National Security & Defense

The False Terror Narrative behind the Iran Nuclear Deal

Hezbollah militants rally in Beirut, Lebanon, 2009 (Joseph Barrak/AFP/Gety)

False narratives are nothing new for the Obama administration. None, however, is more fantastic than the one fabricated in support of the Iran nuclear deal.

It goes like this: Iran has seen the error of its ways, has modified its behavior, and wants desperately to rejoin the community of civilized nations. If we just give Iran the opportunity, it will evolve into a force for stability in the Middle East. We should not “fear” the Islamic Republic of Iran, but rather consider the door open to future cooperation on a host of issues.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that has changed is that we have abandoned the policy — contain the Islamic Republic of Iran — on which we relied for almost 40 years. Iran remains a hostile, radical Islamic entity and — despite the current focus on the threat from ISIS – the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism.

This is not terrorism on the level of what we have come to expect: small numbers of individuals, working in secret with limited resources and fearing detection by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This is terrorism of a qualitatively different type, one that is supported by a nation-state, built around proxies, and reinforced with the capabilities of the Iranian intelligence service, MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence and Security), and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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The first such proxy force to be built by the Iranians, and the template on which all others have been based, was Hezbollah. When it burst onto the scene in the 1980s Hezbollah distinguished itself with multiple bombings of American targets, including the Marine barracks and the U.S. embassy in Beirut, and by the kidnapping and torture of numerous high-profile individuals. It has done nothing but increase in lethality ever since. In 2006 it fought the Israelis to a standstill in open warfare. It is now so powerful in Lebanon that it is rapidly transforming that country into a terrorist nation-state.

In Syria, Hezbollah fighters by the thousands are in battle on the side of the Assad regime. In Southern Lebanon, 80,000 Hezbollah rockets are aimed at Israel. With some regularity Hezbollah officials promise attacks on Israeli cities. Only weeks ago, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced his intention to attack Israeli nuclear plants and chemical facilities and kill tens of thousands.

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Hezbollah’s tentacles extend well beyond the Middle East. Its overseas presence in West Africa and Latin America is enormous. Its involvement in money laundering and drug smuggling is decades old and well established. Given the ease with which drug-smuggling networks move tons of product into the United States every year, Hezbollah’s connections to this activity are particularly worrisome. Any organization that can move mountains of cocaine into our major cities can certainly move personnel, weapons, and explosives as well.

Hezbollah’s presence inside the United States is also well documented. In numerous cases, Hezbollah operatives inside the United States have been caught raising funds and sending cash and high-tech equipment abroad for use in Hezbollah terrorist activities.

#share#Hezbollah was the first franchise in Iran’s worldwide terror enterprise. Since its creation, however, the Iranians have been busy replicating its structure in other nations. In Yemen, a Houthi militia that has been armed, trained, and supplied by Iran has torn that nation apart. In Iraq, dozens of Shia militia groups, many of which have attacked American forces in the past, are engaged in ethnic cleansing and committing atrocities against Iraqi Sunnis that rival the horror of ISIS attacks.

The nuclear deal did nothing to curb Iran’s global terror syndicate. On the contrary, it provided the Iranians with the means to expand and strengthen it. The deal released vast sums of money, on the order of $150 billion, to Tehran. It also allowed the Iranians to again sell oil on the international market. That means billions more for terror.

#related#The Iranians are already putting this cash to good use. They have announced $8 billion in purchases of weapons from Russia alone. In response, the terrified Arab Gulf states have embarked on an unprecedented arms buildup of their own. Bahrain, the Gulf state perhaps most directly threatened by Iranian terror and subversion, recently broke diplomatic relations with Iran.

The day the Iran nuclear deal was announced, I received a message from an old friend, a true Iranian patriot who has fought for regime change in Tehran his entire adult life. The message was short and direct: “This deal is a stab in the heart to all those who fight for democracy in Iran.” He could not have been more right. The Obama administration and its supporters can create all the fantasies they want. In the real world, we have surrendered to terror, and we will pay in blood.


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