In the wake of a disrupted Iranian plot to assassinate a top Saudi diplomat that top House Republicans are calling an “act of war,” House Speaker John Boehner says that the Obama administration should respond by holding the Iranian government’s “feet to the fire,” although he declined to outline specific steps.
“This plot is a very serious breach of international behavior and I would hope that our administration would hold the Iranian government, and hold their feet to the fire over the actions that have been alleged in this complaint,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “I don’t think I need to be specific in terms of what the administration could or should do, but I’m hopeful that the administration will hold them accountable for their actions.”
After news broke of the alleged hit Tuesday, Rep. Pete King, the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, called the scheme an “act of war” and suggested the president should deport any Iranian government officials currently in the country.
“All options should be on the table for President Obama to respond forcefully to this grave provocation by Iran, and the president has my full support to act,” King, R-New York, stated. “He should consider expelling Iranian officials, especially known intelligence officers, from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations in New York, and the Iranian Interests Section in Washington. Iran has not acted as a civilized nation. This arrest shows that Iranian government officials are not here in our country to conduct diplomacy, but rather murder, mayhem, and acts of terror. I believe they should be deported.”
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, condemned the plot as well, warning that the conspiracy is “dangerous new territory for Iran” and he said that the U.S. should assemble an international coalition to respond.
“This episode underscores the need for concerted international unity to confront Iran,” Rogers, R-Mich., stated. “It is the latest in a series of aggressive actions – from their nuclear program to state sponsorship of terrorism, from complicity in killing our soldiers in Iraq to now plotting hostile acts on U.S. soil.”
Boehner would not divulge whether the response should include a military element, but said that the plot demonstrates that the threat of terrorism is still prevalent and was only uncovered thanks to investments in the country’s intelligence agencies.
“The terror plot first shows all of us that the threat that we face has not gone away,” Boehner said. “It also shows us that all of the investment that we’ve made and the efforts of our intelligence agencies, and counterintelligence agencies over the last 10 years, has been paying big dividends and continues to pay big dividends.”