Obama’s Doctrine Of Appeasement In Iran Has Finally Come To An End
The Iranian people have suffered long enough under an oppressive regime. More than 450 individuals have been arrested and at least 20 are dead after massive protests in support of government reform broke out across the country. These brave protestors refuse to accept the regime’s constant violation of human rights, rampant corruption, and funding of terrorism abroad. Their stance in the face of tyranny is admirable.
Despite these blatant abuses, the Iranian regime has been able to go largely unpunished due to the failed appeasement approach of the previous administration. Thankfully, President Trump has made clear that supporting basic rights for the Iranian people and combatting the regime’s spread of radical Islamic terrorism is a top priority of his administration. Americans can rest assured that Obama’s foreign policy doctrine of appeasing Iran’s radical regime is over.
This approach by Trump is a stark contrast to the Obama administration, who blatantly ignored the Iranian regime’s frequent human rights violations and opposition to democratic values. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Obama’s lack of support for the Iranian protestors during the Green Revolution in 2009.
President Obama refused to give any support — even vocally — to pro-democracy protestors. He stated that it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” and that his administration wanted “to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.”
Furthermore, the Obama administration worked to directly empower the Iranian regime by limiting alliances with key partners in the region such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This approach had severe consequences for the U.S and the Iranian people as the regime worked overtime to spread instability and radical Islamic terrorism throughout the broader Middle East.
The Iran nuclear-arms deal in 2015 was the apex of Obama’s appeasement approach. Beyond merely setting loose terms of agreement and ignoring Iran’s human rights abuses, the administration also lifted sanctions on Iran, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to flow back to the regime. Much of this money has gone to the regime’s terror army, whose soldiers are currently gunning down pro-democracy protesters in the streets.
President Obama pursued this deal despite intense opposition from Congress and foreign policy experts across the political spectrum. American voters also rightfully understand that this deal is one-sided and bad for the country. According to a poll commissioned by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll, 70 percent of likely voters say the Iran deal should be renegotiated, including 57 percent of Democrats.
Thankfully, the current administration recognizes that this policy of appeasement has failed and is proactively working to reverse the policies of President Obama. For starters, Trump took decisive action by decertifying the disastrous Iran deal and has paved the way for a more aggressive approach against the regime.
What’s more, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have strongly voiced support for the brave protestors storming the streets across Iran. “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” Trump noted on Twitter.
Vice President Pence reinforced the president’s stance in a recent interview. “Look, the last administration not only was silent when the good and courageous people of Iran were rising up for democracy, but they also pushed forward and embraced the disastrous Iran nuclear deal that President Trump refused to recertify and we’re continuing to provide leadership on.”
Additionally, the United States has called for an emergency session in the United Nations Security Council to discuss the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.
The Trump administration has also been working overtime to restore key alliances who work to combat Iran’s human rights abuses and spread of radical Islamic terrorism on the ground. Officials from the administration and Israeli government recently penned a joint strategic initiative to counter Iran’s influence in the region.
Furthermore, President Trump has doubled-down on our alliance with Saudi Arabia days after an unprecedented rocket attack on the royal palace from an Iranian-backed terrorist group. Trump reassured the Saudi government that any attack on Saudi Arabia will be considered an attack on the United States.
Americans should feel reassured that the administration and GOP-controlled Congress are taking every action necessary to undue the previous administration’s disastrous Iran agenda. The U.S. is no longer going to indulge a regime who guns down their own civilians in the streets while funding radical Islamic terrorism across the Middle East. America’s failed policy of appeasing the Iranian regime is over.
-- Alex Titus, Fellow at America First Policies