Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in Tehran protesting against the economic crisis in the country. Despite the infusion of billions of dollars into Iran’s economy because of the nuclear deal, living conditions for ordinary Iranians continue to deteriorate. Imports have become increasingly expensive after the Iranian currency lost almost 50 percent of its value in the last six months alone.
What impact will the deepening economic crisis in Iran have on Israel and the wider Middle East?
The familiar regime-sanctioned slogans “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” have been replaced with the spontaneous slogans “Death to Palestine,” “Help us, not Gaza” and “Leave Syria alone and deal with Iran.”
The stated goal of President Obama’s nuclear deal was to moderate the Iranian regime through economic incentives and bring Iran back to the family of nations. However, as the slogans indicate, instead of improving the livings conditions for the Iranian people, the ayatollah regime has channeled billions of dollars to finance its wars in Syria, Gaza, Yemen and Iraq.
The Iranian regime has also prioritized its different weapons programs over raising the dismal living standards for ordinary Iranians at home.
International proponents of the Iran nuclear deal have consistently warned that scrapping the deal would lead to war. French President Emmanuel Macron unsuccessfully tried to convince President Donald Trump to keep the Iran deal intact. Addressing the German daily Der Spiegel in May, Macron said: “That would mean opening Pandora’s box, it could mean war.”
Ironically, Macron and other Iran deal defenders could be proven right, but not in the way they had foreseen.
Ideologically driven wars tend to overstretch national resources. Instead of consolidating his territorial gains in Western Europe, Hitler’s Nazi ideology compelled him to unleash a devastating two-front war that ultimately buried the Nazi empire in the vast frigid expanses of Soviet Russia.
Instead of moderating the Iranian regime, the nuclear deal gave the ayatollahs an extended lease of life to pursue its expansionist Jihadist ideology abroad. It also immunized the Iranian regime against the increased wrath of the Iranian people that it has abandoned.
By leaving the Iran deal and reinstating sanctions on Iran, President Trump is dramatically undermining the Iranian regime’s ability to wage its ideological Jihad war against Israel and Sunni Arab states.
Iran has spent billions of dollars entrenching itself in Syria and keeping the Assad regime intact. Israeli military intervention against Iranian forces in Syria coupled with American sanctions could unleash the final act of the ayatollah Islamist Revolution by encouraging the Iranian people to push for regime change in Tehran.
Ironically, Syria, which was supposed to give imperial-aspiring Iran access to the Mediterranean Sea, could eventually become the Iranian Islamist regime’s Stalingrad. When that day arrives, Israel and a post-Islamist Iran could reestablish the strong ties between the two countries that were ideologically severed by the ayatollahs in 1979.