Andrew Korybko |
Russia Could Benefit If Trump Gets The EU To Sanction Iran For Cracking Down On The “Green Revolution 2.0” Color Revolution Attempt
The world has focused attention on the increasingly political protests in Iran ever since Trump tweeted about them, but while many people are discussing whether or not this thinly veiled American attempt at regime change will succeed, they’re overlooking the fact that such an end isn’t the prime objective at all.
Just as the 2009 “Green Revolution” was a proto-“Arab Spring” tactical probe for perfecting the methods that would later be unleashed against much weaker countries approximately 18 months later, so too is the “Green Revolution 2.0” about a goal that differs from its superficial regime change one.
Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017
Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017
It was entirely predictable that Trump would clandestinely cooperate with his “Israeli” and Saudi allies in seeking to politicize what had initially begun as coordinated protests against the economic situation in Iran, and his public tweet about these events makes it obvious that the US stands to obtain some benefit from this development.
Interestingly, while by no means coordinated with Russia, Trump’s hostile moves against Iran in laying the groundwork for reimposing Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic could eventually create the conditions for Moscow to “manage” Tehran.
That said, it’s highly unlikely that Trump believes that this incipient Color Revolution ploy will result in regime change, but instead wants to use the government’s crackdown against it as the pretext for implementing multilateral sanctions against Iran.
It’s no secret that the US has been striving to find or outright manufacture a “believable” excuse for getting the Europeans to go along with the de-facto reimposition of the former UNSC economic restrictions against the Islamic Republic, knowing that it’s all but impossible for Russia and China to ever agree to this but that the EU could comparatively be much easier to cajole.
The bloc’s publicly proclaimed focus on “human rights” and “democracy” has become akin to an ideological obsession, and Trump knows very well that this can be exploited to push the Europeans into a corner whereby they’re bound to respond to what the US can easily frame as Iran’s “brutal repression of democracy”, at which point multilateral sanctions can realistically be reconsidered.
This means that the tangible outcome of the protests is inconsequential so long as there’s a forcible reaction to them that gets decontextualized and uploaded to YouTube as 2018’s first viral video, as this development would allow the US to more “convincingly” make the case for pressuring its European subordinates to do its bidding in “isolating” Iran.
Tehran to downscale its elite (IRGC) and allied militia (Hezbollah) forces in Syria just as Russia recently did as a quid-pro-quo for receiving aid and promoting President Putin’s Mideast “balancing” act between the relevant Great Powers in this area.
The symbolic effect of European countries going along with the US’ forthcoming sanctions could then be weaponized in forming the complementary narrative that the Iranian government has “crushed” its majority-youthful population’s absurdly unrealistic and high hopes for an immediate economic recovery after the 2015 deal, pouring fuel on the fire of the originally apolitical protests and advancing the conditions for engendering a self-perpetuating conflict cycle that could in turn redirect Tehran’s strategic focus from the broader Mideast region back to within its own borders.
Placing Iran on the strategic defensive via this feeble and bound-to-fail Color Revolution attempt is thought to be a cost-effective asymmetrical means for “containing” it, relying more on economics and symbolism than military and physical commitments and occurring in parallel with other regional elements of the Neo-Reagan Doctrine’s “rollback” agenda in Lebanon, “Syraq”, and Yemen.
The “success” of this policy could make Iran more dependent on Russia as the closest outlet for relieving this newfound economic pressure, thus enabling Moscow to tacitly “convince” Tehran to downscale its elite (IRGC) and allied militia (Hezbollah) forces in Syria just as Russia recently did as a quid-pro-quo for receiving aid and promoting President Putin’s Mideast “balancing” act between the relevant Great Powers in this area.
Europeans into a corner whereby they’re bound to respond to what the US can easily frame as Iran’s “brutal repression of democracy”, at which point multilateral sanctions can realistically be reconsidered.
Interestingly, while by no means coordinated with Russia, Trump’s hostile moves against Iran in laying the groundwork for reimposing Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic could eventually create the conditions for Moscow to “manage” Tehran on Washington’s behalf in exchange for a fresh chance at its long-desired “New Detente” with the US, thereby representing a triple win for Russia as the country would be coming to the profitable economic aid of an unfairly beleaguered “ally”, obtaining the necessary strategic leverage over Iran for “balancing” regional affairs, and eventually returning to the path of “normalizing” relations with the US, albeit on Trump’s terms.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
Andrew Korybko is a political analyst, journalist and a regular contributor to several online journals, as well as a member of the expert council for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’s Friendship University of Russia. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia.