My family lived in Iran for more than 2,000 years. It was arguably the longest sanctuary for Jews in history.
Today, however, as an Islamist theocracy, its government is an abomination to decency and an affront to simple humanity.
Iran may be the most dangerous country in the world today. It seeks to spread its radical Islamic ideology across the Middle East – and beyond. Iran is also one of the principal sponsors of world terrorism, with its tentacles spreading from the Middle East to Europe, Africa and South America. Most worrisome of all is Iran’s illicit and illegal pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and its repeated threats to annihilate Israel.
And Iran is as big a danger to Arabs as it is to Jews. As a predominantly Shi’ite nation, Iran views the Arab world, which is overwhelmingly Sunni, as populated by apostates and seeks to replace their leaders with its religious and political allies. This is why the Arab states are so fearful of Iran, especially the small, more vulnerable nations of the Persian Gulf.
Iran also sees the West, which includes Israel, as infidels that must be subjugated. As foreign policy analyst Mitchell Bard has written persuasively in a comprehensive review of the dangers of Iran, the vision of the mullahs who rule Iran is to spread Islam worldwide and to make it the dominant political and religious force globally, a fact to which President Obama is curiously blind.
As the Jewish state, Israel is viewed as a cancer in the body of Islam that must be excised. Jews have no place in the Islamic heartland, except as dhimmis (second-class citizens), and that they should rule over Muslims is intolerable.
Iran has resorted to crass anti-Semitism, including sponsoring conferences denying the Holocaust, and Iran’s leaders proudly proclaim their intent at a holocaust of all Jews in Israel which would of necessity include Israel’s 1.5 million Arab citizens.
One of the main components of Iran’s foreign policy is the use of terrorism to advance its interests. Hassan Rouhani, the “moderate” president of Iran, told the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2014 that governments that sponsor terrorism are inhumane. They will reap what they sow. Terrorism, he said, was feeding on the chaos in the Middle East, and Iran wants a world free of violence and terrorism. I was personally present as the charlatan Rouhani made these statements.
Rouhani neglected to mention that the United States considers Iran, along with Saudi Arabia, the world’s foremost sponsor of global terrorism, funding killers such as Hezbollah that target men, women and children, blowing them up, shooting them, in the most public, horrific way.
He did not say that CBS News aired footage of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighting and killing on behalf of the arch-butcher Bashar Assad, who uses poison gas to slaughter children. This is aside from the millions of dollars that Iran is pouring into Assad’s government and army to keep the tyrant in power.
Syria has also been a valuable conduit for transferring Iranian arms to Hezbollah. Over the past four decades, with the help of its patrons, Hezbollah slowly succeeded in taking control of Lebanon. Hezbollah is now returning the favor by sending its fighters to defend the Assad regime.
Hezbollah also became Iran’s principal arm for terrorizing its enemies. The organization has committed countless attacks at the behest of its Iranian masters. These include the 1983 bombing of barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 American and 58 French peacekeepers. In 1984, Hezbollah bombed the US Embassy annex, killing 24, including the CIA station chief.
Hezbollah has fought two wars against Israel, kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldiers and bombarded northern Israel with thousands of rockets. Hezbollah’s leaders have made clear, however, that they at war with the Jews, not just Israel. The group has attacked Jews in various parts of the world, with the most heinous attack occurring in 1994 when the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed, killing 87 people and injuring more than 300.
Two years earlier, a car bomb exploded at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and injuring more than 250 others, including Israeli diplomats, children, clergy from a church located across the street, and bystanders.
Bard adds that Hezbollah operatives have been seen and, at times, arrested in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Asia.
Iran’s tyranny is not limited to areas outside its borders.
Blaspheming the prophet, homosexuality and adultery (in some instances even if possible rape was involved) can be punished by death. Thousands of political prisoners have been arrested, tortured, raped and executed over the years.
Sentences for thieves at times include the cutting off of the right hand and left foot. Women who do not cover their hair can be arrested. There are even reports, Bard writes, of virgin girls on death row, some as young as 13, requiring to be “married” to their executioner who then rapes them before the execution. This is done because Iranian law states that virgins are not allowed to be executed.
Contrary to the general Western belief that a nuclear war cannot be won, Bard argues that some Iranian leaders think they can survive and win a nuclear battle with Israel.
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran, said that “Israel is much smaller than Iran in land mass, and therefore far more vulnerable to nuclear attack.” Since Iran has 70 million people and Israel only has 7 million, Rafsanjani believes Iran could survive an exchange of nuclear bombs while Israel would be annihilated.
Obama has repeatedly tried to silence critics of the negotiations, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by setting up a false dichotomy of having to choose between a deal and war, when the truth is that the deal he proposes will almost certainly lead to war. For what other outcome can there be when the West gives $150 billion to a government hell-bent on using the windfall to attack the West’s citizens around the world and maim and murder as many as bombs and bullets will allow. And what other outcome can there be when the sunset clauses on the deal will sanction Iran’s move to race to a nuclear bomb after just 10 or 15 years.Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the international best-selling author of 30 books. He will shortly publish The Israel Warrior’s Handbook. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.