Today, I was on a BBC World Service radio show debating Iran policy. To give credit where it is due, the moderator was very fair.
My opponent was Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi from Rutgers University and the American-Iranian Council.
His argument: The U.S. should open full diplomatic relations with the regime in Tehran. Nixon went to China. Look how well that turned out! We restored relations with Vietnam. We now relate so well! If only America would reach out to the mullahs, sit down and talk with them, we’d find there have been misunderstandings, there is room for compromise, and surely we can get along.
As Cornerites know (thanks to Martin Kramer, Stanley Kurtz and others), this is the kind of silliness now being taught to young people at too many universities.
For the record, I pointed out that Iran is ruled by the most radical regime in the Middle East; one that has sponsored terrorism for years.
I noted out, too, that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe Israel “off the map,” and promised a “world without America,” adding that such a goal is “attainable, and surely can be achieved.”
I added that Hassan Abbassi, “intelligence” advisor to Ahmadinejad, has said: “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization. We must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles.”
Professor Amirahmadi replied angrily that such remarks are merely propaganda intended for regional consumption. He seemed to suggest it was not quite cricket of me to repeat such statements on the air.
I responded that when someone says he means to kill, it’s wise to take him seriously.