Evil from the top down One can never con­vert an evil nui­sance like Iran through be­ing care­ful

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Lord Magin­nis of Drum­glass

The Ira­nian regime is, cur­rently, high among the most trou­ble­mak­ing regimes of the world if not the high­est in terms of pure nui­sance value. It sab­o­taged, con­trary to the ac­cepted diplo­matic norms, a tanker car­ry­ing oil to Ja­pan on the very same day that Ja­pan’s Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe was meet­ing Ay­a­tol­lah Khamenei; it sent its own oil-tanker to Syria in vi­o­la­tion of the EU sanc­tions and then seized a British oil-tanker at the di­rect order of the ay­a­tol­lah in an il­le­gal and desta­bi­liz­ing be­hav­ior in al­leged re­tal­i­a­tion at Gi­bral­tar’s le­gal de­ten­tion of its oil bound for Syria.

When its IRGC of­fen­sive drone was re­cently de­stroyed by the United States, it de­nied that it ever had any drone. Iran’s for­eign min­is­ter bla­tantly crit­i­cized a BBC in­ter­viewer who told him that Iran gave mil­lions of dol­lars to Hezbol­lah ev­ery year by say­ing “Who says that Iran gives money to Hezbol­lah?”

Ap­par­ently, he had for­got­ten his own pres­ence with that cyn­i­cal smile on his face in a meet­ing where the ter­ror­ist leader of Hezbol­lah threat­ened the West that they could by no means cut the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s funds through sanc­tions of bank trans­ac­tions — “be­cause we re­ceived cash money from Iran for ev­ery­thing.”

One can pro­duce an end­less list of such be­hav­ior by the Iran regime which has proved, beyond doubt, its shame­less mas­tery of sheer lies and de­ceit­ful acts. Surely, there can no longer be any ques­tion re­main­ing as to why think of re­solv­ing any mat­ter with such a regime through talks and di­a­logue?

How could the world’s democ­ra­cies ever trust a govern­ment which,for four decades, has demon­strated that it rec­og­nizes only its own right to vi­o­late oth­ers’ rights and free­doms — most ob­vi­ously those of its own ci­ti­zens? What forces us to do so?

Peo­ple like Jack Straw who ded­i­cated his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer to diplo­matic di­a­logue once en­cour­aged fel­low ci­ti­zens to ap­pease and res­cue the mul­lahs at a time of their se­vere

in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion, but even he must now, de­spite his sin­cer­ity, rec­og­nize the im­pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing able to ap­proach the mul­lahs of Iran in a pos­i­tive and con­struc­tive man­ner.

How­ever, some may ar­gue that, nui­sance though they may be, we must be care­ful with a very im­por­tant Mid­dle East coun­try and we are not go­ing to re­move them anyway. But that is ex­actly where they are mis­taken.

One can never con­vert an evil nui­sance through be­ing care­ful and send­ing a sig­nal that one is fright­ened by its threats. In­stead, one should high­light, as one bet­ter un­der­stands the lan­guage of force and power, one is not tak­ing those threats se­ri­ously.

Iran does have an Achilles Heel. That is a well-or­ga­nized re­sis­tance move­ment — the Na­tional Coun­cil of Re­sis­tance of Iran (NCRI), led by the coura­geous and con­struc­tive Maryam Ra­javi.

This move­ment has a large net­work of sup­port­ers in ex­ile who in their great num­bers echo the voice of the voice­less Ira­nian peo­ple in­side the coun­try — those who have been bru­tally op­pressed by the mul­lahs for four decades, as well as a size­able sup­port base that has be­come more dis­cernible in light of the regime’s more pub­lic ac­knowl­edge­ment in re­cent months. Iran’s regime was, ini­tially, suc­cess­ful in de­mo­niz­ing the NCRI to make sure that it would not re­ceive any at­tack from that side. They had it deemed ‘a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion’ but his­tory has largely an­swered that. The NCRI’s erst­while fore­bear­ers, the MEK, has proven to be re­spon­si­ble and vi­able.

Sadly, our politi­cians and me­dia have been fooled and duped for long enough to take the de­mo­niza­tion se­ri­ously and even to echo it. But now it is time to stop echo­ing the mul­lahs, not least within the United King­dom.

France, Aus­tria and the United States, to name but three na­tions, have openly welcomed the con­struc­tive Maryam Ra­javi and given shel­ter to her fol­low­ers. But, shame­fully, the United King­dom has been tardy, fail­ing even to ac­knowl­edge the mul­lahs 30,000 pogrom of 1988.

We must con­front our out­dated and ill-in­formed prej­u­dice and be­gin to listen to Maryam Ra­javi and her bril­liant su­per-demo­cratic

Ac­tivists gather at the State De­part­ment and watch a mes­sage on the screen from Maryam Ra­javi June 21, 2019. Iran does have an Achilles Heel. That is a well-or­ga­nized re­sis­tance move­ment — the Na­tional Coun­cil of Re­sis­tance of Iran, led by the coura­geous and con­struc­tive Maryam Ra­javi.

10-point plan for fu­ture Iran; we must rec­og­nize the Ira­nian peo­ple’s le­git­i­mate right for regime-change and, bluntly, move our mis­in­formed prej­u­dice into the 21st cen­tury. The NCRI wants noth­ing more from us.

On Satur­day, Maryam Ra­javi’s sup­port­ers marched in the streets of Lon­don in big num­bers after they did so in Brus­sels, Wash­ing­ton, Ber­lin and Stockholm. Our politi­cians and me­dia should grasp the op­por­tu­nity to stand with them. Let those of us, who value our free­dom, sup­port such events and listen care­fully to the mes­sage. It’s time to listen to the Ira­nian peo­ple and the op­po­si­tion. A dif­fer­ent Iran is not un­think­able. The Ira­ni­ans have made up their mind to bring about change. The ques­tion is on whose side we want to be? Lord Magin­nis of Drum­glas­sis a prom­i­nent mem­ber of the British Com­mit­tee for Iran Free­dom and mem­ber of the U.K. House of Lords.


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