Biden's shameful 'condolences' for Butcher of Tehran show why US needs a change in November

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash in Northern Iran this week has sent shockwaves throughout the Middle East and the world. While his sudden passing is unlikely to bring any immediate change within Iran, it does provide an opportunity for Team Biden to reset its approach and keep America, Israel, and the entire Middle East safe. 

Unfortunately, instead of deterring the regime focused on the murder of Americans and our allies, the Biden administration offered its “condolences.”

In remembering Raisi, we should not honor the man, who earned the title “Butcher of Tehran” for his role as chief executioner during the mass murder of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians in 1988.  He may have later held the title of ‘president,’ but in the end he was little more than the ayatollah’s chief lackey. 

Raisi’s job was to inflict pain on the Iranian people while the ayatollah’s wicked regime continued to loot and plunder them – a fact the world witnessed recently with the regime’s brutal crackdowns in response to widespread protests in 2022 through 2023.

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Raisi’s memory, if kept at all, should be consigned to the darkest chapters of human history. The world is a better place without him.

For these reasons, it was unconscionable and shameful that our own State Department offered the regime America’s “official condolences” upon receiving word of Raisi’s death while mentioning our “support” for the Iranian people. 

What a tactless, obscene insult to Raisi’s countless victims, who are the true people America should be honoring in the wake of his death: the mothers, daughters, fathers and sons who believed in a better future for their country, and who were killed in terrible ways by Raisi and his thugs.  

We should remember young women like Mahsa Amini, who was killed by Iran’s morality police for refusing to wear a hijab in accordance with the regime’s standards. We should save our condolences for her family and the many others who continue to lose loved ones to the regime’s medieval and brutal oppression.  

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Raisi’s death, though unexpected, is unlikely to trigger any immediate change or reform within Iran, as the true power lies with Ayatollah Khamenei and the ruling clerics. Even as the inevitable internal reshuffle takes place in response to Raisi’s departure, the regime will continue to crack down on internal dissent as it pursues the development of nuclear weapons and works to destroy Israel, America and any other nation within reach that does not bow to its ideology. 

Despite this, Raisi’s death does offer the Biden administration a chance to make meaningful, productive changes to its Iran policy that benefit American interests and keep Americans and our allies safe. 

First, the administration should stop coddling the regime and its proxies. Swift action should be taken to displace the Houthi presence in the Red Sea and make the global shipping lane safe and accessible once more for commercial vessels.  

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Full support should be given to Israel as it enters the final stage of its campaign to destroy Hamas. Doing so would send a clear message to both the regime and whomever Ayatollah Khamenei anoints as his successor that the Biden-Obama status quo – a weak America looking to cut a deal – is a thing of the past.  

Further, the Biden administration and the world should do more to support the organized opposition movement inside Iran. The mullahs constantly say that there is no alternative to their regime, yet they spend billions of dollars to demonize this very alternative. 

Mass protests on a nation-wide scale, like those we saw inside Iran in the past few years, do not happen spontaneously or by accident. They happen because there are organized groups that continue to advance a vision for a free Iran, despite the regime’s brutality. These people deserve our support. 

Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s offering of condolences to the regime signals that it has not learned from its mistakes. 

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It has not learned that paying $6 billion in exchange for five American hostages only encourages more hostage taking – even after more Americans were taken on Oct. 7 by Hamas, an Iranian proxy. 

It hasn’t learned that striking empty warehouses or taking out a few knuckleheads in the desert only emboldens the regime in its assault on American interests. 

It hasn’t learned that failing to enforce sanctions on the regime only allows it to reap record profits while feeling no pressure to cease its malign activities.

Iran is the leading global state sponsor of terror. It is growing more powerful as it deepens ties with malefactors like Russia and China. And it is the primary obstacle to achieving peace in the Middle East. 

Four years ago, we had a president who understood these basic facts and took the necessary steps keep America and the world safe. Next year, I hope that same president is back in the Oval Office. 

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