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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Iran's ruling elite has lost the plot

Filed on January 1, 2020 | Last updated on January 1, 2020 at 07.38 pm

Sanctions have shattered the economy, but the clerical-military regime has done scarce little to assuage concerns about its militarization.

The proxy war between the United States and Iran in the Middle East just got serious and risks pulling other powers into a wider conflict. Iran has been pushed to a corner with sanctions crippling its economy. Protests have been raging in the country and the regime is using disproportionate use of force to quell them. Some reports claim more than 1,000 people have been killed after protests intensified since October. The regime has put a lid on dissent but the human tragedy and the clampdown cannot continue for long. Iranians are yearning for true freedom and prosperity as they watch their government blow up oil wealth on futile wars.

Prices of daily essentials are sky-rocketing and people appear fed up with the government run by clerics and the military who use ideology to further their interests as they line their pockets. With the situation on the streets going out of control, Tehran has resorted to the tried and tested formula of targeting Western interests in the region. It has also provoked its neighbours in the GCC, a smokescreen to hide its many failures. The world has moved ahead and progressed while Iran remains stuck in past dogmas, its failures revealed to the world. Defiance and denial have dragged it down, and the regime has  carried forward a regressive revolutionary ideology from four decades that has made it a pariah state that uses terrorism as a state policy.

True, sanctions have shattered the economy, but the clerical-military regime has done scarce little to assuage concerns about its militarization. Its nuclear plans were first capped by an agreement signed with the West, Russia and China, but US President Donald Trump went further and pulled out of the pact.. Other signatories to the deal lack the teeth or the credibility to enforce it. Angered, Iran resorted to seizing tankers, attacking oil installations and threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz. The latest attacks on US facilities in Iraq and Syria show its desperation and have provoked retaliatory American missile strikes on Tehran's proxy in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the people of Iraq have had enough of Iran's sectarian meddling in the affairs of the country. Stoking sentiment against US troops is again from an old, worn-out playbook. Fact is, the war economy is ruining Iran. The ruling elite has lost the plot and should be shown the exit to prevent further conflict.

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