Iran's 'Heroic Flexibility' Comes to an End
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (center) (Photo: © Reuters)
With the nuclear deal reached last July, part of the Iranian assets released as a result of the sanctions relief and the “elections” in February, the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet again embarked on an openly aggressive foreign policy.
As well as escalating the war in Syria and renewing hostilities with Saudi Arabia, the Islamic regime has recently test-fired a number of medium- and long-range missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Reportedly, the missiles were inscribed with the message, “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth.”
In addition, according to Fox News, in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that stipulates Iran is “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” the Iranian regime is going to launch a new long-range rocket into outer space as soon as this weekend.
Furthermore, last week the FBI arrested the American head of a New York-based metallurgy company on charges of illegally exporting to Iran a half-ton of cobalt-nickel powder that can be used in the production of nuclear-tipped rockets.
Many Iranian regime officials, who openly denouncing the nuclear deal, have been vocally calling for a more aggressive foreign policy. For instance, MP Ahmad Tavakoli, said that “some of the [Rouhani] government officials have finally realized that seeing the nuclear deal as a ‘miracle’ was ill-advised. Now that they have come to see the truth, we must take it as a good sign.”
Javad Karimi Qoddusi, a member of the Foreign Policy Commission of parliament, also said that “the [Rouhani] government wasted the time of the nation that was at the height of its power; and made a ‘strategic mistake’ by tying the domestic affairs of the country to the nuclear negotiations.”
Hamid-Reza Taraqqi, a member of Mo’talefeh, the powerful bazaar-based wing of the Iranian regime, said that “the Islamic Republic has followed a ‘passive’ foreign policy, has not acted in a ‘revolutionary way,’ and lacks an ‘aggressive stance.’” He added that “the Rouhani government’s ‘passive’ approach comes in spite of the Supreme Leader’s frequently emphasizing the need for adopting a ‘revolutionary line’ in foreign policy… To act in a revolutionary manner means to take an offensive stance.”
As such, the Iranian regime officials have been wasting no time in praising and promoting Ayatollah Khamenei’s aggressive stance. For example, Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, head of the Khamenei’s office, said that “Whenever we hit an impasse and all the roads become shut before us, and when the government officials are at a loss as what to do, it is the capable hand of the Supreme Leader that takes them by their hands and opens the way.”
To top that all, General Qasem Soleimani, the formidable Quds Force commander, while scolding Saudi Arabia and criticizing the Rouhani government’s “passive approach” towards Syria, declared, “If one is not committed to the defense of the Islamic Republic, one is not committed to the principles of the [Islamic] faith… Today it is impossible for one to defend Islam without defending the Supreme Leader.”
Evidently, the Ayatollah’s “Heroic Flexibility” has finally come to an end. Curiously, there seems to be a hidden link between the Ayatollah’s and Kim Jong Un’s accelerating ballistic/nuclear threats. In the end, what remains is a world community divided over the shadow of a deal with a rogue regime that seems to be fast falling apart. Apparently, the much-touted nuclear deal has not made the world a safer and more orderly place. To the contrary, each day that passes it is pushing the world to the brink of mayhem.
Reza Parchizadeh is an Iranian-born political theorist and activist. He is the co-editor-in-chief of Tahlil Rooz, a Persian-language think tank. Parchizadeh has authored five books and many articles, both in English and Persian. He is currently a doctoral candidate in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.