Right-Wing Think Tankers Use Alleged Assassination Plot To Push For War With Iran

Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress

Details of the alleged plot by an Iranian-American to hire Mexican drug cartels to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington remain few and far between. But that hasn’t stopped analysts at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Heritage Foundation from calling for a military response.

The Heritage Foundation’s James Jay Carafano weighed in with a blog post promoted at the top of the center’s website. Carafano lists actions “required” in response to the Justice Department’s allegations against Texas used car dealer Manssor Arbabsiar. The first action is:

Take strong measures to respond. The U.S. is fully within it rights to conduct a proportional military response against suitable, feasible, and acceptable targets in Iran. (In many ways, the situation is similar to military operations conducted against al-Qaeda in Pakistan.) The Iranian government knows full well that the Iran Qods Force is a terrorist group that has provided material support to the Taliban and other groups. The Tehran government has not restrained this organization and is responsible for its conduct.

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at AEI, called for an end to diplomatic outreach to Tehran, colorfully writing in the New York Daily News:

The terror plot was no rogue action. Obama may hold an olive branch, but the White House must recognize the Iranian regime’s fist holds only blood.

The time for talk has ended.

And FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz taunted the White House for what he anticipates will be an indecisive reponse to a “brazen attack” — albeit ineptly planned and nowhere near a point of execution — in Washington. While coming up short of explicitly endorsing military action, he writes in the Huffington Post:

What will be a surprise to the Iranian regime is if the United States, in the face of a brazen attack on its capital, finally responds decisively.

Under Obama’s watch the U.S. has imposed tighter sanctions on Iran than those implemented during the George W. Bush administration. Perhaps more importantly, assuming the Attorney General’s indictment holds up, federal law enforcement agencies were highly effective at breaking up a terrorist plot well before it was operational or posed an immediate threat to the U.S. or diplomatic targets in Washington.

Now, with analysts and the media still scratching their heads over what to make of a convoluted plot alleged to have been hatched by an Iranian American in collusion with Mexican drug cartels, FDD, AEI and Heritage analysts — along with their friends in Congress — are quickly declaring the end of diplomatic strategies to curb Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.


One Comment

  1. Nooooo, that’s such a shock! The war with Iran lobby is seeking war witgh Iran!?!

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