on the infrastructure of the East-West oil pipeline in May 2019, as well as in the attack on the oil refinery in Abqaig in September of the same year.

Washington-based Middle East Institute (MEI) researcher and expert Anton Mardasov said that a number of pro-Iranian groups, including a part of the Kataib Hezbollah faction, have been trying to weaken the central government in Iraq in recent years. It was at this time that Iraq began to pursue a conscious policy to diversify relations, and it paid off.

However, after the departure of Al-Kazimi, who was the embodiment of compromise between the United States and Iran and Iraq became a platform for holding regional summits, Iraq's head was once again clouded. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are cautious about the new Iraqi prime minister. Against this backdrop, Kataib is seen as an attempt to stifle progress in expanding ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in solidarity with Hezbollah's call and even the IRGC's statements.

Iran is trying to become a hegemon in its geographical area. Although most of the surrounding neighboring countries, especially the Arab countries, are world leaders economically, they are very weak military-wise. Nevertheless, the Arabs have many friends and military allies. Therefore, Iran is paying attention to those backing up the Arab countries before clashing with them. But until when? Iran's internal problems and riots also help us to envision the future. So, what will be the future of Iran?

Author: V. VALYEV

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