By David Amess
For more than a decade, European leaders took what they perceived to be the easy and least costly option of appeasement in confronting the threats posed by the despots in Tehran. The result is the fires that burn intensely across the Middle East for which the Iranian regime is responsible and we all pay the price. Yet, just in the nick of time, the Iranian people might have reminded us of a lesson with which we should be all too familiar; to achieve any objective worth attaining, one must be prepared to pay the price.
Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy Javier Solana regularly returned from meetings with Tehran’s tyrants about Iran’s nuclear programme holding aloft the equivalent of the Munich Pact. Each time, the mullahs’ laughed in the face of the West as they pressed ahead with their nuclear weapons programme, committed horrific crimes against the Iranian people and acted as the most active state sponsor of terrorism, fomenting crises across the Middle East. From Palestine to Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, the Iranian regime arms, trains and funds extremist groups responsible for terrorism. In turn, the West spent a decade turning a blind eye.
The Foreign Office has been a flag bearer for the appeasers and shamefully continues its failed policy of appeasement towards the regime. As the regime arms the Taliban with roadside bombs and other deadly weapons to use against Afghan civilians and Coalition forces, Foreign Secretary David Miliband invites Iran to a conference due to be held in London later this month to address the future of Afghanistan. As evidence emerges that Iran was responsible for the kidnapping of British IT consultant Peter Moore, of which General David Petraeus said he was certain, the Foreign Office did not hesitate in issuing statements denying that any such evidence existed. It is therefore no surprise that as the regime’s Revolutionary Guards use deadly force against Iranian protestors calling for an end to clerical rule, the Foreign Office is quiet. In response, the regime’s Foreign Minister warned Britain it would “get a slap in the face”.
The Iranian regime has read the West’s number and in particular the number of the British government; weak and feeble, lacking the backbone to confront Iran’s tyrants.
Instead, it has been left to the Iranian people and their organised resistance movement to rid the world of a menace it has not seen since the first half of the last century. The preparedness of Iranians to pay the price for an end to clerical rule has brought the regime to its knees. Deadly force has failed to silence courageous protesters demanding their basic rights.
This people’s uprising represents the third option advocated for years by the President-elect of Iran’s main exiled opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Mrs Maryam Rajavi told the European Parliament in 2004 that the solution to the threats posed by the regime was neither appeasement nor foreign military intervention, instead the solution was democratic change brought about by the Iranian people and their organised resistance movement. The appeasers ignored Mrs Rajavi’s message and, at the behest of Tehran, even placed restrictions on her movement.
However, the world has finally heard the cry of the Iranian people and it must now respond. Mrs Rajavi says that the failed policy of appeasement and negotiations with the regime is futile and will only embolden the mullahs to further suppress the people. Instead, she argues – and I concur – that the West must end trade with the regime and look to support the millions of Iranians demanding change.