The madness knows no bounds

2010/09/29

Published in German daily “Welt” on 26 September 2010
Source (German): http://www.welt.de/die-welt/debatte/article9876677/Der-Irrsinn-kennt-keine-Grenzen.html
English translation: @germantoenglish

By Richard Herzinger

The leaders of the Islamic Republic use the same trick over and over again. First, they stun the odious West with an aggressive rhetoric. Then, while the West is busy figuring out how to translate its outrage into diplomatic terms, the regime in Tehran quickly insinuates its readiness for more talks in the endless struggle over the Iranian nuclear program.

And indeed, it works out time and again. Obediently, Western governments and diplomats instantly start to scrutinize the alleged offer from Tehran, trying to discover nuances and semitones that indicate whether the offer can be taken seriously this time or not.

The same thing is now happening again. When president Ahmadinejad in his brazen appearance at the UN General Assembly warmed up the old conspiracy theory saying that parts of the US government orchestrated the attacks of 9/11, all Western diplomats could think of was to walk out of the audience. Why, one wonders, don’t those heroes just right away spare themselves the tirades of hatred uttered by the Iranian junta head?

No matter what Ahmadinejad says – whether he calls for the extinction of Israel, denies the Holocaust, seriously takes the fun around Paul the Octopus during the Fifa Worldcup as an evidence for the intellectual corruption of the West, or declares that Iran is the second world power next to the U.S.A. – none of his statements seems to be crazy enough to deprive the West of its vague hope that he is a rational person who might eventually change his mind. Thus, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle was once more eager to announce that Ahmadinejad’s declared willingness for new negotiations are a “positive signal”. In fact, there is nothing left to negotiate, unless the Iranian regime suspends its nuclear enrichment and admits widespread control of its nuclear plants – as it was bindingly claimed by the UN Security Council many years ago.

Far beyond the fulfillment of these minimal demands, talks and discussions are just part of the procrastinating tactics that Tehran has used ever since to gain time for further advancing Iran’s technology to build nuclear arms.

However, the possibility that Iran could soon be in possession of nuclear arms, the fact that Iran destabilizes the Middle East by exporting terror, and is the major obstacle for peace in the Middle East are not the only reasons why the Islamic Iranian regime at present is the greatest threat and shame for civilized mankind.

Not only can a system that classifies internal critics as “enemies of God”, punishes them with systematic torture and executes hundreds of them, sentences women to death by stoning on charges of adultery and publicly hangs homosexuals, not be a “normal” partner for diplomatic talks. It is also impossible to have “non political” business- and trade relations with such a system. Especially Germany must be asked why German exports to Iran have despite sanctions increased by 14 % in the past 6 months, and why the European-Iranian Trade Bank in Hamburg has not yet been closed down.

For decades, well-intentioned strategists of détente have been dreaming of a gradual “liberalization” of the ruling system of the Islamic Republic. The opposite has come true. Iran’s religious totalitarianism has, if at all it had softened in the past, returned to the bestiality of its beginnings. This regime must finally be internationally isolated on all levels. The sanctions that have been imposed so far are not sufficient. The Iranian regime must be systematically cut off from all monetary flows, and there must be not one official contact with Iranian representatives in which they are not confronted with the crimes of their regime against human rights and human dignity.

These crimes, and not just the Iranian nuclear program, are the reason why the Islamic Republic must be forced to face consequences. If their destructive potential, that becomes even more unpredictable as the system is declining, can not be curbed, the Islamic Republic will hurl the Middle East – maybe even the entire world – into a disaster.

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