By Alan Caruba
If there is one thing Americans know about Iran it is that Iran takes hostages.
Iran did so from November 4, 1979 until January 20, 1981, holding fifty-two United States diplomats as the Islamic revolution swept over that nation, replacing the Shah with a handful of fanatical ayatollahs preparing the way for the return of a mythical twelfth imam. The scenario for that is the equivalent of Armageddon, involving massive conflicts and death.
The Islamic Revolution that has been roiling the Middle East as a resistance movement to everything modern does not recognize any kind of international laws. Its weapon of choice is terror. The immunity extended to diplomats is one that is conspicuously ignored by Muslim terrorists.
In 1973, the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, was stormed by Palestinian Fatah terrorists who took U.S. ambassador Cleo Noel and the embassy’s charge d’affaires, George Curtis Moore, hostage. On the orders of Yassir Arafat, both were murdered.
To this day, successive U.S. administrations insist that Fatah is the only Palestinian group with whom either the U.S. or Israel should negotiate peace. Peace is not Fatah’s goal, nor ever was. It is an illusion and has proved a very deadly one.
The greatest illusion, however, is to negotiate with Iran in the belief that it will ever keep its word and yet DEBKAfile, an Israeli news agency that has proven a reliable source of information, reports that the Obama administration is either preparing to negotiate or is already in back door negotiations with Iran “to permit the passage to Afghanistan of fresh U.S. troops, weapons, and supplies across Iranian territory.”
By air and by sea, the Obama administration is proposing that Iranians permit over-flights from the U.S. air base at Al Udeid in Qutar and a sea route that would pass by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s main naval base at Chah-Bahar, situated on the Arabian Sea near Iran’s border with Pakistan.
Barely two years ago the Iranians took fifteen British Royal Navy personnel hostage for two weeks in April 2007. The object was to “encourage” the British to remove their forces from southern Iraq.
Though it has received conspicuously little coverage, Roxanna Saberi, an American journalist, sits in an Iranian jail as this is written, recently found guilty of espionage. It is, of course, a lie.
The idea of putting U.S. troops, by air or sea, within the easy grasp of Iran borders on madness.
“DEBKAfile’s sources ask how much leverage against Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb will be left to Washington when the U.S. becomes dependent on Tehran for its war supplies to Afghanistan.”
If the Obama administration could find a more simple-minded and dangerous option to take with Iran, it is the proposed movement of our troops and supplies with the permission of a nation that regards America as its greatest enemy and has made repeated threats of annihilation against our ally Israel.
A full court U.S. diplomatic effort is being made with nations in the Middle East to convince them that this proposal to seek Iran’s cooperation does not threaten U.S. relations with them, but neither Egypt, nor Saudi Arabia is convinced, nor should they be. Iran’s openly acknowledged antipathy to both those nations gives them cause.
A nuclear-armed Iran is not just a threat to Israel. It is a threat to the entire Middle East and, on the top of long-range missiles, a threat to Europe and India as well.
This proposal is an invitation for Iran to take U.S. military and weapons hostage at their pleasure. It is a plan that is doomed to failure and worse. It reeks of a Machiavellian plan to neutralize our power to influence events in the Middle East.
May 3, 2009