Human Rights

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ADL Chief: Iran Has Gotten Worse on Terror, Abuses, Anti-Americanism Since Deal

Iran’s violations of human rights, support for terrorist proxies, and use of anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda have escalated in the wake of the nuclear deal, Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League‘s national director, wrote Wednesday in the San Diego Jewish World.

Greenblatt, who previously served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama, argued that the Islamic Republic oppresses its own citizens while “enforc[ing] policies overseas that challenge the core principles that center our country.”

Observing that Iran’s behavior often parallels that of ISIS, the ADL chief pointed to the regime’s ongoing persecution of religious and sexual minorities, as well as its “use of capital punishment as a tool of the state against its perceived enemies,” which led to the execution of hundreds of people in 2015.

“Fantastical anti-Israel and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have been a mainstay in the state-run Iranian media since the Islamic Revolution in 1979,” Greenblatt further noted. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently claimed that Israel was behind the November terror attacks in Paris, while official state media falsely reported that Jews had advance knowledge of the attacks. In reaction to these slanderous claims, and those that Israel created ISIS, Greenblatt wrote, “the Islamic Republic of Iran has benefited more than any other government in the world from the distracting capabilities of ISIS.”

Greenblatt observed that Tehran’s anti-American policies, which led to the recent arrest of an American citizen and a U.S. resident, the sentencing of an American journalist to jail, and a surge of cyber-attacks against U.S. officials, have intensified along with Khamenei’s rhetoric. “Iranian leadership continues to rail against the ‘Big Satan’ without penalty or even opprobrium,” he wrote, pointing to Khamenei’s recent accusations that the U.S. was using “money and sexual attractions” to subvert Iran.

With these extreme actions and declarations in mind, Greenblatt emphasized that “the Islamic Republic[‘s] ongoing human rights violations and its external aggressions must be taken into account when considering the prospect of normalized relations.”

In August, Greenblatt urged Congress to vote down the Iran nuclear deal, observing that Tehran has not changed its behavior and was violating international sanctions with impunity.

In exchange for pausing rather than permanently terminating its nuclear program, Iran will receive billions of dollars that, contrary to the arguments offered by administration officials, will almost certainly allow it to advance its agenda of bigotry, expansionism and support for terrorism. Indeed in recent days, we have seen commercial delegations flood into Tehran even as its leaders flout international sanctions by visiting foreign capitals; its judiciary represses religious minorities at home; and its inciteful rhetoric becomes even more sophisticated and strident. These are ominous signs.

[Photo: Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr ]