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The Sorry Legacy of Our Policy Toward Iran

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate, Agustina Vergara Cid and Nikos Sotirakopoulos discuss Iran’s recent attempts — on American soil — to assassinate Masih Alinejad, a journalist and critic of the Iranian regime, and John Bolton, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, as well as the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie, whose murder Iran has advocated for over 30 years. They discuss the philosophic nature of the Iranian regime and how decades of failed U.S. policy has emboldened Iran and other enemies.

Among the topics covered:

  • The history of Iran’s fatwa against Rushdie;
  • Alinejad’s activism and Iranian agents’ attempts to kidnap and assassinate her;
  • Iran’s attempt to assassinate Bolton following the killing of Qassem Soleimani;
  • How U.S. foreign policy over the last several administrations emboldened Iran and other enemies;
  • The amorality of President Joe Biden’s statement about the attack on Rushdie;
  • America’s long history of appeasing Iran even in the face of acts of war against the U.S.;
  • The power of fundamentalist Islam and the need to convince its adherents that this ideology cannot win;
  • How the U.S. should have responded to Iran’s 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran;
  • Why an alliance of evil regimes would be insignificant if the U.S. stood up for American values;
  • What a proper U.S. response to Islamic totalitarianism would involve;
  • How the intellectuals’ propagation of cultural relativism and hatred for America has led to widespread misunderstanding of regimes like Iran.

Mentioned in this podcast are Ghate and Elan Journo’s book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism and Leonard Peikoff’s essays “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism” and “Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech.”

The podcast was recorded on August 17, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver, BA in English, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and a recipient of the Conceptual Education Fellowship.

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