Iranian American Group Urges Biden Hold Iran Accountable After Attack on Israel-Linked Shipping Vessel

The Israeli-linked Japanese-owned tanker MT Mercer Street is seen off the port of the Gulf Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates on August 3, 2021. - On July 29, two crew members of the tanker MT Mercer Street, managed by a prominent Israeli businessman's company, were killed in …
KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images

Following an Iranian drone attack on an Israel-operated oil tanker in international waters off the coast of Oman that left two dead last week, Iranian advocacy group Iranian Americans for Liberty released a statement blasting the Biden administration’s “weak” response and calling on the president to “get tough.”

The group’s statement began by describing the Thursday attack on the “Mercer Street” commercial shipping vessel, noting that it follows several similar attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).  

“These attacks on commercial shipping vessels in international waters are believed to have been carried out by the IRI and/or their terrorist proxies,” the statement reads, adding that terror is Iran’s only “tool in their repertoire.”

“They have used suicide bombers against Western interests from the moment they seized power in 1979 and have since perfected this diabolical method with Shia suicide bombers against Americans and Sunnis in Iraq, and now that international waters proved to be a barrier against their agents of chaos, have resorted to the use of technology to continue their reign of terror,” the statement continued.

The statement then calls on world leaders, and specifically President Joe Biden, to “stand up” against the Islamist regime.

“We call on the leaders of the free world to stand up against this terrorist regime, now, before it is too late,” it states. 

“President Biden can no longer pretend that his policy of appeasement is working, especially when the lives of Americans and our allies are constantly under threat by the IRI,” it adds.  

The statement then warns that a weak response will inevitably lead to American deaths.

“If President Biden does not take a strong stance against the IRI now, they will continue to flex their muscles in the region, and it is only a matter of time before American blood is once again spilled in the Middle East at the hands of the IRI,” the statement reads.

It concludes by stating that strength is “the only language” the theocratic regime comprehends. 

“No more hollow statements and empty threats,” it reads. “Maximum pressure from the United States of America worked and it is the only language the IRI understands. Peace through strength – not through weakness.”

In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Wednesday, Iranian Americans for Liberty Executive Director Bryan E. Leib called on the president to cease failed diplomacy efforts with the authoritarian regime and “get tough” instead.

“President Biden needs to publicly admit that diplomacy with the Iranian Regime has failed,” he said. “His appeasement policy has only further emboldened this Regime to increase their direct and indirect support of terrorism.” 

“The time is now for President Biden to get tough with the Mullahs in Tehran,” he added.

Founded last year, Iranian Americans for Liberty describes itself as a “bipartisan community of Iranian Americans working to strengthen and support US foreign policy and national security solutions that bring democracy, human rights accountability, and freedom of speech to Iranians living under the oppressive, totalitarian Islamic Republic Regime in Iran.”

In response to the attack, which took place near the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all oil passes and only days before the swearing-in of Iran’s new president and notorious executioner Ebrahim Raisi, the White House began consulting with the U.K., Romania, and Israel.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is confident Iran was behind the attack.

“We’ve conducted a thorough review and we’re confident that Iran carried out this attack,” he said.

However, the Biden administration is still ruling out ending Iranian nuclear deal negotiations, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters rejoining the nuclear deal with Iran is in America’s national interest.

On Wednesday, U.K. military chief General Sir Nick Carter said Iran made a “big mistake” targeting the tanker, saying the Islamist regime must be called out for its “very reckless behaviour.”

In Israel, officials blasted the attacks, warning the Islamic republic of harsh consequences.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a warning to Iran, stating, “They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over,” 

“We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone,” the premier said. “Iran knows the price that we’ll exact when anyone threatens our security.”

Bennett also slammed the European Union over the planned attendance of a top diplomat at Raisi’s upcoming swearing-in ceremony.

“Raisi is the most extreme Iranian present to date — and the competition is tough. I say from here to the EU: You can’t talk about human rights and at the same time pay homage to a murderer, a hangman, who assassinated hundreds of regime opponents,” Bennett said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid noted, “the need to respond severely to the attack.”

“Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that affects the whole world,” he said. “We can never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also harms freedom of navigation.”

Lapid also referred to the attacks as “an assault on global trade routes,” as he urged the international community to impose economic sanctions and “operational activities against the Revolutionary Guard.”

“The masks are coming off, and no one can pretend they don’t know the character of the Iranian regime,” said one Israeli official. 

On Tuesday, five to six armed Iranian-backed forces were reported to have hijacked a tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to the Reuters news agency, which quoted two security maritime sources.

Released audio of the incident detailed a conversation between the crew of the hijacked tanker and the UAE Coast Guard. 

The hijackers left the vessel Wednesday morning, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported.

Israeli American journalist Caroline Glick criticized the Biden administration for its constant “appeasement” in the face of Iranian threats.

“The Biden administration only has one policy on Iran: appeasement,” she wrote, posting a video of State Department Spokesman Ned Price unable to name an action Iran could take that would end negotiations.

“It will consider no other policy,” she added.

The incidents come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over failing nuclear deal negotiations, with commercial shipping in the region finding itself caught in the crosshairs. 

With an eye on nuclear weapons and through support for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis in Yemen, Iran continues to be a growing global threat to the interests of many countries.

Last week, homegrown protests raged against the hardline Islamist regime, with demonstrations calling for the regime’s fall and death to its Islamic rulers, as more and more Iranians speak out against the Islamic Republic’s abuses.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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