As the latest round of negotiations between Iran, the U.S., and Europe fails to yield any meaningful nuclear concessions from Tehran, a gathering of experts in the fields of defense, national security, and foreign policy convened in Washington D.C. on Tuesday (Nov. 19).
Held on the eve of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the event sought to contrast and compare JFK’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis to President Obama’s response to the current impasse with Iran, and to see what lessons the former might hold for the latter. The threat posed by the rogue Middle Eastern state, say the panelists – not just to its neighbors in the region, but to the United States – is far more immediate than most realize.
The event commenced with brief but poignant introduction from prominent entrepreneur and EMPact America founder Henry Schwartz.
An EMP attack by Iran, explained Schwartz, would have the power to “shut down our electrical grid, and thus, end our civilization as we know it.”
“Iran has repeatedly called for a world without America,” Schwartz continued, “and has practiced this type of EMP attack from barges in the Caspian Sea.” He went on to describe various plausible scenarios for a high-altitude EMP detonation, describing the repercussions as “catastrophic.”
“The opportunity and time for diplomatic efforts has been exhausted,” declared Schwartz. “The U.S. must act militarily to stop Iran, to prevent them from becoming a nuclear-armed existential threat to America.”
A presentation by foreign affairs expert Frank Gaffney provided additional context for understanding the present situation with Iran. Citing reports by a national German newspaper, Gaffney pointed to a military collaboration between Iran and Venezuela, which would enable Iran to launch an attack on the United States even before obtaining intercontinental ballistic missiles. One tactic, launching a strike from a cargo ship sitting off the U.S. coast, dubbed the “Scud-in-a-tub,” was deemed a particularly worrisome possibility. It is an attack vector, says Gaffney, for which we “neither have any missile defense, nor, for that matter, any warning systems.”
Seeking to drive his point home and demonstrate that his concerns were not an exaggeration, Gaffney recalled an incident last July in which a ship, sailing through the Panama Canal under the North Korean flag, was intercepted and found to be carrying two surface-to-air missiles concealed within its cargo.
Fox News contributor and former ambassador John Bolton offered insights on the inner machinations of the Iranian regime. He characterized the superficially democratic aspects of Iranian government as nothing more than a ruse. Describing how the true power lay with the Ayatollah Khamenei and the nation’s mullahs, he explained the position of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as that of a secondary leader. Tongue firmly planted in cheek, Bolton helpfully suggested that his listeners think of Rouhani as “Iran’s Joe Biden.”
“And when you think of it that way,” Amb. Bolton elucidated, “watching President Obama chase Hassan Rouhani around New York at the opening of the (U.N.) General Assembly in September was more than an embarrassment; it was a strategic mistake. Because Iran correctly read Obama’s efforts, first with the photo opportunity, then to even have even a telephone conversation, as signaling weakness in the American position, as signaling desperation to reach some kind of cosmetic deal with Iran on the nuclear weapons program.” Read more at Arutz Sheva.