The White House announced on May 5 that it was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Middle East because of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” related to Iran, per
The New York Times.
The positioning was intended “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” said John Bolton, national security adviser. U.S. intelligence detected threats against ~5,000 American military forces and diplomats remaining in Iraq, among other hazards facing Americans elsewhere in the region.
For years, Washington maintained a carrier presence in the Gulf and Middle East region. “During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were two carriers in the area, but that was reduced to one, per Washington Post, May 6.
The deployments are consistent with the May 2018 announcement by President Trump of a new strategy to counter the full range of Iran’s destructive actions, including state sponsorship of terrorism. Hence, State’s Iran Action Group issued "A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities."
The strategy includes countering Iran’s support for terrorism, ballistic missile program, illicit financial activities, risk to maritime security, menace to cybersecurity, human rights abuses, as well as environmental exploitation.
On January 19, 1984, State designated Iran as a State Sponsor of International Terrorism, because it provided support for international terrorism.
As of 2019, Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remains undiminished through destructive actions by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and Tehran’s proxy Hezbollah. So, Iran remaines a threat to stability of Lebanon and broader Middle East.
In addition to Washington’s actions against Iran, a nongovernmental organization, which is an Enemy of the Ayatollahs, is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). During the first week of May, 2019, its Washington office released a 194-page book, “Iran’s Emissaries of Terror.”
The book explains the extent to which Tehran’s embassies and diplomats are the core of both planning and execution of international terrorism targeting Iranian dissidents, and central to Tehran’s terrorism against other countries.
The year 2018 witnessed a surge in Tehran’s terrorism and espionage on Western soil, including America, France, and Albania, threatening the main Iranian opposition: Targeting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), aka Mujahedin-e-Khalq-Iran (MEK), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) coalition to which it belongs, is directly linked to their role in ongoing protests by the Iranian people.
"Iran’s Emissaries of Terror" describes how Iran’s MOIS is active in most of the Iranian regime’s terror plots in Europe and America. Actions by MOIS are taken in collaboration with Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with approval of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, per a press briefing by Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the Washington office of the NCRI. MOIS directed a majority of terror operations in America and Europe over the past three decades.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and his Special Affairs Office direct Tehran’s acts of terrorism, per the NCRIUS book, which describes how Iran’s embassies and consulates serve as hubs, while its “diplomats” act as controllers and operatives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif facilitated these MOIS terror plots.
By 2018, European countries expelled five Iranian diplomats, including an ambassador, another diplomat is in prison, and over a dozen other agents are in jail in the America and Europe, all for terrorism related charges, and they are MOIS operatives, the report details.
The IRGC and MOIS are terror partners; MOIS was born out of IRGC. So, MOIS qualifies and should be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by State and blacklisted in Europe.
Because Tehran’s operatives tied to MOIS, and IRGC are still operating in Washington and western capitals, the network and its agents need to be identified, prosecuted, and expelled.
THE WAY FORWARD
First, adhere to Iranian dissidents call to shut down Tehran’s embassies in Europe amid growing threats of terrorism from these delegations. The Iran Action Group of the Department of State could draw upon research and antiregime activities of Iranian dissidents, particularly the NCRI. Tehran’s embassy in Albania might be the first embassy to be closed, as it conducts no other business other than terrorism, an assertion based on the author’s interviews in Tirana.
Second, the State Department should contemplate designating MOIS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Third, Iran threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, if the United States tries to strangle Tehran’s economy by halting its oil exports; hence, Washington should consider increasing its pressure by sanctioning Iran’s petrochemical industry. This pressure is reinforced by the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Middle East.
Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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