Iran's strategy

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By PEPE ESCOBAR*

The emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a major regional power in West Asia and Eurasia

Iran's parliament recently approved the previously announced accession of the Islamic Republic to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) last September at the Samarkand summit, thus culminating a process that lasted no less than 15 years.

Iran has already signed up to become a member of the BRICS+, an expanding bloc that, even before 2025, will inevitably become the alternative to the G20, for the Global South that really matters. Iran is deepening its strategic partnership with China and Russia, and increasing bilateral cooperation with India.

Iran is a key Chinese partner in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The country must also close a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), in addition to presenting itself as a key node of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), alongside Russia and India.

All of the above configures the rapid emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a major regional power in West Asia and Eurasia, with a wide reach for the entire Global South.

This leaves a whole set of Tehran-oriented imperial “policies” in the dust. Thus, it is not surprising that the threads of iranophobia previously accumulated ― and nurtured by the Empire over four decades ― have recently metastasized into yet another color revolution offensive, fully supported and disseminated by the Anglo-American media.

The booklet is always the same. The leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, came up with a concise definition. The problem is not the bands of rioters and/or mindless mercenaries; “the main confrontation” – he said – is with “global hegemony”.

To a certain extent, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei was reverberated by the American intellectual Noam Chomsky, who observed how, instead of supporting the protests, US sanctions over four decades “deepen the pain” by severely damaging the Iranian economy.

 

Using the Kurds as an expendable item

The latest ongoing attempt at a color revolution overlaps with the manipulation of Kurds in Syria and Iraq. From the imperial point of view, the proxy war in Syria – which is far from over – not only functions as an additional front in the fight against Russia, but also allows the instrumentalization, against Iran and Turkey, of the highly dependent Kurds.

Currently, Iran is being attacked in accordance with a perverse variation of the scheme applied to Syria in 2011. Something like a situation of “permanent protest” has ended up being implemented in vast areas of northwest Iran. What changed in mid-November is that armed gangs began to apply terrorist tactics in several towns near the Iraqi border, and it was believed that they would be armed enough to take control of some of the towns.

Irremediably, Tehran had to send troops from the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard) to contain the situation and reinforce security at the borders. They engaged in operations similar to those that had already been carried out in Dara'a, in southwestern Syria. The military intervention was quite effective. But in some latitudes, terrorist gangs continue to attack government infrastructure and even civilian property. The key fact is that Tehran prefers not to quell these unruly demonstrations using lethal force.

The really critical issue is not the protests themselves; it is the transfer of weapons by the Kurds of Iraq to the Kurds of Iran, to reinforce the scenario of the color revolution. Tehran has issued a de facto ultimatum to Baghdad: act together with the Kurds and make them understand the red lines.

As it stands, Iran will continue to massively employ Fateh ballistic missiles and Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 kamikaze drones against mapped Kurdish bases in northern Iraq. Whether this will be enough to control the situation is debatable. What is clear is that the “Kurdish card”, if not tamed, could easily be played by the usual suspects in other Iranian provinces, given the solid financial, military and informational support offered by Iraqi Kurds to Iranian Kurds.

Turkey faces a very similar problem with Syrian Kurds instrumentalized by the United States. In northern Syria, it is mainly armed gangs posing as “Kurds”. Therefore, it is quite possible that these armed gangs, essentially recognized by Washington as useful idiots, will end up being simultaneously decimated, in the short and medium term, by both Ankara and Tehran.

 

If all fails, pray for regime change

A geopolitical watershed that until recently seemed unthinkable may soon come into play: a high-level meeting in Russia between Turkish President Recep Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad (remember the refrain from a decade ago “Assad must leave”?), mediated by none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What would it take for Kurds to understand that no state – be it Iran, Syria or Turkey – will offer them land for their own nation? The parameters may still eventually change, should the Iraqis finally succeed in ousting the United States.

Before we get there, the fact is that Iran will have turned West Asia's geopolitics upside down, whether through its intelligent cruise missiles and extremely effective kamikaze drones, electronic warfare or even hypersonic missiles. last generation.

Empire “planners” never saw this coming: a Russia-Iran strategic partnership that, geoeconomically, not only makes perfect sense, but turns out to be a military force multiplier.

Furthermore, Iran is embedded in the looming Big Picture on which the expanded BRICS+ seems to be focusing: the integration of Eurasia (and beyond) through multimodal economic corridors such as the INTSC (International North-South Transport Corridor), and high-speed rail.

The Empire's Plan A on Iran was a mere nuclear deal (JCPOA), conceived by the Obama administration as nothing more than a crude containment scheme. Donald Trump really blew it all up… and there was nothing left. A revival of the JCPOA, which was in theory attempted for months in Vienna, was bound to be a failure because Americans themselves no longer know what they can want from it.

So what's left as Plan B for neocon/liberal psychopaths Straussians, in charge of US foreign policy, is to throw all sorts of bad guys – from the Kurds to the toxic MEK (Mujahideen Organization of Iran) – into the cauldron of Iran and, amplified 24/7 by the hysterical corporate media of the West, pray for regime change.

Well, that won't happen. Tehran just needs to wait, exercise restraint, and watch as the “virtuous” rhetoric of a color revolution turns out to be foiled.

*Pepe Escobar is a journalist. Author, among other books, of Empire of Chaos (Nimble Books).

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published in PressTV.

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