The burning of United States flags alongside Israeli flags is much more than a symbolic act. It is a clear expression of intentions on the side of many in Iran. It is not a rare sight to see. This is not a new concept. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that these are mere acts that belie true intentions.
For the last 4 decades, Iran and radical Islamic terror have been two concepts that go hand in hand. But speak with people who left Iran before or during the revolution in 1979, and you will get a whole different story. They will tell you that the Iranian people are good, peace-loving people who largely are interested in a Western-oriented society. But a minority rules with an iron fist and quashes all demonstrations against the dictatorship that rules the society.
Barack Obama made a fateful mistake by not supporting the protesters in Iran the way that he had supported the protesters in Egypt. In Obama’s defense, it must be said that these were not simple decisions. In Egypt, it was not clear that the protesters were more Western-oriented than the Mubarak regime. It now seems rather clear that indeed the protesters were a whole smorgasbord of angry masses – both moderate and radicalized. But the end result in Egypt may indeed be better than it was beforehand. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But in Iran, the best chance for toppling the Iranian regime was probably a United States and European joint statement that if the protesters were quashed, then the sanctions on Iran would be crippling. Instead, Obama signed an agreement that actually gave the Iranians tens of billions of dollars. This clear lack of support for the protesters scared them away from repeating. The Trump administration tightened the sanctions and canceled the deal with Iran. More importantly, President Trump and the Israeli government each took out a major figure of the Iranian military infrastructure in order to set back any nefarious plans. This kind of fatal precision military cooperation seems out of a James Bond movie, but it is highly effective. Don’t expect Iran to do very much for the next year or two. Force works against dangerous tyrants.
Guess this is the first (or one of the first) time(s) a picture of Biden is being set on fire in protest at the US, even before he takes office.— Reza Khaasteh (@Reza_Khaasteh) November 28, 2020
A gathering of hardline Iranians in Mashhad, warning against talks with Biden in the aftermath of #Fakhrizadeh assassination pic.twitter.com/b0YjeCTtgt