US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley spoke to the press this week on the side-line of a new round of negotiations with the Islamic Republic to revive the JCPOA, warning that Tehran’s new demands were “alarming”.
If the regime is quite desperate to normalise relations with the West so that it could buy itself an economic lifeline and shore up dwindling support at home, the Leadership is playing hardball, proof many have argued that Iran’s interests lie well beyond the nuclear program and has more to do with political survival.
Faced with mounting opposition both at home and in the diaspora, the Islamic Republic has to contend with an increasingly heavy financial burden by virtue of the regional alliances it has struck to expand its reach and influence. Friendships cost money and geopolitical leverage – the Leadership is running out of both. Iran’s tone of defiance is but a show so that its enemies would remain timid in their approach.
Intelligence reports are pointing to the coming demise of the regime. Plagued by competing ambitions within its ranks, profound mistrust and whispers that even the most ‘loyal’ agents of the regime have breached confidentiality to buy themselves favours should the Islamic Republic fall, have destabilised the integrity of the state, making it difficult for anyone to know exactly who to rely on.
To put it simply the regime’s men are preparing their escape route – devesting their financial and business interests in Iran in view of a pending collapse. Sources have confirmed that several IRGC high ranking officers have acquired over the past few months properties and businesses abroad through shell companies to ensure their future, and that of their families – Iraq, Qatar, Malaysia and Eastern Europe being favourite destinations.