Iran: Anti-Westernism is the Iranian regime’s response to social unrest

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The news media, Foreign Policy, writes that if the Biden government is serious about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA, it needs to “react appropriately” to the Revolutionary Guards drone attack on the MV Mercer Street tanker. The tanker was operated by an Israeli-owned firm off the coast of Oman. Failing to do so could potentially jeopardize the continuation of the JCPOA negotiations.

In several speeches on different occasions, Iran’s former President Hassan Rouhani mentioned that sanctions could be lifted within a day. Fearful of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, he did not elaborate on what could be accomplished. Removing the sanctions could be more realistic if the Iranian regime stops its military meddling in the region through its proxies and halts its missile program.

Disrupting the flow of ships in the Persian Gulf waterway for the passage of tankers is the regime’s way of getting more concessions from the Western countries in the ongoing nuclear negotiations. Knowing Iran and its lack of transparency, if all sanctions of any kind are lifted, the Iranian regime will still not give up its meddling in the region’s affairs.

In 2015, after the signing of the nuclear deal (JCPOA), Iran was able to sell its oil, up to two and a half million barrels per day, and at least $150 billion of the regime’s money was released. Instead of spending money on the welfare of the Iranian people, a large portion of the money was spent on the regime’s terrorist activities and its militant groups in different countries of the region.

A few years ago, Javad Larijani, Iran’s secretary of High Council for Human Rights, who also theorized and legitimized the use of torture in the regime, described terrorism and hostage-taking as a new form of power. Traces of this theory could easily be seen in Iran’s domestic and international policies. A regime belonging in the past was imposed on the world following the fall of the Iranian monarchy in 1979. 

This regime resembles the existence of a foreign object in a body that the body’s immune system constantly repels to get rid of it. This backward regime cannot adapt itself to the norms of the new world, and it is destined to collapse and demolish. Realizing this fact, the Iranian regime tries to increase its presence by engaging in blackmailing, assassination, and hostage-taking. In the last 42 years of the Iranian regime, war and turmoil have been one of its major occupations. The slogans of “Death to the United States” and “Death to Israel” are heard in all pro-regime gatherings are meant to attract like-minded individuals and groups.

Rouhani had rightly said that we have been in constant conflict with the international community for forty years. The Velayat-e-Faqih regime, based on medieval religious beliefs, was imposed on modern society in the political vacuum resulting from the destruction of Iranian progressive forces by the Shah’s dictatorship. 

Economic prosperity required a relatively democratic atmosphere, which was incompatible with the nature of Velayat-e-Faqih. So, from the very beginning, the regime relied on severe repression of its people inside Iran. To compensate for its social and economic shortfall and as a means to its survival, it had to manifest a policy belligerent or Western culture and countries, a method of anti-semitism. In this policy, the people’s talent, energy, and potential are diverted towards war and destruction.

The terrorist nature of this regime is not hidden from anyone. The bombing of the U.S. Marines’ headquarters and the killing of French soldiers in Lebanon on October 23, 1983, the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina on July 18, 1994, the failed terrorist plot in Paris to blow up the Iranian opposition rally in Paris and similar terrorist activities demonstrate its nature. The Iranian regime’s highest-ranking authorities are the masterminds behind these terrorist activities. Various courts in Argentina and Germany have summoned the regime’s highest officials and have held them accountable.


Anti-Americanism or death to Israel has been the Islamic Republic’s policy to attract like-minded individuals and groups. Anti-Westernism has never been one of Iran’s ideals and goals. It has been a tool because when its interests were at stake, it sought to establish the best relations with the West, including:

  • Negotiating with the Americans for the release of the hostages after 444 days of adventurous hostage-taking. (The hostage-taking event was an opportunity for the regime to suppress its opposition.)
  • Secret negotiations with the Americans and the Israelis to take up arms in exchange for the release of American hostages in Lebanon (1985).
  • Renewed relations with Saudi Arabia after the killing of Iranian pilgrims (1987) in Mecca, while Khomeini had previously severed ties and announced that if we forgive Saddam, we will not forgive Fahd (then king of Saudi Arabia).
  • Supporting the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein (2003) by giving the green light to the Iraqi revolutionaries to negotiate and interact with the United States.
  • An Iranian intelligence minister during the Iran-Iraq war had said that the “Death to America” slogan has been much more effective in discrediting the opposition groups than any other method or policy.

While Khamenei prohibited the import of vaccines, the number of Covid-19 fatalities is growing day after day. Iran currently has the highest number of victims of this disease in the world compared to its population. According to reliable sources, the number of deaths from this disease in Iran has now exceeded 360,000.

The resistance units follow the ten-point plan of Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition. She is a Muslim woman who has challenged Khamenei, the anti-feminist Ayatollah, and is leading the way to separate religion from the state and achieve equality between men and women. 

For forty years, there have been no more than two poles in Iran. The pole of popular resistance and the pole of sovereignty. As Carl Smith puts it, it is to cover up this conflict that the regime is heading for hostility and adversity in the region.


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Hamid Enayat


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