Iran deserves terrorist state reputation

In his May 14 guest viewpoint, M. Reza Behnam claims that characterizing Iran as a terrorist state is false and the result of anti-Iran bias. Along the way, Behnam indulges in an obsession against the legitimacy of Israel while condoning Iran’s participation in the genocide in Syria.

The characterization of Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, not to mention its reputation as a human rights violator, is well-deserved. Among its atrocities: blowing up a Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina; persecuting members of the Baha’i faith; public hangings of gay men and financing the terror war against Israel by its proxies, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.

But it is Iran’s participation in the genocide in Syria that earns it a reputation as the godfather of modern terrorism. Iran is instrumental in supporting the bloodthirsty regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Iran’s involvement includes its forces on the ground plus arming, financing and training proxies in Syria.

The result: More than 500,000 civilians have been murdered, close to 5 million have been forced to become refugees, which has contributed to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, and 6.3 million people are internally displaced. Assad, with Iran’s help and blessing, has murdered children with poison gas.

If that was not enough, just one day after running Behnam’s objection to “anti-Iran bias,” The Register-Guard reported that Syria has executed thousands of imprisoned political opponents and burned their bodies in a crematorium. Amnesty International has reported that Syria has hanged as many as 13,000 people in four years and buried the bodies in mass graves.

This is behavior that Iran enables, supports and finances. Between the reports of poison gas and crematoriums, Nazi war crime analogies are justified.

Iran’s support for genocide does not stop in Syria. Iran has made continuous genocidal threats against Israel. Its leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map. A former president, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, spoke of a single nuclear bomb destroying everything in Israel. “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality,” he reportedly said.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Khamenei has written a book laying out his plan to destroy Israel. The plan is being implemented by funding the digging of terror tunnels by Hamas in Gaza on Israel’s southern border, establishing a Hezbollah presence and missile launching sites on Israel’s northern border in Lebanon, and another beachhead on Israel’s eastern border once Iran’s military dominance of Syria is complete.

If the Jewish people have learned anything from the past, it is to take all genocidal threats seriously — which is why the nuclear deal with Iran is so problematic. It will enable Iran to achieve a nuclear capability within 10 to 15 years if it chooses. The deal does not restrict Iran’s ballistic missile research and testing, which will enable it to perfect the ability to deliver a nuclear payload to the United States, Israel and Europe. The deal gives Iran up to $150 billion in sanctions relief, little of which will trickle down to help its citizens, but instead will enrich its military and support its quest to dominate the Middle East.

The importance of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship was demonstrated by developments reported just two days after The Register-Guard ran Behnam’s viewpoint. This was the report that President Trump disclosed classified intelligence to the Russians about an active Islamic State plot to take down a passenger airline flying to the United States with a bomb hidden in a laptop computer that could get through airport screenings undetected. Israel was the source of this intelligence, which relied on a spy it placed inside the Islamic State.

Israel and the United States have been sharing intelligence for more than 60 years. Ronen Bergman, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and an Israeli investigative journalist, observes that “Israel has become the eyes and ears of the United States in the Middle East. This arrangement has freed the United States from a heavy intelligence-gathering burden.”

Source » registerguard

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