Feb. 15, 2019
Iran’s 40 Years of Darkness – Bret Stephens
From its beginning 40 years ago, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enjoyed the generous benefit of the doubt from credulous observers in the West. History hasn’t been kind to their sympathy. As goodwill flowed toward Iran, malice flowed out. Tehran matches conciliation with contempt.
America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal has not led Iran to resume its nuclear program. A tougher U.S. tone is likely behind the sharp drop in Iranian harassment of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The resumption of sanctions has put Iran under acute economic stress.
Most importantly, ordinary Iranians know where to pin the blame. Last summer, social media captured Iranian protesters chanting “Death to Palestine,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon,” and “Leave Syria and think of us.” These are people sick of going hungry and unpaid while singing the “Death to America” theme song.
The overarching goal of Western policy cannot be to appease Iran into making partial and temporary concessions on its nuclear program, purchased at the cost of financing its other malignant aims. The goal must be to put an end, finally, to 40 years of Persian night. (New York Times)