Lieberman: ‘Radical Islamist Terrorism’ Is the Greatest Threat to U.S. and Civilization

By Penny Starr | December 18, 2015 | 10:24 AM EST

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) (AP Photo)

( – Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said the “most significant threat” facing the United States and all of the civilized world is “radical Islamist terrorism.” 

“I would say that the most significant threat that the American people face to our security and - if I may speak more broadly - our civilization is from radical Islamist terrorism,” Lieberman said at a briefing to the U.S. Senate by the Organization of Iranian American Communities at the Capitol on Tuesday. 

Lieberman also said that the center of that threat is not in Syria but in Iran.

“The capitol of radical Islamist terrorism – I want to say today – is not in Ar-Raqqah, Syria (The named capitol of the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate), Lieberman said. “It is in Tehran, Iran.”

Lieberman also said at the event – focused on recent attacks on Iranian dissidents that killed 20 people living in Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base in Iraq – that although the terror imposed by the Islamic State is “extreme primitive brutality,” it should not be forgotten the threat posed by the Iranian regime.

“We can’t let this focus on the Islamic State distract us from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which I think is actually the more serious threat to world and American security,” Lieberman said.

“Iran is a nation state. It’s heavily armed. It continues to develop more sophisticated armaments,” he said. “It is explicitly anti-American, anti-Western, anti-moderate Islam.

“It is, by the declaration of our State Department, still the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Lieberman said, “and as you well know, it brutally suppresses the human rights of its own people, particularly those who it sees as its political opponents. 

“And that, of course, includes the inhabitants of Camp Liberty,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman also criticized the Obama administration’s efforts to reach an agreement with the Iranian regime to end its nuclear weapons program, including the plan to free up $150 billion in assets, “which the regime will use both to strengthen itself and its terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East.”

He blamed both the Obama administration for the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East and the Iranian regime being emboldened. However, the former lawmaker encouraged the mostly Iranian American crowd to keep fighting.

“There’s a way in which just human nature might make you disappointed now in the battle you’re in to restore freedom to your homeland because of what I’ve described as the passivity of your own government here in America and this ridiculous Iran nuclear agreement,” Lieberman said.

“So go forward with a sense of confidence and determination that the liberation of a great nation and a gifted people, from the stranglehold of an evil regime, is going to happen,” Lieberman said. “And with God’s help and your help and our help, it will happen soon.”

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