The Iran regime has long been providing the template for extremist Islamic groups such as Hezbollah and ISIS in terms of using religious law to impose harsh oppression or using terror as a means of foreign policy, but this time the mullahs in Tehran are taking a page from the playbook of its proxies.
The regime government is considering a proposal to grant Iranian citizenship to foreign nationals who take up arms for the regime. According to the Daily Beast:
“Proposed amendments to Iran’s Civil Code under the name ‘Facilitating Naturalization of non-Iranian Veterans, Warriors and Elites’ will offer citizenship to foreigners who join Iranian military units—be it border patrol, militias confronting the so-called ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria, groups involved with public order operations, or any of Iran’s less ‘official’ military initiatives, including support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Under the amendments, ‘revolutionary heroes’ can become citizens without undergoing existing naturalization requirements.
“Parliamentarians who signed the bill say those who ‘serve the revolution,’ including people who have contributed to Iran’s scientific progress, will be entitled to easier access to the citizenship they deserve. Yet human-rights activists and lawyers say the amendments are part of a political and militaristic strategy to entice immigrants, who have resided illegally in the country since 1979, into fighting Iranian regime’s proxy wars.”
The move takes advantage of the roughly four million Afghan refugees that fled the Soviet invasion in 1979 and relocated to Iran, but did not have legal status. With civil wars breaking out in Iran regime allies Syria and Iraq, the mullahs began recruiting Afghans – at first as paid mercenaries – to fight their proxy wars. This move legitimizes the use of foreign nationals in the regime’s wars and duplicates what ISIS has already done to great effect in its rapid expansion in Syria and Iraq.
Most interesting is the provision to grant citizenship to all those who achieve high intellectual distinction or scientific advancement on behalf of the regime, which is a not so hidden reward for scientists and technicians who have added in developing Iran’s nuclear program.
So while the proposed Iran nuclear agreement authorizes the release of up to $150 billion in assets to the regime to go on a military hardware buying spree in Russia, with this new law it will try to replenish its Revolutionary Guards Corps, Quds Force, Shiite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah fighters in Syria and Houthi rebel forces in Yemen.
This worrisome expansion of the regime’s forces is reinforced by the fact that the regime’s behavior continues following an extremist path without deviation in spite of the promises made by nuclear deal proponents who have argued such a deal would accommodate “moderate” elements in the regime government.
Those claims were put to a lie once again as the regime judiciary sentenced two people to 10 years in prison this weekend for allegedly spying for the U.S. and Israel, but their names remained secret. There is growing worry that one of those sentenced may have been Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
When you catalogue the actions of the regime since the nuclear deal was announced, you cannot help but wonder just what really changed within the regime ruling Iran:
- The International Atomic Energy Agency announces there is evidence Iran may be engaged in construction activities at its Parchin military site without any monitoring of what is going on;
- The Associated Press discloses details of a secret side deal between the regime and IAEA in which Iran would be allowed to self-inspect the Parchin site, collect samples and turn them over for testing without any on-site monitoring;
- Regime leaders including Hassan Rouhani and Ali Khamenei have made several speeches reiterating the regime’s intention to maintain its military capabilities and commitment to retaining its nuclear infrastructure;
- Sent its Quds Force leader Ghassem Soleimani to Russia in violation of United Nations travel bans to negotiate the purchase of advanced weapons, including completing the purchase of S-300 anti-aircraft missile batteries; and
- Unveiled its F313 advanced solid-fuel ballistic missile with a doubling in range and shelf life.
These are not the acts of a government intent on peace. These are not the actions of a regime looking to use its financial windfall to reshape its economy and benefit the people of Iran.
The more things change, the more the Iran regime stays the same.
By Michael Tomlinson