How do the American people benefit from diplomatic engagement with Iran?

The short answer is: They don’t.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Feb. 6, 2016. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Feb. 6, 2016. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Bryan E. Leib
Bryan E. Leib
Bryan E. Leib is CEO of Henry Public Relations, senior fellow of the Center for Fundamental Rights in Budapest, Hungary and a former Republican Party congressional candidate.

President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia was an epic failure for many reasons. Not only did Biden fail to secure any relief at the pump for the American people, but he also emboldened the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a result, Iran threatened the world with its alleged capacity to build nuclear weapons and Russian President Vladimir Putin rushed into the arms of Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The newly formed Russia-China-Iran alliance is a major threat to America and our allies in the Middle East, in particular because of the nature and behavior of the Iranian regime.

It is important, however, to note that there is a difference between the Iranian people and the terrorist regime that has ruled them since 1979. The Iranian people want liberty, religious freedom and peace with their neighbors. The regime, by contrast, seeks to spread its radical version of Islam throughout the country and the world.

In service of this goal, the regime arrests and imprisons those who seek to express their religious beliefs; routinely declares “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”; and leads the world in funding and supporting terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

Even though the Iranian regime has caused harm to Americans since its inception, many Americans do not appreciate the magnitude of the threat, and the threat is considerable.

First, Iran is the leading state sponsor of global terrorism. Ever since it seized power in 1979, the regime has sought to impose its version of Islamic tyranny on others through bloody terrorist campaigns. These campaigns have often specifically targeted Americans. Iran’s brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its extra-territorial unit the Quds Force are responsible for the deaths of 603 American soldiers in Iraq, 241 American service members in a Marine barracks suicide attack in Beirut, 19 American troops in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and many others.

It is estimated that Iran has planned and executed terrorist plots, assassinations and attacks in more than 35 countries worldwide, and the regime provides a safe haven for Al-Qaeda.

The regime’s human rights record is also abysmal. In November 2019, the Iranian people took to the streets across the country to protest the ruling regime’s corruption and gross indifference to their welfare. Khamenei ordered his minions to do “whatever it takes” to put down the protests. They did, killing 1,500 demonstrators, including at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women. My organization, Iranian Americans for Liberty, was proud to support the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s House Resolution 800, which recognized this atrocity. Sadly, not a single Democrat signed on.

Since 1979, several thousand Iranians have been executed for homosexuality. They have been hanged from cranes, thrown off cliffs and stoned to death. Over the last few years, champion wrestler Navid Afkari was tortured and hanged; Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes; and six environmentalists were imprisoned for up to 10 years for “collaborating with the enemy state of the United States.”

In 2020, Iran executed at least 246 people—more than any other country except China—for “crimes” like “insulting the prophet” and “spreading corruption on Earth.” Iran is also among the world’s foremost executioners of minors.

Taking all this into consideration, it is worth asking how, exactly, the American people benefit from our government’s decision to engage in diplomacy with a regime that desires the demise of our nation and Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, and expresses this desire on a regular basis; leads the world in funding terrorist groups to the tune of over $1 billion a year; has the blood of American soldiers on its hands; and murders, censors and oppresses its own people for speaking out against it.

The only answer to this question is: The American people do not benefit in the least. As such, it is imperative for the American people to ask their representatives and leaders in Washington this question and, when they can’t answer with a straight face, demand they publicly call out the Islamic Republic of Iran for the terrorist thug that it is.

Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of Iranian Americans for Liberty, a Newsmax Insider and a former Republican-endorsed congressional candidate. He tweets @Bryan_E_Leib.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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