Tehran may try to bait the West into a limited military attack in order to distract public attention away from its “corruption and incapability,” exiled Iranian Prince Reza Pahlavi tweeted January 22.
Ahead of a joint ministerial meeting on peace and security in the Middle East slated to be held in Warsaw February 13-14, a meeting initiated by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pahlavi argues the strain in relations between Tehran and the West is especially high.
Mike Pompeo told Fox News the gathering would “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security,” adding “an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”
“The ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region,” read a January 11 statement from the State Department.
In a later announcement on January 22 at the UN the U.S. said that the conference is not meant to be an Iran-bashing event, but Tehran has vehemently protested.
Dozens of countries have committed to attend the conference, according to the State Department, however it is not clear if Iran will be invited. First, Poland said no invitation will be extended, but January 23 Reuters quoted the Polish president that the issue is not finalized and Iran might get an invitation.
A Polish diplomatic delegation was in Tehran earlier this week apparently discussing the planned ministerial meeting. It is not clear if the latest announcement by Poland’s president is the result of those diplomatic talks.
Pahlavi is an outspoken critic of what he calls the Islamic Republic’s “ill-advised” policies, which include Iran’s involvement in neighboring countries like Syria.
He argues that the widespread anti-regime protests that have gained momentum over the last year have so frustrated the Islamic Republic’s establishment as to drive them to provoke a military altercation with the West in order to distract from their “inept” leadership.
Iran does often engage in military moves that are provocative; such as sending speedboats to dangerously close vicinity of U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf or testing missiles, which the U.S. and Israel consider a serious threat.
Iranian political and military officials also issue threats against the U.S. and particularly Israel, by calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.
“Keeping our country’s territorial integrity is our responsibility,” Pahlavi tweeted. “Therefore, to address the crisis our country is currently struggling with, I am trying to convince the international community that the only sagacious way out of such a crisis is not a military attack on Iran, but total support for Iranian freedom movements.”
The prince and his supporters have lately put more emphasis on support for the Iranian opposition as the best way to deal with threats posed by the Islamic Republic.