From the outset, it is clear the way things are heading. The opening sentence reads: "The end of the Cold War forced new thinking among policymakers and analysts about the greatest challenges to U.S. national security." This is followed by a long analysis of why the Islamic Republic poses a threat to the security of the United States of America and the entire world, followed by individual acts and misdeeds of the regime around the world. To conclude, the Secretary of State predicts the end of the Iranian regime.

A new Cold War against Iran

If one reads this text thoroughly, one inevitably comes to the conclusion that Iran is the Soviet Union of our time for the new U.S. government. And just as the western world once did everything in its power to defeat the Soviet Union, today the expectation is that the West – under the leadership of the USA – will work to achieve the downfall of the Iranian regime.

Yet those in power in Tehran have long understood what is at stake They know that their power is at stake and why Donald Trump chose 4 November of all days to announce his new sanctions list - the day of the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, when American diplomats were taken hostage, held for 444 days and shown blindfolded to the international press on an almost daily basis.

In the four decades since both sides have down their utmost to keep the machinery of mutual hatred going. Despite all sporadic attempts at rapprochement, the Islamic Republic continues to belong to the "axis of evil" for the USA. Once Iran had Saddam Hussein and North Korea's dictators for company. Now apparently the "pariah state" is on its own.

And the rulers in Iran are doing everything in their power to defend their countryʹs unique international status. At least when it comes to propaganda: the former U.S. embassy is now home to the Revolutionary Guard. And every year on 4 November, demonstrators burn U.S. flags in front of the building, renewing their hostility to the "great Satan" with hate slogans.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (photo: picture-alliance/AP)
A new Cold War between Tehran and Washington: "We are facing an economic war and a tyrannical power," Iran's President Rouhani recently declared. Referring to U.S. President Donald Trump, he added: "I don't think anyone in the history of America has ever sat in the White House who is so opposed to laws and international conventions"

Coincidence or not: it was also a 4 November, on which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the subsequent founder of the Islamic Republic, began his exile in 1964. According to the historiography of the powerful in Tehran, it was the Americans who instructed the Shah to banish Khomeini. Whatever the case may be, this day is now officially a "holy day", commemorated with state-organised marches up and down the country – and this year, understandably, all the more so.

State marches against sanctions

"Mr. Trump will not be able to deconstruct or sour this holy day for us," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the "Cultural Council for the Islamic Revolution" last Tuesday. This powerful body, which has been organising official propaganda and state demonstrations since the victory of the revolution, has got a lot on its plate at the moment.

The Islamic Republic will soon turn forty and the plan is to celebrate in such huge style that everyone – friends and enemies alike – will be impressed. The celebrations should be so splendidly magnificent that no-one, not even Trump, will dare to mention the end of the Islamic Republic ever again.

Yet the "theocracy" is facing uncertain times. There are quite a few observers who think that the Islamic Republic will not survive Trump's term in office. By contrast Iranian websites loyal to the regime are currently publishing articles by American authors who claim that Trump will lose the upcoming mid-term elections as well as the next presidential election.

Ali Sadrzadeh

© Iran Journal 2018

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