The Verdict on Iran: Guilty

The Verdict on Iran: Guilty

April 30, 1997 - The New York Times

On April 10, defying Iran's repeated threats of reprisal, a German court found that the highest authorities in Tehran had ordered a gangland-style slaying in the middle of Europe. What had been common knowledge for years - that Iran not only supports terrorism throughout the world but orders acts of terror as an instrument of national policy - was proven in a court of law.

On September 17, 1992, the victims were four critics of the Iranian regime, shot in cold blood while having dinner in Berlin's Mykonos Restaurant. But the list of Tehran's terrorist targets is long: political opponents in Iran as well as across Europe, novelist Salman Rushdie and his translators, Egypt's President Mubarak, the Palestinians' Chairman Arafat, Israelis and Jews everywhere, and America and its citizens abroad.

Commendably, the United States has taken a tough stand. But too many other nations, no less aware of the Iranian record, have sought to profit from business as usual with terrorism's sponsors.

Iran's trading partners in Europe and Asia have long claimed they could influence the radical regime in Tehran through "critical dialogue." With the toll of bombings and assassinations mounting, they've been proved wrong.

On the horizon, an even greater danger looms: Iran's quest to acquire nuclear and other non-conventional weapons, along with the means to deliver them.

The Iranian challenge - the Iranian threat to peace and security - can be denied no longer. Until Tehran adheres to the norms of international law, it must be refused the credits, commerce and diplomatic acceptance with which it builds its arsenal and projects its power.

President Clinton is right: We cannot "do business by day with people who kill innocent civilians by night." It's time for the community of civilized nations to stand together against Iranian terror.

The American Jewish Committee

Robert S. Rifkind: President

David A. Harris: Executive Director

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