The horror assassination of ten journalists and two policemen in Paris is simply the latest manifestation of the spread of Islamic fundamentalism whose genesis can be traced directly back to the Iranian revolution and the coming to power of Grand Ayatollah Ruholla Khomenei, who made Iran the world’s first Islamic Republic. His medieval belief that his authority came directly from God enabled him to rule over a fascist theocracy that could imprison, torture, maim and execute at will, ruling by fear and violence and defending these excesses by stating they were the will of God. Similar to the “divine right of Kings” which bathed Europe in blood for centuries, this discredited anachronism plunged the 74 million forward-looking and highly civilized Iranians back to the Middle Ages, where women could be stoned to death and men hanged from cranes in town squares because they were guilty of “waging war on God.”
After executing 130,000 members of the People’s Mojahedin Opposition Group in the 1980s, Khomenei set about spreading his fundamentalist cancer across the Middle East. His successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has internationalized this obscene distortion of Islam by funding, training and equipping terrorist organizations across the Middle East. Iran is now extending its hegemony across the entire region and it is worth remembering that ISIS is not the only organization intent on using violence and bloodshed to create a worldwide Islamic caliphate; it is a core principle of the Iranian Constitution, drawn up by Ayatollah Khomenei, that they will export the Islamic revolution with the clear intention of creating an Islamic caliphate. Tehran regards ISIS as direct Sunni competitors in this struggle to enslave the world in a medieval corruption of the Muslim faith.
Iran now funds not only the brutal Shiia militias in neighboring Iraq, but Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, Bashir al-Assad in Syria and the Shiite Houthi militia who seized Sanaa, the Yemeni capital last September. The so-called “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani also finances Iran’s hugely expensive program of uranium enrichment, the construction of nuclear weapons and the purchase of sophisticated missile delivery systems.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
The plummeting oil price has caused a massive problem for the mullahs. Their future budget was predicated on oil prices rising from $112 to $130 a barrel. Today it has fallen to below $50 and experts predict it will fall to $45. This, combined with Western sanctions, is catastrophic for Tehran. Rouhani has found himself in an impossible trap. He was elected on a pledge to improve the Iranian economy and to improve living conditions for ordinary Iranians. But the hardliners in Tehran corruptly live off the back of the billions poured into the terrorist Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Despite the collapsing oil price, Rouhani last month announced a 50 percent increase in the IRGC budget, taking their total annual spend to over €5 billion, which is more than half of Iran’s total defense budget which itself was increased by 33 percent last month. Buried in the small print of the budget was a further €2.5 billion that will go directly to the IRGC’s construction and engineering wing known as Khatam al-Anbia, a crooked vehicle for distributing largesse to the IRGC hierarchy.
Iran simply cannot afford this. The 74 million Iranians are facing economic meltdown. The people are fed up. They don’t want to be international pariahs. There is a seething undercurrent of protest in the air. Bread prices rose by 30 percent last month and the likelihood of another popular uprising is looming. Sanctions and the collapsing oil price are biting hard. Now is the time for the West to support the Iranian opposition and foment regime-change. The West must help the Iranian people overthrow the tyrannical mullahs and restore freedom, peace and democracy to Iran.
The spread of violent jihad across the world was the inspiration of Ayatollah Khomenei. The way to tackle this obscenity cannot simply rely on advanced intelligence and sporadic arrests. The primary cancer must be surgically removed at its core in Tehran and replaced by a modern and benign vision of Islam as espoused by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and her National Council for Resistance in Iran.
Struan Stevenson was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014. He was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014 and is currently President of the European Iraq Freedom Association (EIFA).