Fulminating Wednesday about the killing of jihad leader Qassem Soleimani, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thundered: “As I said after the martyrdom of Martyr Soleimani, I emphasise again that if you cut off Martyr Soleimani’s hand, we will cut off your leg from the region and we will continue the resistance until that day….One of the effects of this stupid and disgraceful act was that Trumpism ended and in a few days, the life of this criminal will end and he will go to the dustbin of history, and we are very happy about this and we believe that the period after Trump will be a better condition for regional and global stability.” Well, we’ll see about that. But it’s easy to see why the mullahs hate Trump with such burning intensity.
Several weeks ago, The Times of London ran a piece with the startling headline, “Trump had Tehran on the ropes: now our hope is gone.” And it’s true: if Biden/Harris/Pelosi/Schumer/Obama/Soros take office and follow through on their plan to reinstate the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, the best chance to topple the Islamic Republic, one of the world’s worst human rights abusers, will be gone.
It was during the Trump administration that we saw Iranian protesters chanting: “We don’t want an Islamic Republic!” “Clerics shame on you, let go of our country!” Some chanted: “Reza Shah, bless your soul!” Reza Shah was the Shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941 and the father of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah who was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Reza Shah admired Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk and set Iran on a similar path of Westernization and secularization. In chanting this, the protesters are emphasizing that they do not just want economic reforms, as has been the line of the establishment media in the West. Nor do they want an Islamic Republic that is less corrupt. They don’t want an Islamic Republic at all.
Was it just a coincidence that the Iranian people began to make their deep dissatisfaction with the Islamic Republic known while Donald Trump was in the White House? Maybe. It is he who began the erosion of the acceptance that the mullahs had won around the world, and he who began to put pressure on them with new sanctions that did not, contrary to the confident predictions of establishment foreign policy “experts,” solidify the American people in hatred of America. Instead, they turned the Iranian people against their vicious and inhumane regime, once again vindicating Trump’s flouting of the conventional State Department wisdom.
But even if the Iranian freedom movement has nothing to do with Trump, it is certain that those demonstrations never would have happened if Hillary Clinton had been President of the United States for the last four years, and just as certain that they will not continue once His Fraudulency or his handlers start the billions flowing to the mullahs once again. After all, Joe Biden was Vice President when demonstrations begin in Iran in 2009, protests that did not go nearly as far or demand as much as the ones we saw more recently.
Barack Obama, however, betrayed the demonstrators to every grisly fate that the mullahs could devise for them in their torture chambers. Bent on concluding the disastrous nuclear deal that lined their oppressors’ pockets with billions and set the world on a path to a catastrophic nuclear attack, Obama ensured that the U.S. government didn’t lift a finger or offer a word of support for the protesters, even as they were being gunned down in the streets.
But then Trump set a sharply different tone. He came out strongly in favor of the protesters, tweeting: “Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!”
In a similar vein, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added: “There are many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves.”
The pressure on Iran continued, and Trump even went so far, as the whole world knows, to confront its global belligerence and stop it in its tracks. Four more years of Trump may have meant the dawning of a new era of freedom in Iran, as it would have continued to be shaken to its core. But instead, with their man likely coming into the Oval Office, for the mullahs, it’s time once again to let the good times roll.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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Photo credit: Mahmoud Hosseini