WASHINGTON -- Lt. Col. James Carafano, vice president for The Heritage Foundation's Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, released the following response to the successful U.S. operation Thursday to eliminate Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other leading Iranian-affiliated terrorist operatives:
“The reported deaths of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani and the Iraqi commander of the militia that killed an American last week was a bold and decisive military action made possible by excellent intelligence and the courage of America’s service members. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), led by Suleimani, was responsible for the deaths of more than 600 Americans in Iraq between 2003-2011, and countless more injured. He was a chief architect behind Iran’s continuing reign of terror in the region. This strike against one of the world’s most odious terrorists is no different than the mission which took out Osama bin Laden – it is, in fact, even more justifiable since he was in a foreign country directing terrorist attacks against Americans. His death is a huge loss for Iran’s regime and its Iraqi proxies, and a major operational and psychological victory for the United States.
“Going forward, the Trump administration must keep its maximum pressure strategy in place. What the administration must offer now is firm diplomacy backed by the continuing, credible threat of the use of military force. President Trump has wisely shown that he will act with the full powers of his office when American interests are threatened, and the extremist regime in Tehran would be wise to take notice.”
For more information on how the Trump administration can enhance the pressure campaign against the regime, check out the following report from Heritage's Jim Phillips, senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs, from Dec. 30: U.S. Should Boost Deterrence Against Iran