Iran-Backed Attacks and Foiled Kidnapping Plot Deserve Consequences, Not Accommodation
‘So history continues to repeat itself in Tehran. And unfortunately, the Biden Administration appears keen to follow a familiar playbook of its own. Inexplicably, the White House’s response to Iran’s latest troublemaking has been to consider lifting sanctions and offering new concessions to produce a new nuclear deal. Iran just tried to kidnap an American. This is not the occasion to desperately reward bad behavior.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Iran:
“Earlier this month, the FBI uncovered a plot by Iranian intelligence operatives to kidnap a journalist and vocal critic of the regime from her home in New York.
“Let me say that again: Iran tried to abduct a U.S. citizen right here on American soil.
“For years, Masih Alinejad has made a habit of getting under the mullahs’ skin. She’s called out injustices and organized protests like “White Wednesdays,” when women across Iran would challenge their nation’s strict dress code.
“The regime tried to lure Ms. Alinejad out of the U.S. to make her an easier target. That failed. So they decided to try something more brazen.
“Federal prosecutors have charged four Iranians in a plot to kidnap Ms. Alinejad. But with the exception of one accomplice, those responsible for this outrageous planned assault on a U.S. citizen — and U.S. sovereignty — won’t see the inside of a courtroom anytime soon.
“So without non-judicial steps to impose consequences on the Islamic Republic, there will likely be no justice for Ms. Alinejad and her family.
“And why should Tehran think twice about trying again?
“Sadly, this should sound familiar. Flagrant disregard for international law is not a new addition to Tehran’s playbook.
“Remember, in 2011, Iranian intelligence was caught up in a plot to murder the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States by blowing up a restaurant right here in Washington D.C. One of the Iranian officials indicted in that case is still at large.
“Of course, extrajudicial activities on American soil aren’t the only bits of Iranian behavior that read like old news.
“Ms. Alinejad has been vocally reminding us that Iran’s disgusting disregard for human rights is not unique to American soil. It’s felt in Iran itself and throughout the Middle East.
“This spring, the skies over Israel were filled with reminders of Iran’s longstanding support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizballah. Battlefields in Syria and the southern Arabian Peninsula testify to the strength of Iran’s proxies. And just this year, on President Biden’s watch, we’ve seen a surge in attacks on U.S. interests and facilities in Iraq.
“So history continues to repeat itself in Tehran. And unfortunately, the Biden Administration appears keen to follow a familiar playbook of its own.
“Inexplicably, the White House’s response to Iran’s latest troublemaking has been to consider lifting sanctions and offering new concessions to produce a new nuclear deal.
“Iran just tried to kidnap an American. This is not the occasion to desperately reward bad behavior.
“It’s time to work even more closely with our allies and partners in the region to stare it down.”
Related Issues: Iraq, America's Military, Iran