Gage Skidmore

World News


U.S. Must Show Resolve with Iran

Recent reports have surfaced that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s adviser was quoted as saying, “If Syria wants to fight against American forces in the eastern Euphrates and asks for our help, Tehran would militarily support it.”

That statement comes on the heels of the two sides announcing they had agreed to deepen military cooperation.

For anybody who was questioning it before, this should be definitive proof that Iran is an issue that must be dealt with, just as has been the case for decades.

I’ll never forget watching the Iran hostage crisis unfold in my youth, as over 50 hostages were held for 444 days in Tehran.

The crisis ended in 1981, but the impression it left on me was earth-shattering. I learned then that Iran is a menace that can never and should never be trusted. My memories of that crisis went through my head as I watched President Obama finalize the Iran deal in 2015.

The terms of the deal were weak and I was horrified — though not surprised — to learn about how much of the details surrounding the deal were a lie, as Obama administration spokesman Ben Rhodes alluded to in the New York Times.

I was incensed when I saw that the deal included the release of hundreds of billions of dollars in funds, especially since it gave away the leverage our sanctions had given us.

Jay Solomon’s book, The Iran Wars, sheds much light on this, making a strong case that Iran was on the verge of complete financial collapse at the time of the deal.

According to Solomon, President Rouhani was warned by advisers that, “their country could run short of hard currency and face a crisis” if Tehran was not able to get access to billions of dollars in funds that had been frozen due to sanctions.

Solomon also notes that our government knew this, as U.S. officials at the time, “saw the collapse of Iranian currency as a clear sign that Tehran’s financial system was cracking.”

With that in mind, it seems fairly clear that if we had stuck to our guns, Iran would have had no choice but to cave. Instead, we bailed them out.

It should have been obvious at the time that this was a mistake, but for anybody who did not understand that then, I sure hope they understand it now.

Look, I don’t want to antagonize any countries unnecessarily and I’m certainly not looking for a war.

But we should have held firm instead of ceding ground and in the process, trusting a country that has proven repeatedly that they cannot be trusted. And they proved it yet again with its ballistic missile tests.

The United States is not the only nation affected here, either.

Many other countries have a vested interest in making sure Iran is kept in check, including France, whose president , Emmanuel Macron, recently said, “Let’s be honest, the tensions are on the rise, look at the activities of Hezbollah and Iran’s pressure on Syria. We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States.”

Again, the last thing I want to see is a war. But Iran’s recent actions and words in regard to Syria make it very clear that this is a very serious problem, and simply sitting back and hoping for the best is not going to be enough.

Ronald Reagan preached peace through strength and that is the play here.

President Trump cannot let Iran walk all over us, especially when Iran is talking in such aggressive terms.

Unlike with President Obama, who refrained from showing strength, it must be made clear to Iran they would be wise not to cross that metaphorical “red line” again with President Trump, and I truly hope the president makes that abundantly clear.

And if Iran does cross that “red line,” they need to pay a price for it.

A heavy price.