US must stand up to Iran’s provocations 

When President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. on Sept. 21, he knew he would be followed on the dais the next day by Iran’s madman president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Obama also knew from a secret federal investigation that Ahmadinejad was at that very moment financially backing a plot with a Mexican drug cartel to explode a bomb in a Washington restaurant to kill Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to this country. Al-Jubeir’s murder would be followed by bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies here. Had the plot succeeded, as many as 100 innocent Americans would also have been murdered as they ate their last meals.

Manssor Arbabsiar, the 56-year-old naturalized American citizen from Iran who led the plot, told a U.S. informant posing as a co-conspirator, that it was “no problem” and “no big deal” to kill these innocents, some of whom would likely have been children.

Even so, Obama’s speech to the U.N. — which included a comprehensive survey of developments across the Middle East during the past year — hardly mentioned Iran. Neither of his two brief references cited the fact that Iran has long been identified by the U.S. State Department as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

But that should not have come as a surprise to anybody who has followed the administration’s foreign policy: The latest Obama National Strategy for Counter-Terrorism was made public in June and mentioned Iran only once in its 19 pages.

Note, too, that these developments come hard on the heels of the Iranian navy’s blatant statement a few weeks ago that it plans to station military ships off the U.S. coast, which would be a dangerously provocative act that could trigger a military clash.

Obama said nothing, leaving it to the Pentagon to observe blandly that Iran can send its ships into international waters but may not have the logistical capability to support such action.

Given the foiled Iranian-backed terrorist plot and Ahmadinejad’s flouting of U.S. sanctions against its nuclear program, however, the most significant aspect of the threat to put military ships near America is that it was made without fear of the consequences. And indeed a near-complete absence of consequences has marked U.S. policy toward Iran throughout Obama’s tenure in the White House.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Counterterrorism Task Force noted recently: “The president’s strategy pays insufficient attention to state-sponsored terrorism, which will increasingly be a major force to be reckoned with. Iran is one of the most prominent and aggressive state sponsors of terror and its protégés — both Hamas and Hezbollah represent potentially grave threats. In addition, transnational criminal cartels in Mexico are increasingly taking on the character of terrorist networks.”

There is no evidence that Obama has done anything in response to Iran except speak platitudes and impose ineffective sanctions.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad grows bolder by the day, even plotting to kill Obama’s fellow Americans right under his nose.

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