Retired Brig. Gen. Holt: Iran Has 'Blank Check' With Biden in Power (Newsmax/"The Chris Salcedo Show")
By Solange Reyner | Friday, 21 October 2022 05:34 PM EDT
Iran has a "blank check" to do whatever it wants with President Joe Biden in power, including directly engaging on the ground in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine's power stations and other key infrastructure, says Retired Brig. Air Force Gen. Blaine Holt.
"They've got a blank check to do whatever they'd like to do," Holt, the former deputy U.S. military representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said Friday during an appearance on Newsmax TV's "The Chris Salcedo Show."
"The drones which they say, 'Oh, they're not Iranian,' they have a very unique visual signature. That that's what it is and now they've got advisers on the ground so they're in the war, they're aligned with Russia. What's interesting here is this is the same organization we wanted the Russians to broker a nuclear peace deal with and we were going to pay them millions of bucks and this is the respect they give the sanctions that are imposed by UN Security Council Resolution? So, I think the whole thing is actually quite laughable."
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Iran has sent a "relatively small number" of personnel to Crimea, a part of Ukraine unilaterally annexed by Russia in contravention of international law in 2014, to assist Russian troops in launching Iranian-made drones against Ukraine. Members of a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were dispatched to assist Russian forces in using the drones, according to the British government.
The revelation of the U.S. intelligence finding comes as the Biden administration seeks to mount international pressure on Tehran to pull back from helping Russia as it bombards soft Ukrainian civilian targets with the help of Iranian-made drones.
The Russians in recent days have increasingly turned to the Iranian-supplied drones, as well as Kalibr and Iskander cruise missiles, to carry out a barrage of attacks against Ukrainian infrastructure and non-military targets. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that Russian forces have destroyed 30% of Ukraine’s power stations since Oct. 10.
Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said the larger warfare is being missed, though, as China is "ganging up" with Russia to remove the dollar as the fiat currency the world uses for energy and "we're just kind of letting it happen," he told Salcedo.
"There's a long-term strategy that the Chinese and Russians are doing to undermine our economic power. Much of our ability to do things globally is because we are the big dog on the block, President Trump recognized that. … I think it's very clear at this point, the more they can cooperate on energy and get the Saudis to come over to their side, which we've seen, the more chances of the dollar being removed, taking the bottom out of the dollar, taking the bottom out of our buying power, and therefore weakening us across the board. It's this economic warfare that we're not paying sufficient attention to."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.