On November 4, 2018, “thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran on Sunday to burn American flags and mock President Trump with cardboard effigies and caricatures.” They also shouted “Death to America.”
Much of the U.S. press reporting on these protests also linked them to the same day’s snap-back of American sanctions on the oil, shipping, insurance, and banking sectors in Iran.
These sanctions were reinstituted after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), noting the poor terms of the deal, and its funding of Iranian terror and aggression. One article specifically emphasized that “rancor is especially strong this time following Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.”
The idea that the Iranian regime’s “rancor” towards the U.S. has been on an upsurge since the U.S. left the JCPOA is laughable. Nothing has really changed.
Every year, Iran holds protests on November 4 to commemorate the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian supporters of the Islamist regime. (This was a violation of international law, and an act of war, by the way). Each year, the protestors scream “Death to America,” burn the American flag, and mock the U.S. President. This is not specific to American presidents who are hostile to Iran; the Iranians did this under President Obama too. Even when Obama was reaching out to the Iranian leadership, and negotiating the Iran deal with them, the anti-American protests on November 4 still occurred, and featured booths where Iranians could throw their shoes, or darts, at Obama, and hang him in effigy.
And this is just one of two days each year Iranian leaders have set up to castigate the U.S. They also “celebrate” “Death to America” on the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Iranian regime also doesn’t limit itself to verbal attacks on the U.S.
Over the decades it has used its proxies to attack and to kill Americans, from Hezbollah in the 1980’s to the Iraqi rebels in the 2000’s. Hundreds of U.S. citizens have been killed and wounded. In 2011, Iranian agents plotted a bombing of Cafe Milano, an upscale Georgetown restaurant, to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Had this bombing been successful, countless other Americans would also have been killed or wounded.
Furthermore, Iran, which for 40 years has been the leading state sponsor of world terrorism, has disseminated hate and plotted terror attacks against Israeli and European targets as well.
The Iranian regime does these things not because the U.S., Israel, and the West, under any one leader, have done anything in particular to antagonize Tehran.
The Iranian regime does these things because they hate the U.S., Israel, and the West. They hate them for what the Iranian mullahs believe is the immoral state of Western culture, and because of their fear that the West wants to spread its immorality to Iran and the rest of the Muslim world. They hate them because these nations are not comprised of Shia Muslims, and allow freedom of worship and freedom of speech. They hate them because these nations do not discriminate against, or murder, homosexuals. They hate them because these nations use democratic systems of government, rather than allow God — as interpreted by Shia Islamist theocrats — to govern over them.
Even some Western Europeans, which have gone out of their way to maintain good relations with Iran, are finally figuring this out.
Since May, when the U.S. left the JCPOA, the Western European nations have worked feverishly to save the JCPOA and provide economic benefits to the Iranian regime. With the Iranian economy in shambles because of the U.S. reinstitution of sanctions, Iran desperately needs these benefits. Yet, at the same time that Iranian President Rouhani was touring Europe to drum up support, the Iranian government was plotting terror attacks on European soil. In June, an Iranian diplomat plotted with some Iranian expiates to bomb the National Council of Resistance of Iran (MEK) rally near Paris. The MEK is an Iranian opposition group that the Iranian regime despises. Luckily, this terror attack was thwarted; thousands of innocent civilians attended the rally, including several prominent Americans, and hundreds might have killed or wounded. More recently, Tehran planned to assassinate three Iranians believed to be members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) who live in Denmark. The ASMLA is an Arab separatist insurgent group that advocates for an Arab state in the Khuzestan Province in Iran. Once again, this terror attack was disrupted without casualties.
Unfortunately, not all Western Europeans can be expected to hang tough against the Iranian regime. Many would rather live in a world of make believe, than acknowledge an uncomfortable truth. There is no appeasing the Iranian regime crocodile.
Adam Turner is the General Counsel and Legislative Affairs Director for the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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