Iran’s Continued Support for al-Qaeda, and America’s Incoherent War on Terror

July 22 2016

On Tuesday, the Treasury Department announced that it is placing sanctions on three high-level al-Qaeda operatives based in the Islamic Republic. This is just one more piece of evidence, writes Benjamin Weingarten, that Tehran, in addition to sponsoring Hizballah and various other Shiite terrorist groups, is also a key supporter of Sunni groups like al-Qaeda:

It strains credulity to believe that a closed Shiite nation like Iran, often competing against Sunni forces, would be unaware of al-Qaeda officers within its borders. And in this case we have clear evidence that it was comfortable with al-Qaeda operating on its soil because Iranian authorities were negotiating with [one of the three sanctioned individuals]. . . . Another element of this story is . . . [the] ample compelling evidence indicating Iranian support for the 9/11 attack. . . .

Foreign policy necessarily involves dealing with hostile regimes, and sometimes making common cause with them in order to advance greater interests. But there is little to indicate that as concerns the global jihadist threat, comprising state and non-state actors, . . . each with competing but often overlapping interests and motivations, America has the faintest clue as to how best to proceed in its national interest.

With great regularity we appear to be on every side of every conflict, evincing a lack of clarity about ourselves and our enemies. The jihadists are playing a game of “Heads I win, tails you lose.” They know what they want and are doing everything in their power to achieve it. Does America?

Read more at Conservative Review

More about: 9/11, Al Qaeda, Iran, Iran sanctions, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, War on Terror

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship