In light of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces shooting down the Ukrainian plane, Tehran has lost its battle against the United States. It has shifted from an attacked country due to the killing of one of its most prominent political and military security leaders, General Qasem Soleimani, to a country that committed a terrorist act by shooting down a civilian plane. The Revolutionary Guard commander admitted to the act before the Shura Council, and this will force Tehran to bear the consequences and pay the price.
The price of shooting down the plane will not be limited to offering an apology and compensation to the families of the victims. Still, Tehran will also be subjected to American extortion, which was pending. The US did not wait long before it increased the size of economic sanctions and included new matters to make Iran a weak country that would have to pay exorbitant prices in exchange for lifting sanctions or working toward reducing them.
Iran’s expansionist ideological, doctrinal and security policies, and the creation of supporting tools have created many battles, the consequences of which it cannot bear, in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. It imagined that revolutionising neighbouring areas through jihadi factions will provide them with the umbrella that protects them from confrontation and attrition, and that the people of Iran will accept that the cost of these battles will be at the expense of their livelihood, well-being and will not improve their living conditions and services.
The results show that the Iranian people do not accept these options and refuse to pay the price. This was evident through the demonstrations in Tehran and other cities that broke out in protest at the cost of these battles, and rejection of the state policies and choices of expansion, control, and influence. This policy, which did not only face protests in Iran but was preceded by demonstrations in Lebanon and Iraq where Iran’s expansion is clear and where Iran has influence over the formation of both countries’ governments.
Iran is a wealthy country, and its people have inherited civilisation dating back thousands of years, and they are pleading to live in the current age, not on the legacy of its past or to throw away and waste its wealth in a battle of influence and control to serve Vilayat-e Faqih outside of the country. This is why this policy has only brought trouble, siege, and starvation, and instead of turning inward to improve the standard of living and providing a decent life for the Iranians, acknowledging national pluralism, and respecting the Iranian choices and their eagerness towards democracy and its institutions, they are living in a state of tension and a constant state of alert to confront the plots of Americans and their allies, and the cost of exporting the revolution and its consequences.
Iran did not benefit from the experiences of others and their failures and did not learn from the defeats of their interventions. The Soviet Union was a healthy and wealthy country in its capabilities that had a just political belief in the distribution of wealth and services. Still, it lacked democracy and got involved in Afghanistan, so it paid the price of defeat, was geographically fragmented and lost its influence. Strong and wealthy Iraq, which persevered and won the war on Iran, got involved in Kuwait and this had disastrous results were not only on the Iraqi people, but the people of the Arab world paid the price in favour of Israel and to both Turkey and Iran, at the expense of the Arab’s status, security, and unity.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.