Iran’s actions in Iraq fit a larger pattern of expansionist, extremist behavior across the Middle East today. In addition to sponsoring insurgents in Iraq, Tehran is training, funding and equipping radical Islamist groups in Lebanon, Palestine and Afghanistan–where the Taliban now appear to be receiving Iranian help in their war against the government of President Hamid Karzai and its NATO defenders.
While some will no doubt claim that Iran is only attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq because they are deployed there–and that the solution, therefore, is to withdraw them–Iran’s parallel proxy attacks against moderate Palestinians, Afghans and Lebanese directly rebut such claims.
Iran is acting aggressively and consistently to undermine moderate regimes in the Middle East, establish itself as the dominant regional power and reshape the region in its own ideological image. The involvement of Hezbollah in Iraq, just revealed by Gen. Bergner, illustrates precisely how interconnected are the different threats and challenges we face in the region. The fanatical government of Iran is the common denominator that links them together.
No responsible leader in Washington desires conflict with Iran. But every leader has a responsibility to acknowledge the evidence that the U.S. military has now put before us: The Iranian government, by its actions, has all but declared war on us and our allies in the Middle East.
America now has a solemn responsibility to utilize the instruments of our national power to convince Tehran to change its behavior, including the immediate cessation of its training and equipping extremists who are killing our troops.
The “instruments of national power” include military force. The mullahs need a clear warning, which if followed by more aggression, must be followed by force.
Thanks to Senator Lieberman for speaking bluntly about this threat to the region and the world.