Now more than ever, beware of Iran

The stakes are too high and the threats too real to turn a blind eye.

By DAVID JOLLY
December 2, 2015 20:14
2 minute read.
iran khamenei

A MILITARY truck carrying a missile and a picture of Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei drives in a parade marking the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war in Tehran. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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In recent weeks, the world has been consumed with how to deal with the horrors of Islamic State, that threatens to commit atrocities sparing no nation on earth.

But while the world wasn’t watching, Iran was staging a large-scale military exercise simulating the capture of one of Jerusalem’s holiest shrines as a possible prelude to eliminating Israel altogether.

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If in dealing with Islamic State (IS or ISIS) we allow our attention to drift away from Iran we could be turning two monumental challenges into one historic disaster.

Just last month, thousands of Iranian paramilitary forces stormed a replica of Israel’s Temple Mount, a drill that included the backing of Revolutionary Guard helicopters, drones and Tucano aircraft that reportedly bombed hypothetical enemy positions.

It wasn’t too long ago that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was openly chanting “Death to America” in the streets of Tehran and referring to Israel as the “rabid dog in the region.” And while US President Barack Obama was negotiating a nuclear giveaway with Iran, Khamenei was brazenly declaring that his regime would “trample upon America” and that their “policy toward the arrogant US government won’t change at all.”

In the next couple weeks, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will release a report on its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear weapons activities courtesy of the July 14 nuclear accord. Keep in mind, this is the same IAEA that engaged in a secret side deal allowing Iran to use its own inspectors to observe a key military site suspected of nuclear development. Early indications reveal that the IAEA’s analysis will prove inconclusive. If these initial forecasts are in fact accurate, the US should immediately shred the flawed nuclear agreement – no questions asked.

There’s a reason I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in a letter to President Obama earlier this year urging, among other things, that “unless we have a full understanding of Iran’s past program it will be impossible for the international community to judge Iran’s future breakout time with certainty.”

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By no means should the US loosen a single purse string or relieve a single sanction if the Iranian regime fails to come clean with its past nuclear pursuits.

The stakes are too high and the threats too real to turn a blind eye to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s enlightened assertion that to “defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.”

In the past year, President Obama has created a pattern of undermining America’s interests in the world, from the disappearing red line in Syria, to branding IS as a “junior varsity” threat, to capitulating on a nuclear deal leaving a vacuum of leadership that cannot be disguised by inaction or self-promoting rhetoric.

With some minor adjustments Hillary Clinton promises more of the same.

America faces a choice. Remain indifferent and indecisive about the threats to its security and way of life or step into the arena with conviction and courage and show the world the United States just won’t take it anymore.

The author is a Republican US Representative for Florida’s 13th congressional district.

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