By Jubin Katiraie
When Donald Trump entered the White House, he withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, citing Iran’s cheating and other malign behaviours, and reimposed sanctions on the country.
That was a bold step, but it seems most people in Washington still want to appease the mullahs so they would prefer engagement at all cost. Even the Pentagon and the State Department seems to think that it is too dangerous to challenge Iran. But all of these appeasement voices miss one thing: Iran is at war with the US, which it calls the "great Satan", and has been since its inception.
• 1979: Iran holds American diplomats hostage for more than a year
• 1983: Iran directs the truck bombing at a Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 241 Americans, including 220 Marines
• 2003-2011: Iran provides bombs to Shiite militias in Iraq to kill 608 US troops
On Tuesday, Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, said: "In Iraq, I can announce today, based on declassified US military reports, that Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least 608 American service members. This accounts for 17 per cent of all deaths of US personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. This death toll is in addition to the many thousands of Iraqis killed by [the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps'] proxies."
This is a stark reminder that Iran is fundamentally opposed to the US (and the West as a whole). Their entire ideology is built upon it and this anti-American sentiment will not end until the Mullahs fall.
And strangely, the people advocating for appeasement with Iran do not see the country as a serious threat to the United States or American interests. In fact, they see Iran as an ally to help defeat Sunni terrorist groups like the Islamic State. This is wrong and believing it ignores two key points.
1. Iran seeks pre-eminence in the Middle East, which poses a broader, strategic threat, and its expansionism threatens key allies and oil exports.
2. Iran fosters Sunni extremism throughout the Middle East, not only by angering Sunnis until they take up arms but also by giving extensive support to al Qaeda and others.
Adam Kredo wrote: “Iran is at war with the United States, whether people in Washington like it or not. The American government will never adopt a truly effective policy unless it recognizes this fact. No one is asking for the US to declare war on Iran or anything like that. But Iran has declared war on the US, and American policymakers must, therefore, be prepared to confront, not embrace, the Islamic Republic.”