In October 2011 I remarked on the plot by Iran to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C. to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Since that time, little action has been taken to punish Iran or to take any action that might deter future attacks. Obama promised the "toughest sanctions" against Iran but then objected when the Senate passed a unanimous amendment in December to do just that. Imagine that! A 100-0 vote, the most "bipartisan" effort you could imagine and Obama backs away.
Since that time, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the four mile wide Strait of Hormuz through which passes nearly all the Middle East oil on which the world economy depends.
Now, a month later Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in written testimony [PDF] before the U.S. Senate said [emphasis mine]:
The 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States shows that some Iranian officials—probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei—have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived US actions that threaten the regime. We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against US or allied interests overseas.
Iran's willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran‟s evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot against the Ambassador as well as Iranian leaders‟ perceptions of US threats against the regime.
In other words, Iran feels they have little to fear from attacking the U.S. while Obama is President! Peace comes through strength and weakness invites war!
Theodore Roosevelt used to say "speak softly but carry a big stick." Obama speaks softly if at all, but has thrown the stick away. In the years since Obama has been in office he has refused to say or do anything which might upset Iran's leaders. Even while Iranians were dying in the streets of Tehran calling on Obama for help he remained silent in the vain hope he could cut a deal with the mad Mullahs who control Iran. The best opportunity in decades to get rid of the Iranian regime lapsed while the U.S. stood by and did nothing.
The price for Obama's reckless and naive foreign policy may very well be a war and the opening shot may take place on U.S. soil. As Jennifer Rubin writes:
If we get to the point when we are faced with a single option — war or a nuclear-armed Iran — there should be no doubt how we would have gotten to that point. Aside from the Iranians themselves, it would be solely the result of the administration’s sloth and foolishness