The Magazine

Tehran Needs to Stop Meddling

Iran goes abroad in search of Westerners to destroy.

Jul 13, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 40 • By HOWARD GUMNITZKY and JONATHAN SCHANZER
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Despite its stated support for the Palestinian cause, Iran exacerbates the political tension between Palestinians. After Israel completed its disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Hamas and Fatah engaged in a power-struggle there until June 2007, when Hamas launched a military coup to wrest control of the area. Rival Fatah faction members accused Iran of funding the Hamas coup and training its fighters. In April, it was revealed that Iran's reach extended to Egypt. Cairo authorities announced they had discovered a Hezbollah plot to destabilize the country with "hostile operations."

Tehran, in short, has a long record of exporting terror and destabilization to other nations. Washington remained on the sidelines of Iran's election controversy because President Barack Obama insisted that "it's not productive . . . to be seen as meddling." Indeed, Obama and his Western counterparts have failed to support the Iranian protests that could help bring an end to the dangerous theocracy that has ruled Iran since 1979, and is itself a meddler par excellence.

In other words, the West is not stopping the Islamic regime from repressing its own citizens. Instead, it is the people of Iran who are finally giving the ayatollahs a taste of their own medicine.

Jonathan Schanzer is deputy director of the Jewish Policy Center. Howard Gumnitzky is studying international law at the
University of Maryland.