(May 11, 2018 / JNS) Iranians do their best to avoid direct conflict by relying on proxies. However, if these proxies are known, Iran fears that it will be blamed for any actions by their proxies.
The reaction to Iran’s attack on Israel and the retaliation against Iranian bases in Syria did not create a big reaction inside Iran besides government-organized rallies.
U.S. President Donald Trump has helped create a situation where there is a chance for the liberation of the Iranian people from their oppressive government.
There is infighting among the highest levels of the Iranian leadership. They accuse each other of corruption, which is normal in the Middle East, fearing the people would rise up. If the regime clamps down on the people, it’s our job to encourage the people—like Trump just did—and maybe find ways to help the people. But the Iranian people must own their future, as well as the results for whatever happens.
Iran has many ethnic and religious minorities, but the vast majority are Shi’ite. Any government that comes after this tyrannical regime must be inclusive so that the regime has a better chance to survive.
Bottom line: Does the regime have the will and the ability to do what is necessary to keep itself in power? For the first time since the 1978-79 revolution, the answer to this question might not be yes. The United States might be able to help with the “ability” question—and the regime clearly fears that the Americans will respond to them directly if anything happens. We know this because they have stopped provoking American ships in the Gulf since Trump was elected, and by their saying that they will follow the nuclear agreement even if the United States pulls out.
We should look for ways to unite the Iranian opposition and support those who support liberal values.
As for the people in Iran, things can turn on a dime. I witnessed this fickleness among protesters when I was in Iran. Protesters that support this regime could easily switch allegiances.