People are understandably preoccupied with the threat from North Korea and what to do about it. But with the polyvalent perversity that characterises our modern age – afflicted as it is by the political equivalent of auto-immune disease in which it seeks to destroy its allies while embracing its mortal enemies – many in the west continue to downplay or ignore the far greater threat to the world from North Korea’s partner in crime, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It’s not just that, as with North Korea today so with Iran tomorrow; just as “negotiation” was supposed to persuade Pyongyang to park its nuclear weapons programme only for us to find to our apparent surprise that it has now tested yet another nuclear device, so the “negotiated” Iran deal will result before long in our finding to our apparent surprise that it has moved from being the world’s number one terrorist threat to being the world’s number one nuclear terrorist threat.
It’s also not just that Iran and North Korea are working hand in glove in their infernal joint enterprise (although with very different philosophies) to develop the nuclear weapons by which they can either blackmail, attack or destroy the west or commit a further genocide against the Jews; that Iranian scientists and military brass have been reliably tracked to North Korea inspecting or witnesing its nuclear weapons programme development; and that almost certainly Tehran has outsourced some if not much of that programme to Pyongyang.
No, what reveals the west to be truly pathological in its apparent desire to commit suicide is that even now it downplays or flat-out denies the nature and extent of the threat posed to it by Iran; downplays or denies the way in which the west has helped immeasurably empower the most dangerous state on the planet and continues to do so; and still downplays or denies not just that Iran is a potential threat but that it is already responsible for killing untold numbers of westerners, both civilians and military forces including many British and American soldiers in Iraq, in its self-declared, almost five-decade war against the free world.
The Spectator has run a piece by John R Bradley arguing that Iran is the west’s “natural ally” and that the gravest threat to western security and values comes from Saudi Arabia. But this is an example of the “zero sum game” fallacy. Yes, Saudi Arabia is indeed the epicentre of the Sunni Wahhabi ideology which has fuelled the Islamist extremism that now poses such a threat to the west. But it absolutely does not follow that Saudi Arabia’s mortal foe, Shi’ite Iran, is therefore the west’s friend, let alone its greatest ally.
It’s not either/or. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran pose a threat to the west. My enemy, in the case of Saudi Arabia, is currently my tactical friend as well as my enemy; and that’s because my enemy’s enemy, Iran, is my own far more dangerous enemy.
The true, terrifying reality of the Iranian threat is laid out in this piece by Bob Kent and Rachel Ehrenfeld. They point out what so many in the west, including the Trump administration, either fail to realise or choose to ignore: that the invisible puppet-master behind ISIS terrorist attacks in Barcelona, London, Paris, Iraq, and Afghanistan is Iran.
Yes, ISIS is Sunni and Iran is Shia. So what? This otherwise lethal enmity counts for little when there is a common enemy to attack in the west, or the Jews of Israel. Iran has also provided assistance to al Qaeda and Hamas – both Sunni groupings. The authors write:
“Both the Trump and Obama Administrations ignored Iran’s strategic goals and chose to cooperate with the Iranian influenced Iraqi government and help the Iranian proxy Hashid al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces or PMF) wage battle against ISIS. U.S. policymakers have been under the mistaken impression that Iranian military assistance to Iraq furthers the overall U.S. objective of countering the Islamic State. While this policy may achieve the goal of reducing the geographic area that ISIS controls, it is a monistic approach that considers a single element as the primary determinant of behavior and ignores Iranian regional goals.
“The current US policy has enabled Iran to secure a strategic corridor to Syria and Lebanon and has unwittingly provided Iran with a source for both a highly dangerous proxy militia and plausibly deniable means to attack US interests in the Middle East and at home: Iran is recruiting zealous ISIS fighters who were captured during the battle of Mosul.
“Quds Force has been coordinating with the PMF and Iraqi Government officials loyal to Noori Maliki to recruit the most effective ISIS fighters and release them from Iraqi prisons. Approximately five thousand ISIS fighters have been released and are being organized, trained, and equipped by Quds Force into a Sunni terrorist organization that will be used to attack US forces and other regional forces.”
According to these authors, Mosul – where ISIS was defeated with such ballyhoo – is now being turned into an Iranian stronghold. “The Iranians are using mostly captured ISIS fighters from Western countries, organizing them into a proxy terrorist force”. And they add for good measure: “The Maliki/Iran/ network has been busy establishing ISIS sleeper cells in Western cities, and at least one sleeper agent is now in New York City on a student visa.”
One final thought. Why is Kim Jong-un deliberately goading the US like this? The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says he’s “begging for war”. Really? Why should he do that? The immensely more powerful Iran is watching closely for signs of US weakness over North Korea which it will undoubtedly exploit. It’s almost as if Iran is using North Korea as a dry run.