This Thursday, February 11, mark the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Iranian leaders, including the state's religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei, have decided to "festively" commemorate this anniversary by vowing to deliver a powerful punch to the West.
Just over 30 years ago, with the support of the then-new Islamic regime, radical Islamic students in Tehran carried the banner of their revolution right up through an attack on the United States embassy compound, where they took 53 Americans hostage. Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini saw the hostages as more than bargaining chip as he built his new regime -- they were tokens of power and prestige that became increasingly powerful as each painful month of their detainment passed.
The months did drag on until we saw the magical images of the hostages' release after 444 days in confinement, coupled with my father's inspiring inauguration. This marked the start of an era of a bold and innovative America-first approach to foreign policy, when Americans again started to believe that their nation would pursue policies and take actions necessary to protect her people from the dangers of the world, whether in Tehran, Moscow or Tripoli. Sadly, we seem to have lost our way on that front.
It is of great concern that despite a year of allegedly aggressive negotiations with our "allies" in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities, the only tangible results appear to have been increasing nuclear progress and arrogance from the caretakers of the old Islamic Revolution.
These bold and boisterous proclamations on the part of Iranian leadership, in open defiance of the West, are undoubtedly an attempt to keep the focus of the international community and even many Iranian eyes off of their simmering internal rebellion. Iranian leadership does not want anyone to look too closely at the prospects of a new wave of protest by Iranians who are seeking more individual liberties and demanding that they have a say in their individual and national future. Iranian leadership particularly wants to keep anyone from looking too closely at the violent rebuttals issued by Iran's military, police and intelligence networks.