Western Leaders’ Shameful Sycophancy toward Iran

Since the conclusion of the nuclear deal last year, a number of Western leaders have visited Tehran, often taking the opportunity to utter hypocritical praise of the Islamic Republic while displaying utter callousness toward its oppression of its subjects. Amir Taheri writes:

The Austrian president, Heinz Fischer, whose term has since ended, put flowers at Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum and praised the despot who had presided over the execution of more than 120,000 Iranians as “a man of peace and spirituality.”

Christine Defraigne, president of the Belgian senate . . . went around telling the mullahs and their minions that the West had “a lot to learn from Islam” to “improve the status of women.” She ignored the fact that, while she was flattering the mullahs, hundreds of Iranian women were arrested and insulted by Islamic vigilantes who claimed their hijabs were “inadequate.” . . .

[Only] two officials behaved with dignity. One was the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, who dressed normally and wore a white, thin, headpiece, and said not a word in praise of the mullahcracy. Another was Croatia’s president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. . . .

However, the main prize for dignified behavior must go to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. She simply refused to visit the Islamic Republic because she would not wear the hijab and dress up for what amounts to a farce endorsing tragedy.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Angela Merkel, Austria, Europe, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security