Why Does Iran Still Have Operatives in Washington?

Many Americans might be surprised to learn that operatives of the Iranian regime continue to operate in Washington, D.C. Despite cutting diplomatic ties with Iran back in 1979, the Iranian Interests Section in Washington remains active, mainly handling consular duties like issuing visas for travel to Iran. However, this office often goes beyond its consular role, engaging in activities linked to the Iranian regime.

Recent Incidents

On May 22, a disturbing incident highlighted the risks posed by these operatives. Ramezan Soltan-Mohammadi, an employee of the Iranian Interests Section, was caught on video making threatening gestures towards Iranian-American protesters in Potomac, Maryland. This underscores the ongoing dangers of having Iranian regime operatives in the U.S.

U.S. Government’s Stance

The U.S. government has repeatedly warned Americans against traveling to Iran due to the high risk of being detained. Despite these warnings, the State Department still directs those seeking visas to the Iranian Interests Section in Washington.

Risks of Iranian Operatives

Having Iranian regime employees in Washington is risky. These operatives have been involved in assassination plots against former U.S. officials and often film anti-regime protests, putting the safety of American protesters and their families in Iran at risk.

Closure and Consequences

Shutting down the Iranian Interests Section would require Americans who want to travel to Iran to obtain visas from Iranian consulates abroad. This added inconvenience could deter risky travel. More importantly, it would prevent Iranian operatives from continuing their activities in Washington.

Future of the Iranian Embassy

The old Iranian embassy in Washington, a prime piece of real estate, is in poor condition. The U.S. spends millions annually on its upkeep, even though it’s vacant and deteriorating. While renovating it might be worthwhile, the current political climate makes the prospect of a friendly Iranian government unlikely.

A New Purpose

Instead of letting the embassy sit empty and decaying, the U.S. could transform it into a cultural center through a public-private partnership. This would preserve the building, celebrate Iranian culture, and cut costs. If Iran’s government changes, the embassy could then be returned to Iranian control.

In summary, closing the Iranian Interests Section and repurposing the embassy could safeguard American interests, foster cultural ties, and save money.

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