“On the contrary, ‘terrorism’ as that term is commonly understood, stems mostly from the actions of Saudi Arabia, which routinely promotes acts of terror through its radical madrassahs. Those madrassahs indoctrinate poor youth around the globe in the ultra-violent Wahhabi doctrines,” Sen. Black told the Tasnim news agency.
He stressed, "The real sponsor of global terror is Saudi Arabia, not Iran."
Richard Black represents the 13th District encompassing parts of both Loudoun and Prince Williams Counties. He was previously a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2006. Black was a career military officer. He served in both the US Marines and in the US Army JAG Corps. He served a total of 31 years active and reserve, rising from the rank of private to full colonel. He is a graduate of the US Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and Naval Aviator’s Flight School. Black served as a pilot in the US Marines during the Vietnam War, earning the Purple Heart medal. He flew 269 combat helicopter missions with HMM-362’s “Ugly Angels” squadron, which operated out of Ky Ha, Vietnam.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: US President Donald Trump on October 13 refused to certify the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. What is your take on his speech?
Sen. Black: President Trump’s refusal to certify the 2015 nuclear deal has caused considerable confusion and consternation around the world. The Joint Comprehensive Plan was not a treaty between the United States and Iran; it was an agreement among the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Iran, and the European Union. Once those parties agreed, the deal was sanctioned by a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council. Except for the United States, no other nation appears willing to withdraw from the agreement. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced that even the US would remain in the deal for the time being. However, the President has asked Congress to express its views on the agreement, and the US Senate appears almost evenly divided on the issue. So at this point, no one knows whether the US Congress will agree to modify the plan of action. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the other signatories from Europe, Russia, and China will fully cooperate with the United States in tightening the sanctions.
Tasnim: “The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement, for example on two speared occasions they have exceeded the limit of 130 metric tons of heavy water until recently, the Iranian regime has also failed to meet our expectation in its operation of advanced centrifuges,” Trump said. This is while the IAEA has confirmed Iran’s compliance with the deal for eight times. What is behind this denial?
Sen. Black: I have little doubt that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. The UN inspectors, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all agreed that Iran had complied with the terms of the agreement. Even after President Trump refused to certify compliance, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, surprisingly announced on October 15, 2017, that Tehran is complying with the nuclear accord.
Tasnim: It seems that all of this is happening because Trump does not like the Iran nuclear deal. He doesn’t like it because it was Barack Obama’s triumph, because he doesn’t like Iran, because his friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t like Iran and doesn’t like the Iran deal, and because he, Donald Trump said that he would kill the deal, and if he doesn’t, his “base” will be upset, What do you think?
Sen. Black: President Trump is critical of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action because he feels it is unreasonable to have an agreement that expires within ten or fifteen years. He also feels that it should be expanded to encompass long-range missile technology. It did not help when missiles that Iran launched bore the inscription, “Death to Israel.” Undoubtedly, Benjamin Netanyahu and hawkish elements within the Republican and Democrat parties were critical of the deal from the beginning. They will all continue demanding modifications.
Tasnim: Shortly after Trump’s speech, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE welcomed his decision not to certify the agreement. Trump called Iran a “rogue” state and repeated that Tehran sponsors terrorism and continues “aggression in the Middle East and all around the world.” What do you think?
Sen. Black: I do not agree with those who refer to Iran as a "rogue" state. While Iran has a unique political structure, it does have free and fair elections for parliament and the president. I agree with former Congressman Ron Paul, who has said Iran does not have a history of invading other countries. While I suspect that Iran funneled arms to Iraq during the US invasion, that action was defensive in nature. Iran's present involvement in Syria took place at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government that is recognized by the United Nations. Like all sovereign nations, Syria has the right to self-defense and is fully justified in seeking Iranian assistance to defend against foreign-funded terrorists recruited by the (P)GCC and NATO members.
Western media repeatedly claim that Tehran sponsors terrorism. I find it difficult to locate substantial evidence supporting that claim. On the contrary, "terrorism" as that term is commonly understood, stems mostly from the actions of Saudi Arabia, which routinely promotes acts of terror through its radical madrassahs. Those madrassahs indoctrinate poor youth around the globe in the ultra-violent Wahhabi doctrines. Saudi Arabia was the principal actor in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon. Those attacks, which killed 3,000 Americans, were principally carried out by Saudi Arabians with considerable help from Saudi government officials. Other acts of terrorism, including the Boston Marathon, San Bernardino, the Pulse Night Club, and the European attacks on Paris, Brussels, and dozens of other nations all stem from Saudi Arabian religious doctrines. It seems difficult to justify aligning the United States with Saudi Arabia in order to defend the world against terrorism. Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the 9-11 commission said, "I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia."
Wikileaks published a secret communique from then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, dated 20009. In it, she said, "...donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." In a 2014 speech at Harvard, Vice President Joseph Biden criticized Saudi Arabia for the rise of the Islamic State, saying "Those allies' policies wound up helping to arm and build allies of Al Qaeda and eventually a terrorist Islamic State." In December 2015, the German BND intelligence service warned that Saudi Arabia was at risk of becoming a major destabilizing force in the Arab world. Beyond that, in December 2015, Germany's Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, "Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamist's who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany."
The real sponsor of global terror is Saudi Arabia, not Iran.