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Rep. Meehan: We Underestimate Iran at Our Own Peril

3:41 PM, Oct 26, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Rep. Patrick Meehan, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterrorism and Intelligence, said at hearing this morning on Capitol Hill that the U.S. underestimates Iran at our own peril. "Since the Iranian sponsored assassination plot was revealed to the public two weeks ago, I’ve been struck by much of the commentary in the media that has downplayed the plot, with some even suggesting that it would be impossible to pull off and how Iran would never use Mexican drug cartels for a terrorist attack on American soil," Meehan said in his opening statement.

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"When it comes to the prospect of a nuclear Iran that is willing to engineer terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, and has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, it appears to me that our government risks another failure of imagination and does not understand the gravity of the Iranian threat....

“While the United States and the international community have issued sanctions against Iran in some form since 1979, it is obvious from the assassination plot that Iran has not been deterred. I believe the Obama Administration must get serious and sanction the Iranian central bank, its oil refinery businesses, shipping companies, and port operators.

“While Iran assassinating a foreign ambassador in Washington, DC is a significant provocation, I believe the attitude of the U.S. government must change as it relates to Iran. Iran is on a path toward obtaining a nuclear weapon and we cannot allow that to happen. If we can’t deter Iran’s actions now, the thought of them with a nuclear weapon is unimaginable. Simply taking him at his word, President Ahmadinejad would use nuclear weapons to literally wipe Israel off the map. It is my belief we should take him at his word and do everything we can as a nation to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, ensuring both U.S. and Israeli security.

“The U.S. and Israel share a common enemy in Iran and, in Israel’s case, a potential existential threat if Iran attains a nuclear weapon. The United States must do everything in its power to protect the State of Israel an Iranian attack of any kind."

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