You'll remember Obama vowed during the Presidential campaign to negotiate directly with Iran. Once in the White House, Obama tried to play nice, and watered-down all proposed responses. Meanwhile, the Administration continued to promote greater engagement with the Islamic dictatorship.
When Iran ratcheted-up its nuclear program, Obama claimed to have isolated the rogue state. Even after obtaining evidence in 2009 of an Iran-al Qaeda connection, the Administration de-funded a CIA unit that was studying tracking and killing terrorists in Iran--complaining only that the Mullahs weren't turning over suspected terrorists to third countries. And progressives always have insisted that a Shia Iran wouldn't help the al Qaeda-backed Sunni insurgents.
The Obama administration said Thursday that Iran is helping al-Qaeda funnel cash and recruits into Pakistan for its international operations, the most serious U.S. allegation to date of Iranian aid to the terrorist group.As the Wall Street Journal observes, this isn't exactly news--except to liberals. Jennifer Rubin writes: "the left will shrug its collective shoulders as this finding now slips into conventional wisdom, with nary a trace that so many for so long believed something so wrong."
Documents filed by the Treasury Department accuse Iran of facilitating an al-Qaeda-run support network that transfers large amounts of cash from Middle East donors to al-Qaeda’s top leadership in Pakistan’s tribal region.
A Syrian national who directs the network has been allowed to operate in Iran since 2005, and senior Iranian officials know about money transfers and allow the movement of al-Qaeda foot soldiers through its territory, administration officials said.
Although U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of assisting al-Qaeda [NOfP note: mostly officials of the Bush Administration], links between the two have been difficult to prove. Al-Qaeda regards the Shiite denomination, the dominant branch of Islam in Iran, as heretical, and Iran has sought at times to crack down on the terrorist group, deporting some operatives and holding others under house arrest.
U.S. officials asserted that the alleged network offered new evidence of Iranian support. "By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al-Qaeda, allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism," said David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
So I'm skeptical of any real-world impact; the centrifuges still will spin. As will the hard left, predicts reader Warren: they'll say "the U.S. forced these enemies together." Yup--just blame Bush.