The Iranian regime has made it clear that its mission is to take over the region and create a single community under its version of Islamic leadership. Iran has for decades been encircling the Middle East -- in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen -- by building a squeeze maneuver known as the "Shia Crescent." Imagine how much more destabilizing the Iranian regime would be if it had nuclear weapons. (Image source: iStock)
The Iranian regime has made it clear that its mission is to take over the region and create a single community under its version of Islamic leadership. The Islamic Republic's constitution states:
"The Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad. In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Qur'anic verse: This, your community, is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me)."
For the ruling mullahs of Iran, their mission is a form of Jihad that must be accomplished through military force. The mullahs' constitution adds:
"Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC] are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God's way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world (in accordance with the Qur'anic verse [8:60]: Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them ". [Emphasis added]
While the mullahs are using religion to justify their mission of taking over the region, they are more likely attempting to take control of all the oil in the region; they appear to be advancing their hegemonic ambitions to this end.
Iran has for decades been encircling the Middle East -- in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq -- by building a squeeze maneuver known as the "Shia Crescent;" it has been trying to unseat the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through Iran's Houthi proxies in Yemen, and it long ago attached itself to South America's most oil-rich country, Venezuela.
Please now imagine how much more destabilizing the Iranian regime would be if it had nuclear weapons, how much easier it would be for the regime to fulfill its constitutional mission of "extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world." The mission would start with getting "the Little Satan," Israel, out of the way, then taking control of the Gulf states, with an eye to eventually encircling the "Great Satan," the United States. In addition, the nuclear weapons will be sold to or fall into the hands of the world's assorted bad actors and terrorist groups.
If the Biden administration does not want to stop the Iranian regime, there are apparently countries in the region that are prepared to prevent the ruling mullahs of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons to achieve this goal. The Biden administration should at least step in and help those countries.
"We must not see Iran only as Israel's problem and exempt the rest of the world," said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. When asked whether the Iranian regime should be confronted militarily, he said, "Yes, yes," and added, "and Israel has to do its part."
"We see that Iran is advancing toward the level of enrichment that would allow it, when it wished, to become a threshold state — and we are making every effort to prevent that," he said.
Israel has ordered advanced US-made planes, KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tankers, that are critical to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. By using refueling planes, Israeli fighter-bomber jets on long-range missions do not need to make a stop for refueling. As the Times of Israel wrote:
"The [New York Times] report noted that the tankers would be a significant upgrade for Israel and that without them, Jerusalem would need to rely on its aging fleet of refueling planes for a strike on Iran, or make a pit stop in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, neither of which would want to be linked to an attack on rival Iran."
Although the sale of eight new KC-46 planes to Israel was approved by the State Department in March 2020 during the former US administration, the Biden administration is refusing to deliver.
Meanwhile, former Secretary of State John Kerry, has reportedly divulged to Iran "HUNDREDS of Israel's covert attacks." Although Kerry has denied that he leaked any secrets to Iran, his denials reportedly "do not add up," and the Biden administration has been refusing to address the issue.
Biden's legacy now looks as if will add up to surrendering Afghanistan to the Taliban; allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons; permitting China to take over Taiwan; enabling Russia to blackmail Europe with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline; failing to deter Russia from seizing Ukraine; harming the poorest Americans by forcing them pay more for everything by shutting off American oil and instead enriching Russia by buying it there at inflated prices; effectively cutting pay to the military and threatening to punish people who work by raising their taxes, all while paying millions of other people not to work; and to top it off, crippling the US military by diverting it from its core mission: winning wars.
If, as now published, any real response to Iran's threats will have to wait until 2024, will that be too late to stop at least one of these imminent catastrophes?
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu