Daily Israel Report

Congressmen Say It's Time to Come Out Clearly and Name Iran

While the Obama Administration has been somewhat reticent about naming Iran, the same is not true for Congress.
By Amiel Ungar
First Publish: 7/27/2012, 3:43 AM

Hizbullah "political wing"
Hizbullah "political wing"
Reuters

Israel received support in both houses of Congress for its campaign against Iranian terror.

Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan), who heads the House Intelligence Committee and sees classified intelligence information, concurs that Hizbullah was involved in the Bulgarian terror attack "and I believe it was under the direction of their masters in Iran."

Rogers claims that the Obama administration is wrong in not naming names. “I think the president needs to call Iran on the carpet very publicly and tell them what we know…This is his time to stand up and do something bold.”

President Obama has pledged to help Israel "identify and bring to justice the perpetrators." It would appear that identification is not the problem.

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), seconded Rogers. “Generally, I think this administration has not been emphatic enough in defining the enemy for who it is,” he said. “If you want to defeat the enemy, you have to identify the enemy.”

Although Republican House members could be expected to be critical of the administration in an election year, the same themes were sounded in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing chaired by Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Casey called out the European Union for pussyfooting on the issue of Hizbullah by claiming that the organization had a political wing.

The U.S. Does not differentiate between Hizbullah’s political and militant wings. Nor should our allies.  More countries should recognize   Hizbullah for what it is – a terrorist organization – and stand with the U.S. Against Hizballah in all its forms. 

One of the witnesses before the committee, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, claims that the reticence about Iran insures that the country will not abandon its support for terrorist activities because the penalties it sustains are minor.

Matthew Levitt, who had served in the Bush administration and is currently a counter terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East policy, claimed that while Iranian terror goes back a long way, it has recently escalated due to a number of factors.

While some analysts like to play the moderate extremist game, all the current leadership factions are hardline and with an increasing intake of figures from the Revolutionary Guard Corps, this can only get worse. The deteriorating situation in Syria and the loss of some of its Sunni allies has made Iran more desperate, while at the same time, paradoxically, its bravado has increased due to the US policy of withdrawing from  Iraq and Afghanistan.

Levitt claimed that was necessary to point the finger at Iran and increase the cost of terrorism. One way of fighting terrorism was to have countries insist on streamlining the Iranian embassies that are either grossly overstaffed or harbor terrorists under diplomatic cover.