- - Thursday, July 26, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Western media have made a big deal about the threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But as I’ve written before, even though it could, it’s not Moscow that is threatening to destroy the United States and Israel. It’s Iran.

Iran has issued that very threat as recently as this week, in response to President Trump’s threatened additional sanctions in an effort to get a better nuclear deal than the one President Obama got. You know — one that actually prevents Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and also prevents Tehran’s other malign activities, all of which have only ramped up across the Middle East since the signing of the nuclear accord.

“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine. … Come. We are ready,” taunted Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Quds Force. “What have you been able to do [to us] over the past 20 years that you did not do? And [you] are threatening us now?”

In other words, a very senior Iranian military official is explicitly threatening to hit the United States and its interests around the world with terrorist attacks.

After the Iran deal was signed in 2015, Tehran, with its newfound hundreds of billions of dollars, proceeded to finance a proxy army across the Middle East, support President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war, and build a more effective mechanism to seriously threaten Israel. Iran now has militias across Iraq and Syria, controls Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and has its own forces fighting across the region as well. Iran also supports and controls Hamas in Gaza, the movement that is now itching for another war with Israel, routinely killing and wounding Israelis across the Gaza border.

Newly flush, Iran also ramped up its ballistic missile program, building a delivery capability for when the agreement Mr. Obama and his crack team orchestrated allows Iran to have the bomb — only a few years from today.

Think about it — Iran, left unchecked, would have developed into a serious hegemon in the Middle East, even stronger than it is now, presenting an existential threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other key American allies. Had the Trump administration not acted, in a few short years Iran would have been a nuclear-armed, economically powerful state propped up by with billions of dollars in oil revenues that would have kept the mullahs in power indefinitely. I have little doubt that’s exactly what the Obama team wanted.

But Gen. Soleimani’s comments reveal the real face of the regime in Tehran, a regime Mr. Obama sought to empower. It is a regime that murders its enemies and abuses its own people. Consider: As you read this, large parts of Iran are going without water, despite all the billions flowing into government coffers. Hence, the civil unrest developing we hear about across the country.

Where did all those the billions go? It certainly did not go to developing basic resources for Iran’s poor in the countryside. No, it was spent in Syria, and Iraq, and on weapons to be used one day against the U.S. and Israel.

Iran most definitely had been taking advantage of the weak Obama immigration policy to smuggle terrorist sleeper cells into the U.S. homeland. Those cells are meant to cause death and mayhem in our country.

All of which means President Trump should ignore the chorus of voices urging him to back down from squeezing this group of thugs.

Iran’s oil should be cut off until there is regime change or until Iran is willing to sign a verifiable nuclear deal that actually stops Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon, stops its terrorist activities, and stops threats to the United States and our allies.

Mr. Trump realizes this and thankfully is now wearing the big boy pants. He does not want a war with the left’s darling — Iran. He wants peace, and understands that appeasement and weakness are not the way to achieve it.

L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and Wall Street debt trader, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, National Review, the New York Post and many other publications. He can be reached at LToddWood.com.


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