After more than fifty years in Washington, how is it possible that President Joe Biden still does not understand Iran’s terrorist leaders?
Why did Biden support President Barack Obama giving upwards of $150 billion in sanctions relief to the Iranian regime in 2015 in return for a nuclear deal that did not require Tehran to dismantle – must less destroy – its illegal nuclear program?
Why did Biden enthusiastically stand by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when everyone knew that the Iranian leadership couldn’t be trusted, had a history of cheating on nuclear agreements, were certain to cheat on this new one, and were certain to use that new funding to support anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Arab terrorist groups, from Hezbollah to Hamas to the Houthis?
Why hasn’t Biden learned any lessons about Iranian intentions since then – especially after the Mossad stole Iran’s nuclear archives in 2018 and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Tehran has been actively developing plans to build nuclear weapons and thus has been lying that nuclear weapons are forbidden by their Supreme Leader?
And why has Biden been pushing so hard for a second nuclear deal with Iran, one that would lift economic sanctions on the most dangerous terror regime in the world and thus “would allow Tehran to access up to $275 billion in financial benefits during its first year in effect and $1 trillion by 2030,” according to an analysis by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies?
Does Biden purposefully ignore the intelligence about how dangerous these leaders are, does he not believe the intelligence, or does he simply not care?
Who is Ebrahim Raisi?
Such questions came into sharp relief this week when Ebrahim Raisi – the extremist Shia cleric who was named the head of Iran’s judiciary in 2019 and then emerged as president of Iran in 2021 – landed in New York City.
When Raisi addressed the opening of the Fall session of the United Nations General Assembly, he vowed to fight to protect Iran’s nuclear program, threatened former President Donald Trump, and had the gall to hold up a photo of the late Qassem Soleimani, praising the long-time mastermind of Iranian terrorist operations who was taken out by a US drone strike in 2020 at the direction of Trump.
This is insane.
Biden should never have authorized Raisi to receive a visa to set foot in the United States and thus have a platform for global propaganda and disinformation.
On the contrary, Biden should have adamantly denied Raised a visa.
Or ordered that Raisi be arrested by federal authorities immediately upon landing.
Let’s be clear: Ebrahim Raisi is the terror master of Tehran.
His visit to the US – protected by Secret Service agents – is appalling evidence of Biden’s cluelessness as to the nature and threat of the sheer evil of the Iranian regime.
It is also a deeply troubling sign of Biden’s weakness in the face of Iran.
After all, Raisi told “60 Minutes” this week that he’s not sure that the Holocaust and the systematic slaughter of six million Jews during World War II ever really happened.
Yet he presides over a regime that is actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability, already has a ballistic missile arsenal that can reach Israel, and has repeatedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” thus threatening a Second Holocaust.
Raisi oversees a government that has threatened to assassinate former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former US national security advisor John Bolton.
Raisi's human rights violations
What’s more, Raisi is currently on the US Treasury Department’s sanctions list for a range of ghastly crimes.
He was placed on the sanctions list in 2019 as one of nine Iranian officials who have “acted for or on behalf of, Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime’s unelected Supreme Leader whose office is responsible for advancing Iran’s radical agenda,” stated the Treasury Department.
It further noted that Raisi is one of “Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisors who have for decades oppressed the Iranian people, exported terrorism, and advanced destabilizing policies around the world.”
Raisi is alleged to have overseen the mass execution of between 5,000 and 30,000 Iranian citizens, dissidents and political opponents of the Iranian regime back in 1988.
In 2016, members of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri’s family put out an audio recording of him criticizing these executions as “the biggest crime in the history of the Islamic Republic,” according to the Associated Press.
The US Institute of Peace called the mass executions “an extra-judicial massacre that raised to the level of a crime against humanity.”
Amnesty International also called the 1988 mass executions “crimes against humanity.”
Genocide Watch said, “the current President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, was one of the four judges who ordered the execution of over 30,000 Iranian prisoners in 1988….Most of the people murdered were members of a minority Islamic religious sect persecuted by the Iranian regime, making the murders acts of genocide.”
That would be sickening enough – but there’s more.
Raisi was also sanctioned “for his administrative oversight over the executions of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime and the torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations,” just as the previous head of Iran’s judiciary had been sanctioned.
“According to a United Nations report, Iran’s Judiciary sanctioned the execution of seven child offenders last year, and two so far in 2019, despite human rights law prohibitions against the death penalty for anyone under age 18,” the Treasury Department stated. “There are at least 90 child offenders currently on death row in Iran. In addition, between September 2018 and July 2019, at least eight prominent lawyers were arrested for defending political prisoners and human rights defenders, many of whom have received lengthy sentences by Iran’s Judiciary.”
If all that wasn’t horrible enough, “Raisi was involved in the regime’s brutal crackdown on Iran’s Green Movement protests that followed the chaotic and disorderly 2009 election,” the Treasury Department alleged.
“In addition to his notorious role in the 1988 massacre, he [Raisi] is known as a key player in repression of the Green Movement in 2009,” noted the US Institute of Peace. “As the first deputy of the judiciary, he championed a campaign including the arrest, torture and execution of protestors.”
The Institute also noted that “Iran had one of the highest per capita rates of capital punishment in the world in 2020” and is actively involved in the torture of political prisoners.
Just days ago, the Iranian regime arrested and beat to death Masha Amini, a 22-year-old woman, because they said she wasn’t wearing her hijab properly.
Why is the President of the United States – a self-proclaimed champion of democracy and human rights – treating such a regime with kid gloves?
Aside from the aging and infirm Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, no one in the Iranian regime more accurately represents the face of evil than Ebrahim Raisi.
It is time for Biden to stop treating Tehran like a would-be ally and start treating them like the dangerous enemy that they are.
The world is watching.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. A dual US-Israeli citizen who lives in Jerusalem, he is also a New York Times best-selling author with some 5 million copies of his books in print. His latest book, Enemies and Allies: An Unforgettable Journey inside the Fast-Moving & Immensely Turbulent Modern Middle East, was published in 2021.