What do you get when you expect the Islamic Republic of Iran to uphold its international obligations? As can be seen from this week’s events, you get nothing.
Until now, international discourse in respect to Iran’s lawlessness touched on two very grave topics. First, the Regime’s pursuit of nuclear military capability which is now confirmed by the world most notable and respected nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has for years been a matter of contention and heated debate. Still, regardless of one’s persuasion on the intentions of Iran’s nuclear program, the fact at hand is that Iran has not fulfilled its international obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), obligations it willingly assumed upon signing the treaty.
Secondly however, Iran’s human rights record is a far more pressing and moral issue. While one can argue for or against most international laws, there exists no sane or rational argument against the laws obliging states to uphold the basic human rights of their people. A state, a government, has the international obligation to protect the rights and dignity of its citizens, and people within its jurisdiction. The Islamic Republic has, without remorse, failed in this requirement, and rather, has essentially ordered for the destruction of Iran’s morale through executions, torture and unlawful disappearances and imprisonment.
This week, a new scenario has been added to the growing list of neglected international obligations – the responsibility to protect foreign diplomats and their missions. This week, the Islamic Republic orchestrated the take-over of the British Embassy in Iran’s compound, as well as the official residence of its diplomats, both considered as British soil. Reminiscent of events of 1979, the Regime shows a penchant for threatening diplomats, people who are dedicated to negotiations and seeking compromise. Do not be fooled by what the likes of Iran’s Press TV report – those who ransacked the Embassy, tore pictures of the Queen, and set fire to Western flags were not students, they were in fact members of Iran’s Basij Forces. Yes, the British Embassy was attacked by the Iranian Regime itself; a regretful example of negating one’s international obligation to protect diplomats, and an obvious display of the Regimes refusal to engage in actual diplomacy, rather be forceful, terrifying and coercive. After all, Iran today is the world’s greatest state-sponsor of terrorism. It is befitting that the Regime would employ terror as a means to reach its objectives in the diplomatic realm as well – it’s their expertise.
What these events imply for the future is still a mystery; however those familiar with the Regime are no stranger to its character. But for those unfamiliar, with time that passes, the Islamic Republic shows its true self a little more. It is simply up to the free world to stop making excuses for its behavior, and consider the obvious reality that the Islamic Republic of Iran desires not to be an integral part of the international arena, which upholds its duties and obligations. And that is the definition of, ‘Rogue State.’