Posted tagged ‘Iran – regime change’

After Trump Inauguration, Netanyahu Wastes No Time Putting Iran Back on Agenda

January 21, 2017

After Trump Inauguration, Netanyahu Wastes No Time Putting Iran Back on Agenda, Jerusalem PostHerb Keinon, January 21, 2017

bibiandtrumpDonald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Trump tower. (photo credit:KOBI GIDON / GPO)

“This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom,” Netanyahu said in the English video, accompanied by Farsi subtitles.  “It prevents thousands of candidates from competing in elections, it steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. By calling daily for Israel’s destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy.”

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Just 24 hours after US President Donald Trump spoke in his inaugural address about the need to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a brief video clip on social media aimed at placing the Iranian threat squarely back on the international agenda.

“I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime, which calls for Israel’s destruction,” Netanyahu said in the two-and-a-half minute video addressed directly to the Iranian people.

“This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom,” Netanyahu said in the English video, accompanied by Farsi subtitles.  “It prevents thousands of candidates from competing in elections, it steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. By calling daily for Israel’s destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy.”

This was the first video of this sort Netanyahu has put out in months, after putting out several in the spring and summer that addressed issues such as Palestinian incitement and the settlements. It is also the first time in a while that he has exclusively addressed the Iranian issue, other than in a  couple of sentences in public appearances here and there.

The release of the video now, just 24-hours after Trump took over from Barack Obama, is an obvious effort to get the world’s leaders – first and foremost Trump – to one again focus on the Iranian regime.

Trump has come out squarely against the Iranian nuclear deal.  The sense among sources close to Netanyahu is that when dealing with the new administration, Netanyahu will not only have a more receptive ear regarding the dangers that the Iranians pose, but also find an administration more willing to shine the light on Iran’s part in the spread of radical Islamic terrorism, and more vigilant in ensuring that Tehran lives up to its commitments under the nuclear deal.

“We’ve always distinguished between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime,” Netanyahu said in the video.

“The regime is cruel, the people are not; the regime is aggressive, the people are warm. I yearn for the day when Israelis and Iranians can once against visit each other freely – in Tehran and Isfahan, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,” he said. “The fanatics must not win, their cruelty must not conquer our compassion. Our two peoples can work together for a more peaceful and hopeful future for both of us. We must defeat terror and tyranny, and we must ensure that freedom and friendship win the day.”

Netanyahu referenced the Iranian student protests of 2009, which some say was a golden opportunity for change in Iran which was squandered by a lack of unequivocal moral and material support by Obama in the early days of his presidency.

“I will never forget the images of brave young students , hungry for change, gunned down in the streets of Tehran in 2009,” Netanyahu said. “And I will never forget beautiful Neda Soltan – gasping for her last breath on that sidewalk.”

This was a reference to Iranian student Neda Agha-Soltan, whose shooting-death during the protests was caught on video and went viral.

“You have a proud history, you have a rich culture,” Netanyahu said. “Tragically, you are shackled by a technocratic tyranny. In a free Iran you will once again be able to flourish without limit , but today a cruel regime is trying to keep you down.”

While Netanyahu said he will speak to Trump about Iran soon, no announcement has yet been made about when their first meeting will be held, though there have been recent reports it could be as early as the first week in February. Government officials said that the issue will be determined in the coming days.

Netanyahu congratulated Trump on his inauguration in a tweet Friday afternoon: “Congratulations to my friend President Trump,” he wrote. “I look forward to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel and America stronger than ever. Shabbat Shalom.”

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror

January 11, 2017

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror, Front Page MagazineJoseph Puder, January 11, 2017

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When we consider last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSC) 2334 that passed with deliberate U.S. abstention and later, justified in a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, it makes the adage below come to mind. The Midrash (commentary on part of the Hebrew Scriptures) tells us, “He who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.”  Maimonides wrote in The Guide of the Perplexed that “the wicked and calculating person who killed intentionally and was sentenced to death – if he seeks sanctuary among us, we must not provide him with asylum, and not have mercy upon him, because compassion toward the wicked is cruelty to all beings.

In supporting the Palestinian regime that seeks the destruction of the Jewish State as its ultimate goal, the Obama administration is being compassionate toward the wrong party.  The Obama administration is knowingly and deliberately supporting the creation of another unstable Arab authoritarian regime that has failed its people.  Mahmoud Abbas, like Arafat before him, albeit more subtle, seeks the same goal: undermining the Jewish state, and replacing it with an undemocratic Palestinian state.  Abbas wouldn’t return to the negotiating table unless he is heavily bribed, and like Arafat, at the crucial moment when all reasonable concessions had been made, he walked out.

At their September 16, 2008 meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert agreed to forgo sovereignty over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, and proposed that in the framework of the peace agreement, the area containing the religious sites in Jerusalem would be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from five nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinians, the U.S. and Israel.  The advisors and Fatah officials heard that Olmert laid out for Abbas not only the details of the agreement but also a large map upon which he outlined the borders of the future Palestinian state.  Abbas, like Arafat in July, 2000, walked out.

Considering Palestinian terrorism incited by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against Jewish civilians and soldiers alike, it becomes clear that the Obama administration has shown compassion toward Palestinian aspirations and contempt for Jews aspiring to settle in their ancestral regions of Judea and Samaria.  The Administration would be quite content on a “judenrein” West Bank.   In fact, the U.S. and its European allies support the PA with huge grants, portions of which goes to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands and their families.  They have likewise funded Palestinian-Arab construction projects, built illegally throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Obama administration has also shown compassion for the Iranian regime by ending the economic sanctions against the radical Islamic Iranian regime, which hangs gays and lesbians as well as juveniles.  Amnesty International reported on January 26, 2016, that “Iran remains the leading executioner of juvenile offenders.”  The New York Post reported on August 3, 2016 that “The Obama administration quietly shipped $400 million stacked on wooden pallets in an unmarked plane to Iran in January – just as Tehran was releasing four Americans who had been detained there.”  This was done to appease the Islamic Republic, which is the leading state sponsor of terror around the world, and that has taken Americans in Iran as hostages.

U.S. Mideast mediator Dennis Ross pointed out that the Obama administration was so enamored with the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani, that it “showed readiness to accept an industrial-scale Iranian nuclear program and not to roll it back.”  The Obama administration was willing to bend its principles in order to foster a relationship and perhaps an alliance of sorts (against the Islamic State in Iraq) with the Ayatollahs regime that promised “to wipe Israel off the map.”

In the summer of 2009, the Iranian people voted for freedom and against the choices of the theocratic regime that oppressed them. They demonstrated in the millions with signs that read “Obama, are you with them or with us.”  Obama did not respond. He proved to have little compassion for the oppressed.

In Syria, the Shiite-Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their supported Iraqi-Shiite militias, as well as the Lebanese-Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, are murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian Sunni Muslims, Christians, and others civilians with impunity.  They are bolstering the dictatorship of the Alawi (offshoot of Shiite Islam) minority ruler Bashar Assad.  The Russians have also joined in the killing of Syrian civilians in the name of combatting so-called “terrorists.”

The Palestinians of Hamas and the PA raise their children on hate and expound on the destruction of the Jewish state in schools, mosques, in the media, and in their policy directives.  The Palestinian intolerance towards Jews and Christians is deeply embedded, but due to political correctness, it has never been sufficiently reported in the western media, or by western governments.  Under the Palestinian regime, Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuse by Muslims. There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are directly responsible for many of the human rights violations. Muslims who have converted to Christianity are in the greatest danger. They are often left defenseless against cruelty by Muslim fundamentalists. Some have been murdered.

There is a clear dichotomy in determining who the compassionate side is, and who is the cruel. It comes together perfectly clear in the Syrian civil war arena.  Thousands of Palestinians are fighting on behalf of the Syrian dictator, and help in slaughtering the Syrian people who are fighting for their freedom.  The Palestinian radical group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) led by Ahmed Jibril, provided the Assad war machine with intelligence and ground support, when he laid siege to the Palestinian populated Yarmouk refugee camp.  The PFLP-GC, once a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) joined the Assad troops in killing fellow Palestinians.

Conversely, Israel has opened its hospital gates to wounded Syrians, both civilians and soldiers.  Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last month “We are prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also men if they are not combatants. Bring them to Israel, we will take care of them in our hospitals as we have done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We are looking into ways of doing this. It is being explored as we speak.”  Netanyahu added, “The suffering is great, and the one initiative we took is to help – as I said – thousands of Syrians who are sometimes mutilated beyond belief. We help them. I offered to do more today. I don’t know if we can resolve [the crisis in] Syria, but we can help mitigate some of the suffering. That is the best that Israel can do.”

Being compassionate toward the Palestinian’s aspirations to destroy the Jewish state in stages by forming a terrorist supporting state, the Obama administration is being cruel toward the Jewish state, which seeks to defend its people from the ongoing Palestinian terror.

Is real change coming to Iran? Get ready for March 15, 2017

December 26, 2016

Is real change coming to Iran? Get ready for March 15, 2017, Israel National News, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, December 25, 2016

I do not recommend holding one’s breath in anticipation of the success of Iranian Zoroastrians, because it is not entirely clear that they are seriously planning action against the hated government – and even if they do go out to the streets, it is not at all sure they will succeed in getting the Ayatollahs to board those waiting planes out of the country. Success depends on a great many factors whose actions on that fateful day are hard to predict..

Still, taking into account the determination of the organizers, I have a reasonable basis for expecting them to carry out their plans in and around the middle of March. I send them my wishes for success from this podium. Israel will be only too pleased to return to the days of its good relations with Iran – the days before the Islamist revolution destroyed the Shah’s regime towards the end of 1978.

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The social makeup of Iran’s population is very complex, because there is actually no such thing as an Iranian people. There are, instead, Iranian citizens divided into many ethnic groups: Persians make up about 60% of the population, while the rest are Azars, Kurds, Blouchis, Arabs, Turkmen and tens of smaller ethnic groups.

The main religion in Iran is Shia Islam, adhered to by 90% of the country’s people, while Sunnis – mainly Kurds and Blouchis – make up about 10%. The country recognizes Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism and reserves a parliamentary seat for each religion.

Zoroastrianism is based on the belief in two gods, a good one and an evil one.The world is the arena in which they battle one another. Daytime is when the good god wins and nighttime is the time the evil god has the upper hand. Good occurrences are arranged by the good god, bad ones are the fruit of the evil god’s labors.

Zoroastrianism was the official religion of the Sassanid Persian Empire, vanquished and destroyed in the 7th century Islamic-Arab conquest. The Arabs forced most of the Zoroastrian believers to accept Islam, and punished whoever stayed loyal to his original religion by death. Despite that persecution, or because of it, many of today’s Iranians are Zoroastrians who pretend to be Muslims. No one has any idea who is a secret Zoroastrian and who is an authentic Muslim, because everyone identifies himself as Muslim, knows how to pray and is familiar with the laws and customs of Islam.

During my academic career, I met many Iranian expatriates. Some of them told me that the number of people in Iran who are loyal to the Zoroastrian religion is in the millions and in fact numbers many millions, but that all of them succeed in passing as Muslims and even in having a significant presence in the Ayatollah regime. Many of them serve in the Iranian Army and in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a good number of them having reached the upper echelons of the Revolutionary Guards.

Every once in a while they burst out to demonstrate, the last time being in 2009 after the Iranian presidential elections were faked, allowing power to be snatched by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The country was filled with demonstrators, which could have ended with the Ayatollahs fleeing in planes that stood fueled, ready and waiting in the Tehran airport – had the protests continued. The brutal suppression of the demonstrations brought about their end – till next time.

President Obama did not support the protestors at that time, probably because of the empathy he had – and still has – for the Ayatollah regime, an empathy that brought him five years later to grant that dark regime the possibility of continuing its satanic plans to acquire nuclear power in another decade.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Zoroastrian holiday of Chahar Shanbeh Soori will occur.  Zoroastrians all over Iran are planning a “Freedom Holiday” for that date, intending to burst out into the streets in an attempt to overthrow the Ayatollah regime  If they are able to get rid of their Muslim rulers, they intend to bring the Shah’s son, at present in exile in Europe, back to Iran to assume the leadership of the country like his father, who was deposed at the end of 1978.

The Zoroastrians are using social media to organize the protests as well as passing information from one person to another among those whom they consider to be trustworthy. They estimate that there is enough time until mid-March to bring the message to the ears of every Zoroastrian in the country and to prepare them physically and psychologically for the “Freedom Holiday.”

Can this plan being an end to the Ayatollah regime? It most certainly can, if the Zoroastrians actually all go out to the streets and cause other “outsider” groups, who suffer economically and socially from the unbearable corruption that has taken over government officials, to join them.

If the many hidden Zoroastrians who serve in the armed forces turn their weapons on their Muslim colleagues, the army will be paralyzed, and so will the Revolutionary Guard, the Basij militia forces and the branches of Army Intelligence.  This will allow the Zoroastrians out in the street to take over the public sphere and force their own agenda upon it.

The Zoroastrians-in-exile, who encourage and advertise the “Freedom Holiday” are hopeful that this attempt will succeed, especially because the new US president Donald Trump is not exactly pro-Islam and certainly not in favor of the Ayatollahs ruling Iran. He, as opposed to Obama, might actually support the rebels and take concrete steps against the Iranian government if it comes down heavily against the protestors, as it did in 2009.

I do not recommend holding one’s breath in anticipation of the success of Iranian Zoroastrians, because it is not entirely clear that they are seriously planning action against the hated government – and even if they do go out to the streets, it is not at all sure they will succeed in getting the Ayatollahs to board those waiting planes out of the country. Success depends on a great many factors whose actions on that fateful day are hard to predict..

Still, taking into account the determination of the organizers, I have a reasonable basis for expecting them to carry out their plans in and around the middle of March. I send them my wishes for success from this podium. Israel will be only too pleased to return to the days of its good relations with Iran – the days before the Islamist revolution destroyed the Shah’s regime towards the end of 1978.

Giuliani’s Ties to Iranian Resistance Group MEK Should be Viewed as a Valuable Contribution

November 29, 2016

Giuliani’s Ties to Iranian Resistance Group MEK Should be Viewed as a Valuable Contribution, Iran Focus, November 29, 2016

(The objected-to Politico article was written by Daniel Benjamin, often referred to below but not identified as author of that article. — DM)

trumpandgu

London, 29 Nov – On November 28, in an article for Politico Magazine, Robert G. Torricelli, former U. S. Senator from New Jersey, and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote about the Iranian Resistance Group, Mujahidin e-Khalq (MEK).  His article was written  in response to an article published in Politico last week, criticizing the MEK and the U.S. politicians who support them, particularly former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Torricelli, a former Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is familiar with the MEK and with Giuliani’s work on behalf of the organization says, “I can say unequivocally that Benjamin’s assertions are outrageous—so outrageous that I must respond.” 

A large bipartisan coalition supports the MEK in its campaign for regime change in Iran, including two former chairmen of the joint chiefs, two former CIA directors, a former attorney general and the former chairs of both political parties. People with such varied political ideals, such as Howard Dean and Patrick Kennedy to Newt Gingrich and John Bolton support the MEK. Torricelli says, “From this perspective, the outlier isn’t Rudy Giuliani; it’s Daniel Benjamin.” 

The history of the MEK began when it was part of the coalition opposing the shah of Iran in the late 1970s. The shah’s secret police executed and imprisoned most of their leadership. That vacuum was briefly filled by a Marxist group who were rejected by the incarcerated MEK leaders. Most of the Marxist leaders were killed by the shah or by the mullahs after their ascent to power in 1979. The MEK eventually regained its original leadership, and the MEK became an opposition group to the theocratic regime, and fled into exile in Paris and Iraq.

Torricelli writes, “Throughout this time, the MEK did take part in legitimate political and military action against the Iranian regime, but I have seen no evidence to support the assertion Benjamin makes that it took part in terrorist activities against Iranians or Americans.”

In Iraq in the 1980s, the refugee camps of the MEK were under the protection of the government of Iraq. MEK fighters were aligned with Iraqi Army during Iran/Iraq War. “But Benjamin’s claims that they assisted in Saddam Hussein’s repression of the Kurds have been denied by both MEK and U.S. Army leaders in Iraq. Upon the arrival of U.S. forces in 2003, the MEK willingly handed over its weapons, accepted U.S. protection and actively exposed the Iranian regime and its proxies’ terrorist activities. This included saving American lives by identifying IED locations. This, more than anything, explains the group’s support by former U.S. military personnel, including the former army anti-terror officer and the U.S. military police general assigned to the camp,” writes Torricelli.

The MEK provided invaluable intelligence regarding the Iranian nuclear program that helped counter Tehran’s efforts to develop atomic weapons. Maryam Rajavi, leader of the movement, committed herself publicly to a democratic, non-nuclear, secular Iran at peace with its neighbors with gender equality and a ban on capital punishment. The MEK organized thousands in the Iranian diaspora and built political support in Congress and parliaments across Europe. It is now the most organized and disciplined of the Iranian opposition groups.

“Some current and former State Department employees, including Mr. Benjamin, have a different concept. They remain committed to the idea that the MEK was a terrorist organization—a notion, I believe, which stems from an illusion of American reconciliation with the mullahs. In 1997, a group at State succeeded in convincing President Bill Clinton to place the MEK on the State Department list of terrorist organizations. Some claimed at the time that this decision was mainly intended as a goodwill gesture to Iran. The State Department gave as its reasons the MEK’s long record of violence, but I can tell you that as a member of the Foreign Relation Committee, I reviewed the State Department file on the MEK and found no evidence, no testimony and no reason for the designation except placating Tehran,” Torricelli writes, adding, “Thousands of Iranian-Americans and literally hundreds of members of Congress protested. In 2011, as a private attorney, I led a team of lawyers in a State Department inquiry to resolve the issue. After four hours of testimony, we yielded to the State Department to present their contradictory evidence. They had nothing.”

Without evidence, an order by the U.S. District Court was issued.  The MEK was removed from the State Department list of terrorist organizations by Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2012.

Torricelli continues, “Defeat came hard for the Iran apologists within the department. Mr. Benjamin isn’t the first to argue that the broad coalition of former U.S. intelligence, military, diplomatic and congressional leaders can’t be believed because some accepted speaking fees to attend MEK meetings around the world. The fact that these people faced combat for or dedicated their entire careers to our country, and are among our most respected leaders seems to be of no consequence. It’s an argument that requires no rebuttal except to note that by this standard the views of Thomas Paine, Elie Wiesel and Winston Churchill—all of whom accepted speaking fees from various international organizations—would have been silenced as well.”

Rudy Giuliani was one of the most outspoken supporters. The 3,000 MEK refugees settled along the Iran/Iraq border were under imminent threat in 2012. Iraqi relations with the United States were tense. Torricelli writes,  “Secretary Clinton requested that I assemble a persuasive group of distinguished Americans to travel to Europe and persuade Mrs. Rajavi to relocate the refugees to a former U.S. military base near Baghdad. I appealed to Louis Freeh, Ed Rendell, Michael Mukasey and Rudy Giuliani. Each accepted, canceled commitments, paid his own transportation to Paris and argued persuasively that the MEK assist the United States by relocating.”

Such a broad coalition of diverse Americans has varied perspectives. Torricelli says that, “Some believe that in the political vacuum following an economic or political collapse in Tehran, a determined and well-funded political opposition like the MEK could seize power. Others believe that the MEK might simply be part of a broader coalition, a simple pressure point or just a source of continuing intelligence.” Although rationales for support might differ, this group of Americans is united by the beliefs that the MEK is a genuine democratic force, and that regime change in Tehran is the best option to keep the peace, avoid a nuclear Iran, and benefit American interests.

Going back to Mr. Benjamin’s argument that Rudy Giuliani’s participation in this coalition should disqualify him for consideration as secretary of state, Torricelli has this to say, “Experience and participation in public policy issues was once a condition for high government service. It’s now a complication, because a record of advocacy creates controversy. But the selection of secretary of state needs to be different. Among the most likely crises facing the new president is an escalation in the struggle with the fundamentalist Islamic Republic of Iran. Rudy Giuliani has lived that struggle for a decade. Mr. Benjamin may quarrel with his efforts but it’s important to note that voices in the American foreign policy establishment as diverse as Senator McCain, Secretary Clinton, Deputy Secretary Blinken and John Kerry’s own personal representative on the MEK, Jonathan Weiner disagree. Each has thanked Rudy Giuliani and the other Americans involved in these efforts.”

Whether or not the president-elect chooses Mr. Giuliani as secretary of state, countering Tehran and assisting our country should not be seen as anything other than a valuable contribution to his consideration.