If one is honest, we can't say for certain that senior Iranian leaders actually approved a thwarted operation to kill Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. There is, after all, no undeniable proof. But if one is still being honest, we can't say for certain that they were not behind it.
Revolutionary Iran has, after all, been waging war on the Great Satan, Iran's loving moniker for the United States, since the seizure of our embassy in 1979, during which Iran took hostages and held them for 444 days. In 1983, Iranian-supported groups were responsible for perhaps the most successful terrorist assault of all, two coordinated suicide-bomb attacks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983, that killed 241 American marines and 58 French paratroopers guarding their embassies. There was also the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia.
The planned assassination, which was to take place in Washington, was a bold move: Kill al-Jubeir by bombing a restaurant, and then setting off blasts at the Saudi and Israeli embassies. The plan was only foiled after Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar, who U.S. authorities have arrested for the alleged plot, offered a government informant -- posing as a Mexican drug cartel associate -- a $1.5 million bounty to assist in the attack's execution.
In recent months, we have watched as Iran provided assistance and weaponry to the Taliban in Afghanistan. They've also shrugged off international calls to halt its nuclear weapons program; threatened to attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf; and hinted at having cruise missile-armed Iranian warships patrol off the coast of the United States.
So, continuing in the vein of veracity, the alleged plot could be considered an act of international terrorism, an act of war against the United States.
Iran: An Aggressive Foreign Policy, to Say the Least
But, again, there's nothing novel about that. It is merely evidence that Iran's foreign policy is becoming more aggressive and even more anti-American. As Max Boot writes for Commentary:
This has been a rather one-sided war, insofar as the Iranians were fighting us but we did little to fight back. This is not a partisan issue -- Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, both Republicans, did more to respond to Iranian transgressions than did former President Bill Clinton or President Barack Obama, but they still did far too little. It is striking that the only times the Iranian regime has backed down was when it faced actual American military might.
But the Obama administration, indubitably, will be hesitant to respond to the plot thus, choosing, rather, to slap Iran with more unilateral and multilateral sanctions. This, for a willful child like Iran, is akin to standing them in the corner for one minute per their age. In other words, they'll do their time, feign apologetics, and escalate.
The White House must respond militarily. Because, if Iran really does go nuclear, we'll most likely be sorry. And as Boot wrote: If Tehran acts so recklessly and provocatively now, without nuclear weapons, imagine how it will act with nukes.