Editorial | Republic Underground, Al-Anin News
Interview with Dr. Reza Parchizaden
November 15, 2020
Pictured above, QUDS Force Commander Soleimani’s death sparked greater tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Pictured belov, Dr. Reza Parchizaden.
“Regarding Iran, on a fundamental level, it won’t really make a huge difference whether Biden becomes president or Trump. Pressure will continue to be applied to the Islamist regime,” Dr. Parchizadeh told Al-Ain News.
Dr. Reza Parchizadeh is a political theorist, historian of ideas, and senior analyst. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Parchizadeh is a member of the international committee of correspondents for the World Shakespeare Bibliography, which is the largest database in the world about the great British writer. In a controversial interview with Al-Ain News, Dr. Parchizadeh shed light on the most important issues in Iran today.
Interviewers’ questions are in italics, responses are in regular print throughout.
Will Iranian-American relations fundamentally change if Joe Biden becomes the next US President? Also, given that the moderate Hassan Rouhani’s second term is almost over, is it likely that the next Iranian president will be a hardliner?
Regarding Iran, on a fundamental level, it won’t really make a huge difference whether Biden becomes president or Trump. Iran is one of the greatest security threats to the United States and her allies in the Middle East. Different US administrations will have different approaches to issues of national security, but they will all be responsible for maintaining it at home and abroad. Therefore, pressure – albeit in a different form – will continue to be applied to the Islamist regime; and the US government, along with Congress, courts, and security agencies will continue to monitor and punish the regime in Iran.
The division between the “moderates” and the “hardliners” is only a security measure and propaganda shows that the Iranian regime has been running for almost three decades to distract and deceive the people of Iran and the world’s politicians. There is no real rift in the Iranian regime that can be utilized for the benefit of the people and the neighbors of Iran and democratic countries. They are all Islamist zealots with an anti-liberal bent and a criminal behavior who constantly seek to harm the United States, Europe, Israel, and the Arabs.
How have the US sanctions affected the regime and the people of Iran?
The sanctions have only made people’s lives more miserable because they were already down and out as a consequence of the regime’s disastrous economic policies. The Islamic Republic is one of the most oppressive regimes and its economy one of the most corrupt in the world. And they do anything to further their evil agenda. For instance, the regime, while constantly complaining about US sanctions depriving the people of Iran of vital medicines, traffics drugs abroad to raise money for its expansionist project in the Middle East. Recently, the Iraqi police seized a large shipment of smuggled insulin from Iran and exposed the regime’s hypocrisy.
Was the dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus victims the fault of the people or the government in Iran?
The performance of the Iranian regime in managing the coronavirus pandemic was pitiful.
The regime first misinformed the people and delayed the quarantine process, letting the contagion spread in Iran through Chinese travelers and seminary students in Qom. Completely ignoring the people’s healthcare, the regime then exploited the pandemic for a propaganda war against Trump and as a pressure tool with the West to get rid of the sanctions. The regime is one hundred percent to blame for the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic in Iran.
What is the International Atomic Energy Agency going to do against the regime in view of the recent discovery of hidden nuclear sites in Iran?
The IAEA is closer to the European Union’s positions in general, and as such usually adopts a conciliatory stance towards the Iranian regime rather than trying to ruffle its feathers. However, the exposure of the regime’s new nuclear facilities will tie the IAEA and the EU’s hands in their likely attempts to appease the regime.
Has Iran’s influence waned in the region after Soleimani was killed?
Partly yes, because Soleimani was closely associated with many nefarious political actors in the Middle East and coordinated the regime’s moves with them. Nevertheless, the regime has been trying to continue its regional activities as much as possible, because in order to survive it needs to constantly intervene in the Middle East.
Are Iranians ready for democracy?
Iranians are ready for democracy, but readiness for democracy is not necessarily predicated on the readiness of the majority of the populace. If we study history, we will see that when democracy was first established in countries like England, the United States, and France, most people were not concerned about democratic issues at all, but a handful of intellectuals with political, military, and economic clout established democracy and step by step acclimated people to it. The same is true about Iran.
What would happen if the Shah were still the ruler of Iran?
First, the Shah’s regime fell over forty years ago, and during that long stretch of time many things have changed in Iran and the world, so it is impossible to judge what would have happened if the Shah had remained in power. But more fundamentally, in politics, we must always look forward. The right question to ask is, “what should we do to oust the current regime and not repeat the mistakes that led to the problems that consecutive Iranian regimes have had with their own people and Iran’s neighbors?”
The Iranian regime will shed blood and oppress the people in Iran and interfere in the Middle East as long as it exists. The only way to stop the carnage and destruction is to topple the Islamist regime and establish democracy in Iran.