Press Release – JINSA Applauds Obama Admin. Turnaround on Iran

July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) – The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) today expressed support for the Obama Administration’s recognition that Iran has been assisting terrorist groups in their attacks on U.S. troops. JINSA Executive Director Tom Neumann said, “It is a positive step toward dealing in a serious way with Iran’s war on the United States. This goes far beyond the nuclear issue and it is significant in that the White House has acknowledged Iran’s policy to directly attack U.S. forces by supporting both Sunni al Qaeda cells as well as Iran’s ongoing provision of sophisticated weaponry and training for Iraqi Shia insurgents.”

U.S. policy toward Tehran can be expected to further harden in the wake of the charge leveled yesterday by the Treasury Department that Iran has been working with an al Qaeda support network that has been providing money and weapons to terrorists attacking U.S. troops and interests in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In response, Treasury is imposing sanctions on six known al Qaeda operatives with ties to Iran saying via a prepared statement that its exposure of the clandestine agreement would disrupt al Qaeda operations by shedding light on Iran’s role as a “critical transit point” for money and extremists reaching Pakistan and Afghanistan. Reportedly, the sanctions block any assets the individuals might have held in the United States, and bans Americans from doing any business with them.

“This network serves as the core pipeline through which al Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia,” the statement said. Adding fuel to this fire are earlier reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was actively assisting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to brutally suppress pro-democracy advocates.

General Martin Dempsey, the incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at his Tuesday confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee joined a growing chorus of U.S. officials who have been warning for weeks now that Iran has been, over the past several months, increasing its supply of weapons and training to various Shia Iraqi militias, seeking power and influence in the wake of the American withdrawal. Gen. Dempsey told the committee that Iran’s involvement in Iraq is, “intended to produce some kind of Beirut-like moment … and then in so doing to send a message that they have expelled us from Iraq.”

The Administration’s action, no doubt taken after intense deliberation, appears to finally lay to rest the canard that Sunni and Shiite extremist groups would not work together. “Clearly, there has been more than ample evidence that cooperation between radical Sunni and Shia Muslims has existed for quite some time despite a stream of near continuous refutations by certain high-profile academics and analysts. Now, we can move forward on fashioning a comprehensive policy for dealing with an Iran that not only seeks nuclear weapons but is directly confronting the U.S. on the battlefield through its al Qaeda and Iraqi proxies,” Mr. Neumann said.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian educational organization established in 1976 to educate the public on national and international security issues, including the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability and the key role of strategic allies, including Israel, to promote democratic values in the Middle East.