U.S. Approach Has Failed To Stop Iranian Terror

(New York, N.Y.) — United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Chairman Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace released the following joint statement today following the release of the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism.

“This report has laid bare the threat Iran posed to U.S. interests and values during the Biden administration’s first year in office. Refusal to strictly enforce U.S. sanctions gave the Iranian regime a multi-billion-dollar lifeline, which Tehran predictably used to enhance its position as the worldwide leader in state-sponsored terrorism. 

“It is time for a full recalibration of the Biden administration’s approach to dealing with the Islamic Republic. By committing itself to strict sanctions enforcement, adding additional sanctions against Iran’s leaders, coordinating the application of sanctions with the G7, and the development of a credible military threat, the Biden administration and the international community can clarify the regime’s choices and hopefully change its behavior. 

“The U.S. must also work with its allies and partners to ensure that U.N. restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and related technologies are maintained indefinitely and devise economic and military plans to disrupt the manufacture and transfers of restricted weapons, such as UAVs, which are currently being sent to Russia for use against Ukraine. This will only occur through the invocation of the snapback sanctions mechanism under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231.

“In addition, the Biden administration should press allies and partners to join the U.S. in designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah as terrorist groups in their entirety, strengthen the defenses of allies that have borne the brunt of crippling Iranian cyber attacks, and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to supporting those facing increasingly sophisticated threats from Iranian-backed terror.

“We urge President Biden and Members of Congress from both parties to demonstrate the determination to deny Iran the resources it needs to continue terrorizing the international community. It is time to turn the page on a failed policy and chart a new course for a safer world.”

The 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism noted that “globally, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security remained Iran’s primary actor involved in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and plots across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.” In the past, however, the U.S. State Department labeled the IRGC’s Quds Force as the primary actor in enabling those operations. That difference in which institution is taking the lead likely underscores the losses the Islamic Republic suffered from the death of Qassem Soleimani and the limitations of his successor Esmail Ghaani as commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force.

To understand how the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) works and its competition with the IRGC, UANI’s report, Iran’s Malign Intelligence Activities, analyzes both security institutions. UANI has also profiled Iran’s Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib, who sits at the helm of MOIS, here.