Trusting Iran to Stop Terrorism Is Like Inviting an Arsonist to Join the Fire Brigade

(Telegraph-UK) Dore Gold - Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has written an op-ed in the Financial Times saying that after a deal over its nuclear program, Tehran will join "the international battle" against "the increasingly brutal extremism that is engulfing the Middle East." The idea that Iran is a partner in the fight against terrorism is not only disingenuous but also absurd. Zarif's Western readers are asked to believe that a country which has been repeatedly identified as the largest state supporter of terrorism in the world will suddenly be altered by an agreement over its nuclear program into an ally against terrorism. Iran operates globally through the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), often backed by operatives of Hizbullah. This network operates in 30 countries on five continents. In October 2011, the U.S. uncovered a plot by an IRGC operative to conduct a mass casualty attack in Washington, D.C., aimed at the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. As Iran decides which Middle Eastern insurgency to back with its IRGC units, it often has to establish priorities because it is operating under clear economic constraints. These constraints will be removed as Iran obtains the wherewithal to fully fund and even expand its terrorist activity worldwide. In past decades, states supporting terrorism feared retaliatory operations by the West, such as the U.S. attack on Libya in 1986. Deterrence could be created. But if Iran becomes a nuclear threshold state, as a result of its impending agreement with the P5+1, what are the chances that deterrence of this sort will hold? Iran will seek to act with impunity as the terrorism it sponsors acquires a protective nuclear umbrella. Winston Churchill has been attributed with the saying that he refused to be impartial between the fire brigade and the fire. Depending on Iran to fight terrorism is like making an arsonist part of the fire brigade. Iran must unequivocally abandon its backing of international terrorism if it ever wants to rejoin the world community. The writer is the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel.

2015-07-10 00:00:00

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