The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Iran Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas  

Iran, Not ISIS, Is The Existential Threat

Photo of Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell
Former Ohio Secretary of State

In the confusion that accompanies the surge of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), it is not surprising that many are deeply concerned. This extraordinarily savage group of terrorists has stormed out of Syria and is threatening many cities in Iraq — cities that Americans liberated with their blood and treasure. It’s not surprising that, faced with such a stunning development, even officials like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) might consider working with Iran’s mullahs to stem the tide.

It was Churchill who decided to work with Stalin following Hitler’s betrayal of his ally some 73 years ago. He said if Hitler invaded hell, he would at least make favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

But nothing could be more damaging to America’s long-term security interests than aligning with the murderous regime of Tehran in any way for any purpose. The phrase that best describes the theocratic regime in Tehran is hostis humani generis — enemies of all mankind. This Latin term is applied in international law to terrorists, pirates, and slave traders. It fits this regime’s rule well.

Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It is a major persecutor of religion. In today’s Iran, Christians, Jews, Baha’i, Zoroastrians, and minority Muslim sects are actively suppressed and terrorized. Pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in a filthy prison, beaten and abused for “threatening the national security of Iran.” His crime: He started an orphanage!

Our own State Department reports on the full range of human rights abuses in Iran. These include:

disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging; politically motivated violence and repression, such as beatings and rape; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities, with instances of deaths in custody; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; continued impunity of security forces; denial of fair public trials, sometimes resulting in executions without due process…

Nor should it be forgotten that Iran publicly hangs homosexuals. Add to this catalogue of abuses even more from the State Department:

violence against women, children, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity

What other evidence is needed to label them “enemies of all mankind”?

The regime’s savagery is real and growing. No other nation so regularly calls for the physical elimination of the United States or its neighbor, Israel. No other nation is so actively seeking nuclear weapons.

Do we dare to dismiss their genocidal threats as bluster?

In Paris this week, groups of Iranian exiles, U.S. and European parliamentarians, military experts, and diplomats will meet to discuss ways to neutralize or change the regime in Iran.

Event organizers have announced that American participants include General George Casey, Ambassador John Bolton, Marc Ginsberg, Governor Ed Rendell, and Frances Townsend. Topics will include: deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, Tehran’s nuclear weapons proram, and the fate of Iranian refugees at Camp Liberty in Iraq.

If this conclave can reach consensus, and, if they can persuade the Western democracies to take concerted action, we may yet avert the most terrible conflict since the Second World War.

Every day the regime’s spinning centrifuges bring them a step closer to having a nuclear weapon. Iran’s former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly declared he could foresee “a world without the United States.” And he dismissed Israel as “a two-bomb country.”