Whenever Iran commits a terrorist attack, the regime can always rely on its defenders — America-haters and conspiracy nuts on both the Left and Right — to pretend otherwise. Yet all one needs to do is pay attention to the regime's words and its intentions and culpability become clear.
In the case of the latest attacks in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian terrorist leaders literally announced they were going to carry out these attacks weeks in advance. As reported in The Wall Street Journal: "After the Trump administration tightened a ban on Tehran’s oil exports in May, Iranian officials have warned transit through the [Strait of Hormuz] was at risk. 'If Iran does not enjoy peace and stability, the rest of the region won’t enjoy peace and stability,' ... Gholam Rashid, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unified central command, told Parliament on May 25. 'That includes the export of oil.'"
It's far from the first time that Iran has made this specific threat. In July of last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that “It would be meaningless [to say] that Iran cannot export its oil while others in the region can. Do this if you can and see the consequences.” Iran's terrorist mastermind, Quds Force leader Qasim Soleimani, congratulated Rouhani, saying, "Your valuable statement that said there will be no guarantees for oil exports from this region unless the Islamic Republic of Iran (can) also export its oil was a source of pride."
In all this, it must be recalled that the Iranian regime is willing — indeed, eager — to kill Americans. Not only has "Death to America" been an official slogan of the regime since its founding, but they often brag about killing Americans.
Michael Pregent of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), who witnessed Iran's brutality firsthand while serving in Iraq, wrote in November 2017 that "Iran has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 American soldiers over the years. In August, Brigadier General Esmail Quaani, deputy commander of Iran’s Quds Force, boasted to Iranians about the number of Americans the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has murdered, saying, 'Americans have suffered more losses from us then we have suffered losses from them.' Iran has also continued to praise the role of the IRGC in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, the deadliest attack on the U.S. Marines since World War II. In 2016, Hossein Salami, deputy commander in chief of the IRGC stated, 'In 1983, the flames of Islamic revolution flared among Lebanese youth for the first time, and in a courageous act, a young Muslim buried 260 United States Marines under the rebels east of Mediterranean Sea.'"
It is a testimony to UANI's effectiveness, in pushing for sanctions, that regime officials constantly complain about it by name. UANI also is detested by Code Pinkers on the Left and Right, but that is to be expected. They have assembled an impressive number of such quotes from Iran's rulers:
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei (July 18, 2015): "You heard ‘Death to Israel’, ‘Death to the US.’ You could hear it. The whole nation was shaken by these slogans. It wasn’t only confined to Tehran. The whole of the nation, you could hear, that was covered by this great movement. So we ask Almighty God to accept these prayers by the people of Iran."
- President Hassan Rouhani (May 8, 2013): "Saying 'Death to America' is easy. We need to express 'Death to America' with action."
- Ali Shiraz, the Supreme Leader's Representative to the Iran's IRGC-Quds Force (February 26, 2015): "We will stand fast against the world of arrogance. We will not rest until we have raised the banner of Islam over the White House."
Never to be outdone, of course, is Ayatollah Khomeini himself. In a statement that the regime once published — in Paymaha va Sokhanraniyha-yi Imam Khomeini (“Messages and Speeches of Imam Khomeini”), published by Nur Research and Publication Institute (Tehran, 1981) — but has since tried to hide, Khomeini declared in 1980:
"We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."
The regime may have tried to whitewash the rhetoric, but it has not forgotten this objective. Quds Force deputy commander Esmail Quaani said in May 2017: "Without a doubt, our martyrs and those of the dear ones like you Fatimiyyoun will not settle for less than the global rule of the Imam Mahdi. Our martyrs inaugurated a great path. Syria and Aleppo are the temporary aims, and the main aim is global rule, which I hope is not far off."
We ignore Iran's open threats at our own peril. But what else is new? Nobody took Mein Kampf seriously, either.