Americans and the Saudi crown prince aren’t the only ones who believe that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is “the new Hitler.” The Harvard-educated, Iranian-American political scientist Dr. Majid Rafizadeh agrees.
At Arab News, Rafizadeh writes:
Once he was in charge of the Nazi Party, Hitler established two notorious organizations, the SA and the SS; agencies of terror tasked with surveillance and security who helped to control society and infiltrate other governments. Similarly, Khamenei supported the establishment of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its extraterritorial unit the Quds Force, and its volunteer paramilitary group, the Basij, to accomplish similar missions. Khamenei empowered the military, local militias, and the intelligence ministry.
[A]ny scholar who has studied Khamenei’s speeches carefully in the last three decades can observe that racism is a core tenet of Khamenei’s. He believes in Persian superiority over Arabs or other ethnicities. In a speech to women in Tehran, he explained why the Persian race is far superior to non-Persian races: “The European race is a barbaric race. They have a nice polished outfit, nicely ironed clothes, niceties, and wear nice perfumes, but their (race) has a barbaric nature which existed during history and still exists in them now. They murder people in cold blood, and Europeans and Americans beat women in their houses.”
Hitler did not limit his ideology to Germany. He believed he should spread it to the rest of the world. Similarly, Khamenei strongly advocates the use of hard power, war and violence to export his brand of Shiism abroad.
In fact, that mission is part of Iran’s constitution. The preamble states that the constitution “provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad.” In addition, the preamble states that Iran’s Army and Revolutionary Guard “will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of (Shiite) jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s (Shiite) law throughout the world … in the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.”
The only weakness in Dr. Rafizadeh’s column can be found in the second-to-last paragraph. He writes that the main difference between Hitler and Ayatollah Khamenei is that the latter is potentially “more threatening” because he is “extremely patient, shrewder, more Machiavellian, dictatorial and manipulative.”
Let’s not forget that Hitler almost succeeded in conquering Europe, that he started World War II, that he killed at least six million Jews and millions of others. He got away with his aggression for a long time precisely because he was extremely shrewd. It doesn’t get “more threatening” than Hitler; saying that the Grand Ayatollah is more threatening is, quite simply, an exaggeration. It’s doubtful that he’s even as dangerous as Hitler, who was one of the worst mass murders in mankind’s long and bloody history.
Having said that, if there is a modern version of Hitler, it’s clearly Ayatollah Khamenei. And if there’s one thing we learned from Hitler’s rise to power and World War II, it’s that dictators like that can never be appeased. They can only be stopped by force.