Nuclear Deal Adds Fuel To Iran’s Fire

President Obama Admits Iran Won’t Change Its Behavior, As Their Ability To Sow Chaos In The Region Increases Dramatically 


“Abbas Araqchi, one of several deputy foreign ministers, also told a news conference Iran would do 'anything' to help allies in the Middle East… On Monday, Araqchi told national television: ‘Whenever it's needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so. We are not ashamed of it.’” (“Iran Says Rejects Curbs After 10 Years, Will Back Allies,” Reuters, 7/22/15)


‘The Issue Is Not Just Iran's Nuclear Program. The Issue Is Iran’

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “…this deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior.” (President Obama, Press Conference, 7/15/15)

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, Former CIA Director: “To oversimplify a bit, the issue is not just Iran's nuclear program. The issue is Iran. And we need to be careful that our efforts to resolve the nuclear issue do not worsen these other dimensions of the problem.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 7/14/15)

  • “Iran is arguably the largest state supporter of terrorism in the world. Its proxy, Hezbollah, is helping to keep the regime of Bashar al Assad in power in Syria and, as recently as 2006, engaged in a major war with Israel. Iran is seeking regional hegemony, has supported Palestinian terrorism and has also worked to destabilize Iraq. I reported to National Security Advisor Steve Hadley in 2007 that it was the policy of the Iranian government, approved at the highest levels of that government, to facilitate the killing of American and other coalition soldiers in Iraq. More recently Iran has fostered and supported Shia domination in Iraq, a pattern of behavior that has caused Sunni alienation and facilitated the rise of ISIS. … we need to understand that our nuclear focus does not make these other realities go away and that, even with a successful conclusion to the nuclear negotiations, these issues will remain. Indeed, there is the possibility that successful negotiations will make them worse.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 7/14/15)

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: “Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2014, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various 285 groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.  This year, Iran increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia militias, one of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) incursion into Iraq, and has continued to support other militia groups in the region.  Iran also attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.  While its main effort focused on supporting goals in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iran and its proxies also continued subtle efforts at growing influence elsewhere including in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America.  Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East.  The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.”  (State Department, “County Reports on Terrorism 2014,” P.284, 6/14)


Claiming The Right To Close The Straits Of Hormuz And Seizing American Ships

“A U.S.-flagged ship was recently intercepted by an Iran Revolutionary Guard naval patrol, the U.S. Navy revealed to CNN Tuesday. The incident occurred on Friday when four Iranian naval vessels surrounded the U.S.-flagged Maersk Kensington in the Strait of Hormuz.” (“First On CNN: U.S.-Flagged Ship Intercepted By Iranian Patrol,” CNN, 4/29/15)

“Ambassador Hassan Danaie-Far insisted in an interview that Tehran retained the right to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world's traded oil passes, in response to any aggression, military or otherwise.” (“Iran Says War Is The Only Thing That Can Stop Them Now,” Agence France Presse, 1/24/13)


Four Americans Missing Or Detained In Iran

“Hekmati -- a former Marine -- is one of three Americans the U.S. government has acknowledged are being detained in Iran. A fourth, Robert Levinson, was reported missing after a visit to Iran. With the announcement of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, their families and friends hope that the fight to free their loved ones won't be ignored. They include Naghmeh Abedini, whose husband, Saeed Abedini, is a Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran. ‘With the announcement of a deal and yet silence as to the fate of Saeed and the other Americans held hostage in Iran, their fate lies now in the hands of Congress,’ she said in a statement, pleading with Congress to keep the detained Americans in mind as it reviews the deal.” (“Iran Nuclear Deal: What Does It Mean For Americans Held In Iran?” CNN, 7/15/15)


Plotting To Assassinate The Saudi Ambassador To The United States

“The United States accused Iranian government agents Tuesday of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States” (“US Ties Iran To Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador,” NBC, 10/11/11)

“Two men, including a member of Iran's special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force, were charged in New York federal court with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir. Justice Department officials say the men tried to hire a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination with a bomb attack while Al-Jubeir dined at his favorite restaurant.” (“US Ties Iran To Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador,” NBC, 10/11/11)

“The conspiracy was conceived, sponsored and directed from Tehran. The U.S. describes the Quds Force as Iran's primary foreign action arm for supporting terrorists and extremists around the world.” (“US Ties Iran To Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador,” NBC, 10/11/11)

“The U.S. criminal complaint said the Iranian plotters hired a would-be assassin in Mexico who was a paid informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and told U.S. authorities all about their plot, which they code-named ‘Chevrolet.’” (“US Ties Iran To Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador,” NBC, 10/11/11)

Iranian ‘Windfall’ To Go Toward ‘Regional Partners Hostile To Washington’

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Do we think that with the sanctions coming down, that Iran will have some additional resources for its military and for some of the activities in the region that are a threat to us and a threat to our allies? I think that is a likelihood that they've got some additional resources.” (President Obama, Press Conference, 7/15/15)

“Iran is widely expected to use part of the billions of dollars freed up by sanctions relief under the newly minted nuclear deal to aid regional partners hostile to Washington and its allies.” (“With More Cash, Iran Poised To Help Mideast Friends,” Wall Street Journal, 7/15/15)

DENNIS ROSS, Former Special Assistant To President Obama: “Look, there is no question that they will get, with sanctions relief, they will get to what amounts to a windfall. True, it is their money, but you have close to $150 billion that are in frozen assets, frozen accounts right now.” (PBS’ ‘Newshour,’ 7/14/15)

  • “Even if it uses 90 to 95 percent of that to meet domestic needs, it is inconceivable that the Revolutionary Guards won’t receive a payoff that they can use for aggressive purposes with the Shiite militias throughout the region… Small wonder Arab and Israeli leaders are deeply concerned that the nuclear deal will trigger increasing threats against them.” (“Iran Deal Leaves U.S. With Tough Questions,” Washington Post, 7/14/15)


Subsidizing The Murderous Assad Regime

“There’s one person ecstatic about the Iran deal and Washington would probably prefer he just keep his mouth shut: Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad… Translation: Iran will further finance and militarily bolster Assad’s crumbling regime, not to mention other affiliates and proxies.” (“Syria’s Butcher Really Won the Iran Deal,” Daily Beast, 7/15/15)

  • “Consider Iranian support for Assad thus far. The U.N. special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, estimated last month that Iran has spent between $6 billion and $35 billion per year to keep its ally afloat and in an active state of war. Just days ago Damascus ratified a $1 billion credit line from Tehran. The mullahs have also been caught sending oil to Syria that is more or less ‘free’ because there’s no expectation that Assad will ever be in a position to repay the loans Iran extended to it to buy the stuff in the first place. And all this support has transpired under a still-active and robust international sanctions regime.” (“Syria’s Butcher Really Won the Iran Deal,” Daily Beast, 7/15/15)

“The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with Tehran’s help, has transformed its professional army into a militia-style amateur force that’s cheap and easy to train. Its ranks are filled by eager young men, who are numerous in pro-Assad Syria.” (“Iran Transformed Syria’s Army Into A Militia That Will Help Assad Survive Another Year,” Reuters, 12/17/14)


Iran Has Been Arming The Taliban

“Afghan and Western officials say Tehran has quietly increased its supply of weapons, ammunition and funding to the Taliban, and is now recruiting and training their fighters, posing a new threat to Afghanistan’s fragile security.” (“Iran Backs Taliban With Cash And Arms,” Wall Street Journal, 6/11/15)

“The developing Iran-Taliban alliance represents a new complication in Mr. Obama’s plans for both the Middle East and the future of Afghanistan.” (“Iran Backs Taliban With Cash And Arms,” Wall Street Journal, 6/11/15)

“Iran’s strategy in backing the Taliban is twofold, these officials say: countering U.S. influence in the region and providing a counterweight to Islamic State’s move into the Taliban’s territory in Afghanistan.” (“Iran Backs Taliban With Cash And Arms,” Wall Street Journal, 6/11/15)


Funding Hezbollah And Hamas

HASSAN NASRALLAH, Hezbollah Secretary-General: “If Iran gets back this money, what will it do with it? A rich and strong Iran…will be able to stand by its allies and friends, and the peoples of the region, especially the resistance in Palestine, more than in any time in the past.” (“Syria’s Butcher Really Won the Iran Deal,” Daily Beast, 7/15/15)

“But there’s an excellent chance that at least a healthy chunk of it will go to two U.S.-designated terrorist entities: the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QC) and its proxy Lebanese Hezbollah, both of which are now in effect running Assad’s scorched-earth warfare.” (“Syria’s Butcher Really Won the Iran Deal,” Daily Beast, 7/15/15)

“Tehran has also cut assistance to Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian faction that governs the Gaza Strip and fought a war with Israel last summer, one Western diplomat said.” (“With More Cash, Iran Poised To Help Mideast Friends,” Wall Street Journal, 7/15/15)

  • “Iran has sent Hamas’s military wing tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza destroyed by Israel’s invasion last summer, intelligence sources have told The Sunday Telegraph. It is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighborhoods in Israel during the war, code-named Operation Protective Edge by Israel. (“Iran 'Is Intensifying Efforts To Support Hamas In Gaza',” The Telegraph, 4/4/15)


Intervening In The Yemeni Civil War

SEC. JOHN KERRY: “‘There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran,’ he said. ‘There are a number of flights every single week that have been flying in. We trace those flights, and we know this. We are well aware of the support that Iran has been giving to Yemen, and Iran needs to recognize that the United States is not going to stand by while the region is destabilized, or while people engage in overt warfare across lines — international boundaries of other countries.’” (“Kerry Says U.S. Knew Of Iran’s Military Aid To Houthi Rebels,” New York Times, 4/9/15)

“Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi'ite Houthi militia that seized Yemen's capital in September, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Yemeni and Iranian officials say.” (“Iranian Support Seen Crucial For Yemen's Houthis,” Reuters, 12/15/14)

“‘Everything is about the balance of power in the region. Iran wants a powerful Shi'ite presence in the region that is why it has got involved in Yemen as well,’ said the Iranian official.” (“Iranian Support Seen Crucial For Yemen's Houthis,” Reuters, 12/15/14)



Related Issues: Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal