The Biden administration and the EU appear determined to pursue a dangerous policy of appeasement against a regime that chants "Death to America", that plots to push the US out of the Middle East, that is committed to uprooting and replacing Israel, and that is, according to the US Department of State, one of only four state sponsors of terrorism, as well as a leading violator of human rights. Pictured: Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, proclaims "Death to America." (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)
Winston Churchill famously warned against appeasing the aggressor: "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear -- I fear greatly -- the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely. It will spread to the South; it will spread to the North."
History has repeatedly proven that appeasing a rogue state only emboldens and empowers it. Nevertheless, the Biden administration and the European Union appear determined to pursue this dangerous policy of appeasement against a regime that chants "Death to America", that plots to push the US out of the Middle East, that is committed to uprooting and replacing Israel, and that is, according to the US Department of State, one of only four state sponsors of terrorism, as well as a leading violator of human rights.
All the same, on July 2, sanctions against three Iranians were lifted under Executive Order 13382. These individuals had also been sanctioned by the previous US administration for their involvement in advancing Iran's ballistic missile program.
The European Union is forging ahead as well to revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions against the mullahs even after the Iranian regime handpicked a mass murderer to be its next president. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union, announced that an agreement was "very close". "We have invested a lot of political capital," he added, "... so I hope that the result of the elections is not going to be the last obstacle that will ruin the negotiation process. As far as I know... this is not going to be the case."
In addition, on June 10, the Biden administration removed sanctions on three former Iranian government officials and two Iranian companies involved in the country's oil industry. The Biden administration also revoked the designation of Iran's proxy, the Houthis, as a terrorist group, and is ignoring that the Iranian regime sent a destroyer, the Sahand, and a support vessel -- the intelligence-gathering Makran -- to Venezuela. The Makran set sail on the mission "with seven high-speed missile-attack craft strapped to its deck," according to a report published by the U.S. Naval Institute.
June 20, 2021, Borrell claimed that lifting sanctions against the Iranian government would bring peace. Have the Biden administration and the European Union already forgotten the disastrous outcome of appeasing the mullahs in 2015, when the Obama administration and the European Union reached with the Iranian regime a deal in order to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic? US President Barack Obama pledged at the time that he was "confident" the deal would "meet the national security needs of the United States and our allies". Throughout that time, the EU and the Obama administration not only initiated and expanded appeasement policies, they made unprecedented concessions in an attempt to dissuade the ruling mullahs from their internal and external aggression. The US and the EU met the Iranian mullahs with generosity and flexibility every step of the way.
After sanctions against the mullahs were lifted, instead of bringing peace and curbing Iran's malign behavior at home and abroad, those appeasements gave the ruling mullahs of Iran a newfound global legitimacy. The removal of sanctions generated billions of dollars in revenue for Iran's military institution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as for Iran's militia and terror groups. Tehran used that influx of revenues to expand its influence throughout the region, especially in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Iran's aggressive expansion campaign proved immensely successful. The Iranian-armed Houthis ratcheted up efforts to cause death and destruction in Yemen, and Hezbollah escalated its involvement and control of large swathes of Syrian territory. The region also saw a greater propensity for Houthi rocket launches at civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, the deployment of thousands of Hezbollah foot soldiers in Syria, and the constant bombardment of southern Israel by Iranian-funded Hamas rockets.
The US and the EU must put a stop to feeding the crocodile and end their mercenary appeasement policy of the mullahs of Iran. The present strategy is no different than enriching the Nazi Germany during WWII or Soviet Russia during the Cold War. For the rogue state, concessions and appeasements mean weakness. It would have been so much less costly in life and treasure to stop Hitler before he crossed the Rhine. The more the US and the EU appease the mullahs, the more aggressive and belligerent they become.
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