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Iran should heed the warning signs.

Summary: Power ultimately corrupts and ordinary Iranians have become unwitting victims of Tehran's shady deals in the Middle East.

As you sow, so shall you reap. How true this holds for Iran, which sowed the wind outside its borders and is reaping the whirlwind of public anger at home. We won't go so far as to say that the country is imploding, but something is amiss, and the government is using strong-arm tactics to quell a rebellion by people who are taking to the streets to protest rising prices and rampant corruption. The military-clerical combine that rules the country bears responsibility for stoking trouble in several countries while taking its eyes off problems at home. It exports its brand of revolution, and its military wages wars for despots and dictators. Troops, arms and ammunition are sent to distant lands. Money changes hands in places as far as Lebanon and Yemen to prop up proxy forces who destroy lives at Tehran's command. It has played the great benefactor to ruthless dictators like Bashar Al Assad of Syria, and supports sectarian movements in next-door Iraq.

Power ultimately corrupts and ordinary Iranians have become unwitting victims of Tehran's shady deals in the Middle East. Domestically, democracy is a sham with the state being controlled by a grand cleric and his military and political acolytes who suck its vast resources dry to promote a despicable ideology of hatred, while drilling dogmas into young and impressionable minds. They do not realise that an indoctrinated nation could fall under its own weight as public expectations grow after more than three decades of revolutionary zeal. It has been dishonest with its nuclear programme in the past and now with its missile programme. US President Donald Trump has put Tehran on notice and said the world is watching how it reacts to the protests. Reports said 12 people have died, but the number could be more. "This is just the beginning of more unrest," said Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi in a recent interview. It is hoped ordinary citizens in the country are spared more misery by the regime as protests spread. The world has heard the voices of the Iranian people and is willing to help. But first, Iran's ruling military and cleric elite would do well to mind its own business and stop beating the drums of war.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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