Iran attacks Israel: Toppling Iran's tyrants would sever head of the snake fuelling many Middle East conflicts – Struan Stevenson

The Iranian regime is helping some of the major players in conflicts across the Middle East, such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Hamas and Hezbollah

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Hiding behind proxies to do their warmongering for decades, the Iranian regime has finally broken cover and launched an unprecedented and chilling missile and suicide drone attack on Israel. Iran was joined in the assault by their ‘axis of resistance’ cronies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. It was a fatal mistake.

The attack served to mobilise the Americans and British as Israel’s key allies. President Joe Biden has reiterated that US support for Israel is “ironclad”. Israeli retaliation against the mullahs is now a racing certainty, ratcheting up tension in the Middle East and focusing international attention on the head of the snake – Tehran. The downfall of the Iranian regime would, at a stroke, sever the main artery supplying Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Shia militias in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Iranian strike has also moved the global focus away from Gaza and Ukraine. David Cameron paid a surprise visit to Donald Trump in his Mar-a-Lago headquarters in Florida on April 8, pleading with him to persuade Republicans lawmakers in the US Congress to unblock aid for Ukraine. They have held up a $60 billion support package in the US Congress since last year.

Only a trickle of support for the beleaguered Ukrainians has manged to seep through recently, after the Pentagon used budget savings on other purchases to scrape together a $300 million assistance package for Kyiv on March 12, which included anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and artillery shells.

Seized Iran weapons sent to Ukraine

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told a Senate hearing in early April that Washington’s failure to honour its commitment to Kyiv would simply embolden other autocratic rulers who are America’s enemies. He testified: “It would be a signal that the United States is an unreliable partner, and that would encourage and embolden autocrats around the globe to do the types of things that Putin has done.”

Read More
David Cameron urges Israel against escalation amid fresh calls for calm over Ira...
A billboard in central Tehran shows named ballistic missiles with a caption 'Israel is weaker than a spider's web' (Picture: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)A billboard in central Tehran shows named ballistic missiles with a caption 'Israel is weaker than a spider's web' (Picture: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)
A billboard in central Tehran shows named ballistic missiles with a caption 'Israel is weaker than a spider's web' (Picture: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

In a paradoxical development, according to the US Central Command (CentCon), large stores of weapons which were being secretly shipped to the Houthi rebels in Yemen by their Iranian allies, have been seized by the US Navy and re-routed to Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces in Ukraine. More than 5,000 AK-47s, machine guns, sniper rifles, RPG-7s and over 500,000 rounds of ammunition have been passed to the Ukrainian military. The arms and ammunition were seized from “stateless vessels” between May 2021 and February 2023, as they were being transferred by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian regime’s Gestapo, to the Houthis.

The cargos were confiscated under the US Department of Justice’s forfeiture claims system. The Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden with drone and missile strikes since November 2023, claiming the attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The IRGC has been the Houthis main source of funding, training, and military supplies since the civil war in Yemen began in 2014.

It is the second time the Americans have diverted IRGC shipments destined for Yemen to Ukraine. Washington made a similar transfer last October, when 1.1 million rounds of ammunition were seized from Iranian forces on their way to the Houthis. Their attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea have disrupted international trade routes, with an estimated 40 per cent reduction in traffic using the Suez Canal in the past two months.

New sanctions

New disclosures by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the main democratic opposition to the mullahs’ repressive regime, have revealed that Iran Air, the regime’s national airline, has been secretly run by a senior IRGC commander, Brigadier Shamseddin Farzadipour, since April 2022. The airline has allegedly played a key role in transporting money, weapons and equipment to its Middle East proxies.

The airline is also a suspected mode of transport for kamikaze drones and missiles being constructed by the IRGC and transported to Russia for use in its illegal war in Ukraine. Now, European leaders from France, Germany, and the Netherlands, have joined the United States in calling for measures against Iran Air on the grounds that the abuse of a civilian airline for military purposes demonstrates the regime’s disregard for international norms and regulations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Spanish socialist Josep Borrell, has been a long-standing appeaser of the mullahs’ regime and is reluctant to impose new sanctions in case it undermines diplomatic relations with Iran. His position is delusional, given the fact that the Iranian regime has used its registered diplomats as terrorist bombers and its European embassies as bomb factories and terror dens.

Time for decisive action

Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat from the Iranian embassy in Vienna, was arrested in Belgium on terrorist charges after being caught, in June 2018, handing over a professionally constructed, fully primed bomb and ordering his three co-conspirators to detonate it at a huge Iranian opposition rally in Paris.

Assadi was given the maximum sentence of 20 years and then shamefully released in a contrived prisoner-swap deal after the mullahs’ regime kidnapped a young Belgian charity worker and used him as a hostage to secure the release of their terrorist ‘hero’. In December 2018, the Iranian Ambassador and First Secretary in Tirana were declared persona non grata by Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, and were expelled for endangering the security of the state.

The theocratic Iranian regime’s history of abusing civilised behaviour and international norms, underscores the urgent need for decisive action against the IRGC and the various entities behind its illicit terrorist activities. The massive missile and suicide drone assault on Israel on Saturday has crossed a definitive red line. The EU and UK must follow America’s example and designate the IRGC as a terrorist organisation. The international community must support the Iranian people and their legitimate resistance in overthrowing the mullahs’ tyrannical regime.

Struan Stevenson, a former member of the European Parliament, is the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change and chair of the In Search of Justice committee on the protection of political freedoms in Iran. His latest book is entitled Dictatorship and Revolution. Iran – A Contemporary History.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.