The Islamic Republic of Iran, as it calls itself, is not a republic, but it is Islamic.
Here are two definitions to make the point before moving on to a larger point.
A republic is defined by dictionary.com as “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.” Iran’s elections put supreme power in religious leaders, not the people. In previous elections when there were public demonstrations in opposition to the government, “the people” were jailed, or murdered by the regime.
Radical Islam is a system of beliefs founded on interpretations of the Koran made by political leadership that seeks to impose those beliefs on its citizens and the rest of the world, by force if necessary. At least that’s my definition, based on sermons from hardline mullahs in Iran and elsewhere, along with personal observations about how those beliefs are put into practice.
Obviously, not all Muslims agree on everything, especially when it comes to politics. Neither do Christians and Jews for that matter, but Christians and Jews are not known for wanting to eliminate nations they don’t like or for forcibly imposing their will on others.
The recent election in Iran, if one can call it that since the results were preordained, places the presidency of the country in the hands of one Ebrahim Raisi, a man who is even more radical than his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani. In the case of Iran, it doesn’t appear to matter who the president is since the real power rests with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but the election ought to send a message to the Biden administration that its attempt to re-enter the nuclear deal from which former President Trump withdrew the U.S. is a fool’s errand. In the end, such a deal will not benefit the U.S., Israel and the world.
Statements from Iranian leaders give the lie to American diplomats who think their soft tones and goodwill toward Tehran will change the goals or behavior of its leaders.
According to The Times of Israel, Supreme Leader Khamenei has developed a nine-point plan for the destruction of Israel, calling it “a barbaric” Jewish state that “has no cure but to be annihilated.” What is unclear about that statement?
There are many similar statements but why should I repeat myself? How many similar or repeated statements are needed before we believe they mean what they say? Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have also made clear the familiar chant “death to America” is not a bumper sticker slogan. Only the self-deluded would claim they are insincere.
I’ve asked this question before of other administrations. Why would anyone, regarded by Iran’s leaders as secular infidels, think they can negotiate with religious fanatics who want them dead, and their country destroyed? How can anyone negotiate with those who want to rule and dominate the world?
Do Westerners sincerely believe they can sway those who proclaim to take direct orders from their god? These religious zealots believe their god wants them to pursue an agenda of death to Jews and to eliminate Israel, Western Europe and the United States. Recall it was the late Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, who suggested Islam will conquer Europe through immigration and without firing a shot.
Financial advisers and brokerage firms are required by law to tell clients “past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
In the case of Iran, past (and current) performance IS a guarantee of future results.
• Cal Thomas, a nationally syndicated columnist, is the author of “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires, Superpowers and the United States” (Harper Collins/Zondervan, January 2020).