President Obama’s attitude and policies of appeasing the Islamic Republic have reached an unprecedented level. After the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, lashed out at the United States and Israel at the United Nations General assembly, President Obama’s response was intriguing: He continued to apply additional appeasement policies. He pointed out to the world leaders gathered at the U.N. General Assembly that the “United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict.”
Basically, President Obama’s words granted critical global legitimacy to Iran, projecting Iran as a powerful state in fighting terrorism and resolving conflicts, projecting the United States as desperate, weak on the global stage, and in need of Iran. More fundamentally, Obama’s statement placed Iran on the right side of the equation: Iranian leaders are the “good folks” battling terrorism.
How can the US work with Iran while the Islamic Republic is the major sponsor of terrorism in the region? The Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps is militarily operating more freely than before in several countries in the region including Yemen, Syria, Iraq, etc. Iranian leaders are boasting about occupying four Arab capitals: Sanaa, Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad.
This week, Hassan Rouhani continued the government’s line of supporting the dictator Bashar Al Assad. Iranian leaders continue to send forces to Syria to fight on the ground and to support the Syrian regime militarily, financially, with intelligence and in an advisory role. The senior cadre of the IRGC and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei, continues to deliver arms to dozens of Shiite and Islamist proxies in the region, including Hezbollah.
Considering that the Islamic Republic is a major sponsor of terrorism, how can one cooperate with the mullahs to defeat terrorism?
Considering all the aforementioned foreign policies of the Islamic Republic, an appropriate speech from President Obama would have minimally criticized Iran for its support of Bashar al Assad — who has not hesitated to conduct massacres or use chemical weapons against his own people. The speech should have also minimally criticized Tehran for its role in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, etc., which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, endless flows of refugees to Europe and other nations, as well as regional conflagration, and an assortment of other conflicts.
While President Obama chose to appease the ruling clerics of the Islamic republic, the Iranian president blamed the US and Israel for basically every problem in the Middle East. Iranian leaders are so empowered and emboldened after the nuclear deal, that Rouhani is accusing the US and Israel of being behind terrorism without any evidence to substantiate these accusations. He pointed out “If we did not have the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the United States’ unwarranted support for the inhumane actions of the Zionist regime against the oppressed nation of Palestine, today the terrorists would not have an excuse for the justification of their crimes,”
How is Rouhani making such inflammatory claims and accusations without credible evidence? How is he making accusations against the US and Israel while the Islamic Republic is considered a major father of groups such as the Islamic State due to Iran’s support of Assad in killing his own people, as well as Iran’s willingness to shelter Al Qaeda leaders and resist handing them over to the West. Rouhani pointed out that the Islamic Republic would back Assad “until the end of the road.”
The most ironic issue is that Rouhani does not shy away from calling Iran the forerunner of democracy. He pointed out Iran was ready to assist in “the eradication of terrorism and in paving the way for democracy…..As we aided the establishment of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in Syria and also Yemen,” said Rouhani.
A theocratic and authoritarian regime is pointing out that it is prepared to promote democracy in other nations. Without the role of Iran in Syria, the conflict would have ended at a much earlier time, since Assad would not have had the military and financial support of Iran. Without the support of Iran, the death toll would not have reached over 200,000 people, the Islamic State would not have been empowered, and an uprising would not have led to the worst humanitarian tragedy of our generation. Assad, like many of his counterparts (Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Ben Ali) would have fallen in a matter of weeks or months.
While Iran is investing in its ballistic missile program and military capabilities, Rouhani is asking the world to disarm other countries, including Israel. He calls Israel “the only impediment” to his goal. How can he expect Israel to disarm while Iran’s Supreme Leader continues to spread the idea and carry out policies that proclaim that Israel should be wiped off the map.
Aside from lashing out against the US and Israel, Rouhani was satisfied with one thing at least in his remarks: the nuclear deal. He called the nuclear accord, which was primarily struck due to a deal between the Islamic Republic and the Obama administration, a “brilliant example of victory.” Without doubt, the nuclear deal is a victory for the ruling clerics since they are not giving up anything and receiving approximately $150 billion in the short term and more in the long term. We need a leader who holds Iran accountable, not one that gives the ruling clerics further legitimacy and the impression of being quite powerful.