For the Iranian regime, the threat of its nuclear program has been enough to cause the international community to bend over backwards to keep the situation from escalating. However, the Iranian resistance, led by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) coalition, has called for a much tougher stance with Iran. Essentially, they want the international community to call the mullahs’ bluff.
Yet, few countries were willing to play that type of hardball with Iran. In fact, when economic sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table in 2015, their human rights abuses were completely ignored. None of the funds that were released to the regime were tracked and it is clear that in the intervening years, the Iranian regime has stepped up its efforts to create chaos and instability throughout the Middle East.
U.S. policy shifts gears
With the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, the world has seen U.S. policy toward Iran shift into a stronger stance. Simply put, President Trump is determined to hold Iran accountable for its actions, even withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump called the JCPOA flawed and noted that it did little to curb the negative influence and terrorist activities of the regime.
On September 25, Trump addressed the United Nations and called for other nations to work with the United States on isolating the regime. The European Union has tried to encourage the U.S. to stick with the JCPOA, but Trump is taking a hard line with Iran. There has been the renewal of sanctions, new sanctions, and even a squeezing of the Iranian oil market.
Iranian resistance support regime change
Throughout the Iranian resistance, many individuals see the moves by Trump as part of a policy that will address the corruption and repressive behavior of the regime. While the U.S. does not actively support regime change, the unrest within Iran is growing based on the regime’s international standing and the pressure from sanctions.
Squeezing Iran financially could result in the downfall of the regime, but sanctions alone cannot do the trick. The Iranian resistance also needs international support and to be recognized as a viable option to the mullahs and their repressive tactics. It may turn out that Trump’s willingness to challenge the regime could benefit the international community, but more importantly, it can be key to stabilizing the region.