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Admiral Michael Mullen’s recent announcement that Iran is sending weapons to our enemies in Iraq, including rockets and explosively formed projectiles designed to penetrate armor, is almost a foreign policy dog-bites-man story. Ever since it declared war on the United States over 30 years ago, Iran has stained its hands with American blood. And ever since, we have refused to take seriously and respond to this aggression.
The architect of the Iranian Islamist Revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini, proved from the start that his talk of the U.S. as the “Great Satan” was more than mere rhetoric, and his injunction to “kill all the unbelievers” was a call to action. The first act of war was the seizure of our embassy in Tehran and the holding of 52 or our citizens for 444 days. More important was the damage to our international prestige that followed the failure to punish this aggression, and the payment of ransom by Jimmy Carter. Next came the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut by Islamic Jihad that killed 17. Like Hezbollah, which proclaimed Khomeini its “one leader, wise and just,” Islamic Jihad was one of the many terrorist outfits nurtured by Iran in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. This attack was followed in a few months by the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, which killed 241 military personnel. This slaughter was perpetrated by Iranian-trained terrorists, as an Iranian high official would admit later: “In Lebanon, we trained the people who drove a bomb into the American Marine barracks,” and though denying that Iran gave the order, he revealed, “When we heard about the bomb, we were happy.”
After the U.S. cut and run from Lebanon, Iranian terrorist proxies bombed embassies in Kuwait and Beirut, killed 18 U.S. servicemen in Spain, and murdered several other Americans in plane hijackings and in attacks on airports in Rome and Vienna. Americans were kidnapped and held for ransom, including CIA station chief William Buckley, who would be tortured and beaten to death by the architect of the Beirut barracks bombing, Imad Fayez Mugniyah. Iran’s reward was the disastrous Iran-Contra scheme of 1985-86, which ransomed American hostages by selling advanced weaponry to the same regime that had American blood on its hands and that was sponsoring the kidnappers.
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