Archive for the ‘Imperialism’ category

Iranian Officials Ratchet Up Genocidal Anti-Israel Rhetoric After Nuclear Deal

August 18, 2015

Iranian Officials Ratchet Up Genocidal Anti-Israel Rhetoric After Nuclear Deal, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Steven Emerson, August 18, 2015

(Three additional videos are available at the linked site. — DM)

A video shows the Revolutionary Guard Corps massing on a hill overlooking Jerusalem.

A conference of religious scholars features speaker after speaker calling Israel’s annihilation inevitable and promising that a “new phase” in that effort is about to begin.

While some in the United States and among its Western allies may hope that a nuclear weapons deal with Iran might steer the Islamic Republic in a new, more responsible direction, hardliners draw new lines and issue new threats.

On Monday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei took to social media to attack the United States and Israel. “We spare no opportunity to support anyone #FightingTheZionists,” wrote the ayatollah, whose regime supplies Hizballah and Hamas with rockets and other weapons of terror.

Perhaps more chilling is an animated video from the Islamic Revolution Design House, a media outfit associated with Iranian hardliners. It shows a soldier preparing for battle. He puts on a Revolutionary Guard patch, and then a Qassam Brigades headband, followed by a ski mask and a Palestinian scarf around his neck, while arming himself with a machine gun and a pistol. As he puts on a helmet, we see him looking over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, home of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque. The image pulls back, showing the soldier amid a sea of conquering troops.

A concluding message invokes Ayatollah Khomeini’s threat that Israel must be wiped off the map and promises that day is coming soon.

 

 

A conference held in Beirut late last month reinforced that message over and over again. The General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema (Scholars) held its first gathering under the banner “Unity for Palestine.” The weekend meeting included fiery rhetoric from an Iranian ayatollah and Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.

“Annihilation of the Zionist regime is a sure thing and Quranic pledge,” Ayatollah Mohsen Araki told the assembly. Araki is secretary general of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, emphasizing the importance of unifying “Muslims in countering the regime of Zionism and the arrogant World.”

Many of the speeches were uploaded to YouTube and translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Nasrallah called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and said “It is only a matter of time” before it is defeated.

“We believe with certainty that Israel, this cancerous tumor, is headed for extinction, and that Palestine and Jerusalem will be returned to their people. It is only a matter of time and [this outcome] is linked to the will, action, jihad, and sacrifices of the Ummah, according to the principle: If you achieve victory for Allah, Allah will lead you to achieve victory.” Nasrallah said it was Allah’s will for Muslims to achieve “final victory over the Zionist scheme” and urged the assembly not to waste the opportunity.

“The day in which we will all pray in Jerusalem, Inshallah (God willing) is inevitably coming Inshallah. All of these calamities, conspiracies, and crises are merely trials to strengthen and make fit all those who believe in this project and in this path to enable them to be worthy of the coming victory. Some people may gain victory but then waste it.

Allah Almighty wants our Ummah (nation) in its final victory over the Zionist project and in restoring Palestine and Jerusalem to be worthy of this huge historic victory and to be worthy of preserving this victory and not to lose it as many victories have been lost.”

Muhammad Hasan Zamani, a former Iranian cultural counselor in Egypt who runs the Department of International Islamic Madrasas for the General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema, maintained the theme, insisting there is no peaceful resolution that would end in Iran’s acceptance of a Jewish state.

“Israel must be erased from the map of the world. These are the golden words Imam Khomeini (may God have mercy on him) uttered. Why do we assert the obligation of erasing Israel from the world, and not speak of erasing America and other unjust countries from the world? We in Iran say slogans in marches, Death to Israel, Death to America, Death to the English, and so forth and so on.”

Iran considers America the “greater Satan,” Zamani went on to say, but the Islamic Republic respects other governments which were chosen by their people. By contrast, he claimed Israel is not legitimate: “I say that the example of the rule of the Zionists is the example of thieves who attack a house and occupy the house and the people of the house defend their house.”

Sheikh Abdel Halim Qadhi, a professor at Zahidan University, explained that the conflict is inherently about religion. “[T]he Holy Quran makes it know that Jews are the enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and their holy places and rites,” he said.

“Jihad is the most powerful and only way to liberate Palestine and defend Jerusalem,” he added, saying “God loves those who fight in his way.”

In a final statement from conference attendees, the group emphasized “the first and most important obligation is to unite the Umma to liberate the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem, reported Al-Manar, a Lebanese news outlet considered close to Iran’s proxy Hizballah. The group also said “resistance” was the way “to achieve victory in Lebanon and Palestine, despite the unlimited support received by the Zionist enemy and continuing inaction of the countries in the region.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, published a 416-page book earlier this month outlining the destruction of Israel, referring to the Jewish state as an ally of “The American Great Satan.”

The book features a long-term strategy that entails terrorizing Israel in a war of attrition that would lead to Jews leaving Israel for other countries.

Supporters of the nuclear deal say it’s a fantasy to expect a better outcome should Congress override President Obama’s expected veto of a vote to defeat the agreement. The combined statements of Iran and its supporting clerics makes clear, however, that the true fantasy is any expectation Iran will turn away from terror as a result of its engagement with world powers.

The day after the deal

August 9, 2015

The day after the deal, Israel Hayom, Prof. Eyal Zisser, August 9, 2015

(Please see also, Russia and US woo Saudis to help save Assad – albeit putting Israel and Jordan in danger from S. Syria.– DM)

[Soleimani] wanted Russia and Iran to agree on the division of the Middle East in a way that would serve their clients in the region (among them, Assad) and check their joint enemies (the Islamic State). After figuring that out, they probably moved on to the next topic: how to marginalize America in the region. As a means to both ends, Russia will continue to serve as Assad’s protector (despite his many crimes), all the while providing Iran with international backing. But above all it will send arms to Iran, to the Syrian regime, and if needed, to Hezbollah.

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Over the weekend it transpired that Maj. Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, had visited Moscow two weeks ago and met with President Vladimir Putin. The Quds Force, in case you forgot, is in charge of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ clandestine operations (including terrorism). The Quds Force is responsible for providing aid to Hezbollah and Hamas as well as to Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. In light of his direct involvement in terrorism, the international community imposed sanctions on Soleimani, including travel restrictions.

Only last week, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry vowed that the U.S. will make sure the sanctions on Soleimani would stay in effect and that the Obama administration would counter Iran’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East. But no one takes Kerry seriously anymore. While Kerry continues to engage Iran’s unimportant Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the real wheeling and dealing is actually in Moscow.

Soleimani did not go to Moscow because he had tickets to the Bolshoi. Rather, he arrived because he wanted to discuss “the day after the nuclear deal” with Putin. Namely, he wanted Russia and Iran to agree on the division of the Middle East in a way that would serve their clients in the region (among them, Assad) and check their joint enemies (the Islamic State). After figuring that out, they probably moved on to the next topic: how to marginalize America in the region. As a means to both ends, Russia will continue to serve as Assad’s protector (despite his many crimes), all the while providing Iran with international backing. But above all it will send arms to Iran, to the Syrian regime, and if needed, to Hezbollah.

The Russians, unlike the Iranians, don’t consider Israel to be an enemy state. But as a famous Russian official once said: “When you chop wood, chips fly.” Israel has become the latest chip — the collateral damage. Soleimani’s visit is just the tip of iceberg. It shed light on the not-so-secret deals that are being negotiated in the wake of the “Vienna nuclear agreement.” Europe, as usual, is focused on profit and its corporate executives are already traveling in droves to Tehran to ink deals. There are also political deals Iran wants to secure, which are as important for Tehran. Their price, however, will be measured in blood rather than in euros or dollars.

No one in the Middle East, it seems, is keen on parsing each and every provision in the nuclear deal. Nor is there an attempt to see whether, in the grand scheme of things, it is will have been a worthwhile endeavor some 10 or 15 years from now, when its key elements expire. In this region, what counts is the way this agreement is perceived here and now — and what really matters to people is the way it is portrayed in the media. Under that criteria, Iran is the victor and America is the vanquished, because it caved to Iran. The deal, according to how the media has portrayed it, is a crushing political blow to Israel and the moderate Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia.

This knockout victory will likely produce a new Iranian-American partnership. At the very least, the two nations will mend fences. This will alienate many of Washington’s clients, who will have to look elsewhere for a more reliable ally. Egypt and the Saudis have already realized this and turned to Russia for aid and arms, figuring it would be more trustworthy than the “staff of this broken reed” (Isaiah 36:6).

Saudi Arabia is reportedly sending feelers to see if there is a deal to be had with Russia and Iran. Under the terms of the proposed deal, Saudi Arabia would withhold aid to the Syrian rebels if Iran ends its rogue presence in the state. Such a deal would secure Assad a victory over the insurgents, or a least ensure his regime survives.

The ongoing developments have caused panic, but not over the rising clout of Iran and Russia. The White House, it seems, is fretting over the possibility that Congress may vote against the Iran deal and further tarnish Obama’s image.

Obama’s Strategy Of Equilibrium

August 6, 2015

Obama’s Strategy Of Equilibrium, Middle East Media Research Institute, Yigal Carmon and Alberto M. Fernandez, August 5, 2015

(The conflict between Shiite and Sunni factions has been going on since shortly after the death of Mohamed. Obama is not likely to bring reconciliation. — DM)

This article will analyze the strategy of creating an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites as a means to promote peace in the Middle East. It will examine the meaning of the strategy in political terms, how realistic it is, and what its future implications might be on the region and on the United States.

“It is worth noting that the first Islamic State created in the Middle East in the last 50 years was not the one created in the Sunni world in 2014 and headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” Rather, it was the Islamic Republic of Iran created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and currently ruled by his successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who maintains – even following the Iran deal – the mantra “Death to America,” continues to sponsor terrorism worldwide, and commits horrific human rights violations.

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Introduction

In an interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times (“Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal,” July 14, 2015), President Obama asked that the nuclear deal with Iran be judged only by how successfully it prevents Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb, not on “whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran” or “whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran.” However, in many interviews he has given over the last few years, he has revealed a strategy and a plan that far exceed the Iran deal: a strategy which aims to create an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites in the Muslim world.

President Obama believes that such an equilibrium will result in a more peaceful Middle East in which tensions between regional powers are reduced to mere competition. As he told David Remnick in an interview with The New Yorker, “…if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion…you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare” (“Going the Distance,” January 27, 2014).

In discussing the Iran deal, the President recalled President Nixon negotiating with China and President Reagan negotiating with the Soviet Union in order to explain the scope of his strategy for the Middle East and the Muslim world. President Obama seeks, as did Presidents Reagan and Nixon with China and the Soviet Union, to impact the region as a whole. The Iran deal, even if major, is just one of several vehicles that would help achieve this goal.

This article will analyze the strategy of creating an equilibrium between Sunnis and Shiites as a means to promote peace in the Middle East. It will examine the meaning of the strategy in political terms, how realistic it is, and what its future implications might be on the region and on the United States.

The Meaning Of The Equilibrium Strategy In Political Terms

Examining the strategy of equilibrium requires the recollection of some basic information. Within Islam’s approximately 1.6 billion believers, the absolute majority – about 90% – is Sunni, while Shiites constitute only about 10%.  Even in the Middle East, Sunnis are a large majority.

What does the word “equilibrium” mean in political terms? In view of the above stated data, the word “equilibrium” in actual political terms means empowering the minority and thereby weakening the majority in order to progress toward the stated goal. However, the overwhelming discrepancy in numbers makes it impossible to reach an equilibrium between the two camps. Therefore, it would be unrealistic to believe that the majority would accept a policy that empowers its adversary and weakens its own historically superior status.

Implications For The Region

Considering the above, the implications of the equilibrium strategy for the region might not be enhancing peace as the President well intends; rather, it might intensify strife and violence in the region. The empowered minority might be persuaded to increase its expansionist activity, as can be already seen: Iran has extended its influence from Lebanon to Yemen. Iranian analyst Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini stated in an interview on September 24, 2014, “We in the axis of resistance are the new sultans of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. We in Tehran, Damascus, [Hizbullah’s] southern suburb of Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa will shape the map of the region. We are the new sultans of the Red Sea as well” (MEMRITV Clip No. 4530). Similarly, in a statement dedicated to the historically indivisible connection between Iraq and Iran, advisor to President Rouhani Ali Younesi stressed that, “Since its inception, Iran has [always] had a global [dimension]; it was born an empire” (MEMRI Report No. 5991).

In view of this reality, this strategy might create, against the President’s expectations, more bitterness and willingness on the part of the majority to fight for their status. This has already been realized; for example, when Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen after facing the Houthi/Shiite revolution, which it perceived as a grave danger to its survival, and created a fighting coalition within a month to counter it. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has previously demonstrated that it regards Bahrain as an area where any Iranian attempt to stir up unrest will be answered by Saudi military intervention. According to reports, Saudi Arabia has been supporting the Sunni population in Iraq, and in Lebanon, a standstill has resulted because Saudi Arabia has shown that it will not give up – even in a place where Iranian proxy Hizbollah is the main power. Hence, the strategy of equilibrium has a greater chance of resulting in the eruption of regional war than in promoting regional peace.

Implications For The United States

Moreover, this strategy might have adverse implications for the United States and its interests in the Sunni Muslim world: those countries that feel betrayed by the strategy might, as a result, take action against the United States – hopefully only politically (such as changing international alliances) or economically. These countries might be careful about their public pronouncements and might even voice rhetorical support to U.S. policy, as the GCC states did on August 3, but the resentment is there.

Realpolitik Versus Moral Considerations

The analysis presented here is based on principles of realpolitik: in politics, one does not align with the minority against the majority. However, sometimes other considerations take precedence. Morality is such an example: the Allies could not refrain from fighting Nazi Germany because it was a majority power – ultimately, they recognized the moral obligation to combat the Third Reich. However, with regard to the Middle East, the two adversaries are on equal standing: the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different than the Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Obama and Secretary Kerry would be wrong to think that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the sophisticated partygoer in New York City, represents the real Iran. Zarif, his negotiating team, and President Rouhani himself, all live under the shadow and at the mercy of the Supreme Leader, the ayatollahs, and the IRGC.

“It is worth noting that the first Islamic State created in the Middle East in the last 50 years was not the one created in the Sunni world in 2014 and headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” Rather, it was the Islamic Republic of Iran created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and currently ruled by his successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who maintains – even following the Iran deal – the mantra “Death to America,” continues to sponsor terrorism worldwide, and commits horrific human rights violations.

Analysis: Arabs see US-trained anti-Islamist force as only fit to ‘play paintball’

August 6, 2015

Analysis: Arabs see US-trained anti-Islamist force as only fit to ‘play paintball’, Jerusalem PostAriel Ben Solomon, August 6, 2015

ShowImage (7)AN ISIS member rides on a rocket launcher in Raqqa in Syria two months ago. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The deal with Iran and the cooperation with Iranian forces against Islamic State, include “Shi’ite militias that are no less criminal.”

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The Arab world perceives the dramatic failure of the small US-trained Syrian rebel force as a further indication that it cannot be a reliable ally against the Iran led Shi’ite axis.

A US defense official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that at least five Syrian rebels it has trained are believed to have been captured by the Nusra Front.

That followed an attack by the Nusra Front on Friday thought to have killed one member of the so-called “New Syrian Forces,” in what would be their first battlefield casualty.

The incidents underscore the extreme vulnerability of the New Syrian Forces, a still tiny group estimated to number less than 60, who only deployed to the battlefield in recent weeks.

The Pentagon is far behind on its goals to train around 5,000 fighters a year.

Kirk Sowell, principal of Uticensis Risk Services, a Middle East-focused political risk firm, who closely follows Arab media summed it up this way on Twitter: “Pentagon: Arab media are laughing at you.”

Sowell posted a broadcast by pro-opposition Orient News, which expressed astonishment as to why the US would send in a force of only 50 to 60 fighters to help destroy Islamic State.

Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum who closely follows Islamist opposition groups in Syria and Iraq, told The Jerusalem Post that “for many Sunni Arabs and Syrian Sunni Arab rebels in particular, this train-and-equip program has had no credibility from the outset.”

This is because the notion of fighting Islamic State while ignoring regime forces does not make sense for them, said Tamimi.

“US policymakers’ sense of reality on the ground is seriously in question with the apparent failure to anticipate a clash with the Nusra Front, which has a notable presence in the Azaz district into which the force of 50-60 men was inserted,” he continued.

Since the US has targeted Nusra Front in air strikes it is not surprising that the group would view a US backed group as a threat, he said.

Middle East researcher Ali Bakir, who also writes for Arab publications, told the Post on Wednesday that “no one in the Arab world takes this program seriously; I mean you would need around 50 to 60 people to play paintball but definitely not to fight Islamic State.”

“There is a profound general perception in the Arab world that the Obama administration is no less responsible than Iran and Russia in the Syrian crisis,” he said.

The deal with Iran and the cooperation with Iranian forces against Islamic State, include “Shi’ite militias that are no less criminal.”

This situation is increasingly seen in the Arab world as siding with the Shi’ites at the expense of the vast majority of Muslims, he asserted.

The US administration is more concerned about not jeopardizing the Iran deal than helping the Syrian people, Bakir added.

Contentions | Has Obama Read the Khamenei Palestine Book?

August 4, 2015

Contentions | Has Obama Read the Khamenei Palestine Book? Commentary Magazine, August 4, 2015

(Another interesting question would be, does Obama agree with any of Khamenei’s statements and, if so, which? — DM)

The Khamenei Palestine book is important not in and of itself but because the regime’s obsession with Israel is a key to its foreign policy. . . . But as much as Iran is focused on regional hegemony in which Sunni states would be brought to heel, as Khamenei’s Palestine illustrates, it is the fixation on Israel and Zionism that really animates their expansionism and aid for terror groups.

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It turns out President Obama isn’t the only world leader who writes books. His counterpart in Iran – Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — has also just published a new book. But while it may not be as introspective as Obama’s Dreams From My Father, it does tell us at least as much about the vision of the person in charge in Tehran (as opposed to Hassan Rouhani, the faux moderate who serves as its president) as the president’s best-selling memoir. As Amir Taheri reports in the New York Post, Palestine is a 416-page diatribe against the existence of the state of Israel and a call to arms for it to be destroyed. Supporters of the nuclear deal the president has struck with Khamenei’s regime may dismiss this book as merely one more example of the Supreme Leader’s unfortunate ideology that must be overlooked. But as the New York Times noted last week, the administration’s real goal here isn’t so much in delaying Iran’s march to a nuclear weapon (which is the most that can be claimed for the agreement) as it is fostering détente with it. Seen in that light, the latest evidence of the malevolence of the Islamist regime should be regarded as yet another inarguable reason for Congress to vote the deal down.

In his interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg on May 21, President Obama was asked directly about the significance of Iran’s anti-Semitism and its commitment to destroying Israel. The president said the anti-Semitism of the Iranian leadership did not mean they weren’t also “interested in survival” or being “rational.” As far as he was concerned, the ideology of the regime was not something that would influence its decisions.

But everything Khamenei says and, even more importantly, everything the regime does, by funding terrorist groups at war with Israel such as Hamas and Hezbollah or by embarking on a ruinously expensive nuclear project that placed it in conflict with the West, speaks to its commitment to policies that Obama may think are irrational but which are completely in synch with what he called its “organizing principle.” Why would a nation so rich in oil need to risk international isolation or war seek nuclear power if not to help Khamenei fulfill his pledge to “liberate” what is now Israel for Muslims?

The president told Goldberg that the American military option would be a sufficient deterrent to ensure that Iran didn’t violate the nuclear pact or behave in an irrational manner. But since the president has ruled out the use of force in a categorical manner, it’s hard to see why the Iranians would fear it once the U.S. and Europe are doing business with them. Even if it was a matter of snapping back sanctions, assuming that such a concept is even possible? Once the restrictions are unraveled, it’s fair to ask why would they work then when the president repeatedly tells us additional sanctions won’t work now and require us to accept the current deal that doesn’t achieve the objectives that the administration set for the negotiations when they began.

The Khamenei Palestine book is important not in and of itself but because the regime’s obsession with Israel is a key to its foreign policy. Iran constitutes a grave threat to Neighboring Arab countries that are at least as angry about the president’s embrace of Tehran as the Israelis since their nuclear status would undermine their security. But as much as Iran is focused on regional hegemony in which Sunni states would be brought to heel, as Khamenei’s Palestine illustrates, it is the fixation on Israel and Zionism that really animates their expansionism and aid for terror groups.

As Taheri notes in his article on the book, Khamenei distinguishes his idée fixe about destroying Israel from European anti-Semitism. Rather, he insists, that his policy derives from “well established Islamic principles.” Chief among them is the idea that any land that was once ruled by Muslims cannot be conceded to non-believers no matter who lives there now. While the Muslim world seems to understand that they’re not getting Spain back, the territory that constitutes the state of Israel is something else. Its central location in the middle of the Muslim and Arab worlds and the fact that Jews, a despised minority people, now rule it makes its existence particularly objectionable to Islamists like Khamenei.

Khamenei’s book shows that not only is he serious about wanting to destroy Israel and uproot its Jewish population, he regards this project as a practical rather than a theoretical idea. The administration ignores this because it wants to believe that Iran is a nation that wants to, as the president put it, “get right with the world.” But what it wants is to do business with the world while pursuing its ideological goals. The nuclear deal is a means to an end for the regime and that end does not involve good relations with the West or cooperation with other states in the region, let alone coexisting peacefully with Israel.

What is curious is that this is the same administration that regarded the announcement of a housing project in Jerusalem by low-level Israeli officials as an “insult” to Vice President Biden. But it chooses to regard the “death to America” chants led by regime functionaries in Iran as well as a book by the country’s leader indicating that Obama’s ideas about its character are fallacious as non-events. The only explanation for this remarkable lack of interest in Iranian behavior is an ideological fixation on détente with Tehran that is every bit as hardcore as any utterances that emanate from the mouth or the pen of the Supreme Leader.

Taken out of the context of a vision of friendship with the Iranian regime, the nuclear deal makes no sense. Yet squaring that vision with Khamenei’s literary effort is impossible. Members of the House and Senate must take note of this conundrum and vote accordingly.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khameni publishes book on how to eliminate Israel

August 2, 2015

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khameni publishes book on how to eliminate Israel, American ThinkerThomas Lifson, August 2, 2015

Ayatollah Ali Khameni has published his version of Mein Kampf, a 416 page book outlining his strategy to eliminate Israel, which he describes as  “a cancerous tumor.” Although it is currently available only in Iran, an Arabic translation is underway, and sooner or later it will achieve wide readership in the Muslim world. The Obama administration is no doubt hoping it will achieve no notice in the United States until after the Iran deal is voted upon, because the plan advocated will be immensely aided by its implementation.

Amir Taheri of the New York Post obtained a copy from Iran:

Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.

He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”

Khameni does not call for wiping out Israel with a nuclear bomb. He states that one of his fondest desires is to pray in Jerusalem. Instead, his plan is one of terrorism and pressure, keeping Israel from fighting back against Iran, the sponsor of terror, with the implicit threat of nuclear retaliation.

 What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.

His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.

Iran has many allies in this effort, including the BDS movement in the United States. Cripple Israel economically, and her economically productive people will leave. Make the political cost of supporting Israel high. That will pave the way for an internationally-sponsored plebiscite engineered to produce a Muslim state:

Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.

All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.

Double standards are inherent in Islamic thinking. Any land that once fell under Muslim control belongs to Muslims by right. So Israelis who only boast a few generations in Israel are excluded, while Arabs whose families once lived in Israel generations ago are automatically qualified.

Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum.

With a $150 billion war chest, thanks to the Obama deal, and the prospect of oil exploration and other business expansion in Iran, there will be plenty of money available to subsidize Hezb’allah, Hamas, and other terror attacks against Israelis and Jews (such as the attack on the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires).

Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit “fighters” in the West Bank to set up Hezbollah-style units.

“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip,” he boasts.

Far from a spittle-flecked madman, Khameni is coldly calculating, and explains a plan that is already underway with considerable success. And he has many allies in this country, some of them in high places.

 

Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear

August 1, 2015

Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear, PJ Media via Middle East Forum, Jonathan Spyer, July 31, 2015

1484A Shi’a militia billboard in Baghdad

Close observation of the militias, their activities, and their links to Tehran is invaluable in understanding what is likely to happen in the Middle East following the conclusion of the nuclear agreement between the P5 + 1 powers and Tehran.

The genius of the Iranian method is that it is not possible to locate a precise point where the Iranian influence ends and the “government” begins. Everything is entwined. This pro-Iranian military and political activity depends at ground level on the successful employment and manipulation of religious fervor. This is what makes the Hashed fighters able to stand against the rival jihadis of ISIS.

The deal itself proves that Iran can continue to push down this road while paying only a minor price, so why change? Expect further manifestations of the Tehran formula in the Middle East in the period ahead.

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In late June, I traveled to Iraq with the purpose of investigating the role being played by the Iranian-supported Shia militias in that country.

Close observation of the militias, their activities, and their links to Tehran is invaluable in understanding what is likely to happen in the Middle East following the conclusion of the nuclear agreement between the P5 + 1 powers and Tehran.

An Iranian stealth takeover of Iraq is currently under way. Tehran’s actions in Iraq lay bare the nature of Iranian regional strategy. They show that Iran has no peers at present in the promotion of a very 21st century way of war, which combines the recruitment and manipulation of sectarian loyalties; the establishment and patient sponsoring of political and paramilitary front groups; and the engagement of these groups in irregular and clandestine warfare, all in tune with an Iran-led agenda.

With the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and thanks to the cash about to flow into Iranian coffers, the stage is now set for an exponential increase in the scale and effect of these activities across the region.

So what is going on in Iraq, and what may be learned from it?

Power in Baghdad today is effectively held by a gathering of Shia militias known as the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization). This initiative brings together tens of armed groups, including some very small and newly formed ones. However, its main components ought to be familiar to Americans who remember the Iraqi Shia insurgency against the U.S. in the middle of the last decade. They are: the Badr Organization, the Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the Kataeb Hizballah, and the Sarayat al-Salam (which is the new name for the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr).

All of these are militias of long-standing. All of them are openly pro-Iranian in nature. All of them have their own well-documented links to the Iranian government and to the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

1559Shia militiamen are becoming a fixture of daily life in the Iraqi capital.

The Hashed al-Shaabi was founded on June 15, 2014, following a fatwa by venerated Iraqi Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani a day earlier. Sistani called for a limited jihad at a time when the forces of ISIS were juggernauting toward Baghdad. The militias came together, under the auspices of Quds Force kingpin Qassem Suleimani and his Iraqi right-hand man Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Because of the parlous performance of the Iraqi Army, the Shia militias have become in effect the sole force standing between ISIS and the Iraqi capital.

Therein lies the source of their strength. Political power grows, as another master strategist of irregular warfare taught, from the barrel of a gun. In the case of Iraq, no instrument exists in the hands of the elected government to oppose the will of the militias. The militias, meanwhile, in their political iteration, are also part of the government.

In the course of my visit, I travelled deep into Anbar Province with fighters of the Kataeb Hizballah, reaching just eight miles from Ramadi City. I also went to Baiji, the key front to the capital’s north, accompanying fighters from the Badr Corps.

1469Asaib Ahl al-Haq fighters operating in Baiji in June

In all areas, I observed close cooperation between the militias, the army, and the federal police. The latter are essentially under the control of the militias. Mohammed Ghabban, of Badr, is the interior minister. The Interior Ministry controls the police. Badr’s leader, Hadi al-Ameri, serves as the transport minister.

In theory, the Hashd al-Shaabi committee answers to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi. In practice, no one views the committee as playing anything other than a liaison role. The real decision-making structure for the militias’ alliance goes through Abu Mahdi al Muhandis and Hadi al-Ameri, to Qassem Suleimani, and directly on to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

No one in Iraq imagines that any of these men are taking orders from Abadi, who has no armed force of his own, whose political party (Dawa) remains dominated by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his associates, and whose government is dependent on the military protection of the Shia militias and their political support. When I interviewed al-Muhandis in Baiji, he was quite open regarding the source of the militias’ strength: “We rely on capacity and capabilities provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

1482Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (right) with Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani

The genius of the Iranian method is that it is not possible to locate a precise point where the Iranian influence ends and the “government” begins. Everything is entwined. This pro-Iranian military and political activity depends at ground level on the successful employment and manipulation of religious fervor. This is what makes the Hashed fighters able to stand against the rival jihadis of ISIS. Says Major General Juma’a Enad, operational commander in Salah al-Din Province: “The Hashed strong point is the spiritual side, the jihad fatwa. Like ISIS.”

So this is Tehran’s formula. The possession of a powerful state body (the IRGC’s Quds Force) whose sole raison d’etre is the creation and sponsorship of local political-military organizations to serve the Iranian interest. The existence of a population in a given country available for indoctrination and mobilization. The creation of proxy bodies and the subsequent shepherding of them to both political and military influence, with each element complementing the other. And finally, the reaping of the benefit of all this in terms of power and influence.

This formula has at the present time brought Iran domination of Lebanon and large parts of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Current events in Iraq form a perfect study of the application of this method, and the results it can bring. Is Iran likely to change this winning formula as a result of the sudden provision of increased monies resulting from the nuclear deal? This is certainly the hope of the authors of the agreement. It is hard to see on what it is based.

The deal itself proves that Iran can continue to push down this road while paying only a minor price, so why change? Expect further manifestations of the Tehran formula in the Middle East in the period ahead.