The Mullahs: Still Crazy After All These Years

Barack Obama intends the centerpiece of his foreign policy legacy to be a de facto alliance with Iran–a stroke so brilliant that only he could think of it. The U.S. will set Iran up as the dominant regional power in the Middle East, in part by allowing it to develop the nuclear capability for which its rulers have long yearned, and in exchange, Iran will keep the peace and subdue troublesome upstarts like ISIS. To someone who grew up thinking that the call to prayer from a minaret is one of the most beautiful sounds on Earth, this might make some kind of sense. To those of us forced to live in the real world, it is bonkers.

Let’s test the idea that the mullahs are rational (from our perspective) actors with whom we can partner in pursuit of peace. FARS is the semi-official Iranian news service that reliably reflects the views of Iran’s government. Conveniently, it publishes in English as well as Farsi. This provides us with glimpses into the minds of the mullahs that are by no means reassuring. Consider two stories that have appeared on FARS in the last 24 hours.

The first relates to ISIS. Iran is bitterly hostile to ISIS, not because it objects to ISIS’s horrific brutality–in Iran, they hang homosexuals from cranes rather than pushing them off buildings–but rather, because ISIS is trying to horn in on Iran’s territory. Still, opposing ISIS would be good in principle, but for one thing: the mullahs are convinced that the U.S. is secretly aiding ISIS.

A group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down the US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province on Thursday.

Last week, Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli announced that the helicopters of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition were dropping weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists in the Southern parts of Tikrit.

He underscored that he had documents and photos showing that the US Apache helicopters airdropped foodstuff and weapons for the ISIL. …

Last Monday, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province. …

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Do Iran’s leaders actually believe this nonsense? Who knows? But they say it publicly, and they announce it to their people. The U.S. is the Great Satan, so why shouldn’t we be allied with ISIS?

Here is another one, also from earlier today. It relates to the current turmoil in Argentina, which is in part the long-delayed result of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AIMA), a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Iran’s rulers have a novel theory about the bombing: Israel did it!

An advisor to the former Argentinean president disclosed that Israel’s internal spy agency, Shin Bet, was responsible for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA center in Buenos Aires.

“The AMIA blast was aimed at discouraging the (former) Israeli president from signing a peace treaty with the Palestinians and Shin Bet was behind repeated explosions and finally the AMIA blast” to the same end, Juan Gabriel Labake, the advisor to former Argentinean president (1990-1992) and parliamentarian (1973-1976), told FNA on Saturday.

The AMIA blast was an intelligence operation fulfilled under the impact of internal conflicts in Israel over the endorsement or non-endorsement of the peace treaty with the Palestinians, he added.

Asked about the reason for choosing Argentina for the operations, Labake said Argentina was a country with a weak government and its media were under the influence of the Israeli lobbies and, therefore, Shin Bet could easily materialize its goals in the country.

Actually, it is virtually certain that the mullahs themselves were behind the bombing, which killed 85 people and wounded many more.

Are Iran’s rulers crazy or evil? Take your pick. Either way, the idea that the U.S. can forge a strategic partnership with Iran, in which we rely on Iran as the dominant, nuclear-equipped, peace-keeping Middle Eastern power, is delusional.