Smart Power: Obama Administration Admits Iran is Harboring top Al Qaeda Leaders

Posted: Jul 25, 2016 6:01 PM

Iran aiding international terrorist groups -- including Al Qaeda -- is literally the opposite of new news. This is what they do. The regime in Tehran has been designated by the US government as the world's top state sponsor of terror for years, a dubious distinction that has not changed since the dangerous nuclear deal was agreed to last year. The State Department has affirmed that Iran's support for terrorism is "undiminished," and President Obama has admitted that a portion of the many billions in sanctions relief now flowing to Iran will be redirected to terrorists. He's already been proven correct. About his own deal.  Which may explain why he has lightly chided the regime for flouting "the spirit" of the deal. They sure are:

Just so we're crystal clear, the Obama administration has slapped sanctions on high-ranking Al Qaeda officials being harbored by the the rogue, criminal, radical, illegitimate regime upon whom the Obama administration has just bestowed an internationally-blessed nuclear program.  Consider the implications of that sentence.  As you mull that over, don't forget the secret provision of the deal that was just uncovered this week.  Also, because it's been manifestly untrue for quite some time, can we finally bury the falsehood that radical Shiites and radical Sunnis can't or don't team up for evil?  The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes sought comment from the White House about this development, and he received this truly surreal response:

This is not the first time the Obama administration has targeted the Iran-al Qaeda relationship. The Treasury and State Departments publicly accused the Iranian regime of allowing al Qaeda to operate inside Iran at least 10 times between July 2011 and August 2014. Testifying before Congress in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship as a "marriage of convenience." There is considerably more evidence of Iran's support for al Qaeda in the collection of documents captured during the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound on Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Senior U.S. intelligence officials have told The Weekly Standard that the document collection includes letters describing the nature of the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda and specific ways in which Iran has aided al Qaeda's network and operations. The Weekly Standard contacted the Obama administration official who last week dismissed Iran-al Qaeda cooperation to see if the new designations changed his view that claims of Iranian support for al Qaeda are "baseless conspiracy theories." He replied: "Al Qaeda has long used Iran as a transit and facilitation point between South Asia and the Middle East, sometimes with the knowledge of some Iranian authorities. At the same time, the Iranian government has imprisoned some al Qaeda operatives, and we believe today's action provides another opportunity for Iran to take action against al Qaeda."

"Another opportunity for Iran."  Unbelievable. Here's Hayes, flabbergasted:

Think about that for a moment. The Obama administration accuses Iran of harboring senior al Qaeda operatives and sanctions those operatives in an effort to prevent them from hurting America and its interests. But rather than scold Iran for continuing to provide safe haven to terrorists devoted to killing Americans, the administration spins the move as an "opportunity" for Iran. An opportunity? Why would the Iranian regime need the U.S. government to provide an "opportunity" to take action against the very terrorists it has been supporting for more than a decade? This is illogical, insulting, and dangerous. But it is consistent with the kind of irresponsible whitewashing of the radical regime that has become a trademark of the Obama administration's approach to Iran. The Obama administration provided Iran with billions of dollars through the nuclear deal despite having evidence in its possession that the country was providing safe haven to senior al Qaeda terrorists and despite acknowledging, publicly, that some of those funds would be used for terror. The administration kept secret crucial details of the agreement from Congress, concessions that the Iranians are now citing, convincingly, as evidence that they fleeced the United States and its partners.

Parting thought: Would this  qualify as a violation of more than just "the spirit" of the agreement?

Top Iranian leaders have instructed the country’s atomic energy organization to prepare for the reopening of multiple nuclear sites that had been shuttered as part of last summer’s nuclear agreement. Ali Larijani, the leader of Iran’s parliament, requested this week that the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization prepare a plan to reopen nuclear enrichment facilitates that had been shutdown as part of the effort to limit Tehran’s research into nuclear weapons technology, according to comments carried in Iran’s state-controlled media. Iranian leaders are displeased with a recent United Nations report chastising the Islamic Republic for violating international agreements prohibiting the country’s work on ballistic missiles. The U.N. described these repeated test launches as not consistent with international accords. Iranian leaders dismissed the report as “biased.”

They're upset that the international community has noticed their numerous banned missile tests, even as key stakeholders avert their eyes from other Iranian acts of treachery.  And lest you forget, Hillary Clinton helped launch the nuclear talks with Tehran and endorsed the "strong" resulting deal. Smart power.

UPDATE - More anti-American provocation: