The recent outbreak of war in the Middle East, resulting in over 3,000 deaths, was triggered by the 7 October attack, and its consequences. The conflict has led to more than 1,000 deaths in Israel and over 2,000 deaths in Palestine, with no clear end in sight. In addition, the recent terrorist attack in Brussels rings the bell of the new situation that need our maximum attention to overcome the current conditions. It is essential to examine how we arrived at this point and consider ways to preserve peace and security in the region and stop terrorism in Europe. The “appeasement policy” of Western nations, particularly toward Iran, has played a significant role in these unfortunate events, writes Ali Bagheri Ph.D, Researcher in Thomas More University of Applied Science, Activist for human rights and democracy in Iran.
The global landscape
Amid the ongoing international conflicts, the failure of Russia in its war against Ukraine , the sunset of the Iran Nuclear Deal, peace negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the reopening of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Iran have taken center stage. However, these events have led European and American policymakers to overlook the lurking threat that has now escalated into a full-blown crisis.
Iranian regime’s role in the crisis
As soon as the war broke out, some American and European politicians pointed fingers at Iran as the mastermind behind the October 7 attack. The question arises: What has made Iran such a formidable threat to peace and security in the region, and how has it managed to act so boldly? The “appeasement policy” of Western countries, especially over the past 40 years and the significant concessions made in recent times, lie at the heart of these deadly attacks and the ongoing conflict.
Appeasement towards Iran
Iran has not only publicly provided weapons and drones to Russia for use in Ukraine but has also brutally suppressed its own citizens. When massive protests erupted in Iran, with people crying out for freedom and democracy, European politicians largely stood by, making empty gestures like cutting their hair. Although the European Parliament passed a resolution in January 2023 calling for the EU Council to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, the EU Council failed to take action. Belgium, after a year of political debates and legal proceedings, even against the decision of the Belgian constitutional court, extradited an Iranian diplomat-terrorist back to Tehran, who had been convicted of masterminding a terrorist attack, that if not intercepted could have been the deadliest terrorist attacks of our recent history. The Biden administration decided to release $6 billion to Iran, essentially rewarding the Iranian regime’s hostage-taking diplomacy. All these concessions were granted to Iran, despite repeated warnings from the Iranian opposition that such actions would only lead to more conflict and terrorism.
The EU’s appeasement policy toward Iran extended beyond these actions. When the Iranian regime faced significant internal protests, European countries and Americans inadvertently supported the Iranian regime’s demonization campaign against the regime’s viable democratic opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The main stream media heavily censored the activities of the Iranian opposition inside and outside the country. Moreover, Camp Ashraf in Albania was raided by the police whereas it must be protected under Geneva Conventions. The raid resulted in the death of a member of the MEK. The Iranian regime also exerted pressure on France to cancel the annual gathering of the Iranian democratic opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a day after a 90 minute telephone conversation between Emanuelle Macron and Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian regime’s President, who is believed to be a key perpetuator of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran All these actions were perceived as a green light for the Iranian regime to carry out its nefarious plans.
The price of appeasement
As the saying goes, “If you feed the crocodile with your hand, it will take your arm.” Now, the world is witnessing the dire consequences of the “appeasement policy.” As the president-elect of the NCRI, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, emphasized in a conference in Paris on October 11, 2023, “Khamenei has openly stated that if the regime does not engage in conflicts in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, it will have to confront the angry people and rebellious youth in Kermanshah, Hamedan, Isfahan, Tehran, and Khorasan. Khamenei relies on the inaction of Europe and the US when he resorts to warmongering and executions. The massacre of innocent civilians fuels religious fascism in Iran and serves as a shield and cover to suppress the uprising and avoid its downfall. To achieve peace and freedom, one should target the head of the snake (leadership) in Tehran.”
In conclusion, the current crisis in the Middle East underscores the devastating impact of “appeasement policies.” The failure to confront Iran’s aggressive actions and concessions granted to a regime that openly promotes conflict have contributed to the loss of thousands of lives and the escalation of violence. To achieve lasting peace and security in the region, it is essential to rethink and revise Western policies toward Iran and address the root causes of these conflicts.
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