With the upcoming June 30th handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government, and the expected acceleration of the Iraqization of the anti-insurgency operations — the question of the Islamic Republic will be vying for the top foreign policy topic of the American presidential election. And based on the declared national resolve to never again wait for another gathering storm to land on the shores of America, the candidates will be confined to one-upmanship in taking tougher line on security measures, chief amongst them, the IRI's menace.
Across the lake, the European Union's torturous policies, at times farcical, vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic, has come to naught. Mostly devoid of national security or human rights concerns and solely based on appeasement and financial gains via uncompetitive access to lucrative contracts doled out by the Tehran regime — there too it is on the path to become the top topic of major concern.
With the resounding failure of the experiment to “strengthen the hands of the moderates within the regime” in the hopes of eventually steering the “first government of Allah on earth” back to the family of nations; the EU is smarting from its years of fruitless dogged “constructive” come “critical” come yet again “constructive dialogue”. They are back to square one plus the urgent question of IRI's WMD, including apparent uranium enrichment capability to boot.
Now, as before, there are basically two policy options to be considered. First, try to come to terms with the existence of the regime which is a concoction of a rabidly anti-Western, fascist and increasingly, cult of deity state, sitting on top and within striking distance of major energy producing centers in the Middle East and the Stans. Second, make the decision to change the equation altogether.
Oh yes, there is a third option. The let's chop it up to a more manageable bite size option. That being so alien to the historical facts on the grounds, one expects the more seasoned hands would prevail over the sophomoric bunch.
The coming to terms with the Islamic Republic option is exactly that which has been tried for the past quarter of century. Ignoring the 300 pound, foaming at the mouth, gorilla in the middle of the room and going on with business as usual has not worked. The advantage to this option, aside the protection racket's holding tight to the leash of the terrorists from attacking, used to be lucrative preferential contracts. Although the majority has been awarded to France in the past year, still, there has been something in the pot for everyone.
Under this option, the Europeans continued showing off their deep understanding of the Middle East and the “natives”, after all, they've been strutting their stuff based on this pivotal claim. Considering the upsurge of anti-Americanism, the world is still in the mood to lull its fears with this approach.
Besides, who is to say that the mullahs in Iran are worse than their unknown replacement, the better the devil you know. Or for that matter, fair is fair, other American approved neighbors, i.e. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are essentially in the same league as the Mullahs, why not tackling them first– are just two of the supporting arguments for the now defunct EU approach.
Two – forgo any delusional, tried and failed policy and face the facts on the ground. The regime in Tehran is overwhelmingly detested by its oppressed subjects who will be elated to see the back of it. Being fully cognizant of this fact, the Janus-faced mullahs have been in the process of procuring insurance policies for its survival in the forms of intercontinental missile systems and WMDs. While the good mullah has been grinning and the bad one grimacing, both have been united in their ultimate goal, survival through any and all means.
There has never been nor ever be a scenario under which it would be wise to use force to eject the regime from Iran. What the West can do is to stop feeding, financing and equipping this monster and leave it to the capable hands of Iranians to do what is needed. Moral and small logistical support for the Democracy advocates inside Iran would suffice.
From the Philippines to Algeria to Guyana and beyond, hundreds, if not thousands of turbaned and bareheaded imam wanna-bes are looking up to the Islamic Republic as the big brother for a helping hand for them to reach untold riches and power that till the advent of IRI was just a too fantastic a dream to be even dreamt of. Unfortunately, one needs to add to these tyrants-in-waiting, the many motley crowds who are in cahoots with them, if for no other reason than to poke a finger into the eye of the “American and Zionist”.
Unless and until the Islamic Republic is delegated to the dustbin of history, to expect calm and some semblance of sanity to prevail in the vital region of Middle East and beyond, is just whistling Dixie.