Islamic Regime Panics Amid Tanking Economy
Iran’s government attempts to intimidate the UN during its lawsuit at the International Court of Justice to lift U.S. sanctions while claiming the Strait of Hormuz with IRGC Naval forces confronting the US Navy in the Gulf. Iran used the Treaty of Amity which was designed to establish international trade between Iran and the US in 1955 in a claim against the US in the international court regarding the 1987 incident during the Iran-Iraq War that damaged an oil platform, but the court ruled that the 1981 Algiers Accord undid the spirit of the earlier friendship agreement. The Tasmin state-run media in Iran is quoting General Alireza Tangsiri, “Iran has full control of the Gulf, and the US Navy does not belong there.”
A further sign of intimidation from Iran’s government comes in the form of a new agreement Iran signed with the Assad regime in Syria to “deepen military cooperation with Syria, reaffirming its intention to remain in the country despite moves by the U.S. and its allies to contain Tehran’s military reach,” according to the WSJ. However, the internal strife inside the Islamic Republic shows symptoms of further fragmentation from the ongoing protests as the Supreme Leader pressures President Rouhani to remove important ministers that failed to respond to the U.S. sanctions. The Economy Minister and Central Bank Governor in Iran have recently been removed from power. This domino effect may see these positions filled with hardline support for further isolation. Recent crackdowns on Hezbollah financial operations in the US may also restrict Iran’s ability to hold ground in Lebanon, Yemen through which it may use intimidation tactics to control shipping on the Red Sea, and other countries like Somalia and Nigeria.
The lawsuit at the International Court of Justice filed by Iran directly draws the United Nations into the conflict, but it may ultimately use its R2P (Responsibility to Protect) and POC (Protection of Citizens) to mediate regime change in Iran as the regime continues to present itself as the aggressor in the conflict using the IRGC to disrupt international shipping in the Gulf and the ongoing suppression of protests inside the country. The UN could assemble a peacekeeping force to protect shipping lines in the Gulf and Red Seas. Talks have not yet taken place between Rouhani and Trump.