Ledeen on Iran

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

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 in­sid­e­ther­ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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