By Meghashyam Mali - 03/21/12 01:20 PM EDT
King was responding to a question about a Pentagon war game exploring the fallout from a pre-emptive military strike by Israel against Iran, first reported in The New York Times. The war game, dubbed Internal Look, found such an attack would likely result in American casualties.
“We have to make sure that whatever we do, that it is going to work, the best that we know about it, and realize that Iran cannot be allowed to get any nuclear weapons,” said King.
King also warned against domestic threats from Hezbollah, a militant group bankrolled by Iran. The lawmaker is holding a hearing Wednesday on “Iran’s primary terrorism proxies” and “the real potential that the regime will activate its network of operatives to carry out an attack here.”
“Our preliminary findings are that this could be a very, very significant threat,” said King about his hearing “Iran, Hezbollah and the Threat to the Homeland.”
“Most Americans don’t realize that Hezbollah has had agents and operatives in this country for many years," he said. "The conventional wisdom among intelligence or law enforcement was that they were here for fundraising, facilitation, recruitment, not necessarily to carry out terrorist attacks. However, we do know that a number of them have been trained as terrorists, so the question is how quickly they can be made operational and would they carry out attacks.”
King cited last year’s FBI investigation of a foiled Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States and statements from Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday that Iranians would attack to defend themselves from the United States or Israel to argue Americans should take the threat more seriously.
He said Hezbollah provided Iran with a “terrorist-trained force in this country.”
“It really is the A-team of international terrorism, far more sophisticated than al Qaeda,” King said. “I think it’s important to educate Americans and members of Congress, most of whom are not aware that Iran has such a significant number. We estimate it to be at least in the hundreds, if not in the thousands, of Hezbollah agents here in this country.”