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April 8, 2014 2:05 pm

How Can Anyone Have ‘Iran Fatigue?’

avatar by Bob Feferman

Opinion

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum. Photo: Screenshot.

For two years, I have been doing outreach work around the country for the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). While I have heard all kinds of responses over the years, I recently heard a new expression for the first time: “Iran fatigue.” One person told me: “Many people have been reading and hearing so much about Iran’s nuclear program that they don’t want to hear any more.”

Beyond my initial shock, I felt it was worth asking: who really suffers from “Iran fatigue” – and what does it actually mean?

There is no doubt that the families of the 140,000 dead Syrian civilians – and the two million Syrian refugees – are suffering from Iran fatigue. They know that were it not for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxy Hezbollah, the regime of Bashar al-Assad would have fallen years ago and spared the lives of thousands.

There is no doubt that the people of Israel also have serious Iran fatigue. They are sick and tired of being threatened with annihilation by Iranian leaders and frustrated with the world’s inaction over Iran’s incessant efforts to supply rockets and missiles to terror groups in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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There is also no doubt that Iranian human rights activists and their families – including journalists and members of the Baha’i faith – have serious fatigue from their own government. While they languish in prison, or are publicly executed on building cranes, indifferent corporate entities in the West, such as MTN and Atlas, continue to do business with the Iranian regime.

Although an interim agreement called “The Joint Plan of Action” was signed in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran, we should not be fooled. Iran has not relinquished its quest to develop nuclear weapons. Indeed, Iran is still doing research and development on advanced centrifuges and its ballistic missile program, and still spinning centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Therefore, we should not allow the charm offensive of Iranian leaders to crush our resolve, and spin us into “Iran fatigue.”

It’s time to diagnose if you are truly suffering from “Iran fatigue.”

If you frequently send e-mail messages to companies demanding they end their business in Iran, you can rightly claim Iran fatigue, and you have our thanks and appreciation.

If you have spent hours encouraging your members of Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran, or worked to pass debarment laws in your state, you too can rightly claim Iran fatigue, and you have our thanks and appreciation.

However, if you have done none of the above, then it’s time to think about the alternative. The disinterest among some Americans, particularly when it comes to holding well-known companies accountable for their Iranian business activities, has been surprising and disappointing to say the least.

This is truly a shame. I can guarantee that if negotiations fail with Iran over its nuclear program, and either Israel and/or the United States launches a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, we’ll all be dealing with some serious “Iran fatigue” much more consequential than what is going on today. This is especially true for Israeli civilians, who are now the target of more than 170,000 rockets and missiles aimed at them from Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

As we approach Yom HaShoah, the lessons of the Holocaust can motivate us to action by remembering the words of Elie Wiesel, who warned, “If there is one lesson I hope the world has learned from the past, it is that regimes rooted in brutality must never be trusted. And the words and actions of the leadership of Iran leave no doubt as to their intentions.”

Now is not the time for complacency or bemoaning “Iran fatigue.” Now is the time for action to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

Bob Feferman is Outreach Coordinator for the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). Activists can use “‹“UANI’S Most Wanted” to send messages to multinational companies requesting that they end their business in Iran or visit the UANI website at www.uani.com“‹.

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