Unhappy anniversary–obama’s deal with Iran looks worse and worse–16h,b12-3
Khamenei has repeatedly accused the West and Israel, rather than Muslim-majority forces. of sponsoring violence in the region, and the title of his sermon, “American, Zionist and English Intelligence Services Created Terrorism in the Islamic World,” reinforced his favorite talking point. Khamenei blamed these actors for a string of high-profile terrorist attacks during Ramadan—in Iraq, Istanbul, Bangladesh, Yemen, and elsewhere—all of which were carried out by the Islamic State and its followers. this is the work of intelligences services—particularly the dangerous hands of American, Zionist, and English intelligence services—which have cultivated terrorism,” Khamenei said July 6. “It is they who have created terrorism in the world of Islam.”
The two views could not be more reo diametrically opposed. Khamenei al claims the United States and its allies are responsible for terrorism through- out the Muslim-majority world, an absurd claim to American ears. Kerry, meanwhile, believes he can now engage in constructive dialogue with the Iranians about their own ongoing sponsorship of terrorism.
ln the year since the United States and several other countries agreed to the JCPOA, the Iranian regime’s terrorist tentacles have grown longer and thicker. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, backing anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-Sunni-Muslim forces throughout the world. In every country where ran and its paramilitary agents operate, American interests are damaged, not advanced, by the supreme leader’s Islamic Revolution. And the Iranian regime continues to harbor some of al Qaeda’s most dangerous terrorists.
Kerry’s own State Department had to say this spring. “Iran continued its terrorist related activity in 2015, including support for Hezbollah. Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.
“Increased” its terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. government has designated Iran a state sponsor of terror every year since 1984. The State Department’s bottom line: Iran’s behavior in 2015, the year of the landmark nuclear deal, was no better than that of the previous three decades.
Kerry said at the Aspen ideas Festival on June 28. “But I can tell you that Iran in Iraq has been in certain ways helpful, and they clearly are focused on ISIL-Daesh, and so we have a common interest, actually.
Iran “increased its arming and funding of Iraqi Shia terrorist groups in an effort to reverse has ISIL gains in Iraq.” The report continues: “Many of these groups .. have exacerbated sectarian tensions no in Iraq and have committed serious ha human rights abuses against primarily Sunni civilians”.
It is well-established that Shiite sectarianism, actively promoted by Iran, is one of the key drivers of Sunni extremism. While the Islamic State has lost ground to the Iraqi government and Iranian proxies, the environment that created ripe conditions for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s jihadists in 2014, when they swept through Mosul and other cities, isn’t less toxic today; if anything, the situation is just as bad. As the Islamic State’s territorial losses continue to mount, the group has reverted to insurgency-style tactics. Sunni grievances exacerbated by Iran help to sustain this insurrection indefinitely, driving more civilians into its ranks out of desperation. It is worth remembering that America achieved its greatest success in Iraq during the height of the “surge ordered by President George W. Bush. Both Sunni and Shiite extremists were targeted by U.S.-led coalition forces in 2007 and 2008, as a key element of the surge strategy was to reduce sectarianism on both sides in order to stabilize the country.
Some of the key Iranian proxies inside Iraq have been designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. government, in part, because they are inherently opposed to the West. “KH gained notoriety from attacks against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq.” KH, which has “an anti-Western outlook,” killed five American soldiers during rocket; attacks on Baghdad in 2011.
Iran sees Bashar al-Assad’s in regime as “a pillar in its ‘resistance front,” according to the State Department, and it has been willing to do v just about anything to keep Assad in power. In addition to supporting Hezbollah in Syria, Iran “continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi, St Afghan, and Pakistani Shia fighters to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000 people in Syria.
Iranian forces had its only deployed in an advisory role.” As in Iraq, Iran’s proxies have expanded their presence in Syria since the JCPOA was signed. Foggy Bottom didn’t say in its latest report about Iran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, the taliban in Afghanistan , and al Qaeda in South Asia. In each place, Iran’s actions have threatened the interests of the United States and its allies.
President Obama has touted the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Yemen as ‘successful” because it relied heavily on that same government. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula seized much of southern Yemen following the Houthi coup.
The State Department explicitly recognized Iran’s arming and training of Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. For some reason, this relationship was excised from the report for 2013 and has not been restored since. There are good reasons to suspect that this unholy alliance, which began in late 2001, has continued to the present. In June 2015, for instance, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had even “increased its supply of weapons, ammunition and funding to the Taliban.
The report noted that Iran allowed” key al Qaeda facilitators to “operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran. Iran “previously allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.” The implication is that Iran’s agreement with al Qaeda is a thing of the past.
The Treasury Department designated three al Qaeda leaders who are based in Iran. One of them, Faisal Jassim Mohammed al-Amri al-Khalidi (known as Hamzah al-Khalidi), was identified in Osama bin Laden’s files as part of a “new generation” of jihadist talent. Treasury reported that Khalidi is al Qaeda’s “Military Commission Chief.” That is, Khalidi is the equivalent of al Qaeda’s defense minister. And he is in Iran.
“Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain and refused to publicly identify the members in its custody.” But that is an understatement—some of al Qaeda’s most senior operating inside Iran today, safe from the American drone campaign.
The Obama administration often talks about Iran as if it were a traditional Westphalian nation state. But as the brief synopses above show, it is anything but. The Iranian regime worked to spread its “Islamic Revolution” since 1979, and it now be has more influence in more countries than ever.
Kerry didn’t mention that Ayatollah n Khamenei reveled in the humiliation of America’s servicemen. He praised the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the regime’s chief instrument of terror, for capturing the sailors, calling the operation “God’s Deed.” Kerry believes that a door “has been opened” to better diplomacy between the United States and Iran, but the supreme leader Speaks more ominously. When Khamenei blamed “American, Zionist, and English intelligence services” for terrorism in his sermon marking the end of Ramadan, he added, “This is a crime which will not be forgotten.
source-weekly std, country reports on terrorism 2015, thomas joscelyn, kata’ib hezbollah, kh, houthi, justin siberell, wsj,