Iran's growing menace
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Any doubt that Iran remains a committed and dangerous enemy was dispelled by the recent military report that its weapons are causing high levels of U.S. casualties in Iraq. The newly documented relationship between Iran and al-Qaida also confirms a rising menace from that nation.
America's leaders should push for tighter international sanctions against an outlaw regime that wants to add nuclear weaponry to its arsenal.
The conventional arms coming into Iraq in increasing numbers from Iran are being used by three different Shia militia groups, which also are primarily backed and trained by Iran.
And last week, the U.S. Treasury Department disclosed a close working relationship between Iran and al-Qaida. Unlike Shia Iran, al-Qaida is a Sunni organization. But that has not prevented their cooperation.
Iran has been at virtual war with the U.S. for 32 years, since the Embassy hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Its agents in the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah bombed a Marine barracks and the American embassy in Beirut in the early 1980s, causing major casualties, and they have continued a campaign of terror against U.S. forces in every decade since.
Iran has used Hezbollah's killers to seize virtual control of Lebanon within the past two years, and earlier used the Hezbollah militia to provoke a war between Israel and Lebanon.
With the help of sidekick Syria, Iran has also kept constant terrorist pressure on Israel through Hamas in Gaza. Hamas, like al-Qaida, is a Sunni group, which goes to show that when it comes to radical Islamic opposition to the U.S. and Israel, sectarian differences are set aside in favor of mutual hatred. And Iran's Revolutionary Guards are reportedly helping Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad violently repress mass protests, as they did in Iran this year and in 2009.
All of this re-confirms that Iran is actively spreading violence and repression throughout the Middle East as it works feverishly to obtain nuclear weapons. Both activities are meant to put it in a dominant position in the region where the world gets a large part of its oil.
The long-term threat from Iran is clearly rising. Countering that menace requires a realistic acceptance of the regime's malevolent intentions -- and concerted American efforts to forge a united international front against