Ahmadinejad's terror policy must be fought

Government officials all over the world were stunned last month by statements made by Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the current president of Iran. Ahmadinejad stressed that having a world without the United States and 'Zionism' is indeed a goal 'which is attainable and could definitely be realized'.  Ahmadinejad also threatened leaders of Muslim countries with ties with Israel that they would burn in the 'fire' of their nations' 'fury'.  'This occupying country [Israel] is in reality the staging—ground of the World Arrogance in the heart of the Islamic world...' Ahmadinejad's remarks are indeed an articulation of his government's terror policy.

Last week, his invective found an ominous resonance in Jordan.

In the last two decades, Iran's primary instrument of advancing its foreign policy objectives has been terrorism or the threat of it. Engaged in an asymmetric war for regional domination, the mullahs of Tehran advocate the dispatch of the suicide bombers and hostage—takers as instruments of advancing their foreign policy agenda.

Ahmadinejad's speech was a call to action for terrorists to attack sites in the Middle East, and cannot go unanswered by the community of free nations in the midst of a Global War on Terror. On October 30, the Associated Press reported from Tehran that about 300 men and women, motivated by Ahmadinejad's remarks, turned up a few days later at a state—sponsored event to volunteer for suicide bomb attacks. Several senior officials, including Parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, were at the gathering, according to the report.

Ahmadinejad's ascendance to presidency was the product of a well—executed plan by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), backed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. To implement his bellicose domestic and foreign policies, Khamenei corruptly facilitated Ahmadinejad's 'election' to fill the seat of presidency. Ahmadinejad's loyalty to Velayat—e—Faqih and his notorious background as a former member of the IRGC and a commander of the Guards Corps' Qods (Jerusalem) Force, tasked with 'exporting the revolution to Qods  through Karbala', made him the best candidate to be the chief executer of the Supreme leader.

A glance at Ahmadinejad's performance since assuming office indicates a rapidly deteriorating situation in domestic and foreign policy areas. The state—owned hard—line daily Jomhouri Islami wrote that Khamenei had recently ordered the head of the country's judiciary to deal 'decisively' with 'elements creating disruption in society' and to sentence them to 'the most severe punishment that God has prescribed'.

Ahmadinejad's inauguration was followed by a severe crackdown on Iranians: arrests, at least 71 public hangings, and the execution of individuals, among them three women and minors.  In September of this year, close to 1,600 persons were arrested in Tehran as part of a nationwide crackdown. 

Last month, the international media watchdog, Reporters without Borders (RSF), ranked Iran as the worst violator of press freedoms rights in the Middle East. RSF ranked Iran at 164 out of 167 in its 2005 annual Press Freedom Index.

If economic expediency were ever a motivator for the West's policy of appeasement, their policies have certainly backfired. The Financial Times recently reported Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) has dropped 20 percent since the election. In response Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying

'If they [Iran's ruling elite] allowed us to execute 2 or 3 individuals, Tehran Stock Exchange's...problems would be solved for good,'

according to state—controlled on—line publication Rooz, whose correspondent spoke with the ministers after the session.  None of this news bodes well for Iran's industries, including its petroleum industry or for the stability of the global petroleum industry.

And in the nuclear standoff, Ahmadinejad's government resumed operations at the nuclear facility in Esfahan last August in violation of its Paris agreement, and since then has pursued a highly dangerous and belligerent diplomatic approach. In short, mullahs are fulfilling their nuclear weapons ambitions and there is not going to be any turning back.

Western efforts sidestepping the irreformable rogue nature of the Iranian regime have so far failed miserably, for both the Iranian people and the West. Opting for the delusional goal of achieving 'behavioral change' of Iran's theocratic regime, European capitals have designed their policy based on the appeasement of the Iranian government. While Washington has moved away from the late 1990s outright appeasement of the clerical regime by President Clinton, it is suffering from a policy paralysis — which is no less harmful than appeasement. The West's roadmap has so far included measured sanctions relief, huge trade and commerce, opening dialogue channels with Iranian officials and blacklisting the 'enemies of the ayatollahs', Iran's main opposition, the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) and its primary member the Mujahedine—e Khalq (MEK). 

The reality on the ground inside Iran is rapidly changing for the worse. This is alarming, to say the least.  The policy of the free world's democracies has to be designed to answer Tehran's terror policy.  If the free world is unable or unwilling, it may lose more than it could have ever gained by appeasing the tyrants of Tehran. A firm policy, clear of any appeasing gestures, with the intention of supporting the legitimate opposition groups, is the most beneficial solution for the West and the Iranian people to deal with the government of Iran and its rising terror policies.

Roya Johnson is vice president of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran.

Government officials all over the world were stunned last month by statements made by Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the current president of Iran. Ahmadinejad stressed that having a world without the United States and 'Zionism' is indeed a goal 'which is attainable and could definitely be realized'.  Ahmadinejad also threatened leaders of Muslim countries with ties with Israel that they would burn in the 'fire' of their nations' 'fury'.  'This occupying country [Israel] is in reality the staging—ground of the World Arrogance in the heart of the Islamic world...' Ahmadinejad's remarks are indeed an articulation of his government's terror policy.

Last week, his invective found an ominous resonance in Jordan.

In the last two decades, Iran's primary instrument of advancing its foreign policy objectives has been terrorism or the threat of it. Engaged in an asymmetric war for regional domination, the mullahs of Tehran advocate the dispatch of the suicide bombers and hostage—takers as instruments of advancing their foreign policy agenda.

Ahmadinejad's speech was a call to action for terrorists to attack sites in the Middle East, and cannot go unanswered by the community of free nations in the midst of a Global War on Terror. On October 30, the Associated Press reported from Tehran that about 300 men and women, motivated by Ahmadinejad's remarks, turned up a few days later at a state—sponsored event to volunteer for suicide bomb attacks. Several senior officials, including Parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, were at the gathering, according to the report.

Ahmadinejad's ascendance to presidency was the product of a well—executed plan by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), backed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. To implement his bellicose domestic and foreign policies, Khamenei corruptly facilitated Ahmadinejad's 'election' to fill the seat of presidency. Ahmadinejad's loyalty to Velayat—e—Faqih and his notorious background as a former member of the IRGC and a commander of the Guards Corps' Qods (Jerusalem) Force, tasked with 'exporting the revolution to Qods  through Karbala', made him the best candidate to be the chief executer of the Supreme leader.

A glance at Ahmadinejad's performance since assuming office indicates a rapidly deteriorating situation in domestic and foreign policy areas. The state—owned hard—line daily Jomhouri Islami wrote that Khamenei had recently ordered the head of the country's judiciary to deal 'decisively' with 'elements creating disruption in society' and to sentence them to 'the most severe punishment that God has prescribed'.

Ahmadinejad's inauguration was followed by a severe crackdown on Iranians: arrests, at least 71 public hangings, and the execution of individuals, among them three women and minors.  In September of this year, close to 1,600 persons were arrested in Tehran as part of a nationwide crackdown. 

Last month, the international media watchdog, Reporters without Borders (RSF), ranked Iran as the worst violator of press freedoms rights in the Middle East. RSF ranked Iran at 164 out of 167 in its 2005 annual Press Freedom Index.

If economic expediency were ever a motivator for the West's policy of appeasement, their policies have certainly backfired. The Financial Times recently reported Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) has dropped 20 percent since the election. In response Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying

'If they [Iran's ruling elite] allowed us to execute 2 or 3 individuals, Tehran Stock Exchange's...problems would be solved for good,'

according to state—controlled on—line publication Rooz, whose correspondent spoke with the ministers after the session.  None of this news bodes well for Iran's industries, including its petroleum industry or for the stability of the global petroleum industry.

And in the nuclear standoff, Ahmadinejad's government resumed operations at the nuclear facility in Esfahan last August in violation of its Paris agreement, and since then has pursued a highly dangerous and belligerent diplomatic approach. In short, mullahs are fulfilling their nuclear weapons ambitions and there is not going to be any turning back.

Western efforts sidestepping the irreformable rogue nature of the Iranian regime have so far failed miserably, for both the Iranian people and the West. Opting for the delusional goal of achieving 'behavioral change' of Iran's theocratic regime, European capitals have designed their policy based on the appeasement of the Iranian government. While Washington has moved away from the late 1990s outright appeasement of the clerical regime by President Clinton, it is suffering from a policy paralysis — which is no less harmful than appeasement. The West's roadmap has so far included measured sanctions relief, huge trade and commerce, opening dialogue channels with Iranian officials and blacklisting the 'enemies of the ayatollahs', Iran's main opposition, the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) and its primary member the Mujahedine—e Khalq (MEK). 

The reality on the ground inside Iran is rapidly changing for the worse. This is alarming, to say the least.  The policy of the free world's democracies has to be designed to answer Tehran's terror policy.  If the free world is unable or unwilling, it may lose more than it could have ever gained by appeasing the tyrants of Tehran. A firm policy, clear of any appeasing gestures, with the intention of supporting the legitimate opposition groups, is the most beneficial solution for the West and the Iranian people to deal with the government of Iran and its rising terror policies.

Roya Johnson is vice president of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran.