The decision of the Iranian regime to attack the British Embassy in Tehran is a subject I address here, in The Weekly Standard. Briefly, I argue that the United States should back President Sarkozy’s proposal of last week for sanctions against Iran’s central bank and for a cut-off of Iran’s oil exports.
President Obama’s reaction to the looting of the Embassy is pathetically weak. He said today that “for rioters, essentially, to be able to overrun the embassy and set it on fire is an indication that the Iranian government is not taking its international obligations seriously.”
Not taking its international obligations seriously? A regime that is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world? That continues to defy UN Security Council and IAEA resolution after resolution? That supplied IEDs to kill countless Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan?
If that is the strongest language he can muster, President Obama is not taking his own obligations seriously. After all, we are but weeks from the Iranian effort to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington—for which the regime paid absolutely no price. His mild response suggests they will likewise pay no price—or at least none involving the United States—for this latest abuse. The ayatollahs must wonder why anyone seriously expects them to abandon their nuclear program when they appear free to kill Americans, undertake terrorist plots in our capital, and now—in a striking reminder of how they entered the scene, with the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran—attack embassies without evoking anything from Washington.
The Iranian regime returned those hostages on the day Ronald Reagan took office. There’s a lesson here in Iran reacts to strength, and how it reacts to weakness.