Iranian Aggression Will Continue
The Iranians have about 19 more months to take advantage of the naivety of President Obama and his Administration. You can be sure that they will do so.
We have seen this all throughout the 18 months of the nuclear negotiations with the P 5 + 1. During these negotiations, when Islamist Iran was supposedly working so hard to come to a compromise with the U.S. regarding its nuclear capabilities, we instead saw U.S. appeasement matched by Iranian cheating on the “deal,” a worsening human rights situation in Iran, and Iranian aggression in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and the Persian Gulf.
It should be obvious why the Iranians are behaving this way. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, since the Islamist Iranians first seized our embassy in Teheran in 1979, the U.S. has reached out numerous times to push diplomacy to make common cause with Iranian “moderates,” only to see our efforts continuously rebuffed. Presidents Carter, Reagan -- remember Iran-Contra? -- Bush I, Clinton, and even Bush II -- under the prodding of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- all tried and failed to “reach out” and “compromise” with the “moderates.” In fact, each time, the Iranian Islamists rewarded them with more bad behavior, including threats, violence, kidnapping, terrorism, building nuclear weapons, and more.
The Islamist Iranians simply don’t like the United States. They don’t just shout “Death to America” to hear themselves speak. Most recently, this has been aptly demonstrated by a study of the K-12 textbooks with which the Iranian leadership indoctrinates their youth to hate Americans. “Textbooks of tyrannies are the most authentic reflection of the nature and mission of the regimes,” Ambassador (Ret.) Yoram Ettinger describes these textbooks as follows:
Iranian school textbooks, such as The Qur'an and Life (Grade 12, p. 125) prepare Iranian children for the Ayatollahs’ sublime goal: the apocalyptic, horrifying, millenarian, military battle against the USA and other “arrogant oppressors of the world,” which are ostensibly led by “idolatrous devils.” While the “savior” -- the infallible, immortal, divinely ordained and eventual global leader, the Mahdi -- has not surfaced yet, Iranian children are taught that the battle is already raging throughout the world, awaiting their sacrifice.
As Amb. (Ret.) Ettinger notes, the Iranian leadership’s apocalyptic religious vision is one of the primary reasons for its hatred of the U.S. and its extreme aggressiveness throughout the world. Dr. Bernard Lewis, the leading U.S. scholar on the Middle East and a consultant to the U.S. and other Western governments, warns about Iranian radicalism, “Iran’s leadership comprises a group of extreme fanatical Muslims who believe that their messianic times have arrived. This is quite dangerous... with these people in Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent factor, but rather an inducement. They feel that they can hasten the final messianic process. This is an extremely dangerous situation of which it is important to be aware.” Reports show that Supreme Leader Khamenei believes that the end of times is close at hand, and that the Iranian savior, the Mahdi, can be brought to the world through Iranian sponsored warfare and destruction. Obviously, acquiring and then using nuclear weapons on their enemies would be one way to do that.
Another reason for Iranian aggression is that “Iran has an apocalyptic regime with a great deal to be apocalyptic about. As I have argued in these pages since 2005, no poor country in the entire troubled history of the world has seen its fertility rate plunge from 7 children per female just one generation ago to only 1.6 children per female today… As a matter of arithmetic, Iran can sustain a third of its population as elderly dependents only by acquiring the wealth of its neighbors, for example, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, which has a Shia majority, and where Iran already is attempting to subvert the Saudi monarchy. That is why Iran is aggressive, and why no negotiation will contain it,” noted demographer David Goldman said. A UN report has warned that Iran’s population would begin to shrink in two decades and would decline by more than 50 per cent by the end of the century if present trends continued. This means that if Islamist Iran is going to move to conquer surrounding Shia majority areas in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, the time to do so is now. And indeed, no doubt coincidently, that is exactly what we are seeing throughout the Middle East today.
A third reason for Iranian aggression stems from Iranian culture and history. Iran, under all types of leadership, has long had a desire to dominate the Middle East and the rest of the world. Prior to Islam, Persia (as Iran was then known) was one of the superpowers of the Ancient World. In 2006, the blockbuster movie 300 came out, depicting in a very stylized form the Persian invasion of Greece in the 5th century BC. Invasions continued under Muslim rulers such as “the Safavid Dynasty of the 16th century… Under the Safavids, the Shah and the mullahs alike, Tehran has vied for regional domination. Do not expect Iran to compromise its principles any time soon.”
A fourth reason is that Iran is a theocracy, and not some sort of democracy or republic which is statistically less likely to wage war upon another democracy or republic such as the U.S. or Israel. As even PBS has conceded, “On the surface, the U.S. and Iranian governments have much in common: a president who is popularly elected, a boisterous legislature, and a powerful judiciary. The obvious difference lies in the fact that Iran is an Islamic theocracy, and that one man, the Supreme Leader, exerts ideological and political control over a system dominated by clerics who shadow every major function of the state.”
Finally, there is the fact that the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is dying of cancer. He probably only has a few years to live. Might this fact prompt him to push more quickly for Iran’s final triumph over the “Great Satan,” i.e., the U.S? Might this also prompt him to push for more quick conquests and warfare to prompt the return of the Madhi?
Combining all the above reasons, we can count on Iranian aggression to continue and increase until the end of President Obama’s second term. We can also expect more cheating by the Iranians in their efforts to develop a nuclear missile.
Of course, they are not obvious to President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the rest of the U.S. administration. That is why I have compared the president to the foolish and incompetent fictional character, George Costanza, from Seinfeld. These days, I feel a little bad about that -- whatever faults George Costanza had, he was at least self-aware that he was a foolish and incompetent person. President Obama still thinks he is a benevolent and wise president making the world a more peaceful and stable place. In his benevolent wisdom, he has decided that the best way to stabilize and make more peaceful the Middle East is to give billions of dollars to Iran, and allow the America-hating, belligerent, apocalyptic, terror-sponsoring, genocidal Iranian regime to develop nuclear weapons.
God help us.
Adam Turner serves as general counsel to the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). He is a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he focused on national security law.