For over a week, many in Iran have taken to the streets to demand an end to their oppressive government. From national security to human rights, the Iranian uprisings have exposed lies and hypocrisies both near and far.
And yet somehow, the collective American and global left seems to want to leave Iran’s oppressive regime alone.
The Liberal Echo Chamber
The liberal “echo chamber” (mostly comprised of former Obama officials) first argued that the US should keep its mouth shut. Former Obama official Phillip Gordon wrote that, if we want to help the Iranian protesters, we should follow the same strategy that worked so well in 2009. Echo chamber architect Ben Rhodes tweeted similar sentiments.
Their latest talking point seems to be to criticize Trump’s immigration plan. Both Rhodes and former UN Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted that Trump is being hypocritical when he says that he stands with Iranian people, but includes Iran in the travel ban.
This argument, though catchy, is irrelevant for two reasons. First, those demonstrating in Iran are not seeking entry into the United States. Second, even if the demonstrators were seeking entry, Iran has a history of exporting terror oversees. For example, in 2011, Iranian officials were accused of using an Iranian-American used-car salesman to hire assassins from a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the Untied States. The plot also called for bombing both Israel’s embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina.
The Radical Iranian Regime
These lines of thinking rely in part on an idea promoted by many former Obama officials. In negotiating the Iran deal, these officials argued that Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, is a moderate. This thinking is plain wrong.
According to Article 115 of the Iranian Constitution, you are legally unqualified to be President of Iran if you are not, “convinced [of] belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country.” The only reason Rhouhani is allowed to be President of Iran is because the Ayatollah, via his Guardian Council, approves of his “revolutionary credentials.”
The fact that Iranians are chanting “Not Gaza, not Lebanon,” “Forget Palestine,” “Death to Hezbollah,” “Death to Khameni,” and “We don’t want an Islamic Republic” further illustrate the absurdity of the “Rhouhani is a moderate” idea that was used to justify the Iran deal. The relief from the sanctions was supposed to marginalize the so-called hardliners in Iran. Instead, Tehran’s “moderates” have focused on expanding their influence in the region. They have funded numerous terrorist organizations and deployed Iranian troops to Syria.
A Global Error
Unfortunately, our neighbors around the globe seem perfectly happy ignoring Iran’s radical nature.
Across the pond, the European Union has been borderline silent. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who cannot resist bashing Trump over Iran, took five days to finally issue a statement. When she did, it was in the form of the weakest re-tweeted thread imaginable. The three-tweet statement said “We have been in touch with the Iranian authorities, we expect that the right to peaceful demonstration & freedom of expression will be guaranteed, following Psdt Rouhani’s public statements. We will continue to monitor the situation.” On Wednesday, she finally released a weak statement that was similar to the Twitter thread.
Meanwhile, the United Nations managed to take a five-minute break from condemning Israel to pass a resolution condemning Iran. The Canadian-introduced resolution passed 81-30, with 70 abstentions. By comparison, the vote on Trump’s Jerusalem policy was 128-9, with 35 abstentions.
It should be noted that the vote condemning Iran took place before the demonstrations began. However, it still took six days for the UN to address current events in Iran.
As of Tuesday, Rouhani’s government has followed up its supposed “guarantees” of human rights by killing at least 21 protesters. The self-proclaimed champions of human rights in Brussels cannot admit they sold out the Iranian people, just so their corporations could make a buck or two from relaxed sanctions.
Our self-appointed moral betters at the UN clearly have their priorities in line.
However, the prize for the dumbest and most morally illiterate take has to go to Huffington Post columnist Alex Mohajer. Mohajer compared the people protesting Donald Trump to the people protesting the Ayatollah.
The Iranian protesters are nothing like Trump’s protesters. The women ripping off their hijabs are demanding basic rights. The people Mohajer writes of want “free” birth control and taxpayer-funded abortion on-demand while wearing silly hats. Trying to compare the two protests trivializes the real danger that women (and men, but particularly the women) protesting in Iran are facing right now.
The left’s foreign policy brain trust to the UN, the EU, and the feminist left have all revealed their own hypocrisy. The uprisings in Iran have shown the dishonesty in their policies and worldviews.
Whether those in Iran demanding and end to their decades-old theocratic, oppressive government remains an open question. We should hope it does, both for the Iranian people and betterment of American national security.