- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama criticizes the war in Iraq, saying, “Iran, which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq, is emboldened and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.”

Would premature withdrawal of U.S. forces - set by an arbitrary timetable - pave the way for Iran’s greater influence in Iraq and the region or a lesser one?

Mr. Obama’s Web site suggests that “we have not exhausted our non-military options…; in many ways, we have yet to try them.” His site also says “we will offer [Iran] incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations.”

Do Iran’s rulers seek nuclear bombs, export Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, take American diplomats hostage and help bomb U.S. bases in Lebanon just to push for normalizing relations and joining WTO?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is clear: “The political power of the occupiers [of Iraq] is being destroyed rapidly, and very soon we will be witnessing a great power vacuum in the region… We… are ready to fill this void.”

What’s the danger of endless negotiations? Could Iran use the opportunity to work on building the bomb and wait out the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq?

Religious fascism is no less a global threat than Hitler’s Nazism. Would we have advised British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to use more incentives, more negotiations? Today, the military option is preventable. The United States should continue protecting Iranian freedom fighters in Ashraf, Iraq. It’s time to support the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, capable of ending the mullahs’ rule - a change we can believe in.

DR. SEYED SAJADI

Overland Park, Kan.

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