The Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington is a clear act of war says former Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Newsmax chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler — with Kessler adding the plot should be answered with a U.S attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The plot will “heighten the tensions throughout the Middle East… These are acts of war, and they need to be viewed and treated as such," said Hoekstra, the former ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
Ignoring the magnitude of the plot by treating it as a criminal conspiracy -- rather than an act of aggression by a rogue nation -- would be appeasement on a par with America’s acts at the beginning of World War II, said Kessler, an intelligence expert and best-selling author of books on the CIA and FBI.
“This plot shows how foolhardy it is to continue to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon without taking it out,” said Kessler. “The U.S. should bomb their nuclear facilities before Iran gets a nuclear weapon which could be in the next year or two.”
Kessler described the plot to attack sites in our nation’s capital as “an act of war,” adding, “It’s the first overt sign of what everyone has feared, that Iran is a totally out-of-control government, an enemy and a threat.
“To just ignore it and be in denial, as the U.S. government has been, is risking our lives.”
Hoekstra also blasted the Obama administration's attempts at appeasing Iran. But he stopped short of calling for an attack.
“This is a rogue nation,” he said. “They are developing nuclear weapons. They are an outlaw state. And for them to undertake, participate, or lead this type of effort shouldn’t be surprising at all.
“What should be surprising is the Obama administration’s reaction to this regime in Iran since they’ve been in office,” he added. “Remember, when there was the Green Revolution developing in Iran, it was the Obama administration that tamped it down and refused to give it any support. Their refusal to recognize the threat from Iran -- that’s the problem here.”
Added Mike Rogers, who replaced Hoekstra as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligenc: "This is dangerous new territory for Iran. It is the latest in a series of aggressive actions – from their nuclear program to state sponsorship of terrorism, from complicity in killing our soldiers in Iraq to now plotting hostile acts on U.S. soil. This episode underscores the need for concerted international unity to confront Iran.”
Director Robert Mueller said many lives could have been lost in the plot to kill the ambassador with bombs in the U.S. But Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said no explosives were actually placed and no one was in any danger because of the informant's cooperation with authorities.
Kessler said that in an interview he had with Dick Cheney, the former vice-president had said he believed Israel would strike Tehran’s nuclear facilities if the U.S. refused. “But it would be much better if the U.S. did it because otherwise we are going to be in a position where we are going to be held hostage to Iran threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon on our soil unless we give in to whatever demands they might have.”
Ahmadinejad has described the alleged links with his government as “a fabrication,” but Kessler said nothing he says can be trusted. “He is basically nuts,” he said. “That’s what we had with Adolf Hitler – a raving lunatic.
“I would put Ahmadinejad in the same bracket as Hitler, definitely. Nobody thought Hitler would carry out any of his threats. We allowed Germany to re-arm despite the Armistice after World War I and look what we got – millions of deaths.
“We have the same people in denial, people who are isolationists in the United States who didn’t want to go after Nazi Germany and the result was World War II, so it’s the same situation. If we don’t learn from history we are going to repeat it.”
Kessler described the foiled plot as “proof that Ahmadinejad has no compunction about engaging in an act of war with the United States.
“They have the capability of developing a nuclear weapon and we simply cannot take a chance that he is going to develop and use it.”
But, he said the United States can avoid a full-fledged war with Iran. “We would just limit the bombing to their nuclear facilities and not go after their population or their military forces.
“But we have to protect ourselves, we have to do what we have to do.”
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