Why is the American government so eager to continue talks with an Iranian leader who is known as “the Butcher of Tehran”?
Concerning Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration this week as the new president of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said:
“Raisi is the most extreme Iranian president so far, and the competition is tough. I call from here to the European Union: We cannot speak about human rights, while at the same time honoring a murderer, hangman, who eliminated hundreds of opponents of the regime.”
Raisi earned the infamous nickname “Butcher of Tehran” after being denounced by the international community for his direct role in the extrajudicial executions of over 30,000 people in Iran in 1988. More recent reports of Raisi also hold him responsible for tortures and executions in Iran. This is the man who has just taken the helm of Iran’s government.
When Raisi was first elected, Israel’s Foreign Ministry had this to say about him:
“An extremist figure, committed to Iran’s rapidly advancing military nuclear program, his election makes clear Iran’s true malign intentions, and should prompt grave concern among the international community. More than ever, Iran’s nuclear program must be halted immediately, rolled back entirely and stopped indefinitely. Iran’s ballistic missile program must be dismantled and its global terror campaign vigorously countered by a broad international coalition.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Iran is a mere ten weeks away from acquiring enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. Prime Minister Naftali Bennet also stated this week that the recent increase in the IDF’s budget is to assist in preparing the military for an attack on Iran should it be deemed necessary.
Speaking to Ynet news, Defense Minister Gantz responded in the affirmative when asked if Israel was prepared to attack Iran. He said:
“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennet this week also stated:
“On the issue of the ship, and on the Iranian issue in general, we are working to enlist the world, but at the same time, we also know to act alone. Iran already knows the price that we charge, when someone threatens our security. The Iranians need to understand that they cannot sit in tranquility in Tehran, while they set the entire Middle East ablaze from where they sit. That’s over.”
Bennet’s remarks refer to last week’s deadly tanker attack off the coast of Oman in which two people were killed. Israel, the US, and Britain have all accused Iran of being behind the attack.
After vehemently denying the accusation, Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a threat of their own:
“We state this clearly: ANY foolish act against Iran will be met with a DECISIVE response. Don’t test us.”
In the meantime, the United States has called for Iran to resume nuclear talks now that Iran’s new president has been sworn into office. Since Iran wouldn’t even speak to the US in previous talks, but sent couriers back and forth with letters, it is doubtful that resuming these “talks” will lead to anything productive.
In the meantime, Iran may only be weeks away from a nuclear bomb. They have already enriched uranium more than fourteen times the amount that was to be allowed under the 2015 JCPOA agreement, an agreement that the United States is eager to reenter.
The time bomb in Iran is ticking.