It is only a matter of time before the confrontation between the world and Iran's Mullahs, with the U.S. leading the charge, sets off a catastrophic conflagration. The present stand-off is bound to change, either by the U.S. use of force to make good on its threat that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable, or by the Mullahs managing to make the unacceptable an accomplished fact.
Although the main adversaries are the U.S. and Iran, much of the world has a huge stake regarding this potentially catastrophic confrontation. Israel, the Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq as well as nations farther away from the region are willing and unwilling parties to this unfolding crisis.
The situation is dire indeed. Anyone who believes that sane rational people on both sides are engaged in brinkmanship to secure the best advantage but would eventually work out a compromise is deluding himself. In some cases time works as a healer and even as a solution of thorny problems. Yet, this problem will not go away, and time would only make the cataclysmic clash more likely and deadly. There is, however, a non-violent solution, without appeasement that offers the best chance for resolving the impasse: change of regime in Iran.
President Ahmadinejad's bellicosity notwithstanding, the Islamic Republic of Iran is on the verge of collapse upon the head of the despised Mullahs and their fronting thugs. A few nudges from the outside world would serve as the tipping point for the long-suffering Iranians to rise and bury the Mullahs in the graveyard they have made of Iran. Here are some indicators of how seriously the Islamic Republic is ailing.
- The $78 barrel of oil is no more. It is down around $50. Oil money is the Mullahs' lifeblood. The Mullahs are strapped. They can't pay the salaries of teachers and other government employees on time. Ahmadinejad's largess to buy and hold his constituency has exacerbated the problem. The Islamic Republic is unable to continue financing their terrorist clients abroad.
- The great majority of Iranians are fed up with the misrule of the Islamic Republic. Students, workers, and women groups have been in the forefront of fighting the Islamists. Even among the high-ranking clergy a significant widespread dissention is surfacing. Ayatollahs in the twin holy cities of Qom and Mashhad, for instance, have refused Ahmadinejad's request to issue jihad fatwas against the Great Satan. One prominent Ayatollah, Muhammad-Reza Shabestari told his seminary a few days ago, "I would rather defrock myself than issue a fatwa in support of wanton adventurism," rejecting Ahamadinejad's request.
- Tehran is already quivering under the mild UN sanctions and is desperately trying to avoid a tougher Security Council resolution scheduled for March. The Mullahs' smiling emissary, former president Muhammad Khatami, presented one of the Mullahs' initiatives to Americans and European personalities at the latest World Economic Forum in Davos. Khatami's initiative includes the willingness of the Mullahs to suspend uranium enrichment under some reasonable-sounding conditions. The Mullahs are definitely blinking.
- The Islamic Republic finds itself isolated and has decided not too carry out its threat of suspending relations with countries that voted in support of the U.N. sanctions, nor have the Mullahs summoned the ever-ready thugs on their payroll to demonstrate and harass the embassies of those nations.
- Iran is timidly putting up with the U.S. arrest and interrogation of their senior Revolutionary Guard commanders in Iraq.
- Iran did not vote against a resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly last week condemning the denial of the Holocaust. A slap in the face of the neo-fascist, Holocaust-denying Mullahs.
- The very mild U.N. sanctions are already rattling the Iranian economy. The Rial, Iran's currency is shaky; the business community is deeply worried; and thousands of contracts remain unsigned due to uncertainty of what might happen next.
- Experts predict that hundreds of thousands of Iranian workers will join the already swelled ranks of the unemployed in short order, even under the present mild sanctions.
- Senior foreign diplomats report a significant "moderation" in the Mullahs behavior and signs that they wish to get themselves out of the present predicament.
- Fear of a possible attack by the U.S. has badly shaken the moral of the ruling elite who see their ill-begotten wealth and power are in serious jeopardy. The multi-billionaire mullah Refsanjani, the former President, in collaboration with others, is orchestrating efforts to pull the Islamic Republic out of the sinkhole. It is in this spirit that the powerful Refsanjani has sent his errand-boy smiling mullah Khatami, a former President himself, to Davos to work out a deal.
- The Islamic Republic is facing serious setbacks in Lebanon, in the Palestinian Territory, and even in Iraq. The Mullahs' attempt to seize power in Lebanon has aroused much of the Lebanese population against them and their proxy, Lebanon's Hezbollah, is in disarray. The Iraqi thug-cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army, the Mullahs' mercenary force, face serious problems due to the pressures from the U.S. and the Iraqi government. In recent weeks, hundreds of Mahdi fighters have been killed and many more are arrested.
- Ahamdinejad's scheme to buy off control of the Palestinian movements, in spite of giving Hamas $150 millions, failed. Hamas has now jilted the suitor Ahmadinejad, known as "The Monkey," in favor of the Saudi Sheiks with much deeper pockets.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list of troubles the Mullahs face. Yet, they should make us realize that Ahmadinejad and his gangs are on shaky grounds. A nudge here, a nudge there will likely topple the Islamofascist' regime and save everyone a lot of trouble.
It is dangerous and unnecessary to attack Iran militarily, neither does the U.S. need to go the route of appeasement with a seriously weak adversary.
The most effective and prudent solution is to change the regime in Iran. The idea of regime change in Iran is hardly new. What is new here is a list of non-violent undertakings that holds considerable promise in disposing the homicidal-suicidal Mullahs.
Governments should enact the following:
- Declare unequivocally the commitment to respect the territorial integrity of Iran, as well as the rights of the Iranians to decide, through a democratic process, all matters pertaining to their life and country.
- Initiate, without delay or equivocation, a comprehensive program of assistance to all democratic Iranian opposition groups, both within as well as outside of Iran, in their struggle to accomplish the regime change themselves.
- Proclaim wide and far, the cardinal reason for taking these measures against the Mullahs' reign of terror is to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons, the threat they pose to the region as well as to the world, and the stimulus they provide for other nations to develop their own nuclear arsenal.
- Enforce the U.N. sanctions by inspecting every vessel headed for Iranian ports to make sure they are not ferrying prohibited material. Other than vessels known to be carrying foodstuff and medicine, each ship should be subjected to elaborate inspection.
- Other than vessels carrying food and medicine, each ship should be subjected to elaborate inspection.
- Persuade Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and other Persian Gulf Arab oil producers to significantly increase their output and drastically cut the price. It is the least they can do to forestall the emergence of a nuclear Shiite Iran bent on ruling the region.
- Obtain court orders to freeze the overseas assets of Iranian leaders, since they are clearly ill-begotten funds that rightfully belong to the nation.
- Shut down, or severely restrict the operation of the Mullahs' businesses in Dubai and other Persian Gulf states.
- Shut down Iranian missions. Severely restrict Iranian officials and nuclear scientists from foreign travel. Recall your ambassadors from Iran.
- Deny the Iranian airlines operation and encourage non-Iranian airlines to cease serving the country.
- File legal charges against the leaders of the Islamic Republic's wanton violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; for their crimes against humanity, genocidal actions against religious and political groups; for support of international terrorism; for demolition of religious sites and cemeteries; for rape, torture, and summary execution of prisoners of conscience; for forgery of documents, for acts of blackmail and fraud, and much more.
- Declare and treat the clerical regime as illegitimate.
- Stop or slow down Iran's import of refined petroleum products.
- Shut down the Islamic Republic's web sites and block their television and radio broadcasts.
- Seize the regime's front organizations such as the Alavi Foundation in New York City.
- Identify the agents of the Islamic Republic and prosecute them as promoters of international terrorism.
- Investigate individuals and organizations that lobby or front for the Islamic Republic.
- Take all necessary steps to stop investments in Iran. Persuade banks to refrain from dealing with Iran and the issuance of letters of credit.
- Pressure businesses to stop dealing with Iran.
- Pressure governments to stop doing business with Iran. Warn countries such as China and Russia against commercial adventurism.
The Iran problem is urgent. It is a world problem.
A warning to the world: You need to act now. Apathy is sleep. If you sleep, you weep.
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. He maintains a website, www.AmilImani.com