UANI Applauds U.S. Legal Action Targeting Iranian Agents

(New York, N.Y.)United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and UANI Advisors Ambassador and former U.S. National Security Advisor John R. Bolton and former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Frances F. Townsend released the following joint statement today applauding the U.S. Department of Justice’s indictment of an Iranian operative in a murder-for-hire plot and the U.S. Treasury Department’s designation of the accused and his criminal network for transnational repression:

“We applaud the legal measures announced today by the Departments of Justice and Treasury, respectively, against Naji Sharifi Zindashti and his co-conspirators tasked by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) with harming critics of the regime on U.S. soil. Holding would-be kidnappers and murderers legally accountable is important. Nevertheless, the measures announced today are a blinking red light that should compel policymakers to demand the Biden administration protect Americans and guarantee their freedom of speech by restoring deterrence against ever-growing Iranian threats to the United States and its allies across the globe.

“Tehran is unimpressed and undeterred by piecemeal sanctions, indictments, and strongly-worded statements. The U.S. has thus far declined to use targeted and impactful military strikes against the architects and enablers of Iran’s transnational repression. This approach is a strategic mistake and an invitation to crisis and further escalation. We shudder to imagine the horrific consequences of Iran successfully kidnapping and renditioning an American from U.S. soil, bombing a crowded restaurant in Washington, or assassinating Americans outside their homes or offices.

“Iran cannot be dissuaded by indictments alone, so its terror apparatus must be dismantled, and its commanders must be taken off the battlefield. MOIS, which supports drug cartels and criminal gangs, should be deemed by the United States as a legitimate military target that threatens the safety of Americans and U.S. national security. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should also be designated as a terrorist under Executive Order 13224.

“The U.S. cannot continue to hope that it is successful in merely detecting and disrupting plots through means of law enforcement. Now is the time to stop those plots from ever taking shape in the first place with a robust and comprehensive policy response that includes U.S. military strikes against MOIS and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) targets on Iranian soil, sanctions, and diplomatic isolation. A new, aggressive, and more proactive approach to deterring Iranian aggression is urgently required.”