News about recent development projects and policies in Iran point to the Islamic system’s resilience to withstand Washington’s cold war tactics and economic pressure.
On September 6, PressTV reported that “Iran has opened a massive data center to boost traffic and content generation on its National Information Network (NIN) as the country seeks to reduce reliance on global servers for key and sensitive online services.”
During the same week Iran also presented several engineering products that were domestically produced during the annual exhibition at Pardis Technology Park.
A day later, it was announced that “Iran has expanded its free insurance scheme to cover some 1.4 million families living in villages and other underdeveloped regions.”
Analyzing the latest economic and social indicators, it can be confidently argued that Tehran has withstood 40 years of war and sanctions.
People who studied US policy of containment during the Cold War will notice many similarities in the way Washington deals with Islamic Iran and how it handled the erstwhile Soviet Union.
In both cases, the US relied heavily on economic and cultural leverage.
In the Soviet case, America relied primarily on economic sabotage to bring about its collapse.
In dealing with Iran, the US tried to use both economic and cultural leverages.
The Donald Trump regime has deprioritized cultural soft war and shifted towards crude economic aggression.
While this has created some short-term challenges for Iran, it has also significantly reduced Washington’s soft power appeal that it had spent decades building.
The US is unlikely to re-establish its soft-power appeal to pre-Trump levels anytime soon, if at all.
While some may argue that Washington’s copy-cat implementation of ‘containment policy’ against Tehran will work as it did with the USSR, such thinking assumes that Islamic Iran is similar to the Soviet Union.
The USSR had a system that took pride in self-isolation. A good example of this rigidity was the Soviet policy of restricting its wider population from travelling abroad.
The Soviet Union also lacked an indigenous worldview. Moscow’s attempt to make Marxist ideology suit Soviet societies and mentality was imposed through brute force.
Iran’s centuries old Islamic character has been internalized and is an integral part of its identity.
Further, due to Islam’s cosmopolitan nature Iran can easily absorb other trends into its Islamic ambience.
Through the Islamic paradigm of Ijtihad, Iran is not constrained by Soviet-type rigidity.
Islam—and Iran—are able to appeal to a broad cross-section of the global population without resorting to coercive tactics.