2022 will go down in history when the might of authoritarian empires was successfully challenged by vulnerable and poor victims: poor in weapons and resources but mighty in courage and principles. On one side of the globe, there were the Ukrainians who literally put a stop to Putin’s bellicose imperialism and began pushing back with consistent military victories. On the other side of the globe, the women of Iran ignited a revolution in the country that paralysed the regime for weeks and months. The Ukrainians and Iranians are not just symbols of freedom, they are literally fighting our common enemies who actively undermine our democracies and rule of law.
The Islamic Regime of Iran is an inconspicuous imperialist which has an overt military infrastructure across the Near East while having control and influence over large parts of Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. The Iranian regime’s terrorist operatives are also present in Venezuela and are active in Syria and Ukraine. And just like contemporary imperialists Iran is an authoritarian dictatorship that refuses to abide by the international-rules-based order. Nor Iranian borders and neither the Islamic regime itself is being threatened by outside forces. No one plans to invade Iran and no one intends to go to war against it and this is why its development of a nuclear weapon is only aimed to further its imperialist and authoritarian interests. Nuclear blackmail is an increasingly sought-after thing by authoritarian dictators today and European leaders like Scholz and Macron have come to tolerate it.
Still, there will also be the usual apologists who will argue that the West should do business with Iran and deal with its terrorist regime like any other legitimate government – this is exactly what the Iranian people protesting in the street don’t want the West to do. It’s not business as usual with the Iranian regime, especially now that the Iranian regime is threatening to attack, once again, citizens in Western countries. Hossein Salami, the current head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has declared that they will be attempting to murder the satirists of Charlie Hebdo over satirical cartoons of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The latest Iranian-regime-instigated attack took place recently, last year with an attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life. And still, we will be derided with accusations of Islamophobia and Russophobia for standing our ground and refusing to compromise our principles of freedom of speech and rule of law for the sake of oppressors.