Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says America should immediately expel Iran’s diplomats and impose tougher sanctions on Tehran in light of U.S. accusations that Iranian officials were part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington. The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee also told Fox News Wednesday the ‘Iranian Winter’ is a “nightmare scenario.”
“We have the Arab Spring — well, we are confronting a nightmare scenario of the Iranian Winter — and they want to destroy us, and they want to destroy our democratic ally Israel,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “And so what we need to do, I think, is expel their diplomats — that sends a strong message. Pass strong sanctions legislation that I have authored — we have over 300 co-sponsors to that bill.
“I am proud to announce it on your show for the first time: It’s a veto-proof majority,” the Florida Republican told Fox News’ Eric Bolling. “And also we need to tell these other countries it is time for them to decide: Are they going to help Iran build up its nuclear power and its energy sector or cooperate with the United States? So, there is a lot that we can do — and let’s start there.”
Bolling asked Ros-Lehtinen — who had just returned from a high-level security briefing with Obama administration officials — how close the extremists were to pulling off the bomb plot, which reportedly had also targeted the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington. Ros-Lehtinen said all the details will be revealed, adding:
“These are high officials in the Iranian regime. This wasn’t — you can’t do a rogue operation in a totalitarian theocracy like in Iran,” she said. “There are no rogue agents trying to do cash transfers and to hash a murder-for-hire plot — these are the fingerprints of the higher-ups of the Iranian regime all over this murder-for-hire assassination plot.
“So it is not someone on their own — it is not a Timothy McVeigh operation,” Ros-Lehtinen continued. “This is an Iranian murder-for-hire, illegal plot on U.S. soil — and it is time for us to wake up to the totality of the threat that Iran poses to our national security.”
The congresswoman said the Obama administration has a plethora of diplomatic, retaliatory options against a potentially nuclear Iran.
“We should, for example, sanction Ahmadinejad. We should sanction the supreme leader of Iran, just as we sanctioned Assad in Syria,” Ros-Lehtinen said. Why don`t we go after these guys? Why are we so afraid to point the finger and say these guys should be sanctioned?
“We were not afraid on Syria,” she continued. “Also, we need to say to these so-called diplomats: Look, there is a price to be paid. If your country is doing this kind of murder-for-hire plot in the United States, we`re going to expel you. There is no reason for us to have to keep these diplomats in U.S. soil.”
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