The United States recently announced that it has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). There were varied opinions about this development.
Some have argued there will be an escalation of tension between the United States and Iran because of the Trump administration’s decision to designate the IRGC. However, this may not be the case at all when we consider past events and how Iran responds to different kinds of pressures and policies.
History teaches us some lessons on this phenomenon.
The Mullahs were completely passive during past Iranian dictatorships. The people cried for freedom and a better lifestyle several times. The most significant example was the 1979 popular uprising, which led to the removal of the last Pahlavi King in 1979.
Iran’s behavior, when former President Barack Obama was in office, was appalling, especially considering how lightly the administration dealt with the regime. The Obama administration, desperate to get Iran to agree to a nuclear deal, appeased the Iranian regime to no end. It gave a number of concessions, far more than it should have done, and it promised that Iran would become more moderate as a result. However, this moderation never materialized and the regime, in fact, became emboldened.
The regime realized that the Obama administration was going to ignore its acts of belligerence and it treated this silence as a green light to continue, confirmation that it was not going to be challenged.
Looking further back, the Iranian regime responded the same way during Iraq War. When the U.S. ignored or brushed aside Iran’s malign behavior, this is when its behavior worsened.
After 2003, Iran was rather prudent in its actions because it was concerned the U.S. would seek regime change in Iran. However, when it became clear that this was not what the United States was pursuing, the regime’s behavior escalated. It carried out a series of assassinations and put its own military personnel in Iraq.
As time went on, it became obvious that no one was going to hold Iran responsible for its actions, so it continued to become more and more belligerent. So much so, that it started up a proxy war. The IRGC undertook major operations to train, organize and arm a number of militias that went on to target the U.S. Army.
Even despite these attacks on U.S. military, Iran was still given the silent treatment. The U.S. knew that Iran was behind the attacks but it also feared an even bigger escalation, so its response was not as aggressive as it could have been.
Treating Iran lightly to generate moderation, like what we are witnessing in Europe, will never work because moderation within the regime is a complete myth. The regime’s survival depends on the spread of chaos and fundamentalism.
The only way to deal with the Iranian regime is with firmness and no hint of weakness.
The Iranian people and their organized resistance are the only internal elements to complete this historical lesson as far as the mullahs’ fears are concerned. There should be ongoing maximum pressure on the mullahs to force better behavior and their removal from power. The Resistance Units are well organized to mobilize the youth and the people. “The ultimate solution for getting rid of the mullahs’ religious fascism in Iran is changing this illegitimate regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.” Says the National Resistance of Iran’s President-Elect, Maryam Rajavi in response to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s declaration in Cairo on Feb. 5, 2019.
Members of Resistance Units, also in the country’s capital, mounted posters of Maryam Rajavi on public places’ to protest to the Mullahs’ dictatorship and show signs and symbols of unity.
In Western Azerbaijan Province, Northwest Iran, members of Resistance Units set fire to and destroy a Khamenei poster and two of Basij Headquarters Main Gates.
In Sistan & Baluchistan Province, southeast Iran, members of Resistance Unit set fire to a poster near a Basij base affiliated to the terrorist-designated IRGC.
In the city of Ardabil, also northwest Iran, members of Resistance Unit, were able to paint over a large poster of the IRGC Basij, sending a message to the regime’s units.
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