The 2015 Iran nuclear accord and subsequent side deals struck by the Obama administration to ransom U.S. hostages held by Iran disproportionately enriched the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its constituent Qods Force, its most elite unit. Put aside the $1.4 billion ransom that Secretary of State John Kerry and his aides allowed to be paid directly to the Revolutionary Guards, who supplied the plane to which the pallets of cash were provided. With unfrozen assets bolstering the Iranian treasury, the Islamic Republic decided to raise the Qods Force budget more than $300 million beyond the budgetary increase earlier granted to the IRGC as a whole.

It’s against this backdrop that comments by Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, deputy commander of the Qods Force, become so telling. As the Middle East Institute’s Ahmad Majidyar highlighted for that organization’s must-read “Iran Observed” analytical series, Qaani suggested that the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington were an inside job. He then bragged to an assembled group of Iranian veterans from fights in Syria and Iraq about how little the United States has been able to do to counter the growth of Iranian influence. Lastly, he bragged about “America has suffered more losses from us than we have suffered losses from them.”

This, of course, is not only a confession but also outright bragging about how the Qods Force murdered Americans in Iraq. It was the Qods Force, after all, that smuggled in explosively-formed, armor-penetrating projectiles into Iraq for insurgents to incorporate in improvised explosive devices. Compounding the tragedy is that Kerry and his team still abide by the statements of Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s notoriously dishonest foreign minister, regardless of the fact that those who actually wield power rather than simply talk about it seem intent on doubling down on murder.

Alas, while Zarif and Kerry sit for photographs together and the retired Kerry bashes American allies while sitting on a dais with Zarif, the financially emboldened Qods Force seem intent to prove that chants of “Death to America” are aspirational and not simply rhetorical.

Source » commentarymagazine