Has The Iranian Empire Overreached?

News Image By Shoshana Bryen/ November 20, 2019
Share this article:

Since December 2017, a sort of "rolling rebellion" has been occurring across Iran. It is bigger, deeper, and stronger than the Green Revolution of 2009, and is taking place in great measure outside Tehran, where the population is more diverse.

There have been strikes of truckers, bazaar shopkeepers, teachers, farmers, and students -- see #WhiteWednesday on Twitter to watch brave Iranian women go into the streets and take off their head coverings. 

Sometimes they dance. Sometimes their husbands, fathers, and brothers go with them. Sometimes they are arrested and sometimes they go to jail. Unfortunately, it took the suicide of a young woman facing seven years in prison for attending a soccer match to get the attention of the Western press.

In May of this year, widespread upheaval convulsed the country, and thousands were arrested. This weekend, news of increasing protest in Iran came from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) -- an organization with a mixed record of acceptance by the US government, but with indisputable reach inside the country. 

According to NCRI's Washington office, at least 65 cities have seen violent demonstrations, with people killed and injured by authorities. Videos, presumably from cell phones, show that pictures of the Ayatollah Khameini have been set on fire and demonstrators are chanting "Death to the Dictator" and "Death to Rouhani." 

As Iran spreads its tentacles abroad and builds its illegal nuclear capability, it is clear that the regime cannot fund domestic priorities and international revolution on the same budget -- especially as that budget contracts.

Imperial overreach was the ruin of the Roman Empire, the Byzantines, Egyptians, Ottomans, Nazis, and Soviets. Could it be catching up with Iran? 

Wait, you say, Iran isn't an empire. Not in the traditional sense. But it was always the belief of the hegemonic mullahs that instability across large regions, managed with a relatively small group of well-trained Iranian professionals and a lot of proxy fighters, would create a world in which Shiite supremacism held sway.

And it was working.

The Shiite Crescent -- from Iran through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to the Mediterranean -- was a "lid" over Iran's Sunni enemies Saudi Arabia and Jordan, plus Israel. It was also a wedge between Sunni Turkey and the Sunni countries below -- Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Gulf states. 

Most of the proxy soldiers were Iraqi militias, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Pakistanis and Afghans brought to Syria under the command of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The result was millions of Sunni Syrian refugees in the Middle East and Europe.

Sunni Hamas and Shiite Palestinian Islamic Jihad were both recipients of Iranian funds, weapons, and training to harass Israel.

There is also an underside Crescent, which is less well understood. It encircles the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia in the Gulf of Aden, with a base in Yemen and a Houthi proxy at the bottom of the Red Sea, threatening the Bab el Mandeb Straits and the exit of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. And the American base in Djibouti.

In Africa, Iran incubated Sunni jihadists in the poor, corrupt, and vulnerable states of the second tier -- Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Mali. The result was waves of migrants headed north. 

The North African countries -- Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria -- were all in the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue group that helped control safety and security in the sea until the Obama administration toppled the Libyan government in 2011. Libya, no longer a member of the Dialogue, has become a hole in the dam through which hundreds of thousands of  African migrants reached Europe.

But has the empire reached too far? American-led sanctions have been an enormous financial blow to the mullahs, but sanctions are misunderstood. Not a mechanism for toppling a government, they are a means of forcing a government to make choices -- between, revolution and agriculture, between weapons and water and sewer systems, between Palestinian jihadists and schools, and so forth. 

That is what Iran faced in 2011 and that is what led to the Iran/P5+1 negotiations. The fact that President Obama collapsed and paid off the mullahs allowed them to avoid those very choices and set back the operation by years.

The restoration of sanctions means Iran has less to pay off its proxies -- as well as less for its own people. European businesses, and even China, are leaving Iran and taking their money. Iran tried to compensate by stealing Iraqi oil. And that's where empire begins to break down.

There are explicitly anti-Iranian riots in Lebanon and Iraq. Hezbollah fighters have announced they will refuse to return to Syria for Iran. Iraqis have attacked Iranian bases and depots. But most of the mainstream press isn't there.

Eventually, the biggest changes may be coming in Iran itself.

Originally published at - reposted with permission.

Other News

December 11, 2019The Top 10 Bible Prophecy Stories Of 2019

There was a time when news of last days' significance was sporadic. In the last decade, that has all changed. The stunning convergence of ...

Online Custom Writing Solutions

Search the best inspiring feature professional writers to work on behalf of the academic level students. ...

December 11, 2019The Spiritual Hunger Of A Secularized European Youth Culture

Commercial Christianity is filled with quick solutions and easy answers but has no power. Some reject it as just another product on offer,...

December 11, 2019Unlikely Allies - Christians & Muslims Fight Back Against LGBT Indoctrination

What happens when a rapidly growing Muslim minority faces off with the secular progressive establishment over the same issues of sexuality...

December 11, 2019Nikki Haley Condemns UN For Corruption, Hypocrisy On Israel

In a scathing speech last week about corruption in the United Nations, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Ca...

December 10, 2019Influence Of Media On Our Morals: The Majority Does Not Determine Morality

It's always nice to be able to point to the polls when they support your position. But polling does nothing more than tell you what other ...

December 10, 2019Chief Threat To India's Hindu Only Nation: Christianity

Under the current government of Prime Minister Modi, hostility against Christians has been rising, to the point that India is now ranked #...

Get Breaking News