President Obama has made it one of his chief missions to reach out to the Islamic Republic of Iran. His attempt to cut a nuclear deal with Iran – a deal that would leave Iran with a huge number of centrifuges intact and a crippling sanctions regime against it largely removed – is merely the latest signal that the President has faith that the Iranian dictatorship can be an ally to the United States. In 2009, Obama said this:
My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect. You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations.In 2009, Iran began shooting dissenters in the streets.
Obama said this particular shooting was “heartbreaking” and blathered about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. Then he went back to catering to the mullahs.
In 2011, Obama did virtually nothing when Iran began filling the vacuum left by the United States in Iraq. This week, Obama signaled that he was ready to cut a deal with Iranian-backed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad – a man he said “had to go” after Assad used weapons of mass destruction on his own people in 2011. Earlier this year, the Obama State Department labeled the radical Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen – a group that burns American flags and screams “Death to the Jews” – a “legitimate political constituency.” This week, Obama celebrated the Iranian holiday of Nowruz at the White House, with Michelle Obama gushing, “I think it’s so fitting we’re holding this celebration here today.”
How wrong is Obama about Iran?
Let’s look back at history. In 1979, after Jimmy Carter let the Shah of Iran fall, the Ayatollah Khomeini took over. The new regime promptly popularized the slogan “Death to America,” and took Americans at the embassy hostage. Every Friday for the last 37 years, massive prayer sessions led by the mullahs chant that slogan. Here’s one from last year, as our friends at MEMRI reveal:
Murals like this one are not uncommon across Tehran.
It’s not just sloganeering. The bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 was carried about by Hezbollah, a Shiite Iranian proxy group. The United States believes that Hezbollah was behind the bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut that same year as well, and Reagan reportedly thought about bombing Iranian Revolutionary Guard stations in retaliation. The continuous kidnapping of Americans ended up leading to the Iran-Contra scandal when the Reagan administration began smuggling weapons to the Iranians in an attempt to free American hostages. During this period, the Iranian regime used child soldiers; the president encouraged those above the age of 12 to volunteer. A reported 95,000 children under the age of 18 were wounded or killed in the war.
Iran provided significant material support for the 9/11 hijackers. According to the 9/11 Commission Report:
Senior managers in al Qaeda maintained contacts with Iran and the Iranian-supported worldwide terrorist organization Hezbollah, which is based mainly in southern Lebanon and Beirut. Al Qaeda members received advice and training from Hezbollah. Intelligence indicates the persistence of contacts between Iranian security officials and senior al Qaeda figures after Bin Ladin's return to Afghanistan…we now have evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 Saudi "muscle" operatives traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001….In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.The Commission concluded, “We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. government.” No further investigation ever took place.
During the Iraq War, the Iranian government heavily facilitated the rise of Shiite militias dedicated to the murder of American troops. In Afghanistan, they provided material support to the Taliban to assist in the murder of American troops. All of this continued during the Obama administration. Obama’s own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said in 2011 that Iranian-backed militas were “killing our troops” in Iraq. He said that Iranian officials “know about it.” “Iran is playing an outsized role,” Mullen said. “That has to be dealt with. It’s killing our people.”
Obama’s solution: pull out of Iraq and hand the country over to Iran, which had already helped turn the country into shambles with its allied leader, Nouri Al-Maliki, cleaning security forces of Sunnis. His replacement is an even more pro-Iranian leader, Haider al-Abadi.
Even as the Iranian economy suffers from global sanctions and Saudi attempts to undercut Iranian oil prices, Iran’s expansionism grows. Iraq. Syria. Lebanon. Yemen. The Saudis live in fear. So do the Jordanians and the Egyptians.
Iranian power over the past three decades has meant thousands of dead Americans. But Obama keeps pushing for Iranian power nonetheless. Which means thousands more dead Americans in our future.