Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations in New York on September 25, 2018. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Iran’s Risky Plan B

Al-Rai, Kuwait, June 12

Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium indicates that it is pursuing a Plan B for its expansionist project, which it can no longer afford. The only way in which the mullah regime can guarantee its survival is by pursuing this alternative plan. In essence, the Iranian leadership is replicating the North Korean experience, which has pushed the Korean people into deprivation, starvation and oppression. However, the mullahs don’t care about the price – their only priority is to preserve the Islamic Republic that emerged after the fall of the shah in 1979. Granted, this doesn’t mean that Iran’s expansion project will stop. But it will likely take a different form in the coming month, in the wake of the Iranian financial downturn. In this regard, the so-called Plan B is more of a parallel project than an alternative project. The question is this: How will the Iranian regime reconcile its expansionist project with its immense costs? How will the mullah regime preserve itself without leading to its ultimate downfall? The mullah’s move toward Plan B is a direct response to this dilemma. The Iranian regime won’t be able to rescue itself from its financial crisis even if Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins the [US] presidency in November. Biden’s staff would consist of the same people who negotiated the JCPOA under president Barack Obama. Iran’s problem is that its possession of nuclear weapons will not protect it at all. Plan B is nothing but a crazy adventure that could lead to war in the region at a time when the Islamic Republic is losing its cards one by one. This is already apparent in Iran’s increasingly-diminished role in Iraq, where a new government, headed by Mustafa al-Kadhimi, has taken power. This government no longer allows Ismail Qani, the successor of Qasem Soleimani, to act in Iraq as if it were a suburb of Tehran. Similarly, Syria provides another example of the diminished Iranian role. Iran is no longer the main player in Syria, as it was in recent years. It appears that the Russian-Israeli understandings regarding the future of Syria are much greater than the mullahs believe, especially with Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in the position of prime minister over the course of the next few years. In Lebanon, it is clear that Hizbullah, which is nothing but a brigade in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, is not experiencing its best days. Despite controlling the government, the party is unable to fulfill any of the public’s demands. This includes Lebanon’s Shi’ite population, where there is latent anger because of the financial situation the country has reached. A large part of the misfortunes of the Lebanese people is credited to Hizbullah, which isolated Lebanon from its Arab and international allies. Would escaping to Plan B benefit Iran? If we exclude the suffering that the Iranian citizen will face, taking a step toward obtaining nuclear weapons seems more like an unwarranted adventure. The nuclear weapon appears to be a redemption card for the Iranian regime, at least on the surface. But the question arises: What about the reaction of the American-Israeli alliance, which is stronger than ever before? – Kheir Allah Kheir Allah (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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