Is Europe Ignoring Its Own History on Iran?
When World War I ended, world leaders were determined that this horrific event should never be repeated. The Treaty of Versailles was meant to affirm that this destructive war would be the war to end all wars.
Accordingly, in May 1920, Germany was compelled to not only disband its air force, but was strictly forbidden from having any air force whatsoever. Germany’s treaty signature was underpinned by inspections carried out by the IACC (Inter-Allied Control Commission). Despite all these “guarantees” that Germany would comply, Germany embarked on a process of deceit and deception.
Dutch airplane manufacturer Anthony Fokker circumvented sanctions and the terms of the Versailles restrictions by hiding airplanes in barns throughout the German countryside. Germany continued R&D on Fokker airplanes, which should have been terminated/destroyed under the Versailles Treaty. Some airplane frames were used as decoys to satisfy IACC inspections. These inspectors mostly chased up redundant pre-war facilities and unsubstantiated rumors. In other words, the IACC “inspections” were deceptively reassuring but in practical terms meaningless. Germany cheated, plain and simple.
Britain nevertheless became concerned at Germany’s apparent rearmament, and scheduled a meeting with Germany in March 1935. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin reassured Britons that they were secure. But the meeting never even took place, as Hitler said he was ill. Soon afterwards, Germany announced it had rebuilt its army and air force, boasting that both were superior to Britain’s. Germany illegally reoccupied the Rhineland and tested its new air force by bombing Guernica in Spain in April 1937.
An emerging scientist, Wernher von Braun, would later join the SS, and oversee the development of the V-2 rocket designed to hit London, killing about 5,000 civilians. He used thousands of slave laborers, about 20,000 of whom died under horrific conditions. Von Braun was both a scientist and SS officer admired by Hitler and Himmler. Science was the means linked to an evil end.
Like the earlier IACC in Germany, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) in 2015 was intended to curtail Iran’s determination to develop nuclear weapons. Its serious flaws were whitewashed by the signatories, and like pre-World War II Germany, Iran embarked on a process of deception and deceit, insisting that its R&D was for peaceful purposes such as medical isotopes.
Inspectors were barred from uranium enrichment sites the Iranians deemed out of bounds. Research facilities have been hidden and protected deep underground, despite their purported “peaceful intentions.” Iran has also openly exceeded the amount of low-enriched uranium as well as its purity level permitted under the JCPOA.
Not dissimilar to its lethargy in the face of Germany’s gross violations of the Versailles rearmament restrictions, Europe appears now to be more motivated by the prospect of lucrative deals with Iran than concern about the machinations and intentions of this rogue nation. Europe turns a blind eye to the obviously malicious intentions of Iran that not only is determined to obtain a nuclear bomb, but is also aggressively involved with terrorism in various parts of the world, including Europe.
While von Braun joined the Nazi Party in 1937 at age 25, seven months after Germany bombed Guernica, and became an SS officer three years later, Iran’s foremost nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at 21. Fakhrizadeh was closely associated with overseeing the development of a nuclear device and was invited to observe the North Korean nuclear bomb test in 2013. He was a military man advancing nuclear physics for evil intent only.
And yet his recent assassination elicited misplaced hypocritical outrage from the European Union’s foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, who apparently forgot that Fakhrizadeh was primarily an IRGC Brig. General and not merely an “Iranian government official.” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the assassination by stating “we stick to the rule of humanitarian international law which is very clear against targeting civilians.” Brig. General Fakhridazeh’s goal was the destruction of Israel and to threaten Europe, the Middle East, and South America with the IRGC’s terror network. He was not a civilian.
Borrell and Raab’s misguided outrage appeared more vociferous than reactions to Iran’s deceit and openly provocative breaches of the JCPOA terms, let alone its terrorist proxies around the world. Raab is a Brexiteer and argued that there was too much corruption in the EU. Nevertheless, by referring to Brig. General Fakhrizadeh as a civilian, Raab indicates he is part of Europe’s problem.
Borrell and Raab would do well to read up on their own national and European history, and draw some obvious conclusions.
Ron Jontof-Hutter is the author of the satirical novel The trombone man: tales of a misogynist, the Kristallnacht Cantata: a voice of courage, and the play BEST. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.