Ratcheting up the rhetoric (read: humiliation), Iran announced that all US ships in the Strait of Hormuz are now within target range.
American’s reasoning that the nuclear deal with Iran and the freeing up of billions of dollars of frozen Iranian money previously denied to them through international sanctions would bring the Islamic Republic into the “family of nations” is naïve at best and extremely dangerous at worst.
Ratcheting up the rhetoric (read: humiliation), the Islamic Republic of Iran announced at the beginning of the week that they have made significant advances in their surface-to-surface missile technology, making all U.S. ships in the Strait of Hormuz, within target range.
“We have greatly increased the range of our marine cruise missiles and currently possess missiles with a range of 200 kilometers which are anti-ship and anti-surface,” said Iranian defense minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan. “We have succeeded in changing the strategic systems of cruise missiles and increasing the power of their engines and ranges.”
The defense minister added that with the new missile technology, Iranian coast-to-sea missiles can now hit the targets at a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the coast.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the U.S. paid Iran $400 million last January, essentially as a ransom for the four Americans that were released when the nuclear deal went into effect. In addition, America, recently paid Iran $1.3 billion to settle an arms deal that fell through when the ayatollahs Islamists took over Iran in the in 1979 Islamic revolution.
The State Department recently admitted that it could not guarantee that the money would not be used to facilitate international terrorism or that it wouldn’t end up in the hands of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Since the signing of the agreement and the release of the prisoners, Iran has detained American dual national Reza “Robin” Shahini who was in Iran to visit his sick mother, along with joined two other U.S. citizens and at least four dual nationals from Britain, Canada and France.
Far from prompting a more strident response, the U.S. has responded by issuing a travel a travel advisory, warning Americans, and particularly dual nationals, against visiting the country. The warning states that in the event of an arrest the U.S. government’s “ability to assist … is extremely limited” and that Americans should “make their own plans in the event of an emergency.”
Meanwhile, Iran continues to expand its influence into Latin America. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s recent diplomatic tour of the area has raised concerns that the Islamic Republic seeks to solidify its terrorist base south of the U.S.
A source speaking to The Washington Free Beacon said that a terrorist in Latin America “can travel easily to Venezuela, and once there, they can get to Nicaragua or Cuba without passports or visas, which poses a national security risk for our nation.”
In a statement about Zarif’s tour, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said, “The timing of Zarif’s trip is significant as Iran could use many of these rogue regimes to circumvent remaining sanctions, undermine U.S. interests, and expand the drug trafficking network that helps finance its illicit activities.
“Tehran’s classic playbook is to use cultural centers, new embassies or consulates, or cooperative agreements on various areas to act as façades aimed at expanding Iran’s radical extremist network.”
Just last month (and post sanctions relief) Iran threatened to pull out of the agreement on the contention that that the U.S. had not lived up to its commitments. This statement, made with a straight face by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was notwithstanding themultitude of violations and twisting of the agreement made by Iran since the signing.
So what’s going on here?
“Without understanding Iranian culture, it is impossible to understand what is going on,” said Harold Rhode, an expert on Islamic culture who worked for the Pentagon for 28 years, in an interview with The Algemeiner. “Nothing is in and of itself. The way negotiations work among Iranians is that an agreement as we understand it means nothing. It is nothing more than a step along the way to getting what they want.”
Rhode explained, “In the Middle East, you never take responsibility for anything yourself; you always push whatever it is onto somebody else. You blame others. And the problem is that both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, I don’t know whether willfully or unwillfully, refuse to understand Iran in the Iranian context. And the Iranian context is that the agreement means nothing, except as a way to shame America into doing what Iran wants, which is to push further and further.
“From an Iranian cultural point of view, at all times there is a balance — ‘Are you giving it or are you getting it?’ … It’s simply domination; it’s simply power.”
Simply put, until America realizes that with the ayatollahs, there is no “being friends.” Unless it changes course, America will be strung along, duped and played for the fool by Iran with consequences potentially too horrific to imagine.
CLARION PROJECT – CHALLENGING EXTREMISM – PROMOTING DIALOGUE