By Karmel Melamed
Many historians who look back on the collapse of the former Soviet Union after more than two decades credit the demise of the regime to strong leadership from three outspoken Western world leaders. Those three leaders given this honor are former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the late Pope John Paul II who forcefully stood against the Soviet Union which was at that time the largest force of evil, oppression and instability in the world since World War II. These three amazingly strong, brave and visionary leaders in the Free World realized the evil nature of the Communist Soviets and called out the regime for what it was at the time. They spoke and acted with moral clarity to place pressure on the Soviet leadership through both political and economic means. Today as the world is again confronted with a radical, violent, oppressive and potential nuclear regime in Iran, the free world again needs a Reagan, Thatcher or John Paull II to stand up and bring about the demise of the Iranian regime. For nearly four decades American and European leaders have ignored or failed altogether to stop the terrorism and destructive force of the Khomeiniist Iranian regime. This regime like a cancer has unfortunately spread its evil to much of the Middle East and is now threatening the remainder of the world with potential nuclear weapons to extend its sphere of influence. Those of us in the West who value freedom and democracy must demand our leaders speak out and act to stop the Iranian regime today just as Reagan, Thatcher and John Paull II did against the former Soviet Union decades ago.
During the 1980s these three prominent world leaders took strong actions in the public arena to place diplomatic, economic and public pressure on the Communist Soviets for the regime’s totalitarian oppression of much of Europe and portions of Central Asia where they ruled with an iron fist. After decades of trying to appease or have a “cold peace” with the Soviet Union, leaders like Reagan decided that the time had come to help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union which he properly labeled as the “evil empire”. Reagan correctly called out the Soviets oppression of millions of people and their threat to world peace with their catastrophic nuclear weapons. Thatcher was also a strong voice speaking out in Europe against the appeasement of the Soviet regime and rallied international diplomatic pressure on the Soviets. During this same time Pope John Paull II, the leaders of 1 billion Catholics worldwide, used his words and actions to raise awareness about the despotic nature of the Soviet Union and its Communist leadership in Eastern Europe that had prevented many people on the continent to live free and normal lives. John Paul II did not sit on the side lines during his tenure, he traveled to Poland and parts of Eastern Europe praying and bringing a message of hope against a tyrannical Soviet regime and Communist regimes under its influence which had much of the continent under its yoke. In many instances Reagan, Thatcher or John Paul II work together to rally the world against to bring about economic and diplomatic pressure on the Soviets. Their efforts were not in vain and helped inspire thousands of individuals and activists struggling under the yoke of Soviet and Communist oppression to speak out and push back against its totalitarian rule. Eventually the once mighty Soviet empire imploded from within due to economic instability and a lack of popular support from average people living under the regime.
Today while the Iranian regime is not as large nor as militarily armed as the former Soviet Union, the Iranian regime is a tremendous source of instability and pure evil in the world whose spread of chaos and terrorism grows almost daily. The Iranian regime is run by a combination of a radical Islamic theocracy which wants to bring the world under its backwards and violent Shiite Islamic rule as well as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which is a terrorist army carrying out the desires of the ayatollahs through any violent means possible. Sadly America under the previous Obama administration did nothing to stop the Iranian regime’s violent take over of countries like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and parts of Yemen. The Iranian regime has not only oppressed and terrorized its own citizens, but butchered in cold blood hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Iraq and Syria who oppose their hegemonic rule. The Iranian regime has used the IRGC as well as funded and armed terrorist proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah to spread their violent war against innocent civilians in Israel through countless terror attacks. The Iranian regime has also funded and armed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen to take control of portions of that nation and wage a bloody war against Yemen’s citizens and against Saudi Arabia. Like a lethal cancer spreading through a human body, the Iranian regime has spread its evil violence through out much of the Middle East. Unfortunately the former Obama administration as well as the European Union did little if nothing to stop the Iranian regime’s thirst for power and advancement of terrorism for the past decade. In fact, the Obama administration and much of Europe gave billions in free cash to the Iranian regime’s thugs and ayatollahs in a sad and failed attempt to appease this totalitarian regime. Their efforts also gave the Iranian ayatollahs a path to nuclear weapons with the horrific 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. Unfortunately the majority of the European nations also remained silent while the Iranian regime helped the ruthless Syrian regime of Bashar Assad kill thousands of his own citizens. The European nations also sadly sat quiet while the Iranian regime killed, beat and arrested thousands of protestors through out Iran in early 2018 when average citizens were rising up to protest against the demonic regime. Again Europe did not want to “upset” their trade and business interests with the evil Iranian regime and failed to speak out against the horrific human rights abuses of the Iranian regime.
Today nothing has changed with Europe as many nations in that continent continue to do business with the ayatollahs and IRGC companies for their own financial benefit despite the regime’s spread of terrorism and human rights abuses. Even England’s once brave and democratic government has continued doing business as usual and maintaining diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Iranian regime. Additionally, the current Pope Francis I, has largely remained silent about the Iranian regime’s crimes against Iran’s Christians and other average citizens in Iran. Likewise Francis has remained silent about the Iranian regime’s military support of the Assad regime’s genocide against the people of Syria. Likewise the European Union has said little if nothing about Iran’s human rights abuses and hegemonic wars in the Middle East. In fact, the E.U.’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Maria Mogherini, has been the biggest apologist for the Iranian regime and appeasement of the ayatollahs in Iran. Shamefully Mogherini and Europe’s other leaders have not blinked an eye or even raised the issue of basic freedoms being denied average people in Iran or the regime’s crack down on journalists and voices of opposition in the country. They have shamefully collaborated with the regime’s clerics purely for their own economic advantage. What is perhaps most shameful about the European support for the current Iranian regime is the fact that Europe had endured in the 20th century both the horrific oppression of Nazism and Communism. The Europeans know very well the horror of living in a totalitarian state where they have no voice, no freedom, no economic advancement to improve their lives and have also lived in constant fear that the state’s secret police could arrest them at any moment for any reason without due process of law. The Europeans have experienced living under tyrants and being beaten, arrested and even executed for raising any voices of opposition to those ruling them with an iron fist. Therefore it is truly shameful that the European leaders, who had similar experiences to Iranians today, have failed to publicly and vocally condemn the Iranian clerical tyrants who are having innocent people arrested, beaten and killed in Iran.
While England, the European Union and the Vatican do not have any true leaders with the moral clarity to speak out against the evil Iranian regime, one must applaud the efforts of U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration for its efforts to clamp down on the Iranian regime. The Trump administration correctly denounced the Iranian regime’s heinous human rights abuses, rampant corruption, correctly pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and placed new sanctions on the Iranian regime as well as its state-run companies. Likewise the Trump administration recently designated the IRGC as a terrorist entity, a move that has created financial pressures on the regime and its terrorist army. Yet the current Trump administration has fallen short of calling for regime change in Iran and supporting forces in Iran that seek to overthrow the current Iranian regime. Indeed Europe, America and the West still do not have leadership with the real moral courage and diplomatic fortitude to bring about the expeditious demise of the Iranian regime today. What we need today are courageous leaders like Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II in the West to speak out forcefully and launch real diplomatic as well as economic efforts to force the collapse of the evil Iranian regime. What we need are leaders in the West who do not force a regime change on Iran, but embolden, support and encourage the people of Iran through various means to destroy and overthrow the radical Islamic regime in Iran from within. Until the West wakes up and takes measures to further isolate and stop the current regime in Iran through different diplomatic and economic means, the people of Iran will continue to suffer under the regime’s yoke of oppression and the Middle East will remain in a perpetual state of war with the Iranian regime threatening all nations in the region.
Views and opinions expressed in the above blog are the authors’ own and not those of ISICRC.