Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated, Iranian-American political scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council. He serves on the boards of the Harvard International Review, the Harvard International Relations Council and the US-Middle East Chamber for Commerce and Business. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh
When it comes to Iran’s opposition and dissidents, the regime has long been investing significant political and financial capital in running covert disinformation campaigns, propagating fake news, and misleading the public, both domestically and globally.
Last week, two Iranians were arrested and indicted in the US for allegedly spying for the Iranian regime. The United States Federal Court charged Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, 38, in Chicago and, Majid Ghorbani, 59, in California.
From both political and economic perspectives, the Islamic Republic is facing difficult and challenging times. This is thanks to the Iranian regime’s economic mismanagement, the hemorrhaging of billions of dollars on its proxies, militias and terror groups, its misuse of the nation’s wealth, and the widespread financial and political corruption within the theocratic system.
History is indeed one of the best tools with which to comprehend the Iranian regime’s current and prospective threats. A nuanced examination of the rapid and remarkable growth of Tehran’s hegemony ought to send an alarming message to the international community — and urge it immediately to take appropriate action.
The Iranian authorities are escalating their confrontational rhetoric. Iran’s state-controlled Persian news outlets have been putting great emphasis on the nation’s strategic advantage and superiority over the Gulf passageway, the Strait of Hormuz.
The so-called moderate political party of Iran, the Moderation and Development Party, which is led by President Hassan Rouhani, came to power by promoting a clear distinction between themselves and the Principlists (Osolgarayan), as well as the hard-line factions of Iran’s politics, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the judiciary.
The main Iranian opposition held a rally near Paris on Saturday to support the recent protests in Iran and to offer a democratic alternative to the current regime. Tens of thousands of supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) rallied in support of the overthrow of the clerical regime and democratic change in their homeland. They were joined by a stellar and unprecedented group of officials from around the world, including from the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
The agreement signed between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month was indeed historic, but it should not be confined to Pyongyang’s nuclear program or US-North Korea diplomatic ties. Washington ought to view the start of a new relationship between North Korea and the US as a perfect opportunity to pressure the Iranian regime and its militias.
The Iranian state-controlled Persian media outlets were filled with warnings and alarm this week. Iranian leaders sent messages to North Korea and lashed out at US President Donald Trump with respect to the Singapore summit.
Tensions between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran have reached an unprecedented level. Relations between the Iranian regime and Israel are at breaking point not only because of tough rhetoric, but also due to the heightened geopolitical, military and strategic tensions between the two countries.
In the last few days, the state media of the Iranian regime has been dedicating significant coverage to a recent statement made by the French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. According to Iran’s Press TV, the French President pointed out that there is “no indication” that the Islamic Republic has violated the nuclear agreement.
Several world governments have been working ceaselessly and calling for the remaining members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — China, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Germany — to uphold the Iran nuclear deal.
The Iranian leaders and their state-controlled Persian media outlets continue to significantly emphasize Iran’s economic, diplomatic and political ties with the European Union. The predominant narrative that the Iranian regime is spreading presents itself in the following three ideas: That the EU is left with no option other than backing Iran politically; that many European nations will persist in investing their political capital in preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also referred to as the Iran nuclear deal; and that the EU will continue to provide sanctions reliefs to the Islamic Republic.
If you listen to Iranian politicians, the speeches of the Supreme Leader or Friday prayers in Iran, or study its state-controlled newspapers and other media, you will notice that hardly a day passes without the Iranian regime lashing out at Israel, which it commonly refers to as the “Little Satan.”
Before President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, I was invited by the French multinational oil and gas company Total to speak about the prospects, risks and rewards of doing business with Iran.