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Did Team Obama Warn Iranian Terror Commander about Israeli Assassination Attempt?

National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor walks along the West Wing Colonnade at the White House

A Kuwaiti newspaper reported last week that Washington gave Israel the green light to assassinate terror mastermind Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Quds Force (which has been designated a terrorist organization).

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens pointed out a disturbing detail in the story that has long been rumored but has gone largely unreported in the American press:

According to the report, Israel was "on the verge" of assassinating Soleimani three years ago near Damascus, but the Obama administration warned Iranian leadership of the plan, effectively quashing the operation. The incident reportedly "sparked a sharp disagreement between the Israeli and American security and intelligence apparatuses regarding the issue."

Stephens tagged former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes in his tweet, but it was ignored until Obama’s former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor saw it on Wednesday:

Stephens responded by noting dryly that the Iran Contra scandal started in a similar way, and that the Obama administration certainly had no objection to assassinations when it came to other terrorists:

Vieter, who drove Obama's press van before he became president, responded thus:

Stephens seemed taken aback:

Indeed, as the Washington Times reported in 2015, Shiite militants under Qassem Soleimani’s command are responsible for more than 500 U.S. service member deaths in Iraq between 2005-2011.

The Quds forces, led by Gen. Qassem Soleimani, set up factories to produce the weapon, which unleashes rocket-type projectiles that penetrate American armored vehicles. As head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, Gen. Soleimani is Iran’s top terrorist commander, committed to the downfall of Israel and the United States and the destabilization of governments in the region.