The Hostage Rescue Attempt In Iran, April 24-25, 1980
Iran, Nuclear Weapons, and Iranian terrorism spread abroad
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An Iranian flag flutters, in this image released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, that
shows a missile prior to the test firing by Iranian armed forces. Photo: AP
Report: Iran deploys missiles in Persian Gulf
May. 12, 2009 The Media Line News Agency , THE JERUSALEM POST
Iran's Revolutionary Guards have begun deploying mobile launchers for surface-to-air and surface-to-sea missiles in the
Strait of Hurmuz and other areas in the Gulf, it has been revealed.
An Iranian official, quoted anonymously in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, said Iranian forces deployed the missile bases
following secret reports that the United States and Israel were working on a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Iran's preparations for a potential military strike are not new. The republic has conducted several military exercises
over the past few years, some with the explicit intention of preparing the armed forces for a possible confrontation with
The source said the missiles were deployed a few weeks ago. Iran is said to have informed Arab countries in the region
of its activities and reassured its neighbors that the missiles were not aimed at states in the region, a reference to Sunni
Arab states such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which has a Shi'ite majority but Sunni
Sunni Muslim Gulf states are allied with the US in and share Western concerns over Shi'ite Iran's nuclear plans.
Bahrain, for example, is closer to Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant than the Iranian capital Teheran. Any strike on the
facility will affect Bahrainis more than Iran's center of power.
Hady 'Amr, Director of the Brookings Doha Center, said there were too many variables at play in the region to draw conclusions
as to the deployment's underlying meaning. 'Amr spoke of the Obama administration's disposition towards dialogue with Iran,
shifting alliances in the US dialogue with Syria, the Iranian presidential elections and the global financial crisis which
has made both Iran and the Gulf states less secure.
On several occasions Iran has expressed its displeasure over potential US bases in its Arab neighbors' territories. "This
may be part of their muscle-flexing in that regard," 'Amr told The Media Line, "to make sure that the Gulf states hosting
American and French bases understand that there will be a price to pay."
The reports of missile deployments coincide with the US's declared intentions to bridge the rift with Iran.
US President Barack Obama is attempting a dialogue with Teheran to defuse tensions built up during the Bush Administration
over Iran's controversial nuclear program.
The release of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi from Teheran's Evin prison on Monday could be a response to US
Saberi, 31, was originally sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of espionage and had been held in prison since
January, 2009. An appeals court in Iran reduced her sentence to a two-year suspended term and a five-year ban on reporting
Iran has been under international pressure to abandon its nuclear program and uranium enrichment activities since 2002.
The US, Israel and other countries are concerned that Iran is secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, although Teheran vociferously
denies these accusations and claims its program is for peaceful purposes.
The US has not ruled out the possibility of a military strike on Iran.
Iran has threatened to retaliate to any aggression on its soil by closing down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which will
disrupt global oil supplies.
Last year Iran opened a new naval facility in Jask, in the entrance to the Gulf, the declared aim of which was to enable
Iran to block the enemy from entering Iran in the event that the country were attacked.
Gulf countries, including Iran, hold more than half of the world's crude oil reserves and more than 40 percent of the world's
proven gas reserves.
A campaigning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells a rally that the missile hit its target. The Sejil-2
reportedly has a range of 1,200 miles and incorporates advanced technology.
By Borzou Daragahi
May 21, 2009
from Beirut — Iran's president announced the successful test launch of an advanced surface-to-surface solid-fuel missile
Wednesday that could reach Israel and other potential targets across the Middle East.
Iranian state television showed
the blue rocket rising from a sunny desert, surrounded by the red, white and green flags of the Islamic Republic.
has long had missiles that could reach Israel and the Persian Gulf states where the U.S. maintains several bases. But President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boasted that the new Sejil-2 incorporates "advanced technology" that makes it more accurate than Iran's
arsenal of Shahab missiles, which are based on North Korean-designed rockets.
The two-stage missile has a range of
1,200 miles, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said. Iran's single-stage liquid-fueled Shahab-3 has the same range.
But experts say solid-fuel double-stage rockets are more accurate.
In addition, they say, solid fuel is more stable,
meaning it can be stored longer and moved more easily. Solid propellant may also allow Iran to bypass the fueling cycles needed
for liquid-fueled rockets, speeding up the launch sequence.
"The defense minister contacted me and said . . . 'With
divine intervention and the assistance of the Lord of the Age, the Sejil-2 rocket, which has very advanced technology, was
launched from Semnan province,' " Ahmadinejad told a crowd of supporters in the rural northern province, where he was campaigning
ahead of June 12 elections. " 'It hit the target exactly.' "
In Washington, Obama administration officials said the
test demonstrated that Iran had made progress in its efforts to develop a solid-fuel missile with a longer range than its
older, Shahab series rockets.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates described the launch as "a successful flight test"
of a missile with a range between 1,200 and 1,500 miles. "Because of some of the problems they've had with their engines,
we think at least at this stage of the testing it's probably closer to the lower end of that," Gates said during testimony
before a panel of the House Appropriations Committee.
Tehran and the West are at odds over Iran's nuclear development
program and its refinement of missile technology, which the U.S., Israel and many other nations believe are the cornerstones
of an eventual nuclear weapons program. Hours after Ahmadinejad's speech, the French Foreign Ministry said it viewed the announcement
of the rocket launch with "great concern."
Iran insists that its nuclear program is meant for peaceful civilian purposes
only. Officials say their nation's missile program is meant to defend it in the face of threats by Israeli officials to bomb
Iran's nuclear facilities to protect the Jewish state, which fears the creation of weaponry by Iran that could be used against
it. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction.
A March 16 report by the Center for Strategic and International
Studies suggested that Israel could overcome the political complications of flying fighter jets and bombers over third-country
airspace to launch an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities by instead firing ballistic missiles at the sites.
published Tuesday by a U.S. think tank said Iran was technologically at least six years away from developing a deliverable
nuclear missile, though it could create a nuclear device within a year if it kicked out international inspectors, withdrew
from its treaty obligations and further refined its enriched uranium.
Ahmadinejad's rocket announcement upstaged news
that the Guardian Council, a powerful body of clerics and jurists, had approved the candidacies of three powerful rivals against
him in the upcoming presidential vote.
Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, said the military exercise may have been an effort by Ahmadinejad to bolster his defiant reputation ahead of the poll.
wants to divert public attention away from his economic failings and portray himself as a strong leader," Sadjadpour said.
"I'm sure Ahmadinejad was hoping for a stronger U.S. reaction which could keep the attention focused on this issue, but the
Obama team has so far been wise enough not to take the bait."
May 25 03:08 PM US/Eastern By MARK LAVIE Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM (AP) - Venezuela and Bolivia are supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program,
according to a secret Israeli government report obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The two South American countries are known to have close ties with Iran, but this is the first allegation that they are
involved in the development of Iran's nuclear program, considered a strategic threat by Israel.
"There are reports that Venezuela supplies Iran with uranium for its nuclear program," the Foreign Ministry document states,
referring to previous Israeli intelligence conclusions. It added, "Bolivia also supplies uranium to Iran."
The report concludes that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to undermine the United States by supporting Iran.
Venezuela and Bolivia are close allies, and both regimes have a history of opposing U.S. foreign policy and Israeli actions.
Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador during Israel's offensive in Gaza this year, and Israel retaliated by expelling
the Venezuelan envoy. Bolivia cut ties with Israel over the offensive.
There was no immediate comment from officials in Venezuela or Bolivia on the report's allegations.
The three-page document about Iranian activities in Latin America was prepared in advance of a visit to South America by
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who will attend a conference of the Organization of American States in Honduras next
week. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also scheduled to visit the region.
Israel considers Iran a serious threat because of its nuclear program, development of long-range missiles and frequent
references by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Israel's destruction. Israel dismisses Iran's insistence that its nuclear
program is peaceful, charging that the Iranians are building nuclear weapons.
Iran says its nuclear work is aimed only at producing energy. Its enrichment of uranium has increased concerns about its
program because that technology can be used both to produce fuel for power plants and to build bombs.
Israel has been pressing for world action to stop the Iranian program. While saying it prefers diplomatic action, Israel
has not taken its military option off the table. Experts believe Israel is capable of destroying some of Iran's nuclear facilities
Iran, under Ahmadinejad, has strengthened its ties with both Venezuela and Bolivia, where it opened an embassy last year.
Its alliance with the left-led nations is based largely on their shared antagonism to the United States but is also a way
for Iran to lessen its international isolation.
The Israeli government report did not say where the uranium that it alleged the two countries were supplying originated
Bolivia has uranium deposits. Venezuela is not currently mining its own estimated 50,000 tons of untapped uranium reserves,
according to an analysis published in December by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Carnegie report said,
however, that recent collaboration with Iran in strategic minerals has generated speculation that Venezuela could mine uranium
The Israeli government report also charges that the Iran-backed Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have set up cells in Latin
America. It says Venezuela has issued permits that allow Iranian residents to travel freely in South America.
The report concludes, "Since Ahmadinejad's rise to power, Tehran has been promoting an aggressive policy aimed at bolstering
its ties with Latin American countries with the declared goal of 'bringing America to its knees.'"
The document says Venezuela and Bolivia are violating the United Nations Security Council's economic sanctions with their
aid to Iran.
As allies against the U.S., Ahmadinejad and Chavez have set up a $200 billion fund aimed at garnering the support of more
South American countries for the cause of "liberation from the American imperialism," according to the report.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor refused to comment about the secret report. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
The Obama-Netanyahu MeetingBy:
Alan M. Dershowitz FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Although President Obama and Prime Minister
Netanyahu got along quite well at their White House meeting, each has made demands
that the other seems unwilling or unable to meet.Peace seems no closer, even after the warm encounter.
The 800 pound gorilla at the Oval Office meeting was Iran’s nuclear
program.That became self-evidently clear when, within days of the meeting, Iran deliberately fired a solid fuel rocket and challenged
the United States
to do something about it.Ahmadinejad linked the rocket-launching to
nuclear program, as if to allay any doubts that Iran intends to place nuclear payloads on these hard-to-detect rockets.
An Iran protected by a nuclear umbrella will be free to encourage its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah, to increase the
frequency and range of their rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.Even if Iran never tries to drop a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv or
smuggle nuclear material to terrorist groups, it can endanger Israel’s existence by making large parts of the Jewish state uninhabitable because of conventional anti-personnel
In order for Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank,
be defanged.No Israeli Prime Minister can repeat the mistake that Ariel Sharon made when—in good
faith—he unilaterally evacuated the Gaza Strip. Instead of land for peace, what the Israelis got was land for rocket
launchings, which continue to this day.The same trade off occurred when Israel ended its military occupation of Southern Lebanon.The difference is that an unoccupied West Bank would put Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben Gurion airport well within range of rockets supplied by Iran to Hamas and other terrorist groups.
President Obama sees “a linkage” between Israel ending the settlements and the United States trying to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.Following
the Oval Office meeting, he insisted that peace between Israel and the Palestinians “strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian
threat.”With due respect to the man who I supported for President, he has it exactly backwards.If there is to be any linkage—and I do not believe there should be—it goes the other way:it
will be much easier for Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank if Iran does not have a nuclear umbrella under which
it can continue to encourage Hamas and Hezbollah to fire rockets at Israeli civilians.
That is why the Middle East peace process has become so intractable.President Obama seems unwilling to guarantee Israel that Iran will not be permitted to develop nuclear weapons.Without such a guarantee, Netanyahu is unable to end the occupation, because Israel is a democracy and the people of Israel will not accept a repeat of Gaza and Southern Lebanon, this time with nuclear threat hanging over them.
In the meantime, Israel is seeking to break the deadline by offering to open unconditional peace talks with Syria.This would send a powerful message
to the Palestinians, namely that Israel can continue to make peace with its neighbors even if the Palestinians continue to reject reasonable peace offers,
as they did in 2000 and 2001.
So the ball is very much in Barack Obama’s court, unless he can provide Israel a
guarantee that they will never face a nuclear Iran, all that Israel will be able to do is end some illegal settlements, avoid
any expansion of existing settlements and generally take some cosmetic steps—steps that Israel should take even though
they will never satisfy the Palestinians.
of course is not the only Mid East country that needs a guarantee against a nuclear Iran.If Iran develops the capability to produce nuclear weapons,
other Mid East countries will enter the nuclear arms race.With Pakistan’s nuclear weapons already at risk of being
controlled by suicidally radical elements, this will escalate the Middle East conflict dramatically.
Barack Obama is a man of peace and negotiations.The extreme left wing
of his party demands peace at any price, including a nuclear Iran.President Obama must step up to the plate and make the difficult decision to do whatever it
takes to prevent Iran from securing nuclear weapons, even if that means exercising the military option as a last resort.Sometimes it takes the use of military force to avoid even greater military dangers.Winston Churchill
understood that in the 1930s.Neville Chamberlain did not.
I hope that Barack Obama will be remembered by history more in the image of Churchill
than Chamberlain.Obama’s predecessor waged the wrong war.Iraq posed no real threat to world peace.Iran
does.I hope President Obama will not refrain from doing whatever it takes to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.If
he does, he will go a long way toward finally resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bringing peace to the Middle East.
Alan M. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. He is the author of many books,
including, most recently, “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies.”
'Iran boosts uranium enrichment capacity'
May. 28, 2009 Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country has boosted its capacity to enrich uranium, another sign of anti-Western
defiance by the leader seeking re-election in a vote next month.
Ahmadinejad said last month that Iran had 7,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in central Iran.
The figure marked a significant boost from the 6,000 centrifuges announced in February. In his latest comments, reported by
the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency on Thursday, he did not give a specific new figure.
"Now we have more than 7,000 centrifuges and the West dare not threaten us," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying on a small
radio station late Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad has made Iran's expanding nuclear program one of the centerpieces of his campaign for the June 12 elections
and has struck an increasingly harsh tone against the United States and other countries calling for Iran to halt it uranium
Iran's leaders say they will never give up nuclear technology and insist they seek only energy-producing reactors. The
United States, Israel and other nations worry that Iran's enrichment facilities could eventually produce material for nuclear
There is broad consensus among Iranian voters on the nation's rights for a nuclear program. But Ahmadinejad's three challengers
- a fellow hard-liner and two moderates - have questioned his uncompromising stances against the West and their offers of
economic incentives in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment.
The centrifuges spin at supersonic speeds to remove impurities from uranium gas, which then goes through other steps to
become nuclear fuel or, at higher enrichment levels, nuclear weapons material.
Earlier this year, Iran said it was using an upgraded centrifuge that produces enriched uranium at about double the rate
of its original systems.
Currently, Iran is only capable of slowly producing enriched uranium for reactors. But Iranian officials have said their
long-term goal is for more than 50,000 centrifuges, which would give it the ability to produce high-grade nuclear material
in a start-to-finish cycle of just weeks.
On the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Hostage crisis
Iran’s Supreme leader responds to US
President Obama’s video message with sound defiance suggesting that until they see the changes US President Obama preached during
his election campaign then don’t expect much of a policy shift from Tehran. During the election most Iranians were intensely
enthusiastic to see a US Black man with Hussein as his middle name take the highest office of the United States. The name "Hussein" is very sacred for Shia Iranians as this
was the name of their third beloved Imam who, even today maintains a very controversial shrine in Iraq. Iranians are proud
of their history which suggests that Black people were never discriminated against during the Persian Empire and, during the
US Hostage Crisis Black people were among the first released along with the women.
Their excitement however, was quickly tempered when US President Obama did not immediately respond
to President Ahmadinejad's message of congratulations. This message was seen as historic in Iran as this was the first time
an Iranian leader had offered such wishes to an American president-elect since the Islamic Revolution. US President Obama’s
lack of response immediately developed into distrust as the Iranians took his actions as a sign that US foreign policy towards
the Middle East, especially the Iran and Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain as it has been for the past 30+ years. They
now believe that such policy is so entrenched in the US States
Capital that it can not be modified by a simple changing of the guard.
The tone in US President Obama’s video message highlighted a stark understanding of Iranian politics
and unlike his predecessor George
Bush, US President Obama is the first US President to address Iranian "leaders" directly and in the ‘plural'.
In doing so US President Obama demonstrated that he is well-informed of the various political and religious factions in Iran
today and that the country is ruled by different leaders. Among the more prominent are the President, the Ayatollahs and the
Supreme Leader. The Iranian government has made strong efforts to portray the President as head of the state but US President
Obama has been coached well enough to know that the Iranian President is but one leader among many. Therefore, by addressing
all leaders US President Obama has set the stage to decide which group he will be corresponding with - thereby opening the
door for any one of the groups for dialog. This action was a slap in the face for the Supreme Leader who will probably implement
a 1970’s revolution mentality in negotiating with the US.
The previous Revolution in 1979 was based on Islamic Ideology, and its success manifested a sense of
destiny for the new Iranian clerical elite whose ultimate desire was to export Islam deep into the trenches of all societies
until the entire world was one large Islamic family. The only obstacles were America and the Soviet Union, who was always
looking over Iran's shoulders, monitoring their every move. Since the Soviet Union were heavily invested in the local economy,
Iran - through clandestine processes, decided to make America the enemy by seizing American hostages thereby bringing the
Iranian Revolution, and its Islamic theology, to the forefront of every news channel across the globe, leading to the recognition
of an ongoing campaign of terror against the West, The ‘ideology’ of the 1979 revolution so inspired Iran’s
Islamic neighbors that it gave Iran such clout in the middle east and from that day they have played an important role in
shaping, and supporting organizations like Hezbollah without fear of attack or outright reprisal from Israel or the West.
Iran is a state of multiple factions and although some leaders of these various factions want peace
with the US, the Khamenei and his inner circle from the 70’s are using every opportunity to stay true to the 1979 Islamic
Revolution and the political narrative of rejecting any efforts of peaceful communications with the United States. They are
cautious to not give any appearance of softening or mending ties with Washington as it could be perceived by hard-liners as
a betrayal of the revolution. These non-elected leaders are also careful not to do anything which may jeopardize their chances
of maintaining a strong Islamic hold on the country. They want to ensure a win in the June 12 presidential
race for their hard-line President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, against reformists led by a former prime minister, Mir Hossein Mousavi. This may be another reason why US President Obama
will have a difficult time making reasonable political gains and why negotiating with the Iranian hardliners will be a very
slow, very tedious, and a very complicated process.
The old theocracy can be pragmatic and if they maintain political power through the reelection
of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, they will negotiate with the US, but only if they feel it's in their
best national interest to do so. If they win the election they will certainly not come to the table of negotiations until
the US answers the following questions; "Have the Iranian assets been released? Has the oppressive sanctions been lifted?
Has the US given up mudslinging and character assassinations of leaders of the great Iranian nation?" "Will the US stop accusing
the great Iranian Nation of producing nuclear technology for nuclear weaponry?" They will use these questions as leverage
to bring US President Obama to the table. Understanding that the US will not concede they will then point a finger directly
at the US President Obama Administration, blaming them for not being fair in an effort to justify their hardline actions thereby
solidifying their Islamic hold of the regions politics. As in the seventies, they will rally their people behind their radical
leader Ahmadinejad by making the US the enemy.
The New Revolution:
While this strategy has worked for the past 30+ years, discontented young Iranians are forcing the
pace of political change from within. From the busy atmosphere of an internet café to the private chat lines, from North Tehran
to the working class suburbs of the socio-politically depressed south, young Iranians deliver a unified message to their radical
cleric rulers over and over again – a message of freedom! Their frustration is running high and they feel change must
come, and come soon! The generation that has little interests in the 1979 Islamic revolution and the overthrow of the US-backed
Shah is on a mission of change which puts them on the forefront of a different type of revolution – a profound movement
propelling Iran to a critical juncture. They want the freedom to do what they want, think how they want to think, to have
a government that responds to the wishes of the people, and a foreign policy that helps Iran and does not isolate it. They
want democracy and they want it now! They realize that The U.S. is perhaps, the only country in the world capable of , and
willing to - destabilize Iran – so they want a change from within, and fast. They want their chance at governing, before
Iran becomes another Iraq. Khamenei himself is aware of this and understands that Iran’s radical Islamic government
is operating on borrowed time. This was evident in his recent comment to the United
Nations“If Iran's concerns are eased, it will be willing to have relations with the U.S. in the same
way it has relations with the U.K." Unfortunately, even with this statement the Iranian hardliners are not about concessions
at this stage. They're still all about ideology, ideologies the young people no longer accepts – and are willing to
battle the old Islamic guard and if necessary - die to change the direction of the country.
Therefore, it was wise for US President Obama, in his video message to not address the Iranian people
in Islamic terms but in general terms, thereby reaching the massive audience who oppose the status quo. He understands that
if change is going to come to Iran, which will benefit the US and the region as a whole, it will come from the secular (non-
radical Islamic) corners, which are comprised mostly of the young people who are demanding change, and if necessary…….
Iraqi security forces captured three members of Qods Force, Iran's special operations branch, during a raid in Diyala province.
“The three were arrested inside al-Khalis district, north of Baaquba city,” an Iraqi official told Voices of Iraq.
Iraqi and US forces have killed one Qods Force operative and captured 14 since mid-October 2008 during raids throughout
southern and central Iraq.
A Dec. 19, 2008 raid in the town of Qastin in Diyala province netted a senior Qods force officer and his associate. The officer was described as a "commander of Iranian special operations in Iraq who is also believed to
be involved in facilitating training of Iraqi militants at Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force training camps."
Reports of raids and detentions against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups have declined since the start of the New
Year after a flurry of activity in 2007 and 2008.
Iranian activity in Iraq
Flash Presentation on the Ramazan Corps and the Iranian Ratlines into Iraq. Click the map
to view. A Flash Player is required to view, click to download.
Both the Iraqi government and the US military have said Iran has backed various Shia terror groups, including elements
of the Mahdi Army. While the Iranian government has denied the charges, Iraqi and US forces have detained dozens of Iranian
Qods Force officers and operatives, captured numerous Shia terrorist leaders under Iranian command, and have found ample documentation
as well as Iranian-made weapons.
US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured
are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network which is better known as the Asaib
al Haq or the League of the Righteous; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali's senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran's
Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.
Qods Force, the special operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, has supported various Shia militias
and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army. Qods Force helped to build the Mahdi Army along the same lines as
Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.
Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese
Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as
the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups."
These groups train in camps inside Iran.
US military officers believe Iran is ramping up its operations inside Iraq after its surrogates suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Iraqi military during the spring and summer of 2008. Iraqi troops went on the offensive against the Mahdi
Army and other Iranian-backed terror groups in Baghdad, Basrah, and central and southern Iraq. More than 2,000 Mahdi Army
members were killed and thousands more were wounded. The operation forced Muqtada al Sadr to agree to a cease-fire, disband
the Mahdi Army, and pull the Sadrist political party out of the provincial elections. Sadr's moves caused shock waves in the
Mahdi Army, as some of the militia's leaders wished to continue the fight against US forces in Baghdad and in southern and
The League of the Righteous is a splinter group that broke away from Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army after Sadr announced
he would disband the Mahdi Army and formed a small, secretive military arm to fight Coalition forces in June. The new group,
called the Brigade of the Promised Day, has not been linked to any attacks since its formation last summer.
Sadr loyalist Qais Qazali was commander the League of the Righteous up until his capture in 2007. It is now said to be
under the command of Akram al Kabi, a former Sadr loyalist.
The League of the Righteous receives funding, training, weapons, and direction from the Qods Force. The League of the Righteous
conducts attacks with the deadly armor-piercing explosively formed projectiles known as EFPs, as well as with the more conventional
The size of the League of the Righteous is unknown, but hundreds of members of the group were killed, captured, or fled
to Iran during the Iraqi government offensive against the Mahdi Army from March to July of 2008, according to the US military.
Sadr is looking to pull the rank and file of the League back into the fold of the Sadr political movement. In a recent
message issued by Sadr where he rejected the US-Iraqi security agreement, he said he "extends his hand to the mujahideen in
the so-called Asaib but not their leaderships who have been distracted by politics and mortal life from the [two late] Sadrs
and the interests of Iraq and Iraqis."
The Hezbollah Brigades, or Kata'ib Hezbollah, has been active in and around Baghdad for more than a year. The terror group
has increased its profile by conducting attacks against US and Iraqi forces using the deadly explosively formed penetrator
land mines and improvised rocket-assisted mortars, which have been described as flying improvised explosive devices. The Hezbollah Brigades has posted videos of these attacks
on the Internet.
The terror group is an offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups, the US military said last summer. Hezbollah Brigades
receives funding, training, logistics, guidance, and material support from the Qods Force.
The US and Iraqi military believe the Special Groups are preparing to re-initiate fighting as their leaders and operatives
are beginning to filter back into Iraq from Iran. On Feb. 4, Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, the deputy commander of Multinational
Forces Iraq, said that Iran continues to arm, fund, and train the Special Groups, and that munitions traced back to Iran continue
to be uncovered in Iraq. Recent intelligence and the finds of new Iranian caches "lead us to believe that Iranian support
activity is still ongoing," Austin warned.
The Iranian government directly ordered an act of terrorism in the Americas after being frustrated in its secret nuclear
ambitions, a former chief of Argentine intelligence tells FOX News in an exclusive interview.
Miguel Angel Toma, the former head of the Argentina's intelligence service, tells FOX News' Dan Senor that the Iranian
government directly ordered a terror bombing on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center in 1994. The interview will air on
Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on FOX News Channel.
Toma's investigation into a Middle East-style terrorist bombing targeting Argentinean Jews found that the orders for the
attack were given at the highest levels of the Iranian government in response to the ending of secret nuclear and missile
agreements between Iran and Argentina.
On March 17, 1992, a homicide bomber drove an explosive-filled truck into the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing
29 and injuring hundreds more. Two years later, on July 18, 1994, an attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center killed
"The attacks in the '90s against the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy brought up many distinct questions
because they came from many thousands of miles away and obviously were plotted from many thousands of miles away," Toma told
Responsibility for both bombings was pinned on Hezbollah, but Toma's investigation into the community center bombing found
the decision for that bombing came straight from Tehran.
The Iranian President at the time, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and members of the Iranian
Supreme Council of Security met in Mashhad, Iran, on Aug. 14, 1993 to plan the second bombing, Toma said.
"It's a mistake to think those operations do not reach the highest levels of the Iranian government," Toma told FOX News.
"They study them at the highest levels case by case."
Arrest warrants were issued for nine Iranian officials and Hezbollah leaders, but they all remain at large.
Iranian involvement came as a shock for the South American nation, which had enjoyed active trading with Iran to the tune
of $400 million in the 1970s and '80s.
"During the '80s the government of Argentina signed agreements with them in the areas of technological investigation with
the purpose of a nuclear and missile programs," Toma said.
The replacement of Argentina's military dictatorship soured the nation's relationship with Tehran. In 1989, a new civilian
government headed by Carlos Menem took power and cancelled nuclear and missile development treaties.
"We never thought in Argentina this would be a factor for determining a terrorist attack," Toma told FOX News. "We found
out that later after the two bombs exploded in Buenos Aires."
"Iran: The Ticking Bomb," a FOX News documentary exploring Iran's support of global terrorism, its pursuit of nuclear
weapons and its proxy war with the United States, airs at 3 p.m. on Oct. 6 on the FOX News Channel.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, in a speech to the nation's
leading Islamic clerics and academics, has admitted what many in U.S. intelligence have been saying all along – namely,
Tehran duped the West on its nuclear program by continuing its development while using diplomatic talks to lull the Europeans
Hassan Rowhani led talks with the EU3 – Germany, France and the UK – until last year and part of his job, reports
the London Telegraph, was to play for time after Iran's nuclear program was exposed by dissidents in 2002.
At the closed meeting of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Rowhani boasted that during talks to forestall Iran's
nuclear program, which intelligence sources in the U.S. saw as part of an effort to build nuclear weapons, Tehran completed
the installation of equipment needed to convert yellowcake at its Isfahan plant. The Europeans, he said, were convinced nothing
was occurring at the plant.
"From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not
told you everything.' The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them'," he said.
Rowhani's frankness, it appears, was motivated by internal criticisms from hardliners that he had negotiated away too much
in recent talks with the Europeans. His comments, published in a journal available to the regime's elite, seem designed to
defend his performance.
"When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Teheran we were still installing some of the equipment at the Isfahan site," he said. "There was plenty of work to be done to complete the site and finish the work there. In reality, by creating
a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan."
Rowhani's diplomatic skills were severely tested in September 2003 when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded
a "complete picture" of Iran's program.
"The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the U.N. Security Council," he said.
"And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security
Council for not implementing the resolution."
He also revealed two occasions where the IAEA learned of secret experiments from academic papers published by Iranian scientists.
Libya's decision to negotiate with the U.S. and Britain to end its own nuclear program brought to light the proliferation
network run by Pakistan atomic scientist A.Q. Khan. Khan's role in supplying nuclear-related equipment to Libya, revealed
in surrendered documents, also exposed the fact he had supplied advanced centrifuges to Iran.
Revelations of Rowhani's candor come on the eve of tomorrow's IAEA meeting to reassess Iran's banned nuclear operations.
According to U.N. protocol, the IAEA review is the final step before Tehran's case is forwarded to the Security Council, where,
if the facts dictate, sanctions may be imposed.
Iran has just completed failed talks with Russia, which opposes U.N. sanctions, to find a way around the impasse
On another matter, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group responsible for many of the revelations
about Iran's secret program, has obtained a confidential parliamentary report revealing that Iran's legislators were unaware
of the nuclear project and that it was funded off the books.
"Rowhani's remarks show that the mullahs wanted to deceive the international community from the onset of negotiations with
EU3," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the NCRI's foreign affairs chief, "and that the mullahs were fully aware that if they were
transparent, the regime's nuclear file would be referred to the U.N. immediately."
Fifty years of increasing American appeasement in the Mideast have led to fifty years of increasing contempt in the Muslim
world for the U.S. The climax was September 11, 2001.
Fifty years ago, Truman and Eisenhower surrendered the West's property rights in oil, although that oil rightfully belonged
to those in the West whose science, technology, and capital made its discovery and use possible. The first country to nationalize
Western oil, in 1951, was Iran. The rest, observing our frightened silence, hurried to grab their piece of the newly available
The cause of the U.S. silence was not practical, but philosophical. The Mideast's dictators were denouncing wealthy
egotistical capitalism. They were crying that their poor needed our sacrifice; that oil, like all property, is owned collectively,
by virtue of birth; and that they knew their viewpoint was true by means of otherworldly emotion. Our Presidents had no answer.
Implicitly, they were ashamed of the Declaration of Independence. They did not dare to answer that Americans, properly, were
motivated by the selfish desire to achieve personal happiness in a rich, secular, individualist society.
countries embodied in an extreme form every idea--selfless duty, anti-materialism, faith or feeling above science, the supremacy
of the group--which our universities, our churches, and our own political Establishment had long been upholding as virtue.
When two groups, our leadership and theirs, accept the same basic ideas, the most consistent side wins.
came liberty. "The Muslim fundamentalist movement," writes Yale historian Lamin Sanneh, "began in 1979 with the Iranian [theocratic]
revolution . . ." (New York Times 9/23/01). During his first year as its leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, urging a Jihad
against "the Great Satan," kidnapped 52 U.S. diplomatic personnel and held them hostage; Carter's reaction was fumbling paralysis.
About a decade later, Iran topped this evil. Khomeini issued his infamous Fatwa aimed at censoring, even outside his borders,
any ideas uncongenial to Muslim sensibility. This was the meaning of his threat to kill British author Rushdie and to destroy
his American publisher; their crime was the exercise of their right to express an unpopular intellectual viewpoint. The Fatwa
was Iran's attempt, reaffirmed after Khomeini's death, to stifle, anywhere in the world, the very process of thought. Bush
Sr. looked the other way.
After liberty came American life itself. The first killers were the Palestinian hijackers
of the late 1960s. But the killing spree which has now shattered our soaring landmarks, our daily routine, and our souls,
began in earnest only after the license granted by Carter and Bush Sr.
Many nations work to fill our body bags. But
Iran, according to a State Department report of 1999, is "the most active state sponsor of terrorism," training and arming
groups from all over the Mideast, including Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Nor is Iran's government now "moderating."
Five months ago, the world's leading terrorist groups resolved to unite in a holy war against the U.S., which they called
"a second Israel"; their meeting was held in Teheran. (Fox News 9/16/01)
What has been the U.S. response to the above?
In 1996, nineteen U.S. soldiers were killed in their barracks in Saudi Arabia. According to a front-page story in The New
York Times (6/21/98): "Evidence suggesting that Iran sponsored the attack has further complicated the investigation, because
the United States and Saudi Arabia have recently sought to improve relations with a new, relatively moderate Government in
Teheran." In other words, Clinton evaded Iran's role because he wanted what he called "a genuine reconciliation." In public,
of course, he continued to vow that he would find and punish the guilty. This inaction of Clinton's is comparable to his action
after bin Laden's attack on U.S. embassies in East Africa; his action was the gingerly bombing of two meaningless targets.
are equally responsible for today's crisis, as Reagan's record attests. Reagan not only failed to retaliate after 241 U.S.
marines in Lebanon were slaughtered; he did worse. Holding that Islamic guerrillas were our ideological allies because of
their fight against the atheistic Soviets, he methodically poured money and expertise into Afghanistan. This put the U.S.
wholesale into the business of creating terrorists. Most of them regarded fighting the Soviets as only the beginning; our
turn soon came.
For over a decade, there was another guarantee of American impotence: the notion that a terrorist is
alone responsible for his actions, and that each, therefore, must be tried as an individual before a court of law. This viewpoint,
thankfully, is fading; most people now understand that terrorists exist only through the sanction and support of a government.
need not prove the identity of any of these creatures, because terrorism is not an issue of personalities. It cannot be stopped
by destroying bin Laden and the al-Qaeda army, or even by destroying the destroyers everywhere. If that is all we do, a new
army of militants will soon rise up to replace the old one.
The behavior of such militants is that of the regimes which
make them possible. Their atrocities are not crimes, but acts of war. The proper response, as the public now understands,
is a war in self-defense. In the excellent words of Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, we must "end states who sponsor
A proper war in self-defense is one fought without self-crippling restrictions placed on our commanders
in the field. It must be fought with the most effective weapons we possess (a few weeks ago, Rumsfeld refused, correctly,
to rule out nuclear weapons). And it must be fought in a manner that secures victory as quickly as possible and with the fewest
U.S. casualties, regardless of the countless innocents caught in the line of fire. These innocents suffer and die because
of the action of their own government in sponsoring the initiation of force against America. Their fate, therefore, is their
government's moral responsibility. There is no way for our bullets to be aimed only at evil men.
The public understandably
demands retaliation against Afghanistan. But in the wider context Afghanistan is insignificant. It is too devastated even
to breed many fanatics. Since it is no more these days than a place to hide, its elimination would do little to end terrorism.
is a specific disease, which can be treated only by a specific antidote. The nature of the disease (though not of its antidote)
has been suggested by Serge Schmemann (NYT 9/16/01). Our struggle now, he writes, is "not a struggle against a conventional
guerrilla force, whose yearning for a national homeland or the satisfaction of some grievance could be satisfied or denied.
The terrorists [on Tuesday] . . . issued no demands, no ultimatums. They did it solely out of grievance and hatred--hatred
for the values cherished in the West as freedom, tolerance, prosperity, religious pluralism and universal suffrage, but abhorred
by religious fundamentalists (and not only Muslim fundamentalists) as licentiousness, corruption, greed and apostasy."
word of this is true. The obvious implication is that the struggle against terrorism is not a struggle over Palestine. It
is a clash of cultures, and thus a struggle of ideas, which can be dealt with, ultimately, only by intellectual means. But
this fact does not depreciate the crucial role of our armed forces. On the contrary, it increases their effectiveness, by
pointing them to the right target.
Most of the Mideast is ruled by thugs who would be paralyzed by an American victory
over any of their neighbors. Iran, by contrast, is the only major country there ruled by zealots dedicated not to material
gain (such as more wealth or territory), but to the triumph by any means, however violent, of the Muslim fundamentalist movement
they brought to life. That is why Iran manufactures the most terrorists.
If one were under a Nazi aerial bombardment,
it would be senseless to restrict oneself to combatting Nazi satellites while ignoring Germany and the ideological plague
it was working to spread. What Germany was to Nazism in the 1940s, Iran is to terrorism today. Whatever else it does, therefore,
the U.S. can put an end to the Jihad-mongers only by taking out Iran.
Eliminating Iran's terrorist sanctuaries and
military capability is not enough. We must do the equivalent of de-Nazifying the country, by expelling every official and
bringing down every branch of its government. This goal cannot be achieved painlessly, by weaponry alone. It requires invasion
by ground troops, who will be at serious risk, and perhaps a period of occupation. But nothing less will "end the state" that
most cries out to be ended.
The greatest obstacle to U.S. victory is not Iran and its allies, but our own intellectuals.
Even now, they are advocating the same ideas that caused our historical paralysis. They are asking a reeling nation to show
neighbor-love by shunning "vengeance." The multiculturalists--rejecting the concept of objectivity--are urging us to "understand"
the Arabs and avoid "racism" (i.e., any condemnation of any group's culture). The friends of "peace" are reminding us, ever
more loudly, to "remember Hiroshima" and beware the sin of pride.
These are the kinds of voices being heard in the
universities, the churches, and the media as the country recovers from its first shock, and the professoriate et al. feel
emboldened to resume business as usual. These voices are a siren song luring us to untroubled sleep while the fanatics proceed
to gut America.
Tragically, Mr. Bush is attempting a compromise between the people's demand for a decisive war and
the intellectuals' demand for appeasement.
It is likely that the Bush administration will soon launch an attack on
bin Laden's organization in Afghanistan and possibly even attack the Taliban. Despite this, however, every sign indicates
that Mr. Bush will repeat the mistakes made by his father in Iraq. As of October 1, the Taliban leadership appears not to
be a target. Even worse, the administration refuses to target Iran, or any of the other countries identified by the State
Department as terrorist regimes. On the contrary, Powell is seeking to add to the current coalition these very states--which
is the equivalent of going into partnership with the Soviet Union in order to fight Communism (under the pretext, say, of
proving that we are not anti-Russian). By seeking such a coalition, our President is asserting that he needs the support of
terrorist nations in order to fight them. He is stating publicly that the world's only superpower does not have enough self-confidence
or moral courage to act unilaterally in its own defense.
For some days now, Mr. Bush has been downplaying the role
of our military, while praising the same policies (mainly negotiation and economic pressure) that have failed so spectacularly
and for so long. Instead of attacking the roots of global terrorism, he seems to be settling for a "guerrilla war" against
al-Qaeda, and a policy of unseating the Taliban passively, by aiding a motley coalition of native tribes. Our battle, he stresses,
will be a "lengthy" one.
Mr. Bush's compromise will leave the primary creators of terrorism whole--and unafraid. His
approach might satisfy our short-term desire for retribution, but it will guarantee catastrophe in the long term.
yet, however, no overall policy has been solidified; the administration still seems to be groping. And an angry public still
expects our government not merely to hobble terrorism for a while, but to eradicate it. The only hope left is that Mr. Bush
will listen to the public, not to the professors and their progeny.
When should we act, if not now? If our appeasement
has led to an escalation of disasters in the past, can it do otherwise in the future? Do we wait until our enemies master
nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare?
The survival of America is at stake. The risk of a U.S. overreaction, therefore,
is negligible. The only risk is underreaction.
Mr. Bush must reverse course. He must send our missiles and troops,
in force, where they belong. And he must justify this action by declaring with righteous conviction that we have discarded
the clichés of our paper-tiger past and that the U.S. now places America first.
There is still time to demonstrate that we take the war against terrorism seriously--as a sacred obligation to our Founding
Fathers, to every victim of the men who hate this country, and to ourselves. There is still time to make the world understand
that we will take up arms, anywhere and on principle, to secure an American's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief
must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them.
The above article
was published as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on October 2, 2001.
states that Iran has a "confirmed record of hiding sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities
from the IAEA."
The presentation contains numerous photographs, including satellite imagery, showing that Iran built "dummy buildings" to hide an underground
vehicle entrance and ventilator shafts at its Natanz facility.
has violated IAEA safeguards and provided false information about centrifuge development, plutonium experiments and military
involvement in nuclear activity, the 43-page report stated.
The presentation was shown recently at the U.S. mission to the IAEA in Vienna
at a briefing for IAEA representatives. It was produced by the Energy Department's
Los Alamos National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories.
Seven of Iran's 13 nuclear-related facilities were kept secret until 2002, including enrichment plants at Lashkar-Abad,
Tehran, Natanz, and uranium processing at Adrekan and Gachin,
the report said.
nuclear program is well-scaled for a weapons capability, as a comparison to [Pakistan's] nuclear weapons infrastructure shows," the report said. "When one also considers Iran's concealment and deception activities, it's difficult to escape the conclusion that Iran
is pursuing nuclear weapons."
The Bush administration is pressing the IAEA to refer the issue of Iran's covert nuclear program to the United Nations
Security Council, after months of diplomatic efforts by the governments of Britain,
France and Germany
have produced few results.
The United Nations could then impose economic sanctions against Iran or possibly a future authorization for the use of force.
states that Iran's uranium ore
resources are insufficient for Tehran to produce enough fuel
for civilian electrical power generating reactors.
"However, Iran's uranium resources are more than sufficient to support a nuclear weapons capability," the report
For example, Iran's Gachin uranium ore mine is producing about 21 tons of ore annually, enough to produce about
four nuclear bombs per year, the report said.
Satellite photographs included in the report show that Iran's gas centrifuge facility and its heavy water
plants closely resemble nuclear plants in Pakistan.
The report does not identify the country as Pakistan, but U.S. officials said the photographs show Pakistani nuclear infrastructure.
report also includes a comparison of nuclear weapons delivery vehicles and shows how Iran's Shahab-3 missile closely resembles Pakistan's Ghauri missile. Both have a range of up to 930 miles. Both are based on North Korea's No-Dong missile.
report notes that the Shahab-3 can carry a warhead weighing up to 2,200 pounds, and the Ghauri can carry a 1,540-pound warhead.
The report said that after Iran was caught with an "extensive concealment
and deception record," the government in Tehran claimed that
its nuclear program was for a peaceful nuclear fuel cycle.
However, the report said the lack of uranium ore reserves
could not support nuclear power plants but "are well scaled to give Iran
a significant number of nuclear weapons."
Iran Readying for Conflict with U.S.
September 17, 2005 Arab News Amir Taheri
Incredible though it may sound there are signs that Tehran may be preparing for a military
confrontation with the United States, and has convinced itself that it could win.
The first sign came last June with
the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic Republic, an event that completed the conquest of all levers
of power by the most radical elements of the establishment.
Since then Iran Readying for Conflict With US the revolutionary
factions have conducted a little publicized purge of the military, the security, the civil service, and state-owned corporations
The most significant purges have affected the military high command.
Among those replaced are the
defense minister, the commander-in-chief of the regular army and his four deputies, 11 senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps (IRGC), and five commanders of the paramilitary Mobilization of the Dispossessed. Some of the purged officers
have been "parked" in a mysterious new organ called "The Defense Guidance Commission" attached to the office of the "Supreme
Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi.
The minister of intelligence and security and the minister of the interior, who controls
the police and the gendarmerie, have also been replaced.
Another sign that Tehran
may be preparing for war is the appointment of military officers to posts normally held by civilians, such as governors, mayors
and directors of major public corporations.
But, perhaps, the surest sign yet is the military build up under way in
the five provinces bordering Iraq. The
region, with a population of 20 millions, has been put under the control of the IRGC which has also taken over units of the
regular army, including the 88th Division, and the border police. Iran
is estimated to have 250,000 troops in the area, its biggest military build-up since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.
One of the first acts of the new Cabinet led by Ahmadinejad was to approve an "emergency" fund of $700 million to
be disbursed at the discretion of "the supreme guide" for "sacred defense purposes."
The new administration has also
decided to speed up defense disbursements under a five-year plan approved by Khamenehi last year. The plan aims at doubling
the military budget by 2010. But it now seems that, thanks to rising oil revenues, most of the plan could be completed by
In the past few weeks top regime figures, including Khamenehi and Ahmadinejad, have made a series of unscheduled
visits to Mash'had, Iran's second largest city. One curious fact revealed during these visits is that a bunker-like structure
to house the "supreme guide" is being completed close to the "holy shrine" of Reza, the eighth imam. The complex could also
house the top echelon of government, including the president, the Cabinet and members of the Islamic Majlis (Parliament).
The choice of Mash'had is not accidental. The city is located 1,000 km
from Tehran and thus as far as possible inside Iran
from American fire power in Iraq and the
Gulf. The US is also expected to shrink
from attacks against the Mash'had bunker for fear of collateral damage to the "holy
shrine" of the imam a few hundred yards away.
The summer's comings-and-goings
in Mash'had have provoked rumors that Khamenehi plans to appoint Abbas Va'ez Tabasi, the mulla who runs the eighth imam's foundation,
as "deputy supreme guide", just in case!
The belief that the Americans would not attack sites close to "holy shrines' has also led to the creation of a massive new military base at Fadak, a suburb of the "holy city"
of Qom where the eighth imam's sister is buried, south of Tehran. Work on the base
that covers an area of 7.2 square km started in August.
Piecing together the bits of the jigsaw one may guess the
outline of Tehran's scenario for what it believes
is an inevitable clash with the US:
The diplomatic tussle over Iran's nuclear plans goes to the Security
Council that will fail to take a decision thanks to Russian and Chinese vetoes.
The US, after
much huffing and puffing launches air strikes against Iran's nuclear installations. (Tehran loves Israel to also participate because that would give the Islamic Republic a better
claim to be fighting on behalf of Islam as a whole.)
by ordering the forces it controls inside Iraq
to attack American and British troops. At the same time the Lebanese branch of the Hezbollah launches massive rocket attacks
against Israel while Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, whose leaders spent the past month in Tehran meeting Khamenehi and his aides,
organize a wave of suicide operations against Israel from Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The US and
its British allies, stationed in southern Iraq, launch a three-pronged
attack, from Shalamcheh, Hamroun and Shatt Al-Arab to seize control of Khuzestan, the province that accounts for 70 percent
Iranian Special Forces attack Iraq
from the Zaynalkosh salient, south of the Kurdish provinces, some 80 km from Baghdad's first defenses in Ba'aqubah.
Hazara Shi'ites strikes
against Kabul, the Afghan capital, from Maydanshahr while Pushtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
and the remnants of the Taleban, some of whom are under Iranian protection, attack across Afghanistan.
The Americans and their allies attack Khuzestan.
the Strait of Hormuz.
The Americans attack the Iranian provinces of Kermanshahan and
US-led forces attack across the Mandali-Ilam axis. The Iranians
retreat to the Zagross mountain range, the first line of Iran's natural defenses. (To fight along the Zagross the IRGC is building new bases at Khorramabad,
Pessyan, Borujerd, Zagheh and Malayer in the province of Luristan. The bases would assure the logistics of a quarter of a million troops, and
provide temporary shelter for half a million refugees from the border. These bases will complement older ones further west,
at Sahneh and Kangavar. )
Oil prices top $100 and the global economy plunges into a crisis.
Americans launch cruise missiles against "regime targets" in Tehran. But the regime is already in Mash'had.
Global TV networks air images of "indiscriminate carnage" and
"wanton destruction" in Iranian cities.
The Security Council meets in emergency and orders a cease-fire
while the American media and Congress revolt against President George W Bush and his "pre-emptive" strategy.
Anti-Bush marches in Washington and dozens of other cities with
Hollywood figures and other celebrities calling for Bush to be overthrown.
Bush accepts a UN-brokered cease-fire and withdraws his forces.
The Islamic Republic emerges victorious from what Ahmadinejad
sees as "a clash of civilizations."
The Americans leave Iraq
and Afghanistan as Bush becomes a lame
duck for the rest of his presidency.
The Islamic Republic gains new domestic legitimacy and proceeds
to crush its opponents as "enemies of the nation and of Islam."
Iran can speed
up making its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles without being harassed by Washington.
"the core power" of a new "Islamic pole" in a multipolar system with China,
the European Union and Latin America, Under the Bolivarist leadership of Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez emerging as other "poles".
Bush's successor acknowledges
Iran's new status and sends
Bill Clinton, who apologized to Iran for "our past misdeeds" in 2000, to
Tehran to offer another formal apology on behalf of Bush's successor and offer Ahmadinejad "a grand bargain".
The Islamic Republic is now free to proceed to address what Khamenehi has described as
its "greatest historic task" which is the destruction of Israel.
Sounds outlandish? Well, it is. The Islamic Republic is a fragile structure in a zone of political earthquakes. Logically,
the last thing it should want is war. Nevertheless, former President Muhammad Khatami has warned that Tehran may be boxing itself into a position in which it will either have to surrender or
Iran's Nuclear Agenda
September 14, 2005 UPI Claude Salhani
WASHINGTON -- As Iran's
newly elected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York to attend the U.N. general
assembly he was met by a flurry of protests and warnings that the Islamic republic is being seen as a growing threat to the
Iran, reveals a "white paper" released by the Iran Policy Committee, a group lobbying Washington to take action on Iran, is far more threatening
towards the United States today following
the election of Ahmadinejad. The Committee, as well as groups of Iranians opposed to the theocratic regime in Tehran, see Ahmadinejad's victory as consolidating
the power of the mullahs under the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The IPC reminded during a press conference Tuesday
that "Iran has unilaterally violated its
prior commitments and has resumed enrichment-related activities at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility, posing a serious
challenge to the international community."
The White Paper focuses on revelations, not known before, of the "Iranian
regime's efforts to destabilize Iraq
and sabotage American attempts to spread democracy in the Middle East." The Paper also reflects
the outcome of an IPC Task Force that investigated Iranian opposition groups' capabilities
and allegations, and made new policy recommendations.
Meanwhile, Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, gave a press conference in Brussels, where he
pointed out that Tehran intends to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
The Iranian opposition group claims to have come across information that in order to obtain weapons grade uranium,
"the Iranian regime has been concentrating on building 5,000 centrifuge machines as the first phase toward the ultimate goal
of building 50,000 such machines, subsequent to previous revelations by the NCRI concerning the directive by the Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei to continue the manufacture of centrifuge machines in blatant breach of the Paris Agreement."
opposition group claims that the Supreme National Security Council's nuclear committee
discussed this matter. "In order to expedite the advancement of nuclear projects and the procurement of enriched uranium,
those in charge focus on starting up a limited number of centrifuges to obtain enriched uranium as quickly as possible. As
such, the regime would be able to obtain enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs in a shorter time frame."
recalled that "Natanz was designed to house 50,000 centrifuge machines, but their manufacture is taking place in several stages.
The first phase involves the manufacture of 5,000 machines."
Safavi claims "the regime has completed testing on nearly
two-thirds of these centrifuges and is working rapidly to prepare other requirements to install them at Natanz." It named
engineer Mohammadi, a Defense Ministry centrifuge expert, who regularly visits Natanz, to ensure the preparatory work is carried
out according to plans.
Tehran, said the Iranian dissident, "smuggled the engines for
the centrifuges from China through Dubai
in the past two years." He went on to say that "orders for the production of one of the most sensitive part of a centrifuge
machine, Copper-Beryllium Cup of Bottom Bearing, has been placed at one of Defense Ministry's
A secret company in the Defense Ministry's Defense Industries
group, called "Precision machines and equipment" is also involved in building parts and assembling centrifuges.
addition to companies affiliated with the Defense Ministry, several cover companies that are involved in the manufacture and
testing of centrifuges are located in a seven-story building in Tehran that is owned by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran;
he gives the address as Seyyed Jamal ad-Din Assad-Abadi Street, 15th Street, number 33, Tehran.
While the regime's experts believe that only 1,000 centrifuges are needed to produce highly enriched uranium for
a nuclear bomb, building 5,000 provides the necessary cover to pursue military aims.
Safavi reminded that "if the
international community, in particular the IAEA, does not move to refer Iran's nuclear file to the U.N. Security Council, the world would be in a perilous situation."
is even more urgency today given the 22-month negotiations with the EU-3 -- Britain,
France and Germany --
provided ample opportunity and precious time to Tehran "to
continue and complete many of its nuclear programs."
The representative of the Iranian Resistance group stressed there
was "no longer any justification to delay the referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the Security Council. We welcome the fact that the EU-3 has finally, after
wasting 22 months, came to the conclusion that the negotiations were fruitless and that Iran must be referred to the Security
"Time is of the essence," said Safavi. "The Tehran
regime must not be allowed to use its oil revenues to fund its secret and dangerous nuclear projects."
FORMER United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has warned that Iran's nuclear
ambition is more serious than was the case with Iraq in 2003.
Dr Blix delivered the Sydney Peace Prize Lecture last night, saying he was still optimistic the international community
could escape the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
But he said that souring relations between the big world powers could raise long-term military tensions.
His comments came as Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the country's nuclear program was "irreversible", voicing
continued defiance in the face of possible new international sanctions.
Speaking before the lecture, Dr Blix said US hostility towards Iran was similar to that expressed by the US before the
"The US is orchestrating allegations or contentions — some which may be true, some which may not be proven —
about Iranian participation in the Iraqi situation with the roadside bombs and the training of militias," he said.
"That sort of orchestration you saw before the Iraq war."
The crucial difference with Iran now was that Iraq was "practically prostrate" in 2003.
"They had had sanctions since 1991 and were in miserable shape and everyone knew that," he said.
"In the case of Iran, this is very different. Iran is a country that has a big military apparatus.
"They have also a large nuclear sector with two nuclear power reactors that are ready to go into operation, research reactors
going on, a lot of people and a lot of money.
"Therefore the suspicions and concerns about Iran and enriched uranium are far more substantial than they were in the case
President Ahmadinejad, who rejects US accusations the country is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, said yesterday that
Iran had 3000 centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium.
Enriched uranium can fuel power plants but also, if refined further, provide material for bombs. Western experts say 3000
machines could make enough enriched uranium for an atomic bomb in about a year.
"The Iranian nation has entered the phase of industrial scale of nuclear fuel (production) and the train of the Iranian
nation's progress is irreversible," President Ahmadinejad told a rally in South Khorasan province broadcast live on state
"Today, we've reached 3000 centrifuges," he said.
When Iran announced launching the 3000 centrifuges in April, the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, said Tehran had only 328 centrifuges up and running at its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.
In a recent report, drawn up by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency put the number of centrifuges working in Natanz
at close to 2000, with another 650 being tested.
Dr Blix said the main concern related to Iran's intentions, not its nuclear capacity.
"The Iranians themselves assert that they have no intentions to go for nuclear weapons, that it is abhorrent to them,"
"But it is also clear they could change their mind one day and if they did that they would be a couple of years closer
to a weapon."
With AP, REUTERS
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/11/07/1194329319275.html
With the Annapolis summit scheduled to begin Tuesday, top Israeli government policy officials have expressed to WND concerns
Iran is on the brink of destabilizing Lebanon.
At issue is the stalemate over selecting a new president to succeed President Emil Lahoud, whose term expired last week.
On Friday, Hezbollah blocked another parliamentary vote for a new president, forcing the U.S.-backed government of Prime
Minister Fouad Siniora to exert emergency powers and assume the powers of the presidency.
To underscore Syria's continued close relationship with Iran, Syria's President Bashar Assad allowed Iran's President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to publish in an Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency report a telephone conversation in which the two leaders affirmed their support for the creation of a Palestinian state.
In a comment designed to undermine the Annapolis conference, the IRNA reported, "Only the real representatives of the Palestinian
nation are eligible to decide their own destiny, said the two presidents."
The report ended stressing, "The two presidents underlined that the upcoming Annapolis conference is doomed to failure."
Israeli officials are concerned no solution can be reached over the formation of a Palestinian state as long Iran continues
to pursue uranium enrichment in open defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.N. Security Council.
Hezbollah owes its origin to spiritual leader Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, who got the inspiration to create the
Hezbollah from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s, when Fadlallah studied under Khomeini while the two were in exile in
Iran currently funds both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza, even though Hamas is a Sunni organization that owes
its origin to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah supports the candidacy of Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian politician who has reversed his previous
anti-Syrian position to support Syria, after Syria withdrew its military from Lebanon in 2005, in the wake of Syrian involvement
in the assassination of Lebanon former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Now, Aoun openly supports Hezbollah, defying the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon's population, as reflected in the parliamentary
alliance that created the Siniora government in Parliament.
Under the Lebanese Constitution, the president must come from the Maronite Christian community, while the jobs of prime
minister and parliamentary speaker are earmarked for Sunni and Shi'a Muslims.
Experienced Middle Eastern observer Amir Taheri wrote last week, "Within the next week or so, we'll know whether Iran (acting through proxies in Beirut) will trigger a new civil war in
Hezbollah deputy leader Sheik Naim Kassam asserted last week the Siniora government has no right to assume the powers of
"This government is illegitimate and unconstitutional," Kassam said in a speech last week. "It doesn't exist, so it can't rule and it can't exercise the role of the presidency."
Taheri reported most Lebanese Christians and Sunni Muslims want a president who would "symbolize Lebanon's independence
from both Iran and Syria."
Taheri also reported a majority of the Shi'ite Muslims in Lebanon, almost 40 percent of the population, is split between
Hezbollah, which follows directives from Iran, and the Amal Movement, led by Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri.
While Amal has close ties now established to Tehran, Berri still prefers Syrian influence in Lebanon.
The Amal Movement, founded in 1975 by Iranian-born Lebanese Shi'a religious leader Musa al-Sadr, formed an important militia
in the Lebanese Civil War.
In the Lebanese Civil War in the 1980s, Amal embraced the support of Syria in a campaign against Palestinian refugees in
what became known as the "War of the Camps" and attacked Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon and the southern suburbs
Hezbollah and pro-Syrian Shi'ite groups such as Amal have been insisting on a two-thirds vote in Lebanon's parliament to
select the next president.
Taheri noted a win for Iran in the selection of Lebanon's next president would confirm Ahmadinejad's claim that the United
States is already preparing the "last helicopter" to flee from Iraq the moment a successor is chosen to President Bush.
Ahmadinejad's "last helicopter" reference is drawn to the fall of Saigon and the famous photograph taken by Dutch UPI photographer
Hubert van Es on April 19, 2005, showing Vietnamese civilians desperately trying to board an American helicopter on an apartment
While the debate in the Lebanese parliament has thus far remained civil, history leads experienced Lebanon observers to
be concerned the controversy could spill into volatile street protests if the deadlock over the selection of a new president
is not resolved soon.
Iran's former senior nuclear negotiator has been arrested and charged with spying for Britain.
Hossein Mousavian, who played a pivotal role in Iran's fraught negotiations with the West over Tehran's nuclear programme,
is said to have passed classified information to the British Embassy in the Iranian capital.
A former security official and respected ambassador, Mousavian is also accused of meeting and communicating with foreign
agents and exchanging sensitive information with them.
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Charged: Hossein Mousavian passed secrets to the British Embassy in Iran, it was claimed
The charges will place more pressure on the tense diplomatic relationship between London and Tehran over the nuclear enrichment
programme at a time when the United Nations is considering stepping up sanctions against Iran.
Mousavian was one of the Iranian government's top nuclear negotiators under former reformist President Mohammad Khatami
until hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected.
He removed the negotiating team, which he had accused of making too many concessions to the West.
Significantly, on Monday President Ahmadinejad attacked critics of his nuclear policies as "traitors" and accused them
of spying for Iran's enemies.
He used his strongest rhetoric yet against his domestic opponents and raised concerns of a possible crackdown.
"We even have a recorded speech of one of them telling the enemy, "Why should you give up?... Step up pressures to make
them (Iran) retreat"," Ahmadinejad said, without identifying the person at the time.
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Mousavian is a close friend of Hashemi Rafsanjani (left), a leading rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right)
A spokesman for the Foreign Office in London declined to comment yesterday but one official in the Middle East said Mousavian
regularly met European envoys in Tehran from October 2003 in talks to resolve the nuclear dispute.
"It was normal diplomatic activity in that we sought to find out what the Iranian position was and he conveyed the Iranian
position," one European envoy said.
"Whether they are simply claiming that in doing their government duty people like Mousavian were traitors, or whether they
are claiming that over and above their government duty Mousavian passed sensitive information, we don't know," the envoy added.
Mousavian, who was also briefly detained in May on suspicion of espionage, is said to have been taken into custody on Monday
shortly after appearing at a rally next to former president Hashemi Rafsanjani when he warned that Iran was facing "serious
It was Mousavian's first major public appearance since being released in May.
No details of when he will appear in court were given yesterday but he is likely to appear before Iran's Revolutionary
Courts. The charges carry sentences of up to life in prison.
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, a former judge, speaking on behalf of the authorities, said: "He has been informed of the
charges that he has given the British Embassy information contrary to the security of the country.
"His crime from the viewpoint of the Intelligence Ministry is obvious and provable."
Mousavian was a senior member of Iran's negotiating team between 2003 and 2005 which regularly met EU officials.
He was Iran's ambassador to Germany in the late 1990s and early 2000s.