Iranian unrest can bring peace for Israel and beyond
January 12, 2018
By Daniel Krygier
Like all empires and despotic regimes, the Iranian Mullah regime has a shelf life that it desperately seeks to prolong. The renewed popular protests in Iran against the regime and the deteriorating living conditions in the country could potentially bring profound positive change for Israel, the Middle East and the world.
Alongside Turkey, Iran stands out as a Muslim non-Arab country in a Middle East region dominated by the Arab world. Prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Israel and Iran enjoyed close economic and security relations. Iran was never a democracy but under the Shah, Iranian society embraced Western-style modernity and education.
Despite nearly four decades of harsh Islamist rule, much of Iranian society remains committed to modernity and peaceful relations with the West and the outside world. Unlike the more traditional Islamic Arab world, state-sponsored anti-Semitism appears to have failed to strike deeper roots among much of Iranian forward-looking society that secretly embraces the modern lifestyle and freedom of Israel and the rest of the Western world.
The Iranian Ayatollah-led regime has for decades invested in expanding its predatory influence throughout the Middle East and beyond at the expense of its own people. While most Iranians live in poverty under an oppressive regime, Iran’s Islamist leadership has invested heavily in establishing a Shiite empire stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.
Unlike Iraq’s former dictator, Saddam Hussein, Iran’s regime has masked its aggression and imperialist ambitions by outsourcing its dirty work to its proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Assad in Syria and the Houthis in Yemen.
It should come as no surprise that Iranian students disproportionally led the fresh protests against the regime. Many educated young Iranians are fed up with the Islamist oppressive rule, grinding poverty, corruption and the fact that their living conditions take a backseat to the regime’s imperial aggression. Young Iranians are increasingly protesting against the regime’s waste of precious national resources in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza at the expense of the Iranian
The 2009 protests versus today
The situation in Iran today differs compared to 2009, when the regime ruthlessly crushed the Iranian opposition. Unlike Obama’s meek response, President Donald Trump has expressed strong American support for the freedom-seeking protesters and condemned the Iranian regime.
While the protests in 2009 were mainly about a rigged election and against a specific candidate, today’s protests are against the Iranian Islamist regime as a whole.
Obama’s nuclear deal appeared to infuse the Iranian regime with a prolonged lease of life by filling the Islamists’ coffers with billions of dollars. However, despite this and the removal of international sanctions, the living conditions have not improved for average Iranians.
It appears that the Iranian regime has increasingly overstretched its resources by financing global terrorism and Islamist influence at the expense of its own citizens.
A question of time
It is still unclear how the latest protests in Iran will unfold and whether the US will back its vocal support for the demonstrators with deeds. However, one thing is clear: it is merely a question of time before the Iranian Islamist regime collapses. When that happens, Israel and Iran can restore its pre-1979 relations. It will also mean a deathblow for Israel’s mortal enemies, Hezbollah and Hamas, that depend on Iranian support.
A pro-Western and pro-modern Iran could further join Israel and the Kurds as defenders of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Finally, it would also significantly weaken global Islamist terrorism in the West and beyond.
Daniel Krygier is a political analyst with World Israel News.