Iran: The Existential Threat
In the confusion that accompanies the surge of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), it is not surprising that many are deeply concerned. This extraordinarily savage group of terrorists has stormed out of Syria and is threatening many cities in Iraq-cities that Americans liberated with their blood and treasure.
It's not surprising that, faced with such a stunning development, even officials like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) might consider working with Iran's mullahs to stem the tide.
It was Churchill who decided to work with Stalin following Hitler's betrayal of his ally some 73 years ago. He said if Hitler invaded hell, he would at least make favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.
But, nothing could be more damaging to America's long-term security interests than aligning with the murderous regime of Tehran in any way for any purpose. The phrase that best describes the theocratic regime in Tehran is hostis humani generis-enemies of all mankind. This Latin term is applied in international law to terrorists, pirates, and slave traders. It fits this regime's rule well.
Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. It is a major persecutor of religion. In today's Iran, Christians, Jews, Baha'i, Zoroastrians, and minority Muslim sects are actively suppressed and terrorized. Pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in a filthy prison, beaten and abused for "threatening the national security of Iran." His crime: He started an orphanage!
Our own State Department reports on the full range of human rights abuses in Iran. These include:
disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging; politically motivated violence and repression, such as beatings and rape; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities, with instances of deaths in custody; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; continued impunity of security forces; denial of fair public trials, sometimes resulting in executions without due process...
Nor should it be forgotten that Iran publicly hangs homosexuals. Add to this catalogue of abuses even more from the State Department:
violence against women, children, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity;
What other evidence is needed to label them justly "enemies of all mankind?"
The regime's savagery is real and growing. No other nation so regularly calls for the physical elimination of the United States or its neighbor, Israel. No other nation is so actively seeking nuclear weapons.
Do we dare to dismiss their genocidal threats as bluster?
In Paris this week, groups of Iranian exiles, U.S. and European parliamentarians, military experts, and diplomats will meet to discuss ways to neutralize or change the regime in Iran.
Event organizers have announced that American participants include Gen. George Casey, Amb. John Bolton, Marc Ginsberg,
Gov. Ed Rendell, and Frances Townsend. Topics will include: deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, Tehran's nuclear weapons program, and the fate of Iranian refugees at Camp Liberty in Iraq.
If this conclave can reach consensus, and, if they can persuade the Western democracies to take concerted action, we may yet avert the most terrible conflict since the Second World War.
Every day the mullahs' regime spinning centrifuges bring them a step closer to having a nuclear weapon. Iran's former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly declared he could foresee "a world without the United States." And he dismissed Israel as "a two-bomb country."
The Washington Post earlier this month informed us of the stalling of nuclear talks with Iran:
Iran says such experiments--detailed in documents obtained by Western spy agencies--never occurred, but it has refused to allow IAEA officials near the site since 2005. Satellite photos in recent weeks have shown major renovation underway at the site, with several buildings razed and soil removed near the place where the alleged test chamber once stood. Iran has consistently said that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, not making weapons.
The Post's story on this alarming development was consigned to Page A18.
The report, which was carried by the "nuclear watchdog" group, was seemingly muffled by this dismissive treatment. Who will hear a watchdog whose bark is so dangerously disregarded?
Iran's regime must change or be changed. There is no peace, no safety possible with such a cohort of "enemies of all mankind." This is why we must look to the Paris talks this week as a key indicator of Western resolve.
We will observe in July one hundred years since Europe's leaders marched "like sleepwalkers" over the cliff and into the cataclysm of the Great War.
That devastating world war left empires shattered, civilizations in ruins, and unleashed the forces of Arab nationalism and religious and ideological fury.
It cost the world twenty million dead.
But that is a lower estimate of what Iran might do if it obtains nuclear weapons. There is no crisis-not Ukraine, not Nigeria, not Sudan, not the Israeli-Arab conflict-that is more threatening than the Iranian mullahs with nuclear weapons.
The cause is mankind. Nothing less.