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The alternative scenario for Iran
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 03 - 2021

Iran's style is usually characterized by careful strategic work, and it can be likened to the plan of the carpet weaver, who would starve with his children for ten years in order to make a fortune selling a superb carpet.
The global political climate would have allowed this to happen in the absence of a clear American strategy towards Iran.
In addition, what is most dangerous is the absence of a regional and specific Arab strategy, defining the Iranian threat as an undisputed archenemy, which wants to revive the past dreams of a great empire at the expense of Arab blood, under the slogan of protecting minorities and resistance against Israel.
Perhaps the best example of this strategy's success is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which President Rouhani's administration concluded with the (5 + Germany) countries in 2015, through which it achieved the best gains, by limiting the development of a nuclear weapon to a time frame.
In addition they benefitted by the terms of the agreement stipulating noninterference in the affairs of regional countries. That agreement led to the removal of restrictions on billions of dollars.
That year was also a big surprise for the Iranian decision-maker and the Revolutionary Guard commanders, who never expected the Kingdom to form an Arab coalition, after receiving an invitation from Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the launch of Operation Decisive Storm, six months after the Houthi coup and the occupation of the capital, Sanaa.
Once again, Iran experimented with the strategy of patience, to evade yielding to President Trump's demands for dialogue, but on the other hand, it does not have the luxury of time to exercise another strategy of patience with the Biden administration.
Therefore, this has caused it to work on an escalation strategy since mid-2020, with the aim of resolving the sanctions issue leading to a relaxation of them, before the end of the second and last term for President Rouhani.
Consequently, Iran decided to escalate both militarily and in terms of nuclear capability, on an equal footing, by targeting the Kingdom and US interests in Iraq, and stoking the situation in Yemen.
It also declared its intention to withdraw from the additional protocol if the parties concerned did not abide by the nuclear agreement, which is the protocol that allows for a sudden inspection of Iran's nuclear sites.
And commitment to the agreement here means lifting of sanctions, and giving some oxygen to Tehran's economy that is like a stifled lung.
Today, before President Biden completes his first 100 days in the Oval Office, it has become clear that the escalation and putting all its cards on the table was a move to push Washington to retreat, but it did not, and consequently, Iran is left without additional papers to negotiate with.
The other problem with the escalation is that it is an irreversible path, so if you retreat from your escalation, your escalation will lose its threatening capabilities. And if you continue with your escalation, this often makes you lose the chances of support for your position even from allies like Russia,
And the worst is that it forces you to open new playgrounds for escalation. Perhaps Nasrallah's recent speech is an indication of that, but will it be an internal escalation by directing the weapons of the resistance towards the Lebanese people, as it used to, or carrying out any suicide operation behind the Blue Line?
Nasrallah threatened against one of the possible scenarios — a civil war. But it is an irony of fate that the only party that is monopolizing the possession of weapons outside the state is the one warning against civil war.
Perhaps the street in Iraq and Lebanon might have become an indication that the Arab youth can clearly read the compass and in which direction it is pointing, and who is at the core of the problem, whatever the name of the proxies.
This is what caused the people in Basra to take to the streets since six years now. The same thing took place on Beirut's roads and streets last Friday, with protesters chanting: "Iran Out! Out!" and "Beirut is free! Free!" (Iran barra! barra! Beirut hurra! hurra!).
These are the ones who really scare Iran over its scheme; the ones who take to the streets unarmed and with bare chests, without fear of any weapons.
— Al-Trairi is Saudi writer. @aAltrairi. Email: [email protected]

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