Iran was ordered by a US judge to pay $7.5 billion to the families of victims of 9/11. Does anyone seriously think that having a bomb and billions of dollars will make the mullahs less aggressive? (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Biden administration and the European Union continue to appease the ruling mullahs of Iran while ignoring the regime's threats to annihilate Israel. Do they really believe that appeasing the Islamic Republic will lead to a positive change within the regime? Or do they secretly hope that Iran will do them a favor and finally, to paraphrase King Henry II, rid them of this troublesome country?
The Biden administration and the European Union might do well to understand that revolutionary and authoritarian regimes such as the Islamic Republic -- as we are seeing now with Vladimir Putin's Russian invasion if Ukraine -- do not alter their malign policies through appeasement and concessions. If anything --as there are no negative consequences for unneighborly behavior, and sometimes there are even rewards -- they regard appeasement and concessions as green lights and double down, go twice as bad.
Take a look at history of the Islamic Republic: for almost four decades, since its inception in 1979, it has kept its revolutionary ideals. One of its most non-negotiable and critical revolutionary ideals is exporting its ideology and system of (Velayat e faqih: Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) to other countries. The late founder of the regime, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, introduced a revolutionary notion in Islamic Shiite thought with the concept of Velayat e Faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) which means a clergy or an ayatollah should have custodianship and power over the people across the world, should rule over people and be the final decision maker.
The regime calls this core mission, Jihad, which has to be achieved through hard power and violence. As the Islamic Republic's constitution points out: "The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ... will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God's way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world."
The founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, reiterated this important Islamic mission on several occasions: He famously said, "We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry 'There is no god but Allah' resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle."
For the revolutionary regime of Iran, all that matters is the triumph of Islam. As Ayatollah Khamenei stated, "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." He adds, "Islam is politics or it is nothing."
To achieve this revolutionary ideal of creating one nation under Islam, the ruling mullahs believe that whoever opposes them is an infidel and must be eliminated. As Ayatollah Khomeini warns "If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, the infidel's moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him." He also adds "All those against the revolution must disappear and quickly be executed."
Suppressing women is another revolutionary ideal of the regime. "Is progress achieved by sending women to the majlis [parliament]? Sending women to these centers is nothing but corruption. We are against this prostitution. We object to such wrongdoings," Ayatollah Khomenei said about women role in politics.
Take a quick look as well at the destruction that this regime has caused in the last four decades. At its inception, the regime detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release its hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history. The Iranian regime has also been using its proxies, such as Hezbollah, to commit terrorism and incite antagonism towards America, Israel and even just Jews. 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 1984 United States Embassy annex bombing in Beirut; the 9/11 attacks in the United States, for which a U.S. federal court ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion to the victims' families. 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 in October, 2000.
It was the Iranian government that provided aid to Al Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks against the US on 9/11/2001. 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."
Does anyone seriously think that having a bomb and billions of dollars will make the mullahs less aggressive?
It is time for the Biden administration and the European Union to see that, as with Putin's Russia, no amount of appeasement or concessions is going to pressure the Iranian regime – called by the US State Department itself "The world's worst state sponsor of terrorism -- to change its ruthless, expansionist program for the better.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, is a business strategic 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