Melanie Phillips

10 January 2012

Iran on the brink?

Published in: Daily Mail

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Dare one hope that finally the Iranian regime is starting to crack? Certainly a number of observers appear to think so.

‘Reza Kahlili’, a pseudonymous former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the force that underpins the regime’s power base, has written that a split has opened up within the Revolutionary Guards which offers the west a rare opening to act against the regime. As noted before, the mysterious and devastating explosions on November 12 at the Guards’ base shook the regime and have led to many arrests – but in the words of a Guards’ commander quoted in the article, many of his comrades loathe and feel trapped by the regime. ‘Reza Kahlili’ writes:

‘The commander says the nation is suffering from an epidemic of hopelessness and that the possibility of an uprising like the one of 2009 is not great. He believes that now the only possibility for regime change is an attack from outside, such as the one that toppled Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but it would be highly costly for Iran and Iranians.

'In a stern warning to Iranians and the world, the commander states that if the regime is not overthrown, it will soon test its first nuclear bomb, becoming essentially untouchable. It will then suppress anyone opposing it just as Stalin did in the Soviet Union.

'There are steps the West, particularly the US, can take to exploit this split in the Guard and encourage regime change. It must voice support for Iranians in their aspirations for freedom and democracy. It should condemn the Iranian leaders for crimes against humanity and move to arrest and try them in international courts. It must confront the Revolutionary Guard with its terrorist activities abroad. And the West must expand its economic sanctions to the Iranian Central Bank and Iranian oil immediately.

'Today the West has many allies in Iran to help bring about regime change and save the world from a dark future, but it must be aware that the window is closing.’

The increasing sabre rattling by the Iranian regime may be seen not as an expression of growing power but, on the contrary, as the desperation of those fighting to prevent power from draining away.  Sanctions appear to be biting at long last. The problem, however, is that this is all happening at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour. There have long been hopes that the regime would be brought down; the problem was always that Iran might go nuclear before that happened. Only now is the west finally turning the screw. But if the regime can hold on for a little longer until it finally crosses that nuclear threshold, then the west will become as paralysed over Iran, and the mortal threat it poses to the free world, as it is over North Korea.

The window of opportunity in Iran is about to close. Will the west finally summon up the courage to step through it before it does?

 

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography

Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

Contact Melanie

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

Contact Melanie