The regime that rules Iran has been engaged in a war against those it sees as enemies for a very long time. In 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was seized and American diplomats were held as hostages. In 1983, its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, slaughtered more U.S. Marines in Beirut than had been killed in any attack since Iwo Jima. Iran was implicated in the Khobar Tower attacks of 1996. Iran has facilitated the killings of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan for years.
America’s response has been outreach and attempts at engagement — plus some economic sanctions, not robustly enforced, in recent years.
We need to learn. We need to understand what it will mean if this regime possesses nuclear weapons.
From my FDD colleague, senior fellow Emanuele Ottolenghi, in Brussels:
The Qods forces are the regime’s long arm abroad. They are involved in training terror groups abroad and supporting Iran’s proxies financially and militarily. They are also directly responsible for a number of terror outrages abroad. They often operate from Iranian embassies, disguised as menial workers, administrative personnel or lowly diplomats.
They are part of the IRGC, hence they are bound by an oath of loyalty to the Supreme Leader. The decision to carry out such an attack is usually taken by or given approval by the final authority of the Supreme Leader himself. There is no question about where ultimate responsibility lies for this plot.
A plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in DC and blow up the Israeli embassy there is not something that ‘a rogue element’ has decided to carry out to undermine some supposed moderate camp that simply does not exist (although I expect this kind of explanation to start floating around BBC news reports soon). This is something decided and approved from the highest echelons of state and carried out with the active cooperation of Iranian embassies and missions abroad, possibly even in the US – I would not be surprised if there were Qods agents seconded to Iran’s mission to the UN.