Sunday, August 21, 2016

                                             Gullibility & Guile:                                          The Ben-Ami-Parsi ‘Peace with Iran’ Plan

Daniel M. Zucker

World Defense Review, July 14, 2008                                                                                                  
Global Politician, July 17, 2008                                                                                                                         

Humans have a strong desire to solve problems, especially when it is believed that the efforts will solve major international conflicts and bring regional—or possibly even world—peace. This characteristic within the human psyche may prove to be very beneficial for the long-term survival of this planet in an age of nuclear proliferation. But it is essential for any "problem solver" to know well his/her partners in a potential peace pact. The recent article[1] by Dr. Shlomo Ben-Ami—formerly Israel´s Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Ehud Barak and currently vice-president of the Toledo International Centre for Peace—and Dr. Trita Parsi—president and founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and formerly Foreign Affairs advisor to Ohio´s disgraced Congressman Bob Ney—entitled "The alternative to an Israeli attack on Iran", and published in the Christian Science Monitor on July 2, 2008, is an example of a gullible peace maker being beguiled by an agent of a regime that wishes to erase the peace-maker´s (Ben-Ami´s) homeland from the world map. Teaming up with Trita Parsi is the 21st century version of joining Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels—Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda—to write an article in 1933 about the Jewish contribution to German culture—which thoughtful Jew would have agreed to do so?

Now why be critical of Dr. Parsi? What has he done to arouse ire? It has been documented by not a few investigative reporters that Parsi has served as spokesman for the interests of the current Iranian government[2], which is strange behavior for someone who claims to be a dissident exiled from his homeland. However, for someone whose assignment is to protect the interests of the mullah regime in Tehran, Parsi´s behavior is right on track—he never waivers from his line that Washington should come to its senses and open a genuine dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which Parsi suggests has been badly misunderstood by the United States and the West in general. Again, for a dissident, it is very strange that Parsi has said so little about human rights violations in the Islamic Republic[3], which has been censured by the United Nations and human rights organizations some 54 times in its 29 years of existence. .

But let´s look at what these two scholars have to say. The two begin their analysis with the correct point that a bombing raid on Tehran´s nuclear facilities most likely would not destroy Iran´s nuclear program but rather set it back about five years. They are also correct that any such raid would cause Iran to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, their assumptions and prognoses from that point on veer from reality into wishful thinking or obfuscation. The regime has been hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weaponry ever since the late Ayatollah Khomeini was informed by his military staff that Iran could not decisively win a war against the late Saddam Hussein of Iraq without nuclear weaponry. Iran´s secret nuclear research began at that time and would have continued in such a clandestine manner but for the revelations of its existence by members of the anti-regime opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in August 2002.[4] Given all the incentives that Iran has been offered by both the Europeans and even the G8 to slow down the uranium enrichment program, and its continual refusal to accept any limitations to it, to suggest that the Iranian regime is not seeking nuclear weaponry truly is wishful thinking.[5] Therefore, in or out of the NPT, Iran under the present mullah government will not be deterred from pursuing its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons, in large measure because the Khamenei government sees its long term survival as dependent on the acquisition of such weaponry. .

Next, let´s look at the question of whether an attack on Iran would help or hinder the Iranian democracy movement. Ben-Ami and Parsi are correct only if an attack is aimed solely at the nuclear facilities. If such is the case, there can be little doubt that the regime will turn its wrath on any dissenters whatsoever—the track record of the regime being exceedingly cruel in such circumstances—1988 being a prime example.[6] However, any well-coordinated attack on Iran would need to target the leadership of the regime and the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). To attack Iran without also attacking its leadership would indeed be an exercise in futility. Given a modicum of success in removing the mullah and IRGC leadership, one can be reasonably sure that the Iranian people—who overwhelmingly despise the current regime—will rise up and finish the job. Why make such a prediction? Because the Iranian street has averaged over 5000 acts of protest against the government annually for the last three years[7]—ever since Ahmadinejad became Khamenei´s selection for president in July 2005. .

When Ben-Ami and Parsi say that "there is nothing apocalyptic about the nuclear stand-off or the Israeli-Iranian rivalry; rather, these are strategically driven conflicts that can be managed and even resolved through the appropriate level of diplomacy", they are ignoring the infamous statement of former Iranian president and currently Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council and the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, made at the 2001 Qods Day rally in Tehran, where he stated: "If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists´ strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."[8] To contemplate the use of nuclear weaponry to destroy a nation and regard the attendant destruction of one´s own group as an acceptable sacrifice means that the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)—a principle that kept the U.S-Soviet Union Cold War from going hot—cannot be applied here. Therefore, the millennial/Mahdist beliefs of Rafsanjani and the faqih—Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayeed Ali Khamenei—are very much a concern, as are the frequent proclamations of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the imminent demise of the State of Israel. Taken together, the statements of the Iranian leadership indicate a pronounced tendency to see events in an apocalyptic framework, one which causes Israel and the worldwide Jewish community to take Iranian verbal threats very seriously, given the background of the Holocaust but one generation ago. .

As far as diplomatic contacts are concerned—the kind which are necessary to defuse the conflict between Iran and Israel—it is difficult to imagine negotiations with an entity that not only threatens to annihilate, but also would have the desire and capacity to do so, given the inability to apply the doctrine of MAD. This situation is especially poignant for Israel as it would pose no threat to Iran whatsoever if Iran ceased its belligerence. But one might also say that it is rather difficult to envision cordial relations between a vigorous democracy like Israel and a tyrannical fascist theocracy like the Islamic Republic of Iran. .

When Ben-Ami and Parsi suggest that the Arab-Israeli conflict must be solved in order to heal Israeli-Iranian relations, we have a case of placing the cart before the horse. It´s Tehran that currently is the single largest source fueling the Israeli-Arab fire due to its bankrolling, supplying, training and leading such Arab terrorist organizations as Hizballah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Were Iran to withdraw its support to these terrorist groups, as well as its support of al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam[9], sixty per cent of the Middle East´s conflicts would disappear, and the Arab-Israeli conflict likely to come to an end. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran´s exportation of its "Islamic revolution" which is currently the root of the conflict in so much of the region. Only last month, 3 million Shiite Iraqis went on record rejecting Iran´s interference in the internal affairs of their country, and calling for the removal of Iranian agents from Iraq.[10] The 3 million Shiite Iraqis joined with their fellow Sunni, Kurd and Christian Iraqis who together with their Shiite brothers and sisters delivered 5.2 million signatures on a similar petition two years ago.[11] Dr. Parsi is well aware of these facts, but publicly chooses to ignore them. As for Dr. Ben-Ami, one can only suppose that he shares the fervent Israeli hope for peace to such a great degree that he has allowed himself to be beguiled by Parsi and others like him. Peace will come one day, but not while the Islamic Republic of Iran remains extant. .

Ben-Ami and Parsi end their essay with the suggestion that the Middle-East become nuclear free. Certainly such a concept looks fine on paper, but currently is but a fantasy. For forty years Israel has held a monopoly on a nuclear arsenal, which has helped it to survive in a rough neighborhood. At no time has Israel waved its nuclear arms in front of its enemies to threaten them; it has kept them in the cellar and only hinted at their existence when threatened existentially. That nuclear arsenal has helped keep the region from worse conflicts between Israel and the Arab nation states that surround it. Until the jihadist movements disappear and Iran[12] becomes a secular democracy, it is ridiculous to suggest that Israel disarm. Incidentally, it was only several months ago that Kuwait suggested that Israel provide a nuclear umbrella to shield the Gulf States from Iranian nuclear belligerence.[13] It seems that more and more in the Arab world are recognizing that Iran is the threat rather than Israel.[14] .

At this point, it should be clarified that an attack on Iran hopefully is to be avoided as the military solution isn´t the best way to solve the problem. However, unlike Drs. Ben-Ami and Parsi, who advise a return to the diplomacy track—aka appeasement—regime change should be seen as eminently possible. If the United States follows the recent example of the United Kingdom[15]—having duly studied all the evidence, both public and classified—and removes the proscribed Iranian resistance organizations, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), from the State Department´s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as it correctly did this last week for South Africa´s former president Dr. Nelson Mandela and the ANC[16], then the long-suffering people of Iran can and will solve the problem themselves[17], removing the mullahs from power and instituting a secular democracy, Inshallah!

Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching our elected officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of fundamentalism. He may be contacted at


[1] Shlomo Ben-Ami & Trita Parsi, "The alternative to an Israeli attack on Iran", Christian Science Monitor, July 2, 2008,
[2] See Hassan Daioleslam, "Iran´s Oil Mafia", Front Page Magazine, April 16, 2007,{B30E945B-5F1F-4A57-A7AA-F4975D12FC4C}, Michael Rubin, "A Lever of Change in Iran", The Washington Post, October 19, 2007, p.A21,, Kenneth R. Timmerman, "The Mullahs´ Voice", Front Page Magazine, February 23, 2008,, and Daniel M. Zucker, "Iran´s VEVAK: Disinformation, Inc.", Iran Terror Database, September 17, 2006,
[3] See "Iran executes hundreds in 2007 – Amnesty", Iran Focus, April 15, 2008,, and "Amnesty International Report 2008: State of the World´s Human Rights", Amnesty International, For more information on the state of human and civil rights in Iran, see: Home Office-Border & Immigration Agency, "Country of Origin Information Report: IRAN", Country of Origin Information Service, B&IA, Apollo House (United Kingdom), January 31, 2008,
[4] Gary Samore, "Meeting Iran´s Nuclear Challenge", The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, No. 21, 2005,
[5] Claude Salhani, "Iran nearing nuclear weapons capability", Middle East Times, February 22, 2008, See also: Con Coughlin, "Iran has resumed A-bomb project, says West", The Daily Telegraph, July 7, 2008,
[6] Christina Lamb, "Khomeini fatwa ´led to killing of 30,000 in Iran´", The Telegraph, June 19, 2001,, and Bahram Alavi, "As Khomeini Government Disintegrates, Iranian Opposition Groups Revive", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April, 1989, p. 3,
[7] See: Ali Safavi, "Iran´s checkmate", The Washington Times, March 18, 2008,; see also: Editorial, "Poverty in the Islamic Republic of Iran", Iran Focus, March 14, 2008,, and Hedayat Mostowfi, "The Key To Defeating The Mullahs In Iran", Global Politician, May 3, 2007,
[8] Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, "Qods Day Speech", Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian 1130 gmt, December 14, 2001, translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring,
[9] Lydia Khalil, "The Hidden Hand of Iran in the Resurgence of Ansar al-Islam", Global Terrorism Analysis, June 7, 2007,, also available as "The Hidden Hand of Iran in the Resurgence of Ansar al-Islam", Terrorism Monitor V:11, June 7, 2007, pp 8-10,
[10] Dan Rabkin, "Iraqis Stand United Against Tehran", International Analyst Network, June 14, 2008,
[11] NCRI, "Declaration by 5.2 m Iraqis condemns Iran Regime's terrorist threats, supports PMOI", Foreign Affairs Committee, June 21, 2006,
[12] David Hughes, et. al., "Iran remains a threat to Israel´s very existence", The Telegraph, July 4, 2008,
[13] Mark Trevelyan, "Gulf Arabs see Israel stopping Iran bomb", Reuters / Iran Focus, February 12, 2008, See also: "Gulf expects Israel to ´take out´ Iran nukes", Kuwait Times, February 13, 2008,
[14] Ian Black, "Arabs fear fallout of nuclear conflict", The Guardian, July 10, 2008, See also: Yoav Stern, "J´lem sources: Saudis not opposed to Israel strike on Iran", Haaretz, July 9, 2008,
[15] The Associated Press, "Britain removes the People´s Mujahedeen of Iran from list of banned terror groups", International Herald Tribune, June 23, 2008,
[16] CNN, "Mandela off of U.S. terrorism watch list", CNN, July 2, 2008,
[17] See note 7 above for justification of this prediction based on the mood of the "Iranian street"

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