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Iran Holds Israel Hostage, Threatens To Wipe Them from Face of the Earth if US Attacks

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Last week, Iran broke through the amount of enriched uranium allowed under the nuclear deal President Donald Trump walked away from in 2017, inasmuch as the deal is still extant.

It’s still a long way from the highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear weapon, and it’s widely seen as a ploy to negotiate with the nations that are still in the atomic compact, but the move still remains worrisome.

If you needed a reason as to why, Mojtaba Zolnour was perfectly happy to provide one earlier this week.

Zolnour is the head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, a powerful position in military terms. On Monday, he made it clear that if the United States were to attack Iran, Iran’s first target would be Israel.

“If the U.S. attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” Zolnour said, according to the Times of Israel.

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While this isn’t from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani or any of the ayatollahs, it’s still safe to say — especially since Zolnour is a senior member of Parliament and his remarks were carried by state media — that this wasn’t just an Iranian politician shooting off at the mouth. The message is clear: Attack us, we attack Israel.

Given that the United States came close to attacking Iran after the Islamic Republic shot down an unmanned U.S. drone in June, that’s a very big problem.

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd last month, Trump said that he decided not to go ahead with the attack because he felt it was excessive.

“Nothing was green-lighted until the very end because things change,” he said. “I didn’t think it was proportionate.”

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However, he did say that while there were no planes in the air for such an attack, “they would have been pretty soon, and things would have happened to a point where you would not turn back. You could not turn back.”

The drone shoot-down, mind you, came on the heels of two attacks on oil tankers that the United States has accused Iran of masterminding, a claim Iran denies.

Iran, meanwhile, has insisted that U.S. sanctions against the country amount to a type of “economic terrorism” and “warfare.”

In an interview with ABC News last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States was responsible for everything from high food prices to shortages of medicine.

“If the United States decides to cause so much pain on the Iranian people by imposing economic warfare, by engaging in economic terrorism against Iran, then there will be consequences,” Zarif said.

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The message is abundantly clear: If the United States won’t remove sanctions against a nation that refuses to live up to the terms of a nuclear deal it demands Washington sign back onto, the Iranians will consider it a de facto act of aggression.

What these consequences will involve is anyone’s guess, but after Tehran has spent decades as a state sponsor of terrorism globally, just about anything is possible.

It’s unlikely that Iran could destroy Israel in 30 minutes. What is clear is that it says it intends to try if the United States were to strike. Whether the mullahs would actually do so, again, anyone’s guess.

However, when this kind of message is put out by a senior MP and amplified by Iranian state media, it’s obvious that Tehran feels emboldened to make threats against the Jewish state.

Iran has made empty threats before and will continue to make them; this is a country where “death to America” is a frequent chant despite the fact they have no capacity to rain down death upon us.

However, if you think Iran blowing through that low-enriched uranium limit doesn’t mean anything, I would listen very carefully to Mojtaba Zolnour.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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