Iran breached international law by carrying out the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. Iran detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release these hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history. Pictured: Two of the American hostages held by Iran after the takeover of the US Embassy, November 4, 1979. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Former President Barack Obama created this policy, and insisted that it would be successful. Even as Iran flaunted its disregard for the American government, as well as human life, President Obama would continually apologize to the Iranian leaders. He made it sound as if America was to blame for initiating the hatred that the Iranian government projects toward the United States.
But let us get the historical facts straight. Hatred and deep antagonism towards the US, Israel and the Jews are indispensable pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When the ruling mullahs came to power in 1979, it was not the US that started the hatred by criticizing or opposing the ruling clerics. In fact, former President Jimmy Carter welcomed the Islamic Republic and viewed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a good religious holy man. According to recently declassified documents, the Carter administration even paved the way for Khomeini to return to Iran.
Such amicable behavior and support from the US, however, did not change Tehran's policies. The Islamic Republic still publicly declared its revolutionary ideals, which, from the outset, included standing against Israel and the US.
It was Iran, not the US, that breached international law by carrying out the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. Iran detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release these hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history.
This was the beginning of the journey of hatred. It was also Iran, not the US, that immediately began using its proxies, such as Hezbollah, to commit terrorism and incite antagonism towards America.
Hezbollah has been accused of terrorist attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, in which 241 U.S. Marines were killed; the 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut; the 1984 United States Embassy annex bombing in Beirut; as well as the 9/11 attacks in the United States, for which federal courts ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion to the families of the victims of the horrific attack. Hezbollah and Iran were also reportedly behind the 1992 attack on Israel's Embassy in Buenos Aires during which 29 people were killed, as well as bombing the USS Cole.
It was the Iranian government that provided aid to Al Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks against the US. A New York court found that "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran ("Iran") has a long history of providing material aid and support to terrorist organizations including al Qaeda, which have claimed responsibility for the August 7, 1998 embassy bombings."
The New York federal court added that "Iran had been the preeminent state sponsor of terrorism against the United States and its interests for decades. Throughout the 1990s — at least — Iran regarded al Qaeda as a useful tool to destabilize U.S. interests. As discussed in detail below, the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs."
While former President Barack Obama was busy apologizing to, and appeasing Iran, the Islamic Republic continued its terror against the US by carrying out unneighborly acts such as detaining 10 U.S. Navy sailors, humiliating them, and releasing a video of the episode. The list goes on.
The US has nothing to apologize for. Why should the US appease the Iranian leaders? Should the mullahs be appeased for killing thousands of Americans? For continually taking Americans as hostages? For being the leading executioner of children in the world? For ranking the first in the world per capita when it comes to executing people? For being the world's top state sponsor of terrorism? For making every possible effort to damage US national security and scuttle US foreign policy objectives?
The Iranian government's hatred towards the US often seems the most important reason for its existence. As long as the ruling mullahs remain in power, the Islamic Republic will continue its acts of terror and deep antagonism against Americans, their Sunni neighbors, the lands they try to control -- such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, parts of Gaza and Venezuela, Lebanon -- and the West.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu