Open Letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

Dear Mr. Salehi,

I commend your latest statements as the Foreign Minister of Iran, offering to send the people of Gaza humanitarian aid. Iran should send this aid because it is in fact largely responsible for the current condition of the Palestinian people in Gaza. By sending in higher grade weapons you condemned the people of Gaza to a continuation of violence instead of governance and destruction instead of growth. So when the Iranian government makes gestures to support the people of Gaza, it should come with an apology.

A lot has been written, and will be written about operation “Pillar of Cloud.” Pundits are decrying the disproportionate use of force, and the loss of Palestinian life in this latest escalation. They compare these rockets to the full power of the Israeli air force, and claim that Israel is causing more harm, and thus must be some form of proverbial bully in the Middle East. In a purely numerical system they can even win this equation. There have been more casualties on the Palestinian side, and more damage has been caused in Gaza than in Israel. But Iran, and other nations who support Hamas, should not cast stones from their glass houses.

In one of the leading Arab newspapers, Asharq Alawsat, Editor-in-Chief Tariq Alhomayed, criticizes Israel, but places full blame elsewhere. In his words, “The greatest architect of such wars is Iran, from the unmanned Ayoub drone, not to mention all the attempts in the Sinai Peninsula. When the Golan front did not move quickly enough for al-Assad and Iran, they resorted to the Gaza front, because this can be inflamed far quicker.” By infusing the Middle East with more weaponry, and spurring on terrorism, Iran has caused an escalation in violence, and an increase in the loss of innocent life. Mr. Salehi, perhaps exclusively sending aid instead of these weapons would have better served the innocent people across the region?

The rockets that Hamas is launching into Israel can go further and hit harder than ever before, and this is thanks to Iran. By stock piling Iranian missiles, Hamas has changed its relationship with the IDF and thus has readjusted what the IDF will determine is a proportionate response. If Iran wants to send rockets to Hamas, and Hamas wants to use those weapons, as a strong and destructive force, they should expect to be retaliated against as such. Hamas cannot claim helplessness when they are soliciting help from Iran.

So Salehi, I commend you and your government for sending aid to the innocent civilians of Gaza. You owe it to them. You owe them for your failings to assert your power in the region for good. You owe it to them for allowing money to be funneled into terrorist organizations. You owe it to them for the events of the last week, and for what is sure to come in the future. For every moment between now and when there is peace, you will be indebted to the people of Gaza who deserve better, and their Jewish neighbors to whom your debt grows by the second.


About the Author
Kerry Brodie is a recent graduate from Princeton University