Those in Washington who pushed for a regime change in Tehran through military means are backing away after realizing it would be too costly. Despite Washington’s draconian sanctions, the Mullahs are still standing with no sign of implosion. The American sabre-rattling persuaded the people of Iran to support their unpopular leadership. With the Chinese and Russian backing—China is still buying Iranian oil and Russia warned against American aggression—Ali Khamanei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The irony of all this is, in the last thirty years, America has fought Iran’s wars and mopped up Iran’s enemies, significantly ensuring the survival of the Mullahs. Here is how.
The 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution allowed the Mullahs to initiate their project; a Muslim world united under Shiism. There is nothing scarier to the Sunni leaders, be it secular or religious, than this. Saddam Hussein was the first to feel the heat. A secular Sunni, Saddam was alarmed that the 1979 Revolution could ignite a similar movement among his Shia subjects, (65 percent of the population), so Saddam initiated a preemptive war. Although the Sunni Gulf regimes and the United States poured weapons and money to their ally, Saddam couldn’t win against Iran. The war ended in a stalemate in 1988, with more than a million lives lost on both sides.