Ledeen on Iran
Former White House and State Department official and Iran specialist Michael Ledeen is warning in a new book that the United States is failing to recognize that the Iranian regime is a force for evil in the modern world.
His new book, “Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West,” argues that ignoring the threat from Iran is similar to the failure before World War II to correctly identify the threat posed by Nazism.
“The refusal to see evil, and the deliberate denial of its existence, are very common, whether among policy makers, intellectuals or reporters,” Mr. Ledeen wrote.
Mr. Ledeen said that during the Bush administration, policy officials tried to hide information showing that Iran was assisting insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, notably through the exportation to Iraq of deadly explosively formed projectile bombs that can penetrate armored vehicles during roadside bombings.
He also criticizes the Western news media for failing to accurately investigate the Iranian regime.
“From surprisingly positive coverage of Iran’s tyrannical leaders, to ‘reporting’ designed to thwart any American inclination to support Iranian dissidents, American readers [. . . ] are unlikely to realize that Iran’s leaders are committed to the domination or destruction of the United States, Israel, the Jewish people, and indeed Western civilization,” said Mr. Ledeen, a scholar with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
To defeat the Iranian regime, Mr. Ledeen advocates a popular revolution, like what was beginning to happen earlier this year after outbreak of unrest following disputed presidential elections. “Iran today fulfills all the necessary conditions for revolution,” he said. “The existing system is widely condemned as a failure; the standard of living is dropping; the rulers are accurately viewed as evil and incompetent; and the once-dominant ideology is rejected by most Iranians.”
According to Mr. Ledeen, he has become a target of the Iranian regime. He stated that one state-run news outlet, Kayhan, accused former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami of “carrying out the instructions of Michael Ledeen.” Also, Iranian defendants in ongoing show trials stemming from the post-election unrest have been asked by Tehran prosecutors if they were “sent by Michael Ledeen.”
Mr. Ledeen was the only American who took part in 1985 talks between Israelis and Iranians that led to the Iran-Contra affair, which involved selling Iran antitank missiles and transferring the proceeds to anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua.
Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at email@example.com.