Charles Elias Chartouni: Iran Unending Ambiguity/شارل الياس شرتوني: الغموض الإيراني السرمدي


Iran Unending Ambiguity
Charles Elias Chartouni/December 02, 2020
شارل الياس شرتوني: الغموض الإيراني السرمدي

The Iranian regime has this year suffered two major blows.

The old diplomatic gimmicks are being disrupted and overruled, and the Iranian vicious cycles of self sequestration, rampant violence in the larger Middle East, victimization pathos and its theatrical simulations seem to thwart any attempt at normalization and severance of ties with the delusions of political Mahdism.

This cycle of repeated violence is no hazard, it’s the outcome of a well set ideological panopticon which has hobbled the Iranian Islamic regime, over the last forty one years, from breaking away with a legacy of open-ended conflicts, and engaging the world community on the very basis of moral reciprocity, diplomatic rules, and practical negotiations.

It’s no coincidence that a political soteriology matched with the pervasiveness of geopolitical insecurities, and a hard driven imperialism forging ahead within the realms of a disintegrating Arab World, have never abated from the early days of Khomeinism until nowadays: the Iraqi-Iranian war ( 1980-1988 ), the Iranian entanglements in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, Koweït, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israël, the Palestinian Territories and vagrant terrorism, were at the origin of an arc of conflicts extending all over the Middle East.

What’s perplexing is the constant lamenting posture of Iran which tends to externalize blame on whichever occasional actor, and exculpate itself from cyclical conflicts with no holds barred, and no chances of working political arrangements.

In parallel, the debunking of revolutionary myths, the pitfalls of failed governance and the corollary proliferation of political, financial, economic, social, and environmental crises, were at the origin of a destructive synergy between the external and internal crises.

The security failures displayed by the late spate of political assassinations, sabotaging of nuclear plants, and smuggling of nuclear archives, have amply demonstrated the state of widespread political alienation, sagging national commonalities, and the inability of the regime to revamp its dissipating credentials and restore its faltering legitimacy. These attacks are highlighting the systemic fractures of an imperial mid-power which, while engaging several operational theaters and wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East, is unable to address the basics of domestic governance, stem the tide of gnawing corruption and extract itself from the entropies developing at every level of its decaying polity.

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, testifies to the emergence of a new power equation, elicited by the Trump administration, predicated on a new regional coalition masterminded by the US ( Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia … ), bent on checkmating Iran, and creating new balances in a region which experienced long term strategic vacancies.

The resumption of the nuclear negotiations between Iran, the US and the world community, is likely to be preempted in the case of the acceleration of the uranium enrichment process, renewed and widespread hostilities, pursuit of ballistic missiles experiments and attacks, and unleashing of terror campaigns, the question is not about their likelihood but opportunity and sustainability over time.

The rules of the game are upended and the new configuration is already set, and no matter what, they have become binding for the Biden administration, which can never claim back a return to the status quo ante and its equivocations in 2016, and Iran has no more the latitude to operate in a risk-free zone and with impunity.

The inability to retaliate back translates the reduction of its radius of maneuvering, and power to set unilaterally the rules of engagement and their timing. This mutating strategic configuration is setting the regulations of a new game and the Iranian regime is having a hard time coping with its terms.