challenge: Is there another way?
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Obama asserted on April 2, 2015 that he was ready to conclude an agreement
with the Ayatollahs "only if Iran came to the table in a serious
April 6, 2015, Obama stated that it would be "a fundamental
misjudgment" to precondition an agreement with the Ayatollahs upon the transformation
of the nature of their regime.
Indeed, the Ayatollahs must come to the table
in a serious way for an effective agreement to be concluded - advancing
peaceful coexistence, rather than fueling violence. However, "a
serious (peace-driven) way," on the one hand, and the nature
of the Ayatollahs, on the other hand, constitutes an oxymoron.
The well-documented nature of the
Ayatollahs consists of: Islamic
supremacy; violent intolerance of the Christian and Jewish "infidel;"
apocalyptic and megalomaniac worldview and policies; worshipping
martyrdom/suicide bombing; ruthless domestic repression; hate-education in K-12;
sponsorship of global Islamic terrorism; subversion and terrorism against all
pro-US Arab regimes; collaboration with all anti-US regimes; nuclear cooperation
and co-development of long-range ballistic capabilities with North Korea,
a rogue nuclear power; expansion of economic, military, gas and nuclear
cooperation with Russia, which collaborates with Iran in Syria and Yemen;
undermining the US position in Latin America via the enhancement of economic,
military and gas cooperation with Venezuela
which supply uranium to Iran, as well as overall cooperation with Argentina and
uranium-rich Ecuador; demonization of the USA in schools, media and mosques -
"the Great Satan;" celebration of the November 4 "Death to
America Day;" systematic
non-compliance with agreements
through the art of nuclear concealment, double-talk and deception (Taqiyyah).
An effective agreement must not subordinate
reliability to desirability. Therefore, the track record of the Ayatollahs
should override - and must not be sacrificed on the altar of - the hopes and
aspirations of reaching an agreement. The reality inside the negotiation
halls must be determined by – and not conflict with - the reality of Iran's
track record outside the negotiation halls. As pertinent as are the
details of an agreement, the details of the Ayatollahs' track record –
domestically, regionally and globally - constitute the dominant element which
will shape the ripple effects of an agreement: will it promote peaceful
coexistence or intensify violence?
political convenience and assessments must be subordinated to long term
assessments of the imperialistic goals and rogue foreign and national security
policies of the Ayatollahs.
An agreement with a rogue regime cannot be
effective unless preconditioned upon the dramatic transformation of the nature
of the regime.
The ethos, mission and long-term vision of
the Ayatollahs are reflected most
authentically and lucidly in their school textbooks, which were analyzed
by the Center
for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP). According to CMIP, which analyzed
115 textbooks, "Hostility towards the USA is apparent everywhere in
the textbooks, backed by a set of titles of which 'the Great Satan' is
exclusively reserved for the USA…. Iran prepares its school students to fight
the West – the US in particular – as an indispensable phase of the Islamic
Revolution…. Much emphasis is put on Jihad [Holy War] and martyrdom….
Iran's school system prepares its pupils for World War III in the name
of Islam against American world hegemony…. A life-or-death global war
against the infidel oppressors…. 'O Muslims of the world, you should
overcome the fear of death and leverage the passionate and martyrdom-seeking
youths…. We shall not cease until the annihilation of all of them (Islamic
Viewpoint, Grade 11)'…. 'The exalted God gives eternal Paradise to anyone
who becomes a martyr [Islamic Culture and Religious Instruction, Grade
8]…. There is a clear differentiation between Islam and the other monotheistic
religions. Islam is considered superior… the only valid religion…. Israel
is presented as a base created by Western Colonialism for the control of the
Arabs and Muslims [Geography, Grade 11]…."
Unlike the USSR which
adhered to the principle of mutual assured destruction (MAD), the apocalyptic
worldview of the Ayatollahs – who had no compunction in dispatching
500,000 children to clear minefields during Iran's war against Iraq - considers
MAD-driven martyrdom an inducement, a sublime prize. Furthermore, the Ayatollahs
believe in the imminent emergence of the 12th (Hidden) Imam, the
Mahdi – Muhammad's successor - through apocalyptic events, which could be
accelerated via military confrontations, including nuclear.
While negotiating with the USA, the Ayatollahs
follow core Islamic principles such as the Hudaybiyyah Treaty – which
allows Muslims to conclude an agreement, to be abrogated, in order to overcome
the "infidel" – and Taqiyyah, which legitimizes deception in
the pursuit of Islamic goals. For example, on November 5, 2004, notwithstanding
the facts, the current Foreign
Minister, Zarif, wrote: "The predominant view among Iranian
decision-makers is that possession of nuclear weapons would only undermine
Iranian security…. There are also serious ideological restrictions against
weapons of mass destruction…. A costly nuclear weapon option would reduce
Iran's regional influence and increase its global vulnerabilities." On
September 12, 2002, Iran's current President,
Rouhani, proclaimed on ABC-TV: "We are not pursuing nuclear, chemical,
biological weapons." On March 21, 2003, the Supreme
Ayatollah, Khamenei, stated: "The statement that the Islamic Republic
wants to obtain chemical weapons and the atomic bomb is totally false."
Against the backdrop of the track record of
the Ayatollahs, it would be a
well-intentioned fundamental misjudgment – which could lead to a global
chaos, including a nuclear war - not to precondition an agreement with
the Ayatollahs upon the drastic transformation of the nature of their regime.