By Mahmoud Hakamian
15 August 2019
Following the U.S. sanctions on the Iranian regime’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the officials of the regime, one after another voiced their fear of their current situation.
On August 5, 2019, in a news conference, Zarif was shouting in front of the reporters and saying that he is not angry. He was also complaining that if the US wants to negotiate, why had it placed him and the regime's supreme leader on the sanctions list.
“Don’t write that Zarif was angry, if I don’t shout, you wouldn’t hear me. They say that Zarif was angry. See, I’m laughing. I’m not angry at all. I’m not distressed at all… It was the Americans who sanctioned a foreign minister of a country with which they want to negotiate. They sanctioned the highest authority in the Islamic Republic being the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei… if the Americans want to bully us… they should at least tell us what they want,” Zarif told reporters during a press conference aired on state television on Monday, August 5.
On August 7, the regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, repeated Zarif’s anxiety. He was threatening while also begging the U.S. for negotiations.
“So they [U.S.] came and proposed negotiations with no pre-conditions. Later they sanctioned the supreme leader, so how could we negotiate! You [U.S.] know our constitution, based on which the Supreme Leader is the highest authority in this country that supervises our international relations. In addition, you called for negotiations with no pre-conditions, then you sanctioned our foreign minister; so how could we negotiate! We have said repeatedly that we seek negotiations and we underline it once more, and if the U.S. is after negotiations, it has to waive all the sanctions. Whether it's within the framework of the nuclear deal or out of it, it’s the U.S.' choice,” Rouhani said.
Other officials of the regime, from both factions also voiced similar concerns and anxieties.
Now, the question is why the mullahs are so fearful.
The reason for the mullahs' fear is that the situation of the regime is much worse than anyone could imagine. Last May, Rouhani in a speech said: “We are having hard days, harder than you might think… It is so hard that some nights I cannot sleep even for two hours, and if I do so I would thank God.”
At present, the situation is even worse. On Wednesday, August 10, Rouhani in his speech said: “In the past 40 years there hasn’t been any time like today that our adversaries had put such pressures and sanctions against us.”
Certainly, the situation for the regime is getting worse and harder every day, because export of oil, which is the main source of income for the regime, has fallen from 1.5 million to 100,000 barrels a day. This in itself can explain how bad the situation is for the regime.
In addition to the economic situation, the regime has had serious political setbacks. The U.S. sanctions against the Supreme leader and Zarif were an enormous blow to the regime. This was the last nail on the coffin of the appeasement policy.
On the other hand, a series of anti-regime demonstrations around the world, and the grand gathering of the Iranian Resistance in Albania, and the inauguration of Ashraf 3 in July 2019 was another huge blow to the regime. The message of these activities was that a strong and credible alternative to this regime exists.
In such circumstances, due to sanctions, the regime is suffocating economically.
In order to extinguish the flame of public outrage and delay the danger of another uprising, the regime is trying to find a gap in the sanctions to prevent its economic suffocation.
Having a discontent society is a very dangerous situation for the regime, because every minute any spark can ignite an uprising. Moreover, according to the experts of the regime, the upcoming uprising will be much furious than the one in 2017-2018.
An army of hungry, poor and angry people who have lost everything because of the mullahs' rule are in front of the regime. Sooner or later, the anger of this army, in the form of an uprising, will explode in the face of the mullahs, and this is why the mullahs are so fearful. An uprising is on the horizon, and the mullahs are well aware of this better than anyone else.