Iran plan? President Trump had one; Now focus turns to U.S. sleeper cells

by WorldTribune Staff, January 5, 2020

President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran is succeeding in the Middle East and now his border policy at home should be implemented to stop possible Iranian sleeper cells entering the U.S. through the southern border, analysts say.

Fred Fleitz: ‘The president is weakening Iran and its influence, defending U.S. interests, and keeping the U.S. out of unnecessary wars. That’s what you call a successful and responsible Iran policy.’

Via sanctions on its vital oil industry, and ordering the drone strike which killed Quds Force chief and top world terrorist Qasem Soleimani, Trump “proved that he does have a plan to deal with Iran,” Fred Fleitz, CEO for the Center for Security Policy, wrote in a Jan. 3 op-ed.

Fleitz, a former Trump administration official and member of the Board of Advisors, noted that Iran “has been engaged in increasingly belligerent actions against U.S. forces and U.S. allies over the last year, including shooting down a U.S. drone, a September drone attack against Saudi oil facilities, and rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. The New Years’ Eve attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-backed Iraqi militias was the latest provocation.”

The U.S. State Department said Soleimani approved the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Moreover, Fleitz noted, “Soleimani headed Iran’s worldwide terrorist operations and was responsible for the deaths of over 600 U.S. troops in Iraq and thousands of Iraqis. He was the mastermind of several major terrorist operations, including a failed 2011 attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.”

Leftist media personality and former Obama administration official Marie Harf claimed on Fox News on Jan. 2 that Trump didn’t have a plan to deal with Iran. Harf insisted the only solution to rising U.S.-Iran tensions was for the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

Fox News host Ed Henry pressed Harf about how rejoining the nuclear deal could possibly reduce tensions and noted reports that Iran spent billions of dollars in sanctions relief that resulted from Obama’s deal to supporting terrorism.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN that the reason for the strike was that Soleimani was “actively plotting in the region — big actions — that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk.” Pompeo also said the attacks planned by Soleimani were imminent.

“Given that Soleimani was killed in Iraq, one has to assume that some of these attacks would have been against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad,” Fleitz wrote. “The decision to kill Soleimani was not a hasty one by the president.”

Trump’s maximum pressure strategy on Iran “replaced the deeply flawed nuclear deal,” Fleitz wrote, adding that Trump’s policy “has succeeded in denying Iran access to military technology and has starved the Iranian regime of funds which led to protests against it in Iran. U.S. sanctions also have prevented Teheran from funding its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq which has fueled anti-Iran protests in these countries.”

Fleitz continued: “Harf and other Trump critics will now argue that that Iran’s recent belligerent actions are President Trump’s fault for withdrawing from the nuclear deal and that Iran will retaliate for the death of Soleimani. But the truth is that Iran’s belligerent behavior never ended after the announcement of the nuclear deal in mid-2015 and actually worsened.

“For example, Iran significantly increased its troop presence in Syria in October 2015. Iran’s 2016 military budget increased by 90% due to over $100 billion in JCPOA sanctions relief. Iranian support to terrorism also increased after the JCPOA, including a reported $70 million payment to the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad to conduct ‘jihad’ against Israel.”

Via his America First and maximum pressure policies, Fleitz said, “President Trump has re-established the United States as a strong and decisive nation on the world stage. The president is weakening Iran and its influence, defending U.S. interests, and keeping the U.S. out of unnecessary wars. That’s what you call a successful and responsible Iran policy.”

On the homefront, a former CIA and Secret Service officer, said that shoring up the southern border is even more important since Iran has vowed to retaliate for Soleimani’s death.

“We have allowed our guard to be lowered with debates for open borders … and handcuffing the hands of our law enforcement officers to protect and serve,” Anthony Sabio wrote in a Jan. 4 op-ed for Law Enforcement Today.

“We need to secure our border to reduce the amount of possible terrorists from entering,” Sabio wrote.

Art Del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Union and president of the Arizona Border Patrol Union, said: “We need to take securing our nation’s borders very serious. With the huge rise in individuals claiming asylum, we truthfully don’t know enough about those individuals past, much less their true intentions. Drug cartels are the ones that control our southern borders and they do not care about human lives, it’s all about the money.”

The drug cartels, Del Cueto said, “would have no problem making deals with terrorist organizations to ensure safe passage into our country.”

Sabio noted that Iran in the past has embedded terrorist sleeper cells within the U.S., evidenced by the prosecution and conviction of Hizbullah operatives Ali Kourani and Samer el-Debek in New York City.

“As the administration ramps up our overseas presence to stand against this terrorist state, we need to do the same here at home,” Sabio wrote.

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