Western officials and political pundits as well as their allies in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia and Israel, have never hesitated to express their desire to see the Iranian regime falling on its feet and giving way to a pro-West ‘democracy’ to emerge, one that would provide the linchpin for Saudi hegemony in the region and remove Israel’s chief competitor from the scene. The recent protests in Iran provided the ‘regime-change’ gang that very opportunity even if the protests had ‘indigenous roots’ and were, as many in the West and Saudi Arabia claimed, a reflection of Iran’s growing economic problems due to the Trump administration’s “toughest” ever sanctions. Although the Iranian officials claimed that the “unrest” had been engineered by the West, particularly the US and Israel, the Iranian regime has once again shown its resilience and the deep roots it has in that society, not readily available to be undercut.
The US, however, saw the protestors as “harbingers of change” and a success of their policy of sanctions. It made its moves accordingly. Clearly, in the moves that the US made, an anticipation of protests spreading across the country was evident and so was a US possible resolve to ‘strike’ just when the Iron was hot enough. Of course, this plan could not materialise, but the way things proceeded show yet again the US and Israeli obsession with ‘regime-change’ in Iran.
A Brookings institute report thus described the ‘importance’ of these protests. “Tehran today is facing an epic, interconnected set of crises: the crisis of unmet expectations, which feeds a crisis of legitimacy” for the regime, which is “waning”, and “eventually, as happened 40 years ago in Iran, even the most well-fortified regime will shatter.”
This was and still is the classic assumption that, despite proving wrong on numerous occasions, continues to guide the US and Israeli policies. This was true in the present scenario as well.
As such, just when the crisis were brewing and the unrest was at its peak, the US decided to show-off its naval power and ability to manoeuvre in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most significant flashpoints in the world. A US aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.