Biden sanctions relief for Iran will aid Iranian assassination plots

New nuclear deal will strengthen Iran’s terror networks in Middle East, Africa, says special testimony

Houthi Fighters / Getty Images

Adam Credo • September 21, 2022 2:20 PM

Iran as part of a new nuclear deal to fund regional terrorist groups and enhance the capabilities of a terrorist network committed to killing US officials, according to written testimony to Congress obtained exclusively from a top US military commander. Biden will use the cash assets provided by the administration. From Washington Free Beacon,

General Stephen Townsend, who headed the US Africa Command until August this year, warned Congress in March that Iran was using “at least some of the resources derived from sanctions relief” to increase illegal shipments of advanced weapons to terrorist groups. will do for In Africa and the Near East region, according to written information he provided to Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) after a public hearing before Congress.

In addition to boosting Iran’s terrorist allies such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen, sanctions relief will enable Tehran to expand its Iranian threat network, a group of terror cells operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, which is under the supervision of US officials. focuses on murder. Townsend.

With a new Iran nuclear deal expected to provide Iran up to a trillion dollars over the lifetime of the deal, a coalition of Republican lawmakers on Wednesday introduced new legislation that would bar the Biden administration from implementing the deal unless He cannot certify to Congress that Iran has not engaged in an assassination plot on Americans in five years. The bill, sponsored by Ernst and Rep. Michael Waltz (R., Fla.), was triggered by Iran’s ongoing efforts to assassinate former US officials such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The revelations made by Townsend in his communication to Congress are likely to generate further support for the law even among Democrats, some of whom recently wrote to President Joe Biden expressing concern about the impending deal.

“It is difficult to understand that after countless attacks on Americans and several confirmed conspiracies against American officials, the Biden administration continues to cooperate with Iran in hopes of a mythical, so-called nuclear deal,” Ernst said in a statement. “President Biden should not give sanctions relief to the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, which is actively trying to kill US officials and civilians at home and abroad.”

Townsend, who testified before Congress in mid-March, confirmed that sanctions relief provided under a revised version of the 2015 nuclear deal would directly fund Iranian-backed terrorist organizations. Their analysis was provided in a written form after Ernst was presented with a series of additional questions after that briefing.

“If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is renewed, Iran will use at least some of the resources gained from sanctions relief to accelerate the pursuit of its interests in Africa,” Townsend said. “Tehran will allocate additional revenue to promote the potentially deadly aid facility [Houthis] Through smuggling routes into Yemen and East Africa, and on the continent the Iranian Threat Network (ITN) could further develop capabilities.”

Once Iran’s regime has access to the free currency under the deal, it will be able to “exploit the counter-terrorism needs of regional conflicts and African governments to increase arms sales, enhance defense cooperation, and enhance Western and Israeli partnership.” and will seek opportunities to undermine ambitions on the continent,” Townsend said. “While these efforts are nascent, the growing Iranian presence will also provide greater cover for the ITN facility network and operational expansion.”

According to Townsend, since the end of 2020, at least 10 Iranian assassination plots in the region have been perpetrated by ITN, including two against US officials in Africa. Other plots targeted Israeli interests.

“Iran almost certainly continues to seek vengeance for the death of former IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani, and it may take advantage of ITNs to attack high-level US government or military officials or remain in Africa, Especially if Iran suspects they are involved in Soleimani’s death,” Townsend said.

According to Townsend, the Iranian Threat Network, he said, “has increased its activity and remains intent on expanding its capabilities in Africa, most likely through proxies and recruiting agents.” The IRGC’s Quds Force also takes advantage of the “East African smuggling network” to re-supply. [Houthis] With deadly aid in Yemen.”

According to Townsend, the Houthis are now equipped with a range of weapons systems, including ballistic and cruise missiles, that can reach a US military base in Djibouti. While the Houthis have not fired at the base due to fears of a US response, this situation may change in the future.

“If [Houthis’] Had to change the calculus, such that during a possible future conflict between the US and Iran, US forces in East Africa would be threatened by an Iranian ally who could attack without warning,” Townsend said.

Ernst’s bill seeks to prevent Iran from using cash from the nuclear deal to fund these assassination plots. According to the bill, the law would effectively prevent the administration from waiving sanctions unless the State Department “can certify an attempt to murder or the bounty is placed on current or former senior government officials for five years.” Is”.

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