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Synergy between Iran’s global and domestic violence

(More on Iran)

Iran’s domestic violence feeds the global Islamic Revolution

According to London-based Iran human rights review: “The combination of Iran’s human rights practices, its weapons programs, its democratic deficit and its support for listed terrorist entities make it a special and dangerous case. Human rights abuses in Iran threaten the peace and security of people elsewhere. It must be tackled, not just for the sake of justice, but also for the peace, order, and good government of Western democracies….”

Iran’s crackdown on religious and ethnic minorities, exacerbated by Iran’s anti-Western hate-education curriculum, is the most authentic reflection of the Ayatollahs’ worldview and strategic vision. However, this rogue domestic conduct has never featured prominently in the negotiation process between the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Moreover, Iran’s domestic fanaticism constitutes a most productive breeding ground of recruits for the global exportation of the Islamic Revolution.

However, downplaying – or even whitewashing – the centrality of Iran’s domestic violence, provides the Ayatollahs with a robust tailwind, while generating a sturdy headwind to the battle against Islamic terrorism.

Furthermore, a focus on Iran’s domestic conduct would set the current negotiation on realistic – rather than make believe – grounds, exposing the built-in contradiction between the assumption that Iran is a potential “good-faith negotiator” and the reality of Iran as a prime epicenter of anti-US violence, driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatic and imperialistic Shiite Islamic vision.

Such a focus could pressure the Ayatollahs to reform their conduct, or it could serve as an effective lie-detector.

Legitimizing Iran’s Ayatollahs and recognizing them as a regional and global power – while rewarding them with a diplomatic and financial bonanza – legitimizes the most intolerant branch of Shiite Islam, as displayed by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s domestic and regional policies since the 1978/79 Islamic Revolution.

Legitimizing Iran’s Ayatollahs, who aim to bring to submission “heretic” Sunni Muslim regimes (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain) and the “infidel” West, which is led by “The Great American Satan,” undermines recent attempts by Moslem reformists to introduce a relatively-moderate Islam in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Egypt and Morocco.

Legitimizing Iran’s Ayatollahs – without preconditioning it upon an end to Iran’s rogue domestic conduct – deals a dramatic blow to Iran’s human rights activists and to the religious and ethnic minorities in Iran.

Iran’s suppression of human rights

Iran’s Human Rights Review (ibid) adds: “The Iranian Constitution [ratified on October 24, 1979 and amended on July 28, 1989] does not recognize human rights or fundamental freedoms as defined by international human rights covenants…. The rights of non-Muslims are not equal to those of Muslims, nor are the rights of women equal to those of men…. Since the 1979 establishment of the Islamic Revolution, a large number of discriminatory laws have been imposed on Iranian women….

“In Iran, there is no sovereignty of the people. Instead, the ‘Nation of God’ is subjected to full obedience to God and his representative, the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei who was preceded by Ayatollah Khomeini], who possesses an absolute constitutional authority…. Democracy is defined as the totalitarian and utopian unity of God, the Leader and Islamic nation….

“The [lifetime] Supreme Leader determines the rights of the entire nation, by controlling all branches of government in accordance with the strictest Shiite Islamic interpretation of all laws and regulations…. During the past 31 years we have witnessed punishments such as stoning, dismemberment, flogging and execution of ‘criminals’….

“Article 12 declares Iran’s official religion to be Shiite. Other Islamic sects are free to perform their religious rites according to their religious jurisprudence [as interpreted by the Shiite Supreme Leader]…. Three religious minorities [Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity] are free to exercise their religion [as interpreted by the Supreme Shiite Leader], but do not have the right to manifest or promote their religion. Conversion of Muslims to other religions is punishable by death….”

According to Prof. Wahabuddin Ra’ees of Malaysia’s International Islamic University and Assistant Prof. Abdol Moghset Bani Kamal of Turkey’s Yidirim Beyazit University: “The ethno-religious minorities in the Islamic Republic have been subjected to violations of their fundamental human rights…. All non-Shiite citizens of the Islamic Republic, such as the Sunni Muslims [estimated at 10 million out of 85 million Iranians], Bahai [350,000 deprived of rights and privileges], Zoroastrians [35,000], Jews [8,500], and Christians [7,000] are subject to Shiite Islamic constitutional restrictions and interpretation, denied their own tenets of religion and ideology…. Discrimination against religious minorities [second class, protected population] is institutionalized…. They are obliged to strictly subscribe to the official Shiite ideology….

“The Muslim population of the Islamic Republic is divided into the followers of Shiite and Sunni Islam…. However, the rarely elected Sunni minority religious representatives are required to take an oath to promote Shiite religious values….”

Washington-based Middle East Institute reports that “there are 3-5 million Sufi Muslims in Iran. Contrary to Iran’s Ayatollahs, they don’t believe in coercive, intolerant, violent Islam, but in spirituality, mysticism, the sanctity of life and liberty free of dogma. The 90-year-old Sufi leader, Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, died (poisoned?) while under a two-year-house arrest.  He was replaced by a stooge of the Ayatollahs….”

According to the December 22, 2021 Saudi Arab News: “Non-Persian ethnic groups in Iran make up around 50% of the population, but overwhelmingly marginalized…. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, ethnic Kurds, Arabs and Balochis have faced harsh crackdowns by Iran’s security forces…. The mostly Shiite Ahwazi Arabs [in the oil-rich Khuzestan province], the largest Arab community in Iran [2% of the population], face similar repression… [as are] Iranian Shiite Azerbaijanis, who make up at least 16% of the country’s population. Many Azeris are held in suspicion by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps due to their cultural and linguistic affinities with Turks, in addition to the sense of ethnic kinship they feel with the people of neighboring Azerbaijan…. Iran’s northwestern Kurds make up around 10% of the population…. Like other minorities in Iran, Kurds are not permitted to learn their native tongue in their own schools. Suspected members of one of the many Kurdish opposition groups face the death penalty….”

The bottom line

Can the US afford to ignore the well-documented rogue domestic conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs, including hate-education, which has been – since 1979 – the most effective production-line of recruits to the Shiite mission of exporting the Islamic Revolution regionally and globally?

Can the US combat effectively Iran’s rogue external conduct (e.g., terrorism, subversion, wars, proliferation of ballistic technologies and drug trafficking), while underestimating the critical role played by Iran’s rogue domestic conduct, which constitutes the roots of the Islamic Revolution?

Legitimizing Iran’s Ayatollahs – without preconditioning it upon an end to hate education and domestic suppression and discrimination – betrays Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities, pulls the rug from under all pro-US Sunni Arab regimes, deals a severe blow to recent attempts to introduce a relatively-moderate version of Islam, and cripples the war on Islamic terrorism.

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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

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