Responding to an op-ed in the Washington Post last week by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s oleaginous foreign minister—he asserts that Tehran’s military programs are purely defensive, attacks Saudi Arabia’s military spending, and makes a snide reference to the Holocaust—Reuel Marc Gerecht exposes some of its falsehood:
[Despite Zarif’s insistence to the contrary, the] Islamic Republic’s nuclear program has not been “peaceful.” The United States and its European allies have a very long dossier, which has included information provided by highly knowledgeable defectors, cataloguing the clerical regime’s nuclear-weapons ambitions since the late 1980s. . . .
And as the foreign minister might be aware, Iran’s ballistic-missile program makes absolutely no sense if it is tipped with conventional warheads. . . .
Zarif alludes to Iran’s legitimate defense needs [by referring to the Iran-Iraq war]. He could, perhaps, explain why long-range missiles that can fly way beyond the Persian Gulf are a function of the clerical regime’s continuing post-Saddam Hussein trauma.
Zarif is . . . right about the dangers of Islamic extremism, except that he forgot to mention that Saudi Arabia’s hugely destructive practice of spreading Wahhabism, the foundation of modern Sunni jihadism, is matched on the Shiite side by the Islamic Republic’s aim to radicalize the Shiites wherever Zarif’s bosses gain influence. The clerical regime has [also] tried to replicate the Lebanese Hizballah elsewhere in the Arab world, especially in Iraq and Syria. . . .
And concerning Iran’s military expenditures, wouldn’t it be a good idea to allow Iranians free elections so that they can decide how they want to spend their own money?