With the eyes of the world focused on Iran since violent unrest began in the country last Thursday, many observers will no doubt be reminded of similar scenes that played out in Libya and Syria in early 2011, and what those so-called ‘popular uprisings’ resulted in for both nations.
What initially began in the city of Mashhad as a protest against rising food prices (something that is in place as a result of US sanctions) soon developed into nationwide disturbances which have so farseen 21 people killed and one terrorist attack targeting Iranian infrastructure.
Although the Western media has framed these protests as organic in nature, beginning as a result of the Iranian people finally standing up to an ‘oppressive regime’, the recent rhetoric emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv regarding Iran’s role in the region, as well as those two countries historic involvement in regime change, suggests that they are anything but.
Just over two weeks before the protests began, a high-level summit meeting was reported to have taken place between US and Israeli officials to discuss a strategy on how to counter alleged ‘Iranian influence’ in the Middle East, a call that was later reiterated in public by the White House’s UN envoy Nikki Haley.
With the finger of evidence pointing firmly at US/Israeli involvement in the current disturbances, it must now be asked to what extent will the West push for regime change in Iran.
The next logical step for the US to achieve this goal, as seen by their strategy in Libya and Syria, would be to arm so-called Iranian ‘rebel’ groups.
One terrorist attack has already occurred when on the second day of the disturbances a pipeline was destroyed in a bombing by the al-Nusra-linked Ansar Al-Furquan group, the timing of which cannot be described as anything less than suspicious.
It has also already been established that Israel has links with Iranian terrorist groups Jundallah and Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), using the latter to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist back in 2012.
Should the US and Israel increase their support for Iranian terrorists in a bid to oust the current government of Hassan Rouhani, the effects would be devastating not just for Iran but for the entire region.
The ‘rebels’ that the CIA supported in Libya turned the country into a lawless wasteland, likewise the groups that the US supported in Syria went on to form a key component of ISIS.
The blowback from such a move could be even more far reaching than the Middle East, as evidenced last May when the Manchester Arena bombing was carried out by a terrorist previously trained by MI6 to depose Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The other possible regime change option however, would have the most serious consequences of all; a direct military intervention.
Iran, possessing some of the most advanced air defence systems in the Middle East, would make any attempt at a Libya style ‘no-fly zone’ impossible; and any attempt at a ground invasion would undoubtedly result in Tehran’s ballistic missile capabilities being put to use on Washington’s regional allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.
This, of course, would be before even Iran’s own allies decided to get involved.
Both Syria and Iran have a common defence agreement, which seen Tehran coming to Damascus’ aid in its own proxy war. Any external efforts to remove the current Iranian leadership would no doubt see the Syrian Arab Army being dispatched to the streets of the Islamic Republic.
Russia also maintains key trade and military agreements with Iran, including the sale of the
aforementioned S-300 air defence system to Tehran and the use of Hamadan Airbase to target terrorist groups in Syria.
Indeed, Moscow has already issued a statement decrying the possibility of any external influence in the current disturbances.
Therefore, it is not just in Iran’s best interests to quickly quell this ‘uprising’, but the entire World’s.
Author Gavin O’Reilly is a Republican and social activist from Dublin, Ireland. He is the Secretary of the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Al-Masdar.