Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance at the U.N. this week is yet another painful reminder of the West’s unwillingness to confront an evil that is determined to destroy us.
For the better part of six years, the man has used his office to incite genocide against Israel, a U.N. member state and, more importantly, one of America’s closest allies. His government’s elite terrorist arm — the IRGC’s Qods Force — as well as its proxy, Lebanese Hezbollah, have been helping kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly ten years. Iran has maintained a longstanding alliance with al-Qaeda against the United States, including facilitating the transit of several 9/11 hijackers and providing an ongoing base of operations for many of the group’s senior leaders. If all that weren’t enough, Iran stands in flagrant violation of multiple Security Council resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program, while moving ever closer to acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.
The fact that two American hikers unjustly imprisoned in Iran since 2009 will finally be released for a million dollar ransom only underscores the regime’s criminal nature. Hostage-taking is a national policy. That the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism is capable of abducting innocent U.S. citizens with seeming impunity marks a dangerous turn, indeed. That it can do so and still have its president — a raving anti-Semite who openly yearns for America’s destruction — welcomed on U.S. soil, treated like a legitimate world leader, and granted a global audience is nothing less than a travesty.
The hour is late, but there remains much that America and its allies can do to address the Iranian threat. Tightening sanctions wherever possible to squeeze its oil revenues. Maintaining a robust U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Doing everything possible to help Syrian protesters bring down the Assad regime. Launching a crash program to assist freedom-loving Iranians the same way we supported Solidarity in Poland. And openly preparing to exercise all options necessary to eliminate the key nodes of Iran’s nuclear program should non-military means ultimately fail.
— John Hannah, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, formerly served as national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney.