October 12, 2011 | Quote

Lessons From the Iranian Plot

Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundations for Defense of Democracies has a similar take. He told me via e-mail today, “The fact that the Iranians attempted to carry out an attack on US soil during this era of heightened terrorism strikes me as utterly reckless. The risk-reward ratio in this equation makes little sense.”

He lists a number of things that the plot confirms:

1. Chairman Mike Rogers [of the House Select Committee on Intelligence] notes that this plot was approved at the highest levels of the regime. This underscores how dangerous this regime is, and how much more dangerous it will be if it gets nuclear weapons.

2. We know that the plot was executed by the Qods Force, an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This makes it impossible to deny the close relationship between the IRGC and Iran’s most powerful leaders. The IRGC is a terrorist group controlled completely by Iran’s leaders.

3. While some analysts say that Iran only sponsors regional “resistance” groups, it is clear that it is still in the terrorism game. Thus, the attacks in Argentina of the 1990s are not ancient history. They are examples of what Iran is still capable of doing if their plans are not disrupted.

Finally, I would argue that this is a defining moment for the Obama presidency. How he responds to this attempted assault on US soil will say much about his ability to handle the challenge of Iran for the rest of his presidency. Thus far, the response has been more sanctions. I sincerely hope to see more decisive action in the coming days.