By : Aljawhara Aloteishan
After a delay, denial and confusion that lasted for days, Iran’s claim of responsibility for bringing down the Ukrainian plane surprised everyone. This happened hours after the United States and other countries announced that they had information about an Iranian missile struck, possibly accidentally, at a time when Iranian air defenses were mobilized to respond to a possible response by the US to bomb two Iraqi bases with US forces.
The event also takes on wider dimensions in terms of its timing, and is linked to the impasse in Iran, due to the US sanctions, and the obstacles that hinder its nuclear file, which it is negotiating with the Europeans, and the possibility that these people will shake hands and line up with the Americans.
Even recognition of the downing of the plane is an important indication in these circumstances, and it may reflect the contradiction between the two wings of power in Iran, and it may be, in some way, a “distress call” from the official Iran to the world, that they saved us from these predicaments that the Revolutionary Guards cause.
These indicators, and others, sound the alarm that there is no future for the Iranian expansionist project in the region, and in the end, Iran will be lucky if it returns beyond its international borders without other serious losses, which will be remembered for the humiliating withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in 1989.
Iran recently lost four rounds in points, when Qassem Soleimani was assassinated, and when dozens died in a stampede at his funeral, when missiles were hit that did not hit their targets, and when the Ukrainian plane was shot down.
Whether we prepare these matters merely by chance or if some of them were intended, that would strike Iran’s credibility and eligibility at the core, and it would be a dramatic shift in the interest of the Iranian project in the region, and perhaps it would chart the path of its end.
Contrary to many articles published about Qassem Soleimani, that described him as the most powerful man, the famous American writer Thomas Friedman had a different opinion.
He wrote in an article for him in the New York Times saying:
Soleimani and the Supreme Leader launched an aggressive regional imperial project that made Iran and its proxies the de facto dominant force in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
This upset the United States’ allies in the Arab world and Israel, they pressed the Trump administration to respond. Trump himself was eager to tear up any treaty concluded by President Obama, so he withdrew from the nuclear agreement and imposed oil sanctions on Iran, which led to the collapse of its economy by almost 10 percent and the unemployment rate to 16 percent.
It was Soleimani and his Quds Force colleagues who pushed former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to expel Sunnis from the government and the army, stop paying the salaries of Sunni soldiers, kill large numbers of peaceful Sunni protesters and turn Iraq into a sectarian and Shiite-dominated state.
ISIS was nothing but a response to that.
Finally, Soleimani’s project to make Iran the imperial power in the Middle East was what turned Iran into the most hated force in the Middle East for many young and pro-democracy forces in both Sunnis and Shiites, in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
It seems that Iran’s options are not really many, and that negotiation may be the only way out, while its alternative, the “resistance” option, is like suicide, but the last option is not from the tradition of Iranian diplomacy, which used to play on the edge of the abyss, and remains That this first option be resolved internally, at the expense of the Revolutionary Guard and its Supreme Leader.
Since the 1979 revolution, which was dominated by Khomeini supporters, Iran has succeeded in reviving the illusions of political Islam, that “Islam is the solution” in the region, it created vertical divisions that wasted a lot of time and resources, and reinforced the domination of authoritarian and absolute regimes.
In Syria, the decline in Iranian influence may facilitate the acceleration of reaching a solution by removing arguments from other regional parties who want a greater share of the Syrian pie, which makes the international factor controlling most of the threads of the solution, as a first step that cannot be crossed on the path of Syria Prickly towards the future.