Messages to Iran — ‘The Way Out for Dummies!’


HOW hard is it for a mature leadership to understand a clear message, especially if it comes with a bang? How about a double, triple... and more, in a short span of time?

Only recently, the world has sent too many messages to Iran, that could easily be included in a book titled: “The Way Out for Dummies!”

The idea here, is that some weird heads in Tehran need 101 lessons to help them fathom the cost of intervention in the Arab world, and to provide them with the best ways to exit.

These leaders have put their country in a self-made quagmire so deep and sticky that it looks like they might use a good advice to get out of it. Bad company, like Russia and North Korea, won’t be able to help, so cool heads and strong muscles are required.

The question is: Are the strong-headed, dark-aged ideologists in Tehran, Shiraz and Qom interested? Have they realized the deviant path they are taking; the false prophesy they believe in; the wrong vision they follow? I have my doubts, but am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The United Nations has tried. Security Council resolutions have clearly and strongly outlawed supporting militias and terrorist organizations. UN investigations have repeatedly showed Iranian involvement. Warnings were sent Tehran’s way. Diplomats tried to convince Iranian leaders to cooperate. All kinds of sanctions were leveled on the regime, since 1979.

Recently, forceful messages were sent. Iran’s occupation of Syria and support of Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people have drawn strong reactions from world community. The United States was first to punish the regime and its supporters with a missile attack on April 7, 2017. Then came this Sunday the precise bombing of chemical-making and storage facilities, in addition to airbases and military units used in these attacks.

During Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s tour to the US and major Arab and European nations, similar messages were sent. The international community is calling on Tehran to stop, retreat and rejoin the civilized world. Condemnation of its aggression and disregard of international law and order was loud, strong and unified.

The flawed nuclear agreement has given Iran a destructive free hand in the region, and more cash to spend on its terrorist groups. Now, the agreement is being re-examined, re-evaluated, thanks to Trump. Without positive response from Tehran on major improvements, it will probably be scrapped.

If all the above was not enough, the Arab leaders raised their objections to Iranian irresponsible behavior and their support of terrorists groups and rogue regimes. They stood by Saudi Arabia and against the Iranian-supported Houthis who bombard our cities with ballistic missiles, including Holy Makkah.

If all the above messages were not enough, or regarded as foreign, the mullahs should at least listen to their own people, who revolted against them over and over again. They called for immediate withdrawal from Arab countries, and concentrate instead on the needs at home. A very recent poll has shown that 94 percent of Iranians refuse to join any campaign in support of Syrian leader Bashar Assad, or in defense of Shiite holy sites. That is a clear and strong NO to all kinds of interventions under any excuses and pretexts, from an overwhelming majority. What more does the leadership need to understand, learn and find its way out?

My guess is soon enough. Not because the theocratic regime became wiser, but since the world became well aware that Iran would never stop if it wasn’t stopped. Such realization will lead to stronger, more united, less tolerant and compromising stand. Sanctions will return to pre-agreement. They will increase gradually, and include more entities and individuals. The Russians, on the other hand, are getting poorer, isolated, and less able to help. The North Koreans are turning their back on old criminal allies and moving rapidly toward richer, more sophisticated and civilized partners. Russia, the US, Israel, Turkey and major Arab countries are cutting off Iran’s highway to the Mediterranean, Arab Sea and Red Sea. No one, it seems, including allies, wish to accept Iran’s presence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or Yemen. Its economy is being stretched thin, and cannot sustain foreign adventures and imperialistic ambitions. Its population is revolting, as their life is becoming increasingly difficult.

When the dictators in Tehran face the choice between losing their grip on power, or getting out of their neighbors’ affairs, they will naturally choose to retreat hoping for another go, another day.

If they wait longer, I expect another revolution that will bring down the regime. The new government will have to be more representative of its people, and less aggressive towards its neighbors, who would gladly provide support and cooperation.

I vote for the second scenario! Free Iran! To hell with the dummies!

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi