Canadian Hells Angel charged as Iranian proxy
President Joe Biden has promised to respond to the attack that killed three American soldiers and injured 34 others in Jordan last Sunday. The exact nature of that response remains unclear though he has indicated it will be “tiered,” “sequenced” and not a one-off action.
This was another example of an Iranian-backed “Axis of Resistance” proxy group attacking Western interests, to add to those in Lebanon and Yemen. This time, responsibility was claimed by an umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.
To that list can be added an unlikely Iranian proxy: two Canadians, one a full-patch Hells Angel, who have been charged with planning to conduct assassinations in the US on behalf of Iran’s intelligence service. Newly unsealed documents suggest Damion Patrick John Ryan and Adam Richard Pearson were paid $350,000 to kill an unidentified man and a woman in Maryland, one of whom was a defector from Iran.
They are alleged to have been hired by an Iranian drug dealer, who has also been charged. He is said to operate openly in Iran, under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, with the remit to assassinate and kidnap dissidents and opponents of the regime all over the world.
Iran has long posed as a responsible actor on the international stage, while simultaneously supporting revolutionary groups and death squads. But there is growing pressure on Biden to crack down on this bifurcated policy. “Hit Iran now. Hit them hard,” urged Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The trick for Biden will be to do so with enough force to act as a deterrent but not so much that it escalates into an all-out war that would spike the oil price in an election year.