Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and holder of one of the worst human rights records, has put its bravado on full display in the Persian Gulf with its increased hostile aggression to U.S. Navy vessels over the last year. As tensions in the Middle East continue to escalate, Iran has made no attempts to quell its negative behavior and now questions are being asked regarding Tehran and its ulterior motives – veiled or otherwise.
Last week, Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the State Department said that Iran’s behavior has worsened since the nuclear agreement was signed. He said,
“As much as we would like to see Iran’s behavior change in the region, we’ve not seen a significant shift. [Regarding Iran’s increased aggression post nuclear deal,] I don’t have all the facts and figures in front of me, but we have seen some disturbing… trends.”
The Obama administration’s attempt to ease hostilities with Iran has many questioning this foreign policy quagmire: has the Obama administration emboldened Iran via the nuclear deal? Lt. General Tom McInerney had this to say:
“Absolutely, there’s no question about it. [The deal] has given [Iran] confidence since they’ve dealt with this administration, and how desperate the President was to get an agreement like this… They’re publicly humiliating him.”
Iran received huge sums of money once the agreement was enacted and it lifted sanctions on Iranian oil production, unfroze $150 billion of Iranian assets, and the cash that the United States sent to Iran – $1.7 billion, which $400 million of that coincided with the release of four American prisoners.
Retired U.S. Army General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, stated that this nuclear deal basically opened Pandora’s box; financials aside, this nuclear deal gave them credibility on the world stage. General Keane said,
“They have a renewed confidence… the nuclear deal has legitimized the regime… Iran is legitimized in the international community. [Regarding what Iran hopes to gain] Their overall goal is strategic; to dominate the region and spread the Islamic Revolution. The means to do that is to drive the United States out of the region and therefore … [the] Sunni states would be considerably more exposed.”
General Keane believes the Iranians will break the agreement because “they will not wait 15 years to get a nuclear weapon.”
Besides getting a free pass on exceeding the uranium limit in secret deals, it’s believed that Iran itself is already cheating and is breaking the nuclear agreement. Lt. General McInerney stated he believes the Iranians are cheating with their ballistic missile program, the purchasing of 300 Russian missiles, and is wanting to buy Russian fighter planes; this in conjunction with not knowing whether or not Iran is following the enrichment protocol. McInerney said,
“This nuclear agreement should have been a treaty, we have never in our history, and I have been a part of them, had a nuclear agreement that was not a treaty and voted by the Senate. The great danger we face [with Iran] is nuclear terrorism. Those weapons will end up in U.S. cities.”
Iran has numerous ties to terror groups and funds them accordingly: Hamas receives $300 million a year, Hezbollah receives anywhere from 70% to 80% of its funds from Iran, and the Assad regime in Syria receives approximately $6 billion. This doesn’t include the other terror factions and militant groups Iran funds, most notably, the Shia Houthi Ansarullah fighters in Yemen.
General Keane stated we are running the risk of nuclear terrorism and it’s the direct fault of the Obama administration and its policies:
“[President Obama’s] seminal foreign policy objective has been this nuclear deal with the Iranians in the hope that we would have an overall rapprochement with Iran; that they would join the community of nations and behave as a responsible country. The naiveté of that is astounding.”