Foreign Policy magazine (FP) has recently issued a patronising and misinformed article, titled: “Bahrain’s paranoia about Iran is self-defeating”. This is yet another example of the Western media’s obsession with shutting its ears to the threat which Iran constitutes to the Middle East and the world. 

We know that such journalists have long since decided to close their eyes to all evidence of the threat posed by Iran. However, for those willing to listen, let’s once again set out why the Arab world’s “paranoia” about the threat Tehran poses is actually rooted in facts and evidence. 

For decades the West has underestimated and appeased Russia, and now Europe is faced with the devastating consequences in Ukraine. Rather than dismissing the Iranian threat as “paranoia”, the world should be acting now to neutralize the threat from Iranian terrorism, paramilitancy, ballistic missiles and possibly nuclear weapons. 

Iran-backed militias now dominate the region 

In Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, Iran-sponsored militias are now the de facto powers: These militias brag about it, Iran brags about it and ordinary people suffer. These criminals dominate the economy, in many regions they are by far the dominant military powers, and they have infiltrated all levels of their respective political systems. They make no secret about their willingness to act as a transnational force anywhere that Iran desires to send them. 

Iranian missiles menace the region 

Iran has become a leading global missile producer, with the largest and most diverse arsenal in the Middle East, including thousands of ballistic missiles with a range of more than 2,000km. 

Iran missile arsenals inside Iran itself and in multiple satellite states, are hidden deep underground and contain thousands of rockets, ready to unleash hell upon regional nations, including Israel. Iranian missiles have rapidly improved in range, accuracy and destructive power.  

Iran is increasing its resources for waging war 

While its people starve, Iran has continued to increase its military budget, including more than doubling the allocation for the Revolutionary Guard in the 2022 budget. If a nuclear deal is signed, Iran has already demonstrated its readiness to channel the bulk of unfrozen funds towards entities like Quds Force and foreign militias. 

Iran continues to attack regional powers 

Often via its proxies and sometimes directly, Iranian missiles and drones have been hitting civilian and economic targets throughout the Gulf region. Rockets are fired almost daily into Saudi Arabia and most recently Abu Dhabi was hit. Iran has already demonstrated its readiness for hitting strategic global oil production facilities and regional shipping. 

Iran continually threatens to cut off global economic chokepoints 

Tehran never tires of threatening to close the economically vital Hormuz Strait every time tensions rise, and one day it actually will. The Houthi terrorists are within striking distance of the equally vital Mandib Strait, and have often targeted these waters with mines, exploding boats and rockets. Iran’s proxies are also now able to menace the eastern Mediterranean at will. 

The narco-empire of Iran and its proxies   

Hezbollah and Assad have turned western Syria into the global number-one centre for production of the Amphetamine-based drug Captagon. Hundreds of millions of tablets have arrived in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ports, reaping billions of dollars in profits for these entities. Meanwhile, Iran-backed entities are behind an epidemic of drug use in states under its control; with drugs like crystal meth flooding across the Iranian border into Iraq. Iraqi authorities warn that, based on current trends, 70% of young Iraqis could become drug addicts in some deprived areas. 

Iran’s efforts to overthrow regional governments 

Since 1979, revolutionary Iran prioritized its doctrine of “exporting the revolution”. This gave rise to Iran sponsoring militant and terrorist groups in a plethora of regional states and supporting numerous coup attempts and acts of terror. A recent example was in Bahrain, where Qom-based elements connected to Quds Force after 2011 oversaw a campaign of terrorism targeted against security forces and civilian targets. 

Iran’s nuclear ambitions 

Iran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear state and some experts warn that Tehran is potentially just weeks away from achieving breakout capacity. Although a possible nuclear deal may temporarily restrict Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, provisions of the previous deal are soon set to expire. There are thus concerns that a flawed deal may restrict near-future attempts to prevent Iran becoming a military nuclear power. 

If Iran actually possesses nuclear weapons this will make it – like Putin’s Russia today – a state which Western powers will not dare to directly challenge for fear of provoking a nuclear attack. This will mean that Iran could continue with its terrorist, paramilitary and ballistic activities unmolested, with the goal of dominating the entire region. 

We deeply wish that all these threats were mere paranoia. However, the facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately, it is the West which has long been naïve and deluded about the reality of the Iranian threat. 

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