Make No Mistake, Iran Is a Nazi Regime
The regime that rules Iran has been described as many things: “Islamic republic,” “Islamist dictatorship,” “the mullahs’ regime,” and so on. All of these terms make the same mistake: they assume the Iranian regime is something new. The problem is that this simply isn’t true. The Iranian regime is something we have very much seen before.
Put simply, Iran is a Nazi regime.
The parallels between the two are quite striking. They include:
One-Party Rule: Both Nazism and the Iranian regime are ruled by parties or movements that were once part of a spectrum of parties, but succeeded in crushing or purging their opponents and seizing absolute power, making the party and the government essentially synonymous.
Totalitarianism: Both regimes foster a cult-like mass movement in which every aspect of life is defined by the party. Everything down to one’s clothing — whether the compulsory hijab or the SS uniform — are decreed from on high. And they both, of course, have the idolatry of a supreme leader — whether Hitler or Khomeini. Without this totalitarian system, neither regime could have maintained itself in power for long.
Belief in a Single Metaphysical Force That Defines Existence: Both Nazism and the Iranian regime hold that there is a single, overriding metaphysical force that defines all of existence. In the case of the Nazis, this force was race. They held that all of human history is a struggle between the biologically superior master race — which was, of course, themselves — and all the inferior races. For the Iranian regime, this force is not race, but religion — a spiritual supremacism instead of a biological one: all of existence is seen as a struggle in which Islam will eventually conquer and destroy its inferiors.
A Separate Army Loyal Only to the Regime: One of the Nazis’ most potent means of enforcing their power was that they wielded an elite army loyal solely to the regime, separate from the regular military. The Nazis originally had several such forces, but all were eventually crushed or purged except for the infamous SS, which led the way in committing the Holocaust. In Iran, this separate army is the fanatical Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which both runs the regime’s terrorist activities and helps enforce its domination at home.
Imperialism: The Nazi regime’s primary short-term goal was to create a Europe-wide empire that would ensure the rule of the racially pure, annihilate or enslave all other races, and eventually lead to world domination. The Iranian regime’s goals are strikingly similar. It is now engaged in an imperialist policy intended to establish Iran as the hegemonic power in the Middle East; indeed, it often brags that it controls “four Arab capitals” — Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus and Saana. Should Iran succeed, it is highly likely that it will pursue expansionist aims well beyond its borders.
Reaction: Both Nazism and the Iranian regime are fundamentally reactionary forces. Their ultimate goal is to reimpose pre-modern values and destroy all liberal ideals — including democracy, self-government, equal rights, religious tolerance, the separation of religion and state, and the emancipation of women.
Antisemitism: For both Nazism and the Iranian regime, antisemitism is sacred and absolute — in many ways the very heart of their ideology. Nazism, of course, considered the Jews subhuman parasites who must be exterminated because they are trying to destroy the master race. For the Iranian regime, Jews are the subhuman enemies of Islam, and this threat is personified in the State of Israel, with which Iran is as obsessed as Nazism once was with “international Jewry.”
Genocide: At the end of the terrible logic of antisemitism is genocide. Nazism, of course, actually made the attempt; but Iran clearly wants to make another one, and it makes no secret of this, openly declaring that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
During Britain’s darkest hour of World War II, Winston Churchill sought to rally the British people by telling them what was at stake. “If we fail,” he said, “then the whole world, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”
He was speaking, of course, about Nazism, but he could just as easily be talking about the Iranian regime. That regime, like Nazism, seeks to hurl the world into the “abyss of a new Dark Age”; and with its nuclear program, is using “the lights of perverted science” to do it.
If this is a new Nazism, a theo-Nazism no less threatening to the world than its predecessor, it seems clear that there is only one thing to do: work toward its destruction.
This does not necessarily require a war or forced regime change. It can mean supporting dissidents and domestic protests, or pushing back against the regime’s terrorism and imperialism. But the overall goal must be clear. Today’s Nazism wears a different mask, but it remains, in the end, the same monster. And it must be slain.
Benjamin Kerstein is a columnist and Israel Correspondent for The Algemeiner. His website can be viewed here.