Is the Iranian Regime in Danger?
The overall domestic, regional, and global situation is fast deteriorating for the Islamic Republic of Iran. If things continue as they are now, the situation will worsen, and could lead to the collapse of the Iranian regime. Here are a number of reasons why:
1) Trade has almost stopped in Iran. There is no cash flow in the country. Nobody sells and nobody buys. Some bazaars around the country have already shut down. Things have been made somewhat better for Iran due to the nuclear deal, but many countries are still afraid of running afoul of sanctions and other roadblocks.
2) The US government has denied Iran access to the US financial sector. Valiollah Seif, director of the Central Bank of Iran, recently visited Washington to take part in the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In a meeting with US Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, Seif demanded that the US government give Iran access to the US financial sector. The White House declined, stating that accessing the US financial sector was not part of the nuclear deal.
3) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in its annual meeting held in Istanbul earlier this month, unanimously condemned the Islamic Republic and Hezbollah for terrorism and interventionism. In its final communique, the OIC condemned Iran’s intervention in the domestic affairs of regional countries and member states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Somalia — as well as its continued support for terrorism. The Organization also condemned Hezbollah for sponsoring terrorism and making the region unstable. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif left the conference as soon as the communique was read.
4) Ostensibly, in reaction to this condemnation, Iran’s Oil Minister announced that he would not attend the meeting of the oil-producing states in Doha on April 17. The meeting was held in order to put a freeze on oil production, so that the global market price can be raised. Regardless, the global price of oil is still going down, which is to the detriment of an Iranian regime starved for cash.
5) The Kremlin announced that Vladimir Putin would not meet Ghasem Soleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander who recently travelled to Moscow. It appears that this is the second time that Soleimani has gone to Moscow in recent months. Nevertheless, the Kremlin has declared that there would be no such meeting between Soleimani and Putin.
6) Instead, the Kremlin has announced that Putin will soon meet with Benjamin Netanyahu on April 21 to talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the situation in Syria. The Islamic Republic considers Putin an ally in regard to Syria. Putin’s meeting with Netanyahu might suggest otherwise.
Given all of this, the Islamic Republic is now under intense pressure. None of its options are good, and all of them could put the Iranian regime on the verge of collapse.