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Presidents Biden (l) & Carter-A pair of...

According to the Washington, DC-based White House Historical Association, the 1978/79 US policy on Iran, that embraced Ayatollah Khomeini, betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran, and failed the pro-US Sunni Arab regimes, was based on a superficial view of Middle East political, religious, cultural and historical reality:“…. In January 1979, the Shah fled into exile, and the theocratic regime of Khomeini took power. There was little informed understanding in the U.S. government about the political implications of this fundamentalist regime. Gary Sick, who was on the National Security staff, recalled a meeting in which Vice President Walter Mondale asked the CIA director Stansfield Turner, ‘What the hell is an Ayatollah anyway.’ Turner said he wasn’t sure he knew….”However, the New York-based Foreign Affairs Magazine claims that – following President Carter’s initial assessment that Ayatollah Khomeini would be preoccupied with tractors rather than with tanks – the US President amended his position on Iran, concluding that regime-change was the most realistic policy toward Iran, because the Ayatollahs were relentlessly anti-American, ill-faith negotiators, neither partners for peaceful coexistence, nor amenable to democracy or to abandoning their anti-US fanatic vision:“….Recently declassified documents reveal that in December 1979, Carter issued a presidential finding—a notification to Congress required under laws passed in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal—ordering the CIA to ‘conduct propaganda and political and economic action operations to encourage the establishment of a responsible and democratic regime in Iran; make contacts with Iranian opposition leaders and interested governments in order to encourage interactions that could lead to a broad, pro-Western front capable of forming an alternative government….’ The CIA attempted to organize external Iranian opposition groups into a cohesive force, tried to aid dissidents in Iran, and enlisted regional powers such as Saudi Arabia to help undermine the nascent theocracy….”Has the 1979-2022 track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs justified President Carter’s transformation of policy from diplomacy to regime-change?1979-2022 track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs: rogue or good-faith?*Since the February 1979, Iran has been transformed from “The American Policeman of the Gulf” to the anti-US Islamic Republic, preoccupied with a global exportation of the anti-US Islamic Revolution.*Since February 1979, they have promoted an anti-US education system and hateful mosque sermons. They have committed horrific violations of human rights, in general, and women rights, in particular. In addition, they have perpetrated regional and global anti-US subversion, terrorism and civil wars; proliferated conventional and non-conventional military technologies (including in Latin America). Iran’s Ayatollahs have established close strategic ties with North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Syria, Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, as well as the leading drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia and Bolivia, in addition to Latin American terror organizations.*Since February 1979, Iran’s Ayatollahs have been a classic apocalyptic, thick-skinned regime, driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatic, imperialistic Shiite vision, brainwashing Iranian youth to martyrdom. This has transcended the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, extending to South and Central America, all the way to the US-Mexico border – the US’ backyard and soft underbelly.*Since February 1979, they have dedicated substantial resources to the exportation of their Islamic revolution, in order to advance the establishment of a global Shiite entity, vanquish (peacefully or militarily) the “apostate” and “heretic” Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt, and bring to submission the “infidel” West, especially “The Great American Satan.”*Since 1979, Iran’s ayatollahs have demonstrated a tendency to bite the hand that feeds them, as transpired in November 1979, when they took over the US embassy in Tehran and held more than 50 Americans hostage for 444 days, following the critical US assistance to their takeover of Iran. Also, in 2015, the US-engineered JCPOA rewarded the Ayatollahs with some $150 billion, most of which was invested in bolstering their anti-US global machine of terror, subversion, drug trafficking and money laundering.*The 1979 and 2015 US attempts to sooth the Ayatollas’ fanaticism have backfired, whetting the Ayatollas’ megalomaniacal appetite, and undermining the US’ global stature.*The 1979-2022 track record of the Ayatollahs, demonstrates that their worldview is not amenable to peaceful-coexistence, democracy and human rights, nor good-faith negotiation. *In fact, the 1979-2022 track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs, on the one hand, and the assumption that they are potentially good-faith negotiators, on the other hand, constitute a self-destructive oxymoron.*Waiving the military option and the regime-change option reflects an assumption that it would constrain the Ayatollahs’ violence. However – as expected – waiving these options has been perceived by the Ayatollahs as weakness, and therefore, intensifying their anti-US violence.  *It was the November 1979 seizure of the US Embassy, which transformed President Carter from a true-believer in Iran’s Ayatollahs as good-faith negotiators into the realization that the Ayatollahs are inherently anti-US and ill-faith negotiators, and therefore subject to regime-change.*Shouldn’t the 1979-2022 systematic rogue track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs convince the US Executive and the co-equal US Legislature that regime-change (not regime-bolstering) is the proper option? Or, do they assume that the Iranian leopard may be capable of changing spots, not just tactics….


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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.