It's widely known that Iranian relations with the West are less-than-stellar. But is it possible that the Middle Eastern nation is so adamant about its opposition to America that its leaders would be willing to secretly slip hundreds of secret, terrorist-friendly agents inside of America? Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) thinks so, as this is precisely what he claimed during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on Wednesday (King chairs this committee).
"We have a duty to prepare for the worst," he said during the meeting's opening, going on to warn about the hundreds of agents that could already be operating here in America.
"As Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran's secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America," King continued.
Watch King's opening remarks, below:
Experts at the meeting included former government officials at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Treasury, among other agencies, and the director of intelligence for the New York Police Department (NYPD). Considering a failed Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C. last year, there's no question that intelligence experts see increasing internal dangers here in America.
At the end of January, The Blaze's Buck Sexton reported:
The U.S. intelligence community believes that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Tuesday morning in an open hearing.
In prepared testimony given to the U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper stated than an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States shows a shift in Tehran’s strategy towards a willingness to plot and conduct attacks within the U.S.
During his testimony, Clapper claimed that the failed ambassador plot, "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 U.S. actions that threaten the regime."
But not everyone was convinced that all of the information presented at King's hearing was fresh and up-to-date. Rep Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) casted doubt on the meeting and wondered why "no current federal officials" were asked to weigh in on the situation on Wednesday.
"A word of caution is in order. When we examine our relationship with another country, we cannot look at any particular moment in time and pretend that it tells the whole story," he said. "We cannot view the politics, history and culture of any other country clearly by seeing a snapshot version."
Below, see more of the testimonies from yesterday's hearing:
King, quite obviously, didn't agree with Thompson's assessment and said that the hearing's focus was on an internal threat and not foreign policy. Thus, former government officials, he claimed, were more than appropriate in providing their testimony.