As Americans struggle with the loss of wealth resulting from the
ongoing credit crunch, subprime mortgage meltdown, and subsequent stock
drops, the leading figures of the Islamic Republic of Iran are cheering unabashedly.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gloated recently that the United States
is paying the price for exporting inflation and deficits to the rest of
the world, "Now the world capacity is full and these problems have
returned ... And finally they are oppressors, and systems based on
oppression and unrighteous positions will not endure," he said.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also reveled in the
financial crisis, expressing his hope that it marked the end of U.S.
domination over the world economy. "The false bubble of money in the
West has broken," he said on state television, adding that the recent
mortgage meltdown was the beginning of the end for free market
Similarly, Iranian Guardian Council secretary and interim Friday
prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati professed that the U.S.'s
economic crisis was "divine punishment." He stated, "we are happy that
the United States economy has come across difficulty. They are
attesting unfavorable consequences of their conduct.They are
experiencing divine punishment. We are happy over that. The unhappier
they become, the happier we get, as they become happy as we get
unhappy." He said that Americans could expect to be "slapped in the
face by Islam, Muslims, and the Islamic Revolution."
That slap in the face may come in the form of Iran-induced higher
oil prices. Indeed, Iran's Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari recently
told reporters at an energy conference, "$100 and below is not suitable
for oil producers or oil consumers." Iran, of course, is the world's
fourth-largest exporter, and ranks among the more powerful members of
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a corrupt
cartel that determines the level of oil production, which directly
impacts the cost of oil.
Surging fuel prices have crippled U.S. consumers in recent years,
adding to mounting concerns over whether America is about to enter or
has already entered an economic recession.
Higher oil prices are not the only arrow in the Iranian quiver.
Former Iranian president (and now powerful cleric) Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani gloated in a recent radio broadcast, "if the economic crisis
in America is becoming a serious threat for the West and the industrial
world, one of the underlying reasons is the high costs which the
Americans have been forced to spend in the region in the past seven or
Indeed, Iran is one of the primary reasons the United States has
been bogged down in Iraq since 2003. The Iranians have sponsored
radical militias, planned and executed terrorist attacks, and fomented
internecine violence between Shi'ites and Sunnis. Continuing this
activity will only ensure that America expends both blood and treasure.
Several important observations can be gleaned from these unabashed
celebrations in Tehran over recent American economic woes: First, there
can be no doubt that, across the board, from clerics to elected
leaders, the Iranian leadership is a zealous and avowed enemy of the
Their uninhibited glee stemming from international financial panic
appears to mirror the eagerness, expressed by Mr. Ahmadinejad and other
radical leaders, to embrace the collapse of the current world order -
through war or other means. In their minds, this would herald the
arrival of the Twelfth Imam, or "Mahdi," (a messianic figure from the
ninth century) who would reappear to signal the end of the modern world
and the onset of global Islamic justice.
Moreover, while it does not state so explicitly, the Iranian
leadership knows that the longer America's economic struggles continue,
the harder it will be to stop their long march toward nuclear
Thus, while it has long been understood that the defeat or overthrow
of the current Iranian regime would be in the best political and
military interest of the United States, it is now clear that the demise
of the Islamic Republic would be a reassuring American financial