An effective first step toward containing Iran

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, talked tough on Iran last March 28, stating that the regime is a danger to the U.S., in need of non-nuclear sanctions, and calling for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to be listed by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization.

Coming from such high-ranking U.S. office-holder, it points to the heart of the problem when it comes to Iran’s regime: that it uses the IRGC and its armed Quds Force as a means to an end to export Islamic fundamentalism across the Middle East and beyond. Ryan explicitly suggested that IRGC be listed as a foreign terrorist organization to put a leash on mullahs’ relentless craving to devour the region.

At the conference he spoke at, some believed and even entertained the idea that Iran will come around with the nuclear deal. Speaker Ryan pointed out that such deal did no good in reforming the Iranian regime’s behavior, something the Obama administration tried so hard to sell. He said that the deal “has been an unmitigated disaster – and I don’t say that lightly,” he added. Ryan also warned that, ”Iran has stepped up its support for terrorism, increased its human rights abuses, and ramped up its ballistic missile program following the July 2015 agreement – while also gaining additional funds as a result of sanctions relief.”

The statement from House Speaker coupled with that of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, saying that Iran gained a lot from the nuclear deal and that is the reason why the world now faces a much more aggressive Iran. Iran’s behavior and expectations after the nuclear deal were “concerning, and the reason it’s concerning is because when the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran,” she said: “And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more.”

Since the nuclear deal with Iran in the summer of 2015, the regime in Tehran changed gears, taking the money released to go full throttle in the business of making long range missiles and stepping up meddling in the region.

There were primary targets: Iraq, Syria and Yemen, with an eye always on Lebanon. The Iranian regime is not stupid and knows full well that it has almost zero popular support at home and needs to place the nuclear program at least for now on the back burner. Since the 1979 revolution, the mullahs have always looked to expand beyond Iran’s borders and they consider it their right to export their brand of Islam to other countries. One of IRGC’s mandates described in the constitution is to defend Islam wherever needed.

IRGC’s aggressive presence in Iraq and Syria and participation in the massacre of half a million people in Syria stems from that logic.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said throughout the painstaking nuclear deal negotiations that he “does not believe such talks bear any fruit.” He only agreed to the deal at all because Iran was broke and the prospect of popular uprising was not only possible but inevitable. The Iranian economy had buckled under crushing sanctions. The Obama administration on the other hand misread the signals coming from Iran as signs that the mullahs were changing their behavior and ignored the growing evidence of chaos and terror, which is deeply enshrined in their ideology.

Iran’s neighbors to the south are extremely concerned with Tehran’s intentions. The regime showed its true colors in Syria by setting aside all claims of being true champions of Islam and unleashed Lebanese Hezbollah in addition to its Quds Force to terrorize and brutalize the innocent people of Syria. IRGC works overtime to stir violence and unrest among the Shiite population on the tiny island-state of Bahrain. In past few weeks, especially, the island’s government has faced plot after plot, and all of them bankrolled by IRGC. A closer look at this makes it crystal clear that the mullahs’ insidious interest in the island is for a far more important reason: Bahrain is the home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, responsible for keeping sea lanes open through the Persian Gulf.

On March 29, Arab League members strongly condemned Iran’s destabilizing role in the region and unanimously called for Iran’s containment.The Arab League’s Ministerial Quartet Committee was tasked with following up the developments of the crisis with the Iranian regime, an dit denounced on March 27 the Iranian regime’s continued intervention in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The U.S.’s seasoned top military official, Secretary of Defense General James Mattis, on March 31 in London confirmed his 2012 statement in which he had said that the three gravest threats to American’s national security were “Iran, Iran, Iran.” He also said: “At the time when I spoke about Iran, I was a commander of U.S. Central Command and [saying] that (Iran) was the primary exporter of terrorism, frankly, it was the primary state sponsor of terrorism and it continues that kind of behavior today.”

U.S. CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel also agrees with Secretary Mattis. On March 29, he said: “Iran poses the most significant threat to the central region and to our national interests and the interests of our partners and allies.” Last year, in a hearing, General Votel told Congress that Iranian regime has become “more aggressive in the days since the [Iran nuclear] agreement.”

Source: / americanthinker /

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