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BREAKING: US Navy Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Military

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2021 1:00 pm

BREAKING: US Navy Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Military

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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April 28, 2021 1:00 pm

In breaking news, the United States military has fired warning shots at Iranian Revolutionary guard vessels in the Persian Gulf. This is the first time in 4 years we've had to fire shots towards Iranian vessels. This marks a clear escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Our team discussing this major development includes ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, former Secretary of State and ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs Mike Pompeo and ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy Ric Grenell.

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Breaking news, the U.S. military has to fire warning shots at Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Persian Gulf in the first time in four years. We're joined today by our very own former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Acting Director of National Intelligence, Rick Renaud. Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live. Phone lines are open for your questions right now. Call 1-800-684-3110.

And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. I'll take you back, you know, four or five years and you may remember a number of occasions where there were these altercations. Thankfully they didn't get, there was the one that led to our troops being held, kidnapped under the Obama administration. But these other altercations between our vessels in the, whether you want to call it the Arabian Gulf, Persian Gulf, you could pick the term based off what country you're talking to at the time.

But a lot of people know it's the Persian Gulf because of the Persian Gulf War. And so you remember there would be times where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast boats would kind of cut off our vessels, whether it's coast guard vessel or navy vessel. And they would cause these kind of situations to get reported because they are, they're close, they're dangerous.

They're right, you have to take maneuvers to get out of the way. Well, it escalated again. Remember this happened last week.

It happened again earlier this week. Now we know the report is that the U.S. vessels had to fire warning shots. So it's being, it's escalating right now in the Persian Gulf. It's a very dangerous situation for our sailors to be in because, again, these are boats that are cutting them off.

And we see the footage of it, you can see the images of it. So we're taking that now the next step, which is firing weaponry, which is a warning shot. But of course, anytime you're firing weaponry, things can escalate.

They already are very quickly. This is the first time it's had to be done in four years. It happened once under the early years of President Trump, 2017.

Hadn't happened since then. And under Biden, we've seen the altercation last week and now the need for the use of force this week. And that's while they're trying to negotiate and get back into the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal. Now, the last time a Navy vessel filed a warning shot in the Persian Gulf and an incident involving Iran was July of 2017, when the USS Thunderbolt fired a warning shot off towards an Iranian Revolutionary Guard warship. Now, interestingly, regulations that were issued last year now give the Navy commanders the authority to take lawful defensive measures against vessels in the Mideast that come within 100 meters, or 100 yards, rather, of their warships. Now, the idea that the command has the authority to fire is significant, Wes, your colonel of the United States Army retired, because that gives the on-ground, well, in the sea commander some control over the destiny that they don't get picked up and be taken captive. Exactly, yeah. This is really a force protection issue, as we call it in the military.

And so the commander of the vessel has the inherent right of self-defense. And think about these warning shots. They come both in 17 and the ones that happened this week after the Iranian fast boats refused to respond to bridge-to-bridge radio traffic.

They refused to change course, even when they blew an alarm whistle saying, you know, you are in our way, get out of the way. Only after those two things, there was no response, did they fire warning shots. This is a volatile situation. Yeah, no, I think it's a very volatile situation. And it's a situation where, again, you have these competing interests, and we're going to get into this with Rick Renells joining us next, then Mike Pompeo, back-to-back, live on secular radio. So what you have to look at is this situation, which is, I think, again, on the one hand, you have Zarif saying, oh, I wish that that audio wasn't released. So all of those people in the liberal media who said, hey, why do you believe what the Iranians are putting out, no one thinks that the Iranians put out that tape of Zarif talking to his colleague. He's caused a lot of domestic conflict. In fact, they've got a Presidential election coming up in June. He was a rumored potential candidate.

This may have thrown that off as well. We're going to stay live during the break, by the way, because I want to talk to our viewers on Facebook, but go ahead. Yeah, I just want to encourage everybody to support the work of the ACLJ. Until the end of this week, until Friday, we have a matching challenge until midnight, the end of April. Double the impact your donation at ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org. I encourage you to donate today. It's a critical time. So much of our work right now all over the world, ACLJ.org.

Be right back on Sekulow with Rick Riddell. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support. For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift.

Welcome back to Secular. We are joined right now by our senior advisor for national security and foreign policy, Rick Grenell. And we've got a lot to talk about with Rick. I want to talk right off the bat, Rick, this escalation in the Persian Gulf between Iran and U.S. forces. We've now had to take a situation where there were these reported incidents, but no shots fired now. Warning shots have been fired by the United States for the first time in four years.

It only happened once under the Trump administration early on in 2017, but it happened what it felt like fairly often under the Obama-Biden years. And here we are back again with this release of the tape, this audio to The New York Times. And now, again, Iran taking aggressive actions against our troops in the waterways there. Your thoughts? Well, first of all, my first thought about the waterway is thank God that the Americans have to get to care less about the waterway simply because we've had this explosion of our own energy sources, liquid natural gas. We're trying to get off Middle East oil, which is fantastic under the Trump administration.

We really made huge progress there. But make no mistake, when the Iranians pick fights in the region with us or our allies, the Americans are going to have to respond. We have to make sure that they understand that. Interesting enough, though, there's this growing sense in Europe that America is withdrawing from that region, that we are caring less than we have in the past about violations in the straits. And so the Europeans, I think, are getting a lot more concerned, and we've seen that with some reporting from the intelligence agencies out of Germany.

Yeah, I want to talk about that one, Rick, because German intelligence agencies, specifically out of the state of Bavaria, you, of course, were our U.S. ambassador to Germany, so you know the situation well. They have issued a report that says the Islamic Republic of Iran has not ceased. This is not a shock, but now it's confirmed it strived to obtain weapons of mass destruction during 2020. And, of course, they talk about proliferation with North Korea, Syria, and Pakistan. But let me tell you what had me the most concern, and you probably experienced it firsthand, and that is the Iranians' chief strategic ally in the Middle East is Hezbollah.

We know that. So Iran's a proxy for Hezbollah, or Hezbollah's a proxy for Iran. They have reported 30 members in Bavaria and 1,050 Hezbollah members across Germany. Now, it's now deemed an outlawed group in Germany.

They're not there for a good purpose. What is happening there? Well, first of all, let's give a little perspective. Bavaria is like Texas. It's a conservative part of Germany.

It's governed a little bit independently, like a state. And the Bavarian intelligence services are very good. The fact that this reporter from the Jerusalem Post, Benny Wienthal, Benjamin Wienthal, got this information is really good. I would instruct people to follow Ben Wienthal.

He lives in Jerusalem. He's an American, and he speaks German, and he's really, really good. I have to say that this is very concerning, but, Jay, one of the big things about German intelligence is that German politicians really don't pay attention to it. There's not a system where they're regularly briefed. It's up to the German intelligence services to get really aggressive with law enforcement and politicians to do something. There isn't a system in Germany where the politicians automatically get briefed and listen and react. So this report should be taken very seriously by the Western Alliance.

I want to go to Harry Hutchinson to just follow up what you said, because he reacted as soon as you said that, Rick. The fact that they're not listening to their own intelligence, the state's intelligence reports, kind of tells you where Europe says that. Absolutely. So the elites that lead the European governments are all too willing to cravenly capitulate to Iranian aggression and to reward Iranian aggression. And Iran remains an international threat, particularly in the realm of both terror and weapons of mass destruction.

And I think at the end of the day, this reflects European antipathy toward the nation state of Israel. Go ahead, Rick. I see you're commenting.

Go. I was just going to say he's exactly right. We have this problem in Europe and specifically with Germany that politicians somehow are afraid to get briefed on intelligence. They feel like it's dirty or too detailed or it's just things that they shouldn't be dealing with. They leave it up to the intelligence services. But the intelligence services, you know, they basically just come to the Americans and to the British and to others. And so we're left to be the inner agency the Americans are for European governments. We have to go to people like Chancellor Merkel and go to individuals in the German government and say, did you see your own intelligence report at nine times out of 10?

They say, actually, I hadn't seen it. And so if we don't bring it up and say Hezbollah is living amongst you and now you're exactly right, Jay. Hezbollah is outlawed in Germany. And so they have the tools. They should act quickly. They should arrest these individuals and the rest of Europe should follow Germany. The question is, will they take that kind of action, Rick? So when we confront them with the intel, so they try to ignore it, then we confront them with the intel. Do they take the action? I mean, your time there, like if they found out about this terrorist group or cell, they designated them as part of a Hezbollah terrorist group. So they've got, as you said, the tools to do it, the power to do it. But will they or is it all eyes on money and deals with Iran?

Jordan, you'd be a great ambassador because you just totally nailed half of my job as ambassador to Germany, which is you can present them the information. You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make them drink. And so usually what they do is they say, well, we need more information or did you get this? And then we get stuck because we can't reveal sources and methods.

So I guess it comes down to this. The Iranians are obviously up to no good while they're trying to negotiate with us, the United States, to get back into this nuclear deal, which they're never going to follow. And then they go after, they circle the war trips.

Yeah, go ahead. And the Europeans know it. Exactly the point is that the Europeans understand. Remember that when the Europeans give their statement on Iran, we share the same goal with the Europeans. The Europeans always say our goal is to deny Iran a nuclear weapon.

Where we differ is on the tactics. How aggressively to be the Europeans want engagement. We feel we tried engagement.

Engagement doesn't work. We're getting duped when we continue with engagement, because now do the Israeli locker information that was uncovered by the Israelis. We know the Iranians lied to John Kerry about the number of centrifuges, about the enrichment activities, the places that they were in Richmond.

All of that was a lie. And we built the JCPOA on the assumptions that we had because the Iranians told us something. It boils down to John Kerry trusted the Iranians and he's been proven over and over not to trust the Iranians. You know, what is your thoughts on this whole situation with John Kerry that's going on right now? I mean, he is on the National Security Council, so he's got a high-ranking position within the Biden administration.

They're saying, of course, nothing. They're circling their wagons to protect him. Meanwhile, you had Zarif, a tape was released, saying, oh, John Kerry told me about Israeli covert action that was taking place. This is not the first time.

There's lots of evidence. John Kerry has been doing this undercutting of U.S. policies since he's been out of office. It's outrageous. If any Trump administration official did it now, they would be hauled in by DOJ.

Here's my reaction to Jay. Where is the Department of Justice? Yeah, well, you know, they're doing other things. I mean, that's the truth. It's not a priority. And when it's not a priority, let's see where elections have consequences.

When it's not a priority, guess what? This kind of stuff happens. I mean, we should be worried. We should be concerned for our troops that this kind of situation, Rick, in Iran with the warships took place just a few days ago. That has to have Americans concerned.

And there needs to be an American reaction, a tough reaction, so that the Iranians know that the Biden administration is not weak. All right, Rick Grenell, senior advisor to the American Center for Law and Justice. We appreciate your analysis on this, especially on the German side of this. You know it better than anybody. You're the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Thank you so much. All right, folks, this is exactly why your support of the American Center for Law and Justice is so critical. Yeah, I mean, you get inside information on this kind of operation of the intel world.

And I know a lot of you support the work of the ACLJ. This is an area that you're probably very interested in, and you don't get that kind of information unless you talk to people who have done it, spent their careers in as ambassadors and then in the intelligence agencies and trying to work with intel. And I think what Rick shares each day that he's on with us is something that is new. It's something you never heard before. For instance, the fact that in Germany you have these various intelligence agencies, some state run, not all part of the federal services, that the politicians there don't like consuming the intel. So oftentimes the U.S. is taking the intel from the Germans to the German leaders and having them push.

I mean, you're not going to hear that kind of information and explanation of how this works, why it works the way it does. So you are learning as we are dealing with current events, current events that impact the United States of America. This is why, again, you support the work of the ACLJ. You just heard from Rick Rinnell, the team member of the ACLJ. Mike Pompeo is about to join us, a team member of the ACLJ. Support our work at ACLJ.org. Double the impact of your donation. You have until Friday at midnight to do just that.

Donate today. ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back on Sekulow. Pro-life battle through your support and the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes 100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Music Welcome back to Sekulow, and we are joined now by Rick Grenell. Now we are joined by our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is at our offices in Washington, D.C., in our studio there.

Mike, great to see you, as always. I want to get your thoughts immediately on this escalation we saw in the Persian Gulf between the U.S. vessels having to fire warning shots at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Hadn't happened since – last time was in the early years of the Trump administration, 2017, and so it had been four years since we'd had to see this kind of escalation between the U.S. and Iran.

Well, Jordan, it's great to be with you. And it's unfortunate because you can see that what we've been saying, that weakness begets war, and peace comes from strong deterrence, is already starting to manifest itself. The Iranians are clearly testing this administration. They did the same thing to us. We responded by making clear to the Iranians that it was unacceptable for them to put their ships, their weaponry in positions that could put our Marines, our soldiers, our sailors at risk. And we communicated that very clearly to them.

They responded by saying, we hear you, and then their actions on the ground demonstrated that as well. It's unfortunate that already this administration has shown sufficient weakness, right? Even while they're negotiating in Vienna, they're sending Coast Guard cutters to challenge and threaten our ships.

I hope this administration is able to write this. I hope they're able to make clear that you're not going to attack an American soldier or sailor, and you're not going to put their lives in harm's way. We talked about this the other day, Mr. Secretary, and that was this whole situation with Zarif and the release of that tape about his conversations with John Kerry. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly was going on between John Kerry and Zarif, and I think the American people have a right to know at this point.

So here's my best theory. I think Secretary Kerry's probably best positioned to explain it, but let me give you my theory. My theory is that Secretary Kerry believed he could signal and communicate to the Iranians that if they could just hang on, the maximum pressure campaign would be released. That if they could hang on, if they could keep the regime intact and acting in the way that it has been acting for all of these years, that come January 2021, things would be very, very different.

And you're seeing that play out. You're seeing the leverage that we created for this administration being squandered, thrown away, all for no benefit to American security in Vienna. They're having these negotiations. We'll give billions of dollars to the Iranians, and I think they had signaled this.

I think that Secretary Kerry had green-lighted what has happened. And I think he was telling them this all along, that undermined the maximum pressure campaign. You can imagine, you're driving down the road, you may be out of gas and you find an off-ramp, but if you think, if I can just hang on a little bit longer, I'll get cheaper gas down the road, I think that's what the Iranians saw, and they were able to hang on in spite of the fact that we took over 90 percent of their foreign exchange reserves away and over 90 percent of their crude oil revenue away.

They were determined to try and make it to January. The election went the way that they hoped it would go, and now they're reaping the benefits of that. The left is trying to push back, Secretary Pompeo, on this idea that, why are we on the right accepting this leak from Iran? Couldn't it be Iran trying to play with the United States? I think this leak really weakens Zarif. It shows that he's now had to put out statements domestically inside Iran to try and make good on this. He's put out videos of Soleimani, and because he was very critical of the Revolutionary Guard in this. I don't think it's Iranian propaganda that this got released, but I'd like your thoughts on that. I don't think Foreign Minister Zarif had any intention of this being released the way he spoke. He clearly believed this was a conversation that would remain private.

It could be that others in the Iranian leadership, the military folks, the IRGC, maybe one of them got a hold of a copy and decided to release it to undermine Zarif. Let's be clear, Jay, Jordan. Zarif's never been an important player in the Iranian firmament. He's always been a sideshow.

He's always been the guy who wore a nice suit, spoke perfect English, and traveled to the salons of Brussels in New York, and met with East Coast establishment elites and elites in the foreign policy community in Europe, and put the happy face on a terror regime. We should have never been talking to him. We should have never had negotiations with him.

We're negotiating with him and his team again in Vienna. Given what he said about his fecklessness, his inability to influence Iranian policy, why on earth are we sitting with the Iranian foreign ministry? Why are we not talking to the Iranian decision-makers if it's the case that we want to change the way that we're going to deal with Iran? Of course, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard doesn't even report to the President of Iran.

They report directly to the Supreme Leader of the Ayatollah. You were in Congress last week with the Maximum Pressure Act. Tell us what that's going to do in the past. It's real simple. It's going to place the demands that I elicited in May of 2018, that I elicited in May of 2018.

They are simple 12 demands. Behave like a normal nation, and the United States will recognize you as such, and we'll begin to deal with you on a commercial basis, and we'll bring you back into the community of nations. This would ensconce into law the sanctions regime that we put forward. This ought to be bipartisan.

No one should unsanction a terrorist if they're still a terrorist. It will put the sanctions regime into U.S. law. It will make clear our expectations of Iran, and I hope that it will do so in a way that is bipartisan. I know there are Democrats who don't want Iran's genocidal incentives in Israel, its desire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. I know there are Democrats who share this concern with the Republicans. I hope they'll sign on to this legislation. It would prevent this administration from undoing all of the good work that we did during our four years in the Middle East.

100%. Let me change gears a little bit. There's a piece you did that's up at aclj.org dealing with religious freedom as a central issue, not a side issue in foreign policy. We are, this week, been filing a series of what's called Universal Periodic Reviews with the United Nations, highlighting religious persecution in countries around the globe. I think coming from you as the former Secretary of State on how important that is for us to be engaged in that, but to speak out for these people that cannot speak out for themselves.

This is really important work, Jay. The work that the ACLJ does there is really central to helping the U.S. government understand what's taking place in these pockets around the world where Christians and, frankly, people of all faiths are being persecuted. We lifted this issue. It had been a back burner issue, frankly, for Republican Presidents as well. We made it a real priority because we understood that not only is it the moral thing to do to ensure that every human being has the right to practice their faith as they see fit, but it really matters for American security as well.

There are nations that have more religious freedom, the capacity for multi-faith nations to get along with each other and not break into ethnic or ethno-religious strife. If we can get that religious freedom component right, there's less risk to the United States as well. We had it as a priority. I regret that this administration is putting the Green New Deal ahead of religious freedom.

It won't redound to the security of the Americans. And that's why we're doubling up our efforts at the ACLJ to get this word out on this and to file the necessary documents with the governing international bodies. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, thank you for being with us, and thank you again, Senior Counsel, for the ACLJ.

Your insight and knowledge here is invaluable. We appreciate it. Folks, your support for the ACLJ allows this to happen. To have a former Secretary of State as a Senior Counsel to the ACLJ for Global Affairs, this is a big deal. It's a big moment for us at the ACLJ. But it also gives us some real depth and some real experience.

Your support makes a huge, huge difference. Yeah, you're getting information again because of our format of our broadcast that we're able to really have these conversations and we're able to carry them on through the week a couple times a week. And really get inside the news that we know you care about. We know that you're concerned about Iran. We know that you're concerned about Iran for the United States, for Israel, for our security, for the security of our troops, the security of the world.

Especially when you've got these reports looking that they're still working on, no surprise, but trying to get a weapon of mass destruction that would threaten not just Israel and our other allies of the region, but Europe and ultimately the United States. So we're able to bring in these experts. Support our work. Double the impact of your donation today at ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. We are taking your phone calls, too. It's been a packed first half hour of the broadcast, 1-800-684-3110. That's 1-800-684-3110. So if you want to join us now with your thoughts, that's 1-800-684-3110.

But just to recap, so where did we start on today's show? It was at the U.S. for the first time in four years. It's had to fire warning shots, an intense encounter with Iranian vessels just between our U.S. vessels and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. That same IRGC that their foreign minister complains about as they really run the country, and he has no say. You just heard from Mike Pompeo say Zarif is a side player, just a pawn to put out to the United States. But don't tell John Kerry that. Don't tell Joe Biden that. Don't tell our current U.S. administration that. They think if he speaks, he's speaking on behalf of the Islamic Republic. But what we now know is that he is more in the dark than a lot of our own officials on what's happening inside his own country, which is no surprise in a country that doesn't have a free press, that probably keeps a very close watch on him, because he's in the U.S. so much, to make sure he's not doing anything that they would find objectionable. And again, he's a face, because he happens to speak very clear English, and like we always talk about, the coffee, the tea.

Mike Pompeo said it's the salons of Europe is what they love to be in, and to chat and talk about diplomacy, but actually getting anything done that is beneficial to the world, that's something very different. What comes after a warning shot, though? So the United States Navy had to fire warning shots on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval ship. So Colonel Smith, what comes after a warning shot? That is the last thing that happens before you fire on the vessel. And again, as we said earlier, this followed the U.S. vessel trying to arrange contact, bridge to bridge radio, no response from the Iranians, then an audible warning on a loud whistle, no change of course on the Iranian vessel, then the warning shots. And after that, the only recourse left is to fire at the vessel, and you do this for the safety of your own crew. Because we're talking about 62, 68 yards.

Think about the length of a football field, just more than half of a football field. The U.S. vessel is a huge vessel. You can't stop quickly. You can't turn quickly. You're there to protect your vessel, protect your crew. So after the warning shots, that's what would happen. Here's the thing.

That would be very regrettable. It could get real dicey if you start shooting at the Iranian boats. But on the other hand, these are not little ski boats the Iranians are using.

They're armed with automatic weapons, and they're armed with anti-ship missiles. And Andy, we said this earlier in the first segment, and clear violation of international law. You're in international waterways. Maritime law protects that. International right of passage protects that. Yet the Iranians were provoking. So not only is there a violation of war powers, basically, but also international law. It is a violation, clearly, of international law. We're in international waters when this occurred. The Iranians had no right to approach the American vessel the way they did in a threatening manner.

The American vessel responded properly. But again, it illustrates that the supreme leader in the Revolutionary Guard, and Zarif, to the extent he has any power, which I don't think he has any whatsoever, are absolutely oblivious to the parameters of international law and the dictates of how civilized nations operate. And here we are, sitting down in Vienna, having negotiations again with them, trying to bring them back to the table on this JCPOA, when they have no intention of regarding it as anything but a piece of paper, if we get back into this deal with the Iranians.

So wherever, whether it's in Vienna, whether it's in the Straits of Hormuz, wherever it is, the Iranian government today, led by the Ayatollah, is a terrorist regime which has no respect for international law. And they showed this in connection with the encounter that we just talked about in the Arabian Gulf. You know, folks, we've got a lot to talk about, too. We want to give you an opportunity to weigh in here, because we had a packed first segment with Rick Renell and then Mike Pompeo back to back.

Mike Pompeo is in our office in Washington, D.C., joining us from that studio. So I encourage you, give us a call at 1-800-684-3110. But most importantly, as we enter into the final half of the week, remember, you've got until Friday at midnight to double the impact your donation. It's a matching challenge month. It's where we've got a group of donors that will match dollar for dollar everything that's donated in the month of April. So you've got the opportunity to take a $25 donation, double the impact to ACLJ. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

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Dale on YouTuber. Why is this story not being covered by any major news networks? Now remember, New York Times broke this.

They broke it. And then there was this escalation inside the Persian Gulf. We've now seen a statement from Zarif for really the Iranian audience trying to explain away this conversation where he is attacking the Revolutionary Guard, which is a big no-no inside of Iran, in the lead up to an Iranian election for President on June 18th where he was actually considered a potential candidate as someone to be the face again of the Iranian government even though that President is very weak when there is an Ayatollah and that Ayatollah controls their biggest branch of their military, the Revolutionary Guard score, and the Guard score is not responsible to the President of Iran but to the Ayatollah. Now with this happening, Zarif's political chances don't look as good inside Iran, which means we might be looking at another hardliner, so someone more similar to Ahmadinejad, less like Rouhani, who's been pretty quietly – I mean, they're all hardliners. What we're talking about is going back to the time of the Ahmadinejad types. If you remember, the kind of rhetoric that they spewed was very hard.

The level of public executions was up extensively. I mean, they were flaunting who they were as the Islamic Republic. No, I think there's no question about that. I think one of the things that Mike Pompeo said was we have this – it's kind of like this dual view, and he called it, Harry, he said the elites, a phrase you like to use often, like meeting in the salons and having tea and coffee, but you don't get real policy. But now you've got an Islamic Republic that's radical already that could even become more radicalized while we're trying to do a negotiation with them while they're going after U.S. naval ships or Coast Guard ships. Obviously, and the U.S. government has incentivized the Iranian policy. So this is the first shooting incident in nearly four years. And so when President Trump came into office, America's enemies knew one thing, that there was a new sheriff in the office. Now America's enemies realize a brand new thing.

There is a new social worker in the Oval Office. And so essentially the Biden administration is encouraging Iranian aggression, Iranian terror, Iranian threats on American ships. And so it's really sad to note that members of the American State Department are negotiating with the Iranians.

They are sitting in cafes sipping espresso while American ships are being threatened, and this is simply a self-inflicted wound that places American soldiers in harm's way. And part of what makes our negotiations with Iran so difficult and potentially so dangerous, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons, is you really do have sort of a divided government, if you will, at a real level in Iran. You have their parliament basically and their President who are more or less figureheads. The real power lies with the Ayatollah Khamenei, and then he controls the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is totally separate from the Iranian military, so that it's unpredictable what they will do on any given day.

It would be really unpredictable as to what they would do with a nuclear weapon. There are basically two schools of thought in Iran. One, and this is represented largely in the Revolutionary Guard Corps, is they don't want the JCPOA. They would agree with many Americans on that.

They think it's flawed. They have no intention of keeping it. They don't want it. The other side, though, in Iran, represented by the more career politicians, is that they want it, but they perceive the Biden administration as being weak so that they believe if they negotiate from a position of strength, if they're hardliners, if they even attack U.S. vessels or harass U.S. vessels, that somehow or another the Biden administration is so weak and desperate for a deal that they will come to the table and lift all sanctions. So those two schools of thought in Iran make negotiations a lot more difficult. Andy, I was thinking also, you and I have seen firsthand Hamas, and Jordan has too, Hamas and Hezbollah in action on the borders in Syria, on the borders in Gaza, and Iran works with both Hamas and Hezbollah.

Sunni-Shia differences there make no difference to the Iranian regime in their exporting of terror. No, we have been actually under fire, Jay. If you remember, we were up in the Golan Heights and had to run for protection from Hezbollah fire. So, I mean, we have been in the forefront of this, and these are proxies for Iran. These are proxies for the Ayatollah.

This is proxies for his elite SS, which is what the Revolutionary Guard is analogous to, in my opinion. And so the real power here is the Iranian Ayatollah and his elite crew, and here we are presuming to negotiate with a person, Zarif and his group, as I said, in Vienna, who don't have the power, but I agree with what Professor Hutcheson said. We are enabling, through the exercise of a pusillanimous, weak policy, feckless policy toward Iran, we are reversing what President Trump did and showing them that there is a weakling in the White House, someone who is willing to count out to their aspirations for the nuclear weapon, which I predict they're going to get, because that's the way it's headed, and they don't realize, and a lot of people don't realize, how much the Trump administration did in portraying a position of power with respect to the Iranians and the Middle East generally as how you get through to them. I have no doubt that the Iranians are going to try to get a nuclear weapon and are developing nuclear weapons. I also have no doubt that the Israelis and the allies in the region now will not allow that weapon to come to fruition. But I'm perplexed politically, Jordan, on what Joe Biden's administration, President of the United States, is thinking while they take these overt acts at the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard, and then they do this.

They're very academic. It's like they have a checklist, and they think that the success is, okay, you know, in the first 100 days, do we do this, do we do that? It's all about, okay, we want to get back into the – and one of those check marks is getting back into the Iranian nuclear deal, just like one of the check marks was the Paris climate accord.

Okay, check that box. Can we check the Iran box? It's a lot of box checking, and if Iran knows that, knows that by this administration's just desire to be able to check this box and somehow claim a diplomatic victory. You know, a real diplomatic victory is getting a Gulf state, like the Trump administration was able to do in the Abraham Accords, to recognize the Jewish state of Israel's sovereignty and to get away to a peace agreement, an economic agreement, a trade agreement, and a tourism agreement, and allow Saudi Arabia, allow commercial Israeli aircraft to fly over Saudi Arabia. That's real deal making, and the media had to report on it. This is not – this deal is not a real deal from the last time.

It's not a real deal if it happens again this time. But what it does is it empowers the hardliners inside of Iran because it opens up resources. It provides them money.

Money is how they continue to hold on to power. You know, it's interesting. Listen to what Secretary Blinken had to say. I mean, this is unreal, about the leak of the Iranian tape. These things were so secret that they were all reported in the press at the time.

So it is utter nonsense. And it's really unfortunate that people continue to try and play politics with this. We still don't know when this conversation happened. So we don't know if the press reports were out or not. But second, what he's not addressing is why are we engaged in negotiations with a guy who is so in the dark? A guy who is so low down the totem pole, he doesn't even deserve, I mean, to say this, but I mean, frankly, to be even speaking to our climate czar.

He's not high up enough. If he didn't know – and let's say Blinken's right. It was in the news. But he's so guarded by what he's able to see that even though he travels the world, he doesn't – I mean, this is – the idea is we're not dealing with the power makers inside of Iran. You know what the Trump administration did? They killed him. Mike Pompeo. We killed the power maker inside of Iran, Soleimani. And there hasn't really been an emergence of a real – there are people that have taken that position, but not like him.

The lack of playing nine-dimensional Ted. Well, we're playing with basically the lowest level they've got of diplomats. And we're acting like that's a big deal. They're one guy that they send to the English-speaking world. Yeah.

For show as much as anything else. I think of the position of foreign minister to a President who doesn't have the power because there's a religious dictator. Right. People have his own military. Yeah. That reports directly to him. Right.

So you need to understand what you've got. Now, what are we doing about it? Well, we can't dictate foreign policy of the United States.

That would be inappropriate. What we can do is engage international bodies, including the United Nations. And when there's violations of international law, we can notify. And we can get the information out, and we can also write about it. We can also take legal positions at various international bodies. Because there's not many organizations in the world that have actually appeared multiple times before the International Criminal Court and the Hague. We have.

And I'm going to tell you something. Your support of the ACLJ allows that to happen. So what I want to encourage you to do right now, in our last three days of our Matching Challenge campaign, is donate to the ACLJ. Picked up a little ground yesterday.

We have a stretch goal we're trying to reach. Your support of the ACLJ makes a huge difference. It's of course tax-deductible. Any match you donate, we get a matching gift for. Go to ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org.

Back with more in a moment. I want to show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

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Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Sekulow. We're taking your comments too on Facebook, on Twitter. It was a packed show today already because we were joined by Rick Rinnell and Mike Pompeo, we've got our full team here as well at the ACLJ, talking about this Iran issue, which I think why we saw that blink in the news, why we keep seeing this, they don't like Iran being in the news for any reason other than if it's their deal. So if it's German intel on Hezbollah and they're looking for a weapon of mass destruction, if it's having to fire warning shots, which even the Biden administration had to authorize, whatever the rules of engagement have, maybe they've changed, maybe they haven't had time to change. Maybe these were the Trump rules of engagement that haven't been altered yet by the Biden administration because you heard from Mike Pompeo, you heard from Rick Rinnell that our troops have been no longer, under the Trump administration, where this idea is you're not going to be taken, captured, you're not going to be kidnapped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and taken to Iran, like what happened under the Obama years. They hate these stories in the news. I'm sure they're mad at the New York Times. They're trying to spin that.

What it says to me is this. Tony Blinken's, the top person he would speak to would be Zarif. That would be his counterpart in Iran. What we learned from Zarif's lead cause, he's nothing. He is a low-level figure who is kept in the dark on foreign policy, on military decisions, has no power, and is just a vessel for Iran to put in U.S. universities and go have tea and coffee with John Kerry. But also, it just poses to me is that you are making the deal then with the devil himself because if Zarif and the Rouhani's of the world have no power whatsoever, which they don't, they couldn't stop the execution of the Olympians, of the wrestler. They don't have any answer on that. They say, that's the judiciary. I have no role in that.

We know he has no role in anything. Who are you actually dealing with means you're making a deal with the Islamic Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which runs terror groups to attack also Americans. So one on YouTube has a great question. He said, I wonder what this will do to Israel and U.S. relations moving forward if the Biden administration does nothing and keeps John Kerry in his position to play both sides of the fence. And I think I'll start, well, I'm going to let everybody talk about this.

I'll start with Andy. I think the reality is we've done negotiations, bilateral, trilateral negotiations in Israel. I just can't see the Israelis allowing this to just proliferate. I do not see the Israelis allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I just don't see it.

I've said this before. Unfortunately, Israel has to do the United States' dirty work because Israel has to survive. The holy state of Israel has to survive. And the way that they do it is that they show the force and the determination and the persistence to protect themselves against the Iranians that the United States does not do for itself. And Israel is going to be the last bastion against Iran as the way we're going with the Biden administration right now.

And that's a sad commentary, Jay. Harry, I was going to ask you this from a policy perspective. I mean, at this point, the Iranians flaunted the JCPOA, the Iranian deal. They were working on a nuclear weapon. Europe knew it. They did nothing about it. They still want a deal.

And now we're falling into the same trap. Absolutely. And I think this still reflects a deep-seated dislike, in my opinion, for Israel. Remember John Kerry said to the Israelis that Israel can be either a democratic state or a Jewish state.

It cannot be both. And so I think the John Kerrys of the world would like to see Israel as a Jewish state disappear and become a purely secular state. And so as part of this grand scheme in the mind of John Kerry and members of the State Department, they are willing to risk Israel's future.

And they are willing to make a deal, essentially, with the devil, with respect to Iran, and allow Iran to perhaps gain a nuclear weapon. I don't know if we – that bites from years ago. I remember the bite, though.

Boy, do I remember it. And he said you could be either a Jewish state or a democratic state. You can't be both. And that sends shockwaves through Israel's allies, except it was coming from the United States Secretary of State. But they also – you know, the Iranians were willing to engage militarily against a U.S. warship. Yeah, they're emboldened.

They really are. They perceive the Biden administration as being weak. And among the elitists in America and some of the politicians, the bureaucrats in D.C., there is this anti-Israel sentiment, Jay, that really at its core is anti-Semitic. And so they're against Israel, and so you have what Mike Pompeo said so well on Fox News, and that is while he's briefing President Trump about Iranian activities and the threat of Iran, John Kerry apparently is briefing Iranian officials about our ally Israel. Let's play that bite.

Bite 26. While I was briefing President Trump, Kerry was briefing Zarif on intelligence that related to Israeli operations. I hope that's not true. John Kerry needs to come forward. Secretary Kerry needs to speak to the American people and explain to them why he was meeting with Zarif. We know he did that.

He's admitted as much. Yeah, I mean, again, I think that we're there to keep trying to misdirect us to the fact that – and members of Congress are looking to get to the bottom of this, too. They want to misdirect us and think that the only time this possibly could have happened is when John Kerry was secretary of state. But we know what John Kerry was doing because we filed a FOIA on it that John Kerry was engaging in shadow diplomacy with the Iranians and with others, potentially, during the Trump administration. And so they want to misdirect and say, oh, well, this must have probably been secretary of state. And listen, I don't know which is worse.

They're both bad, but if you were doing it outside of your role as secretary of state without any authorization, you are really in serious – you could be in serious trouble. The problem is we have a DOJ who is turning the other way on all of these issues. They're not looking at any of the intel issues.

They're looking purely at domestic issues. It's gone – it's very similar to what we saw in the Obama years where you basically have the Civil Rights Division, which plays an important role inside the DOJ. It's not the only division inside the DOJ, but they are running it right now.

Yeah, no, I think that's right. And, you know, Andy, you're a former DOJ official, and you've worked with – as an assistant U.S. attorney. Look, the attorney general sets priorities, and he set a priority here. Well, the priority is certainly not John Kerry or the violation potentially of various laws. And I'm not just talking about the Logan Act. I'm talking about the Espionage Act and other things. But that is obviously not the attorney general's priority.

The priority is to do something else. And that's set by ultimately the Biden administration. And Joe Biden himself is ultimately responsible for what his administration does or doesn't do, and that includes the Justice Department. After all, it is a unitary executive, and Joe Biden sets the policy and calls the shots. And they're not being called in a way that calls John Kerry to account, are they?

No, they're not. All right, folks, that's going to do it for the broadcast today. It's going to be – tomorrow we're going to discuss the State of the Union, because Joe Biden's giving that speech tonight. Yeah, that's the joint session speech, technically the State of the Union, because you don't do that for the first time.

But it is that speech. Tim Scott, Senator Scott from South Carolina, is doing the Republican response. So we'll have all of that coverage for you tomorrow on Sekulow. Remember, you've got until Friday at midnight. You can do it right now to double the impact of your donation to the ACLJ. So if you're in a position financially where you can donate to the ACLJ, I mean, $10, $20, $50, we have a group of donors that will match your donation dollar for dollar as long as you make it by midnight at the end of this week. So donate today at ACLJ.org and double the impact of your donation. I mean, a $50 donation to the ACLJ right now at ACLJ.org is literally like $100 for the ACLJ. But all you're charged on your credit card will be that $50 donation. It's tax deductible to ACLJ. Donate today.

We will talk to you tomorrow. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 18:58:32 / 2023-11-22 19:21:43 / 23

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