Come Hell or High Water: Iran Has Topped the League

With or without the complicity of the dark force of the Mossad, for that matter, some elements within Iran, the fact is Iran is not experiencing any chaotic...

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Published by AstroAwani & theSun, image by AstroAwani.

News of the demise of President Ebrahim Raisi and the Foreign Minister of Iran may have been received with heartache, by the people of Iran, indeed, Azerbaijan, the very place that he was about to visit to inaugurate the grand opening of a new dam, the truth is Iran has arrived at the world stage.

With or without the complicity of the dark force of the Mossad, for that matter, some elements within Iran, the fact is Iran is not experiencing any chaotic transition of power.

Its state of armed alertness remains top notch since the  breach of Israel on October 7th 2023 and had gone even higher after Teheran  delivered a serious and massive blow to Israel’s much vaunted defence on April 14th 2024. Instead of being perpetually accused of using Houthis, Hizbullahs and Hamas, a triage of sub state groups, to undermine the security of Israel, the facts show that even the students from all the leading universities in the United States and the European Union (EU), not excluding those in Austral Oceania, has risen up against Israel.  Surely Iran cannot be accused of planting any one to trigger these feisty challenges against the Zionism and Israel of the perfidious albeit pseudo Judaic state ?

Besides, there are legions of Jewish groups, professors and human rights activists across the world that have challenged the very existence of Israel to impose its iron will on all who refused to roll over and play dead. Bethlehem and the NGO, “Not in Our Name”, is the best example.

On April 14th 2024, unlike the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that claimed to be the “most moral army in the Middle East”, the Islamic Republic of Iran went for the jugular of Tel Aviv by focusing on their military targets. How ?

This was achieved mostly, by using a combo of drones, projectiles and cruise missiles, all of which were accurately arrayed against the military targets of Israel. The four water desalination plants of Israel north of Gaza were left intact. They were not even in the putative list of Iran’s targets. Teheran did  destroy two of Israel’s military grade runways in the nuclear testing base of Israel in the Dimona Desert.

Then again this was a symbolic strike to demonstrate the ability of Iran to hit one of the most guarded possessions of Israel despite the fact that Iran and Israel had no shared borders and were divided by 1200 KM apart.

What makes everything all the more remarkable is the sudden switch of the international profile of Israel and Iran. While the former i.e. Israel has been widely considered the pariah of the world —- due to its combo of Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocidal campaign in Gaza and West Bank since 1948 —- it turns out it has been Iran that has been the most mature and rational state actor.  The reversal of the roles could not have been more dramatic in the history of international relations. Thus the demise of President Ebrahim Raisi has to be seen in the proper context. A leader and a Foreign Minister may be lost. But in the state funeral to come, Iran will have a panoply of VVIPs attending the august and solemn event. Why ?

Prior to the retaliation against Israel on April 14th 2024, Iran was perceived as the “incorrigible bully” of the Middle East. In fact, Iran had to swallow hook, line and sinker, the unpalatable moniker that it was rogue nuclear state; when in fact Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei deem the weapon to be unIslamic due to its destructive powers that cannot discriminate between civilians and combattants. A key tenet in the Sunni and Shia concept of war, indeed, Qital, for that matter, Jihad.

Yet for more than two decades at least, Iran has had the unfortunate misfortune of being weighed down by rounds after rounds of sanctions, leading to a thriving black market from anything to children’s eye glasses to valuable currencies. 

However, even if President Ebrahim Raisi’s death is not mourned by very few in Iran, due to the differences in the public opinion in the country, it is key to remember that every one in the West now sees Iran as a rational strategic global actor.

More importantly, Iran has less than 50 days to hold a fresh Presidential Election, while the post of President Ebrahim Raisi is quietly held by his Vice President. There is no room for usurpation. A presidential election must be held. Iran, in the flash of a moment, has become more democratic than even the US; even though elections alone cannot be the be all and end all of how the quality of democracy is measured.

First and foremost the majority must not exert its will over the minority. Jews and Zoroastrians continue to thrive in Iran. Secondly, there is a peaceful transition of power that is ongoing as the country mourns the demise of President Raisi and other dignitaries.

Just as importantly, Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the US, the UK, Russia, China and EU remain on track in Switzerland. Insofar as its relations with the US is concerned, there is an Iranian hotline with and via Oman.

Iran and Turkey’s relationship remain robust. Saudi Arabia and Iran have also reconciled its relationship with the help of China. Although the latter has been reported to break all its relationship with Israel, Teheran is not goading Beijing to go even further than what China is permitted to do.

Time and again, Iran has proven to be the sturdy enabler of regional peace. Over the last eight months, only only one ship that belongs to an Israeli owner has been dragged back to Iran in March 2024.

Iran, for the lack of a better phrase, has become the singular provider of peace. Thus while there are silhouettes of some macabre shenanigans that attend the downing of President Raisi’s helicopter, granted that of the four choppers that went up, only his could not withstand the treacherous conditions to reach East Azerbaijan safely, the truth is more powerful than the lies: a new Iran has arrived. The fact that the wreckage of the helicopter was detected by the drones of Turkey, not Europe nor the US, based on the heat that was emitting from the cold and rain soaked area north of Iran, implies the concurrent rise of Turkey too.

Is it any wonder why the foreign policy of China and Russia have sought to be close to the two ? For that matter, is it any wonder why Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has urged Malaysia to focus on the Asian Renaissance since the 1990s ?

Dr Rais Hussin is the Founder of EMIR Research, a think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

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