The problem between the United States and Iran is that the U.S. just hasn’t been nice enough to those lovable lugs in Tehran who just chant “Death to America” because we’re such meanies, right? That’s apparently the view of Biden’s handlers. The Jerusalem Post reported Friday that “the United States is considering the option of unfreezing $1 billion in Iranian funds to be used for humanitarian aid purposes as a possible goodwill gesture in the attempt to reach a new nuclear deal.”
The unaptly-named Thomas Countryman, who was assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation for six years during the first two Obama terms (we’re in the third now), explained it all for us rubes who still think that forking over large amounts of cash to an avowed enemy might not be the best idea in the world: “If it demonstrates the kind of good faith that can cause reciprocal good faith from the Iranian side, then it is potentially a good step forward.”
This is an indication of how disastrously naive and ill-informed our foreign policy “experts” really are. If the good Countryman and his colleagues understood even the basics about Islam, from Islamic sources rather than soothing propaganda for non-Muslim Westerners, they would know that any show of goodwill by the U.S. will be seen in Tehran as weakness to take advantage of, not as a gesture of good faith to be reciprocated. But Countryman and his ilk are unteachable in this regard, for they would regard the facts of the case as “Islamophobic.”
In the real world, it is enlightening to remember what Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on November 5, 2020, that “the next U.S. administration will surrender to the Iranian nation.” This wasn’t just tough talk. In light of Biden’s handlers’ apparent willingness to give the mullahs all they want and more, it was a sober assessment of the geopolitical situation.
There is no indication that the mullahs have changed their stance since November 2, 2015, when a commanding majority of the Majlis, 192 of its 290 members, agreed to a statement saying that “Death to America,” which continues to be chanted at every Friday prayer in Iranian mosques as well as at anti-American protests, was not just a slogan: it had “turned into the symbol of the Islamic Republic and all struggling nations.”
It is also useful to recall that on September 23, 2015, two months after the nuke deal was finalized, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, published an article entitled “The Idols Will Be Shattered,” illustrated with a drawing of the Statue of Liberty shattered in pieces. In it, he declared, “The idol of the soul, the idol of pride, [and] the idol of sexual lust; the idol of tyranny and subservience; the idol of global tyranny [that is, the U.S.]; the idol of sloth and irresponsibility; and the other idols that shame the precious human soul—a plan that will spring forth from the depths of the heart will shatter them.”
Back in July 2005, then–Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said essentially the same thing in a different way: “The message of the Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. Have no doubt … Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.”
Was this just a pious hope for the success of Islamic proselytizing? Hardly, given Ahmadinejad’s reference to the Islamic Revolution, the violent movement that had brought the Islamic Republic of Iran into being in 1979.
No less an authority than Khamenei’s predecessor, the Ayatollah Khomeini, said from the beginning that the goals of that Revolution were global: “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.” And the Iranian politician Mohsen Rezaei once told a cheering Iranian crowd: “We will build a force that will demolish the enemies of Islam, continue the path of our great prophet Muhammad, and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.”
Journalist Elaine Sciolino noted in her 2000 book Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran that a neon sign in Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport reads, in English, “In future Islam will destroy Satanic sovereignty of the West.”
Khamenei crowed Friday: “In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam.”
This is always the fruit of appeasement: emboldening of the aggressor. For enabling Khamenei’s sense of imminent victory, Biden’s handlers can stand up and take a bow.