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While most of us who remember the 1980s maintain an instinctual opposition to trading money (or arms) for American hostages with Iran, earlier this month, the Biden administration did just that.
Our president gave up $6 billion to the world’s foremost supporter of terrorism in exchange for an ambiguous guarantee that American hostages it was holding would be transferred … to another holding cell ... pending a potential prisoner swap.
We are rewarding our enemies, freeing up alarming amount of money that had been blocked as part of sanctions. When President Barack Obama sent $400 million to Iran in 2016, for four American hostages, that was eyebrow-raising enough.
Few know that Iran has American hostages
While many Americans may not have even known Iran was holding American hostages, it is crucially important we understand that the war on Islamist-inspired terror is not over.
Irrespective of who the American president is, or who the American people elect, there is still a binary world that exists between the abusers of civilization and the promoters of it — what we might call the forces of decomposition and the forces of composition.
In other words, whenever phrases like “American greatness” or “American exceptionalism” are uttered, they are extolling this country’s charter and practice guaranteeing both liberty and equality — as opposed to abusers of civilization that see the world in fantastical castes of theological or doctrinal ideology, be it Islamism or Marxism (or Marxist-Maoism as China’s Constitution puts it).
The point is: the world is still a dangerous place, with countries like Iran trying to stalk and dominate the Middle East — with not only the practice of terrorism but with trafficking in deadly arms and hostage-taking that help pay for their radical salience.
Why is Biden negotiating with terrorists?
Our president and his administration are not only negotiating with terrorists, they are openly giving ramped up ransoms and agreeing to release terrorists and spies to a hero’s welcome in their Islamic state.
In the last year alone more than 22,000 dissidents have been imprisoned and tortured with more than 500 murdered or executed by the Islamic Republic in the past year since the uprising inspired by the murder of Mahsa Amini began the revolutionary demonstrations against the regime.
According to Amnesty International, Iran is a country that maintains “suffocating levels of repression,” and its Mullahcracy maintains power by “torture and other ill-treatment, including through prolonged solitary confinement and deliberate denial of medical care,” all of which “remain widespread and systematic.”
The Biden administration’s decision is extraordinarily dangerous given that we are directly enriching a state that prioritizes Islamist theocracy and its tyranny in the region and fuels Islamist-inspired terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
If the release of $6 billion in frozen assets is not bad enough, the Iranian government is also developing nuclear weaponry.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Iran is “close” to testing “a nuclear weapons device.”
America cannot finance its own demise
The last time we sent money to Iran, even Barack Obama’s own secretary of state, John Kerry, acknowledged: “I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the Iran Revolutionary Guards or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.”
Are we mad? Are we now in the business of just financing our own demise, and that of the free world?
These are serious questions a serious media should be asking not only of our secretaries of State and Defense, but our president and vice president.
Not only must we not ignore Iran, Congress should also hold immediate hearings as to how we are enriching and incentivizing our enemies — from China to Afghanistan and Iran.
Make no mistake. Islamist theocrats glorify suicide, fratricide and terror.
Watching them get access to nuclear weaponry is not an option.
It is one thing to oppose notions of “American Greatness,” which may be politically convenient for some (sadly), but it is entirely another to pledge to destroy Americans, America and her allies.
M. Zuhdi Jasser is a physician in private practice in Phoenix and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He is also a former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. On X, formerly Twitter: @DrZuhdiJasser.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: US hostage deal with Iran will only embolden our enemies