Skip to comments.Mullahs' Threat Not Sinking In (from November)(Long but interesting read)
Posted on 01/09/2006 11:14:56 AM PST by Rutles4Ever
Indications of radical changes in the dynamics of the 3-month-old Iranian government, politically, philosophically and in their potential to do irreparable global damage without flinching or concern has begun sending shivers down some analysts' spines. However, this has yet to reach policy decision makers or the mass media.
Iran's Supreme Ruler, "ayatollah" Ali Khamenei's hasty revisions of the national ruling structure, delegating some of his own authority to the Expediency Council, chaired by rival "ayatollah" and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, reflects unusual action to counter-balance the power-grab by newly inaugurated President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.
The unannounced moratorium on policies and procedures of all Iran's government ministries has been equally attributed to Rafsanjani's efforts to take control of Judicial, Legislative and Executive bodies through the broadened Expediency Council powers - and to Ahmadi-Nejad's cabinet implementing new regulations that suit their views. Specially, after warnings to the Expediency Council from his hard-line allies in the Majliss (parliament), not to mess with the Legislative system.
Persistent reports emanating from Tehran of solid rocket fuel capability and long range Shahab-3 missile tests, with emptied North Korean designed nuclear warheads, providing serious concerns, the nuclear component has begun taking second place to Iran's ability, even unintended, to damage global economies resulting (in worst-case scenarios) in worldwide financial meltdowns.
The 27-year, overtly hostile but comparatively "reasoned" approach toward the Western world and foreigners by the previous generation of senior Iranian Mullahs, with their accumulated overseas personal financial interests even overflowing bank accounts outside Iran, has clearly ended. This has yet to permeate onto the desks of leaders in the Western world.
Analysis and evaluation based on prior status quo and parameters, with some adjustment for new players as was the case with former changes of President and Majliss (parliament) deputies no longer holds water. Any more than understandable, logical evaluations had a place with genocidal, paranoid Pol Pot of Cambodia.
Greater and lesser indicators mentioned below of mindsets, policies and philosophy, show "C" note changes, particularly to SME's (subject matter experts) on what drives "neo-Iran".
Less than three months ago, on August 15, 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad took office as the new "selected" President of the Islamic Republic of Iran with huge doubts over validity of the elections.
· He immediately purged nearly all senior governing positions of older generation clerics and officials and replaced them with his military colleagues of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) about 350,000 strong, in which, prior to becoming Mayor of Tehran, he had been a commander.
· His neo-Islamic Republic, harking back to Khomeini times, has instructed all airports and domestic or international airlines operating in Iran to remove all foreign words or characters from their signs at ground locations across the country. In the same vein, clothing designers, hired for this purpose, have started creating a national Islamic style for everyone to wear. Strict imposition of restrictions on movies and audio, allowed to lapse to some extent by the previous President Mohammad Khatami, has been re-instated.
· Bassiji paramilitary (anti-demonstration and Islamic enforcement strike forces) have had their authority widely expanded to suppress dissent without any restraints and for the past month, Revolutionary Guards have begun appearing at posts on street corners and in a highly increased number of patrols. (Still unclear was the showing up of only 1,400 Bassijis at an event when 20,000 should have appeared, though they have continued attacking students and by-standers with knives and clubs with their customary brutality).
· Residents of Tehran and its outer suburbs of late witnessed unannounced military exercises that involved the use of live munitions and firepower and on an almost nightly basis in the hills East of Tehran. Officials have tried to explain such activity as an eradication of communities and townships around Tehran, populated by criminal elements fleeing justice and becoming a threat to national security.
· Brigadier-General Mohammad Kossari, head of the Security Bureau of the IRGC stated, "Iran intends to become a superpower and will drive all foreign forces out of our region". What was previously sheer hyperbole now has a basis in serious executive policy and planning in Iran's new government.
· Hassan Abbasi, Head the Center for Security Doctrines Research of the IRGC has become Ahmadi-Nejad's prime advisor on Foreign Affairs. He lately announced, "We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization". (An attitude supported by the tenets of Hojatieh - see below).
· Ahmadi-Nejad has declared a plan to create an Oil Bourse (Exchange) in Iran to unlink oil pricing from the U.S. Dollar and use the Euro or barter instead, thus to break any grip the West and the Dollar have on oil supplies or trade and make Iran the top oil and natural gas broker within the region. (Unlikely to succeed but perhaps effective enough on a short-term basis to trigger a dollar crash which could destabilize global solvency).
· Having studied Urban Development at the University of Science in Tehran, Ahmadi-Nejad has started drawing up plans to relocate 25 million rural residents to existing urban centers to facilitate less costly provision of utilities and services. (Grandiose Stalinist or Hitlerian methods, exhibiting simplistic disregard of unintended consequences and social side effects).
· After his inauguration, Ahmadi-Nejad visited the grave of his hero, Ayatollah Rouhallah (soul of Allah) Khomeini then went to kiss the hand of his mentor and spiritual guide, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, leader of the Hojatieh sect of Islam, who was instrumental in elevating Ahmadi-Nejad to his Presidential position.
MAJOR NEW COMPONENT
The newest and most dangerous component that lends credibility to the potentially mindless chaos and destruction that Ahmadi-Nejad and his clique could trigger comes from a look at his mentor, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and his sect's deep-rooted beliefs.
The Hojatieh philosophy, considered by mainstream Shia Moslems as a lunatic fringe, was too much even for extreme hardliner Ayatollah Khomeini, whose disapproval sent them into underground, clandestine status in 1983, some four years after the Islamic revolution in Iran.
Censure from a man as ruthless and radical as Khomeini, who insisted that the Prophet Mohammad had not completed Allah's work in the world and that he (Khomeini) was born to finish the job of bringing Islam to its rightful place (as the only religion and to destroy unbelievers) - indicates how far off the Islamic radar the Hojatieh function.
Ahmadi-Nejad, a Khomeini adherent throughout his adult life, transitioned to his present, previously unpublicized role of acolyte to Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, himself a pseudo-Khomeini supporter, though not of Khomeini's Islamic revolution, in total concealment. (The Hojatieh took no part in the 1979 Khomeini revolution).
Nicknamed the "crocodile" and often referred to as the "crazy" Ayatollah, Mesbah Yazdi echoes Khomeini saying, "Islam permits spilling the blood of anyone who insults Islamic sanctities and no court is needed".
After his 1979 return to Iran, in early days, a companion asked Khomeini how he wanted the Ministry of Justice restructured and he replied, "Anyone who is against me is against Allah and must be killed where they stand. No other justice system is required".
Understanding the abruptly dominant Hojatieh philosophy becomes essential for any current analysis. Formed in the 1950's at the time of the late Shah, the group's primary motivation was to eradicate the Bahai faith and all its members in Iran over a philosophical clash about Imam Mehdi - the Lord of all Time and 12th descendant of Prophet Mohammad.
Shia Islam believes that the 12th Imam, a child named Mehdi, hid down a well 1,300 years ago and disappeared but will return to redeem the world. The Bahai religion, which declassified documents from the British Foreign Office appear to indicate Britain founded and organized artificially to splinter and weaken Iranian clergy influence, consolidated against British presence in Iran, claims their Prophet, Sheikh Baha'ollah, as the 12th Imam, who has already returned.
As devotees of the 12th Imam, the Hojatieh firmly believe he will return only when the world contains enough oppression, misery, tyranny and sorrow to warrant his coming. To hasten and facilitate the return, they believe in spreading evil, tyranny and misery and argue that standing in the way of all these delays his coming and their redemption.
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the power behind the scenes now helps formulate Iran policy, through President Ahmadi-Nejad, his submissive and a man called Mojtaba Somreh Hashemi, the President's mentor without whom, much to their chagrin, nobody in senior government can make a decision. Nor start a Cabinet meeting or access the President himself. Hashemi represents Ayatollah Mesbah Zadeh and had the same role when the new President was still Mayor of Tehran.
The Hojatieh receives full co-operation of belligerent, military Revolutionary Guard commanders - suddenly in positions of national executive authority as Cabinet Ministers. They brook no half measures, instantly ready to suppress any internal resistance clerical or otherwise - including removal of Supreme Ruler Khamenei himself.
The neo-Iran status presents a very different scenario from what we faced, uncomfortable as it was with the Ayatollahs in general, for the past quarter century. A recent cabinet meeting evidences the unconventional mindset of the new players running Iran and now addressing the world stage from their eyes:
President Ahmadi-Nejad's first deputy, Parviz Davoudi, submitted and the cabinet ratified in a formal meeting, an agreement between the cabinet ministers and the Shia 12th Imam, Mehdi, Lord of All Time, in a similar fashion to the pact they had all signed with Ahmadi-Nejad upon taking office.
The question then arose how to obtain the long dead Imam's signature on the document for ratification. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Saffar Harandi finally dropped the agreement into the Jamkaran well into which they believe Imam Mehdi descended 1300 years ago, where it joined tons of letters and requests from pilgrims over the centuries.
A large number of Ahmadi-Nejad's close allies are talking about preparing the grounds for the hidden Imam's imminent manifestation. Any hope for logical international policies from these leaders may be too much to expect or for them to understand.
Total disregard for the well-being of the world community, so incredible a concept, even impossible to digest for Western minds (as was Pol Pot), has become a readily acceptable philosophy of Iran's new active rulers. With the reverberations of religious tenets of "ultra-conservative" Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, preaching apocalypse to his choir, encompassing everyone and everything.
The semi-clandestine nature of the Hojatieh over time, in no way hampers Mesbah Yazdi's influence in today's Islamic Iran. Apart from long roots in the poorer, superstitious populace through his Khomeini Institute, he was one of only two Ayatollahs to support Supreme Leader "ayatollah" Ali Khamenei in his bid to succeed Khomeini when every other Ayatollah, except Iraqi born Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroodi, the current Chief of Judiciary, rejected Khamenei's theological credentials. To become Supreme Leader has a prerequisite of being a Grand Ayatollah (Emulation Source for Shiite faithful).
As reward, Mesbah Yazdi requested and received funds to found and run the Imam Khomeini Institute to spread the teachings of Khomeini providing a vehicle to gain support and standing in conventional Islamic circles while strengthening the radical Hojatieh network.
The new Iranian President's personality profile provides another important input to the Iranian challenges the world could inevitably face, unless, as one SME notes, circumstances change dramatically or a nuclear take-out of the Islamic Iranian regime occurs. Israel seems increasingly willing to undertake action against Iranian facilities and despite denials, U.S. military strategists appear to have a massive conventional bombing plan of some 5,000 specific locations on their charts.
1. Still in his mid-teens when Khomeini took over, Ahmadi-Nejad is a product of post-revolutionary Iran and has no perception of the West except as an enemy to be confounded and defeated. Studying Urban Development and rising to Mayor of Tehran did not provide him grounding for even national level concepts, nor has he any foreign affairs experience at all. His idea to move 25 million Iranians from rural areas to existing urban locations indicates simplistic, linear thinking.
2. Coming from impoverished circumstances, where his coppersmith father provided only a minimalist life, the new President has lived off very little all his life, including a meager military salary. Unlike most senior Mullahs and their entourages, who over the past 25-years have acquired riches, invested in overseas real estate and other projects and often have sizeable accounts in offshore banks, consequently a stake in keeping global economies steady, Ahmadi-Nejad has nothing to lose or to gain by factoring in "time wasting" and unfamiliar international components.
3. His strong proclivity to Ayatollah Khomeini's Valiate-Faghi guiding principles, which propound Islamic clerical rule and dominance of the world and his dedicated religious conduct as a daily part of his military lifestyle in the IRGC, easily puts him in the category of a religious fanatic, though secular in official title.
The underpinning to the problem is Iranian in nature, but the ability for Iran to do serious harm stems more from a combination of global weaknesses.
World currency markets, oil unlinking radically from the dollar (potentially to some extent through the Iranian Oil Bourse plan) and the political and personal ambitions of leaders in Europe, Russia, China and the Islamic world, combine to become a serious peril. Significantly, terrorist groups have also begun switching from purely bodily or property harm to attempting to destroy the financial well being of target countries.
Viewed in perspective, emerging anxiety about "neo-Iran" ponders a bizarre situation, far from wild conjecture, that will require drastic action to prevent. Existing dynamics might, at best, bring far reaching doldrums and financial pain to Europe and advanced Western nations, similar to that encountered in the USA during the Jimmy Carter administration, intertwining with aspects unrelated to Iran's intentional efforts to cause harm.
The U.S. Dollar plays the role of the world's primary currency and nothing else can presently substitute for the dollar's mandatory use for oil purchase and oil trading, which has to be in dollars. Nevertheless, based on supply and demand principles, U.S. money is about 40-50% overvalued.
Central Banks find themselves crammed with a surplus of dollars, which they hold beyond logical considerations just to maintain equilibrium in world trade and commodities mostly out of self-interest and self-preservation.
Quite to the contrary, Ahmadi-Nejad and his clique have neither such compunctions nor personal wealth to protect. A negative run on the dollar would change the economic face of the earth and delight the Hojatieh mindset and religious aims of spreading misery.
A glut of dollar holdings by Central Banks and among Asian lenders (China reportedly has hundreds of billons in U.S. Treasury bonds) plus the current low interest rate offered to investor/lenders by the USA has been putting the dollar in jeopardy for some time.
Including, potentially, by some inexperienced Third World central bank employee, who seeing an over stock of dollars in the bank's currency portfolio, decides to diversify their holdings.
Were that person to offer several billion dollars on the market, they would trigger a panic sell-off by everyone else. A twitching finger on currency's hair-trigger can shoot down the dollar without any purposeful ill intent. Most estimates place the likely drop to "floor levels" at a rapid 50% loss in value for a presently 40% overvalued Dollar.
Not too long ago, a mid-level official of the Korean Central bank casually mentioned currency "diversification" at an obscure lunch. The U.S. Stock Market fell by 100 points in 15 minutes, because of an implied desire for Korea to decrease its dollar holdings. What would the drop have been had he actually sold dollars?
When a group called "Long Term Capital Management", a hedge fund of derivatives something fully understood by probably less than half a dozen people in the world failed, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan had to help bail it out to save the dollar and the U.S. economy.
This fund had Nobel Prize winning economists writing their trading algorithms and top-drawer traders involved and still went down in flames. What about the expertise level of other hedge funds trading daily in the USA - some 8,000 of them?
About $6,000 Billion (easier to conceptualize as "huge" instead of a mere "six trillion") worth of derivatives trade on the international market daily - so the already built-in prospect of disaster surpasses all possible defensive safety measures.
Compare this daily volatility to the annual USA national budget of approximately $1,900 Billion (less than two trillion) of revenues and $2,350 Billion (2.35 trillion) in expenditures.
While economists scoff at the currency market being unable to right itself in the face of fluctuations, if left to its own devices, introduce into this at best "delicately balanced" economical environment, a hostile "Hojatieh" Iran's lack of any desire or motivation to help prevent global economic mayhem.
While a regional Oil Exchange attempted by Dubai failed, partly because they play by international rules and monetary exchange norms, Iran's Bourse, in Euros or in barter trade agreements and Hojatieh willingness to sacrifice the world and its own people to achieve its religious ends of bringing back their 12th Imam, presents a special set of givens. Specifically in the area of damage to world financial stability, as opposed to a conventionally deemed "successful", venture for Iran.
Experts from the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) and New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) have apparently already confirmed the feasibility of the project, bearing in mind Iran's much greater reserves of petroleum products with which to operate and weight the market.
Realistic argument posits that the Iranian oil fields are old and require huge investments to continue production or to keep them at anywhere near current levels. New oil fields will take time to come online and hamper the speed of Iran's negative activity. In addition, Iran's natural gas fields, the second largest reserve in the world after Russia, have yet to be developed fully and cannot provide a big enough supply to make a significant immediate difference in the markets.
Because U.S. sanctions on the sale of American technology to Iran, the most modern systems for effective, large scale liquefaction of natural gas have been denied to Iran and hampers their ability to bring important liquid natural gas prominently into the mix.
While the Bourse may be wishful thinking as a constructive revenue source for Iran, according to Western standards of logic and assessment of success, missing from the equation of production targets and capability is that oil-currency - not oil or natural gas itself - is the principle fulcrum and danger factor.
If the Euro became the reserve currency and choice of oil producing countries, the U.S. would have to purchase Euros to purchase oil, the reverse being the case today with countries having to pay a "Dollar Tax" to buy oil in dollars.
Experts agree the effect over only a very few years would be devastating to the status of the dollar globally. Then, Euros (in their role as petro-currency) would affect the U.S. Dollar, U.S. economy and the interest rates America must offer to attract buyers. Former U.S. Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has already placed the likelihood for a Dollar crash in the next five years at 75%.
The Iranian Oil Bourse's trade in Euros instead of dollars could possibly hasten the crash and the percentage of likelihood. Some feel Volcker was unable to assess Federal Reserve matters knowledgeably but with experts like George Soros and Warren Buffet putting their own billions into betting against the dollar, Volcker's comments gather strength.
If major oil and natural gas supply and trade quantities become easily available only in Euros or barter, Central Banks will have ever less reason to overstock their portfolios with U.S. currency and will eventually begin replacing unwanted Dollars with necessary Euros, unleashing a dollar decline of great proportions.
Any crash would bring Iran, with a wealth of oil and natural gas reserves with which to barter with China, Russia, India and Far East nations, to the fore as a new superpower, in a future scenario where money or devalued currencies might have much less, little or even no value.
The latest flavor of Islamic Republic would suffer only tangentially and try to obtain all their needs through barter or exchange. Their life styles would remain similar to what they had until very recently as military men and whether the populace is unhappy preferably so for the Hojatieh means little or nothing in their big picture.
At very best, the USA would enter another Carter administration era financial pattern:
1. Interest rates were so high nobody could afford to finance a house, so this market sector, like many other big-ticket items such as automobiles, slowed to almost a halt in some instances.
2. Grocery items had multiple superimposed price stickers as the cost of goods rose faster than customers bought them. Imported retail merchandise normally sells or distributes through national chains like Walmart or food chains, so a drop in the dollar makes these more expensive for the buyer and leads to layoffs as the retail chains find their sales volumes and profit margins eroded.
3. The price of energy shot up so much people resorted to wood burning stoves to stay warm at a price they could afford. The quality of life went down.
4. People on fixed incomes could no longer afford to live and the more solvent could not keep abreast of rising prices and interest rates. A drop in the dollar immediately cuts into the value of saved money.
5. Running a business became almost impossible as the price of goods and materials skyrocketed. Sales to a greatly less solvent market plummeted and marketing assumptions needed for advertising, budgeting and planning became wild guesses at best.
What might happen if the dollar devalued rapidly? Global ruin.
With economies so interdependent and interwoven, a global not just American Depression would occur with a domino effect throwing the rest of world economies into poverty. Markets for acutely less expensive US exports would never materialize.
The result, some SME's estimate, might be as many as 200 million Americans out of work and starving on the streets with nobody and nothing able to rescue or aid them, contrary to the 1920/30 Great Depression through soup kitchens and charitable support efforts.
Iran would most likely intentionally sabotage any return to stability and market balance/adjustment with their fossil fuels; their newfound nuclear deterrent probably discouraging use of force against them until too late.
A close look shows Ahmadi-Nejad holds the key to throwing the world into the tribulations of the Weimar Republic of Germany after World War I. High inflation and interest rates drove the value of the Mark into the ground and allowed Hitler to present himself as a savior.
To provide an adequate cash flow to the working class, Hitler promised to pay them once a week, then twice a week, then once a day. When this failed, he allowed workers two hours off work every day to trundle wheelbarrows full of German currency, which barely sufficed to buy a loaf of bread.
Iran succeeding in unlinking the Dollar as the primary currency for oil purchases, were it to occur, creates the same outcome for the USA and consequently within short time frames for the rest of the civilized world.
To deny history repeating itself with Ahmadi-Nejad's Hojatieh minded governing group filling in for Hitler, suggests a refusal to face and counteract an indescribable menace beyond the reach of Western logic but totally in alignment with this specific brand of Islamic fervor to intentionally create an apocalypse. Then to impose Islamic rule on a shattered world.
Apart from the use of nuclear arms by the West to bring down the new regime in Iran, only an internal effort by the old-guard Ayatollahs to overcome Ahmadi-Nejad and his allies, at the clear risk of a civil war they would lose, has a hope of preventing a potential global Depression.
Few other counter measures come to mind. Mostly because of the shortcoming of the global "family" of nations to withstand mindless nihilism and an untrammeled desire to destroy in the name of their 12th Imam.
When Iran's lately announced pull back from subsidizing refined gas prices domestically and import of this fuel takes hold on the population, who will suddenly be unable to afford to operate vehicles, the dissatisfaction could translate into riots and open a new window to remove the Islamic regime of whatever flavor.
In-depth bombing, specifically of all Iranian military and nuclear facilities at that time possibly the 5,000 locations mentioned above would weaken or remove any government ability to suppress the riots and allow a smooth overthrow of the current regime.
The unanswered question as was the case in Gulf War I with Iraq and Saddam Hussain will be with what or with whom to replace it.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
VIEW: Irans nuclear zealot Kenneth R Timmerman
As the world prepares to confront an Iranian regime that continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear programmes, we must listen to what Irans leaders say as we watch what they do. A religious zealot with nuclear weapons is a dangerous combination the world cannot afford to tolerate
With negotiations over Irans nuclear programme looming once again, understanding Irans new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is critically important. Perhaps the best place to start is the moment the world first gained a glimpse of Ahmadinejads character and hard-line programme.
When President Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations in New York last September, he suddenly felt himself surrounded by light. It wasnt the stage lighting, he said. It was light from heaven. Ahmadinejad related his otherworldly experience in a videotaped meeting with a prominent ayatollah in Tehran. A transcript of his comments and sections of the videotape wound up on a hard-line, pro-regime website, baztab.com.
According to the transcript, Ahmadinejad said that a member of his entourage at the UN meeting first told him of the light. When you began with the words In the name of God... I saw a light coming, surrounding you and protecting you to the end [of the speech]. Ahmadinejad confirmed sensing a similar presence. I felt it myself, too, that suddenly the atmosphere changed and for 27-28 minutes the leaders could not blink.... They had their eyes and ears open for the message from the Islamic Republic, he told Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli.
Ahmadinejads vision at the UN could be dismissed as political posturing if it werent for a string of similar statements and actions that suggest he believes that he is destined to bring about the end times the end of the world by paving the way for the return of the Shia Muslim messiah. Given that Iran continues to pursue suspect nuclear programmes, which could bring the Islamic Republic dangerously close to weapons capability, a leader with messianic visions is worrying. After all, this is the same man who recently pledged to use Irans newfound power to wipe Israel off the map and to destroy America.
In a November 16 speech in Tehran to senior clerics who had come from all over Iran to hear him, the new president said that the main mission of his government was to pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance). The mystical 12th Imam of Shia Islam disappeared as a child in 941 CE, and Shia Muslims have awaited his reappearance ever since, believing that when he returns, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about the Last Judgment and the end of the world.
In order to prepare for the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad said, Iran should turn into a mighty, advanced, and model Islamic society. Iranians should refrain from leaning towards any Western school of thought and abstain from luxurious lives and other excesses.
Three months into Ahmadinejads presidency, his views of the 12th Imam are being widely discussed in Tehran. According to one rumour, as mayor of Tehran, Ahmadinejad drew up a new city plan for the Imams return.
In recent weeks, Ahmadinejads aides have denied another rumour that he ordered his cabinet to write a pact of loyalty to the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, where some believe the Imam is hiding. Those who give credence to the rumour point to an early decision of his cabinet to allocate $17 million to renovate the Jamkaran mosque, where devotees of the 12th Imam have prayed for centuries.
Similarly, reports in government media outlets in Tehran have quoted Ahmadinejad as having told regime officials that the Hidden Imam will reappear in two years. This proved too much for one Iranian legislator, Akbar Alami, who publicly questioned Ahmadinejads judgment, saying that even Islams holiest figures have never made such claims.
While Shia Muslims are devoted to the 12th Imam, a previously secret society of powerful clerics, now openly advising the new president, is transforming these messianic beliefs into government policies. Led by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who frequently appears with Ahmadinejad, the Hojatieh society is considered by many Shia as the lunatic fringe. During the early years of the Islamic Revolution, even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini found their beliefs too extreme and sent them scurrying underground.
As devotees of the 12th Imam, the Hojatieh believe that only great tribulation will warrant his coming. Akin in some ways to Lenins doctrine that worsening social conditions would hasten revolution, the Hojatieh believe that only increased violence, conflict, and oppression will bring the Mahdis return.
Since taking office last August, Ahmadinejad has installed Hojatieh devotees in his cabinet and throughout the bureaucracy. The Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS), largely sidelined by former president, Mohammed Khatami, has re-emerged as a powerful repressive force, using plainclothes agents, allied with the paramilitary Bassij and non-government vigilantes, to crack down on potential opponents of the regime.
As the world prepares to confront an Iranian regime that continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear programmes, we must listen to what Irans leaders say as we watch what they do. A religious zealot with nuclear weapons is a dangerous combination the world cannot afford to tolerate. DT-PS
Kenneth R Timmerman is executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, www.iran.org, and author of Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran
Yeah, I saw all that talk about him having an aura of light (or whatever) surrounding him at the U.N.
Someone who's this far off the reservation changes the whole protocol of diplomacy and war. If it ever became clear that he was purposely trying to destroy the world economy, a nuclear missile taking out Tehran becomes a real possibility/probability. God forbid it should ever come to that, but for the good of humanity, this cannot be tolerated. These people believe they can hurry-up the return of the mahdi by creating a hellhole on earth, and not just in the Middle East, but across the globe.
War Within-Without and Spreading the Faith
The first Prime Minister, chosen by Khomeini was the secular politician Mehdi Bazargan. His government and the general mood in Iran were not initially anti-American. Many in the Imams entourage privately believed that US President Carter had helped speed up the triumph of the revolution by abandoning the Shah to his fate. Therefore they did not include the United States among the long list of the new regimes enemies. The U.S.A. was seldom attacked as an imperialist power and, when mentioned on rare occasions, was criticized only for having supported the Shah for so long and for her continued assistance to Israel. Instead night after night, hundreds of mullahs used the pulpits in mosques throughout the country to denounce communism and attack the Soviet Union for its role in Afghanistan and "the captivity of our Muslim brethren" in Soviet Azerbaijan and the Central Asian republics.
The mood changed with news of the Shahs arrival in New York and satellite footage showing the Shah holding court at his New York hospital and receiving among others, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and several former Iranian ministers, gave the impression that the dying monarch was planning something.
Before that only Tudeh and guerilla groups had been speaking of a plot, a repetition of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that had restored the Shah to his throne. This coincided with a sudden surge in pro-Shah activities by a group of rebel soldiers under General Palizban in the Western province of Kermanshah, where Jaaf tribal warriors also raised the banner of revolt in the name of the Pahlavis. General Gholam-Ali Oveissi was reported to be in Iraq at the head of a counter-revolutionary force consisting of deserters and tribal mercenaries. Tudeh magnified all these reports and was soon creating a new anti-American atmosphere.
November 4, 1979, the anniversary of Khomenis exile to Turkey was to be marked by nationwide demonstrations, and each group and party tried to think of something dramatic. A group of students under the influence of a militant pro-Palestinian dentist, Habibollah Payman, decided to demonstrate in front of the U.S. embassy compound on Takht Jamshid (Taleqani) Avenue. They quickly realized they could enter the compound without encountering resistance and therefore did so. They had not planned what to do once they had entered, and must have surprised themselves when they announced that they would stay in the building together with everyone else in it, until the Shah was extradited to Iran together with his wealth. The students stole the show from everyone else and became the focus of universal attention, thanks to television and satellite transmission, which in turn made any quick settlement impossible.
Tudeh instantly labeled them "heroes of Islam" and Khomeini decided, on his sons, Sayyed Ahmads, advice to wait and see. The students asked the Imam to send them a spiritual leader and Khomeini gave the mission to Khoiniha, not his first choice but it was to prove critical. The young mullah, aged thirty-nine at the time, had distinguished himself as an able organizer and belonged to the hard-line faction in Khomeinis entourage. He hated the U.S. for its support of Israel and had deep sympathies with the Palestinians who had trained him in the art of guerilla warfare in Lebanon in the 1960s. Within forty-eight hours, what was to be named "the second revolution" was in full swing, attracting millions of people, especially children and teenagers throughout the country. Life was, once again, exciting as Islam took on the "Great Satan". The speed with which the Bazargan Cabinet disintegrated left the regimes moderate elements with little chance to rally and prevent a full takeover by Beheshti, who was then in alliance with his future rival and enemy Bani-Sadr. It was Bani-Sadr who was asked to form a government that would have no Prime Minister. Ghotbzadeh was moved to Foreign Ministry and almost immediately saw himself as the great diplomat who would quickly settle the crisis with universal acclaim. The Revolutionary Council however gave its formal approval to the occupation of the embassy and the holding of hostages a few days later, thus directly implicating the regime.
The seizure of the embassy gave the "Muslim Students Following the Imams Line", as the group called itself, direct access to an intelligence gold mine of highly classified, sensitive information on virtually all aspects of Iran-American relations over some thirty years. The documents had been moved to Washington during the revolution but had been returned after Bazargan formed his Cabinet and resumed dialogue with the embassy. For the next five years the publication of a selection of these documents was to serve as a means by which the radical factions eliminated their rivals from the political scene. By June 1985 sixty-one volumes of selected documents had been published, often in bilingual editions. They provide invaluable insights into the methods of intelligence and diplomatic operations used by one of the two superpowers in a country as sensitive as Iran.
Washington had roughly five thousand "sources of information" in Iran, ranging from paid CIA agents to voluntary informants. These "sources" were recruited from all walks of life and included almost all the Shahs known non-clerical opponents over some twenty-five years. The embassy in Teheran, and the CIA station which worked alongside it, did an excellent job of reporting. US policymakers could have known almost everything about Iran had they chosen to study their own files. But, in what remains an astonishing oversight, they omitted to do so; and, as a result, understood almost nothing about their key ally in the Persian Gulf. During the Nixon-Ford years, the documents reveal, Washington did not even want to hear any bad news about the Shah. Washington insisted on being deceived and was suitably obliged. The documents show that many Iranians agreed to become informants, informers or outright spies partly in order to advance their own various careers in business or civil service. As a result they fed the Americans information that suited their own personal schemes. In the 1970s this meant that an unusually high percentage of the information gathered was biased or totally unreliable.
The documents show with what naivety the Shahs traditional opponents had over the years tried to persuade Washington to abandon him and help them, instead, to create a nationalist government that could fight the Soviet Union with a "potent ideology." What these contacts did not realize and what I believe this and my other articles indicate, is that the West, including the US, is and had been acting in collusion with Russia. Neither Russia nor the West wants to see a powerful Middle Eastern nation, either Egypt or Iran and especially not one intensely nationalistic. The collaboration of the West and Russia behind the scenes has betrayed a lot of people and not just in the Islamic world.
Some American agents understood the intricacies of the Persian character and showed a certain degree of sophistication in recruiting new informers. Others, however, seemed to believe that Iranians were inferior beings who could be bought with a bottle of Bourbon. One agent wanted to employ Bani-Sadr, then a key member of the Revolutionary Council, for a monthly salary of $1,200 in 1979. The publication of these documents, carefully selective to be sure, discredited most of the middle-class politicians who still insisted on a share of power. Many of them had to escape the country to avoid arrest and possible execution as CIA agents. The documents provided the excuse for a fresh purge of the civil service, the media and the armed forces.
The ongoing drama at the embassy, with its endless twists and turns, helped Beheshti speed up his drive for full power. Beheshti used the embassy episode as a means of signaling to Washington to recognize the mullahs as the real force of the revolution and the future rulers of Iran for decades to come. The seizure of the embassy did not change Carters policy of looking for "moderates" in a radical situation until much later. His administration was to draw two more blanks by trying to back Bani-Sadr and Ghotbzadeh. Through foreign intermediaries contact was eventually made with Beheshti, and through him with Khomeini himself, it eventually paid off and the hostages were released on the same day Ronald Reagan took over from Carter as President in January 1981.
The subject of "exporting the revolution," first espoused by Bani-Sadr in his election campaign, early in 1980, was seized upon by the Left and the Islamic radicals as a proper avenue for the energies of Islamic Iran. The Imam had until then promised to work for the liberation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish state. But now that he had proved with the hostage crisis that "America cannot do a damn thing," he was beginning to talk about the overthrow of "puppet regimes imposed on Muslim peoples everywhere."
During the summer, reflecting support from the Soviet Union, no doubt eager to maintain contact with Iran, the Tudeh partys secretary-general Nureddin Kianuri informed the Imam that the Iraqis were preparing a surprise attack on Iranian airfields aimed at destroying the air force on the ground. Bani-Sadr was later to secure similar information, possibly with Syrian help, who had a serious rivalry with Iraq, was able to arrange for Iranian fighter-bombers to be transferred to airfields beyond the range of the Iraqi air force. The redeployment dramatically reduced Iraqs chances of a quick victory when its forces launched a massive invasion of Iran on 22 September after weeks of sporadic border clashes. The Iranian air force was able to knock out Iraqs oil-exporting facilities and provided effective cover for the nations disorganized forces. The army had only two divisions in more or less fighting shape and only one of them was in the war struck region.
The invasion took Iran by surprise. Almost no one in the leadership had taken the trouble to interpret the numerous signals from Baghdad to mean that an attack on Iran was imminent. Bani-Sadr was the first to lose his illusion of a quick end to the war but he quickly succumbed to another. He thought the war would end the internecine feuds and that, as Commander-in-Chief, he would emerge victorious in his duel with the detested Beheshti. But the Commander-in-Chief, who had not even performed his national service, did not know where to begin.
The Iraqis had no doubt been indirectly encouraged by the US, which had apparently hoped that the war would force Teheran to speed up the process of releasing the fifty-two American diplomats held hostage. Saddam Hussein was then at the height of his relationship with the US, before Washington and London realized they could make more money helping Iran. President Hussein had also been fed highly optimistic reports from anti-Khomeini exiles showing that the regime of the Imam would be unable to fight a full-scale war. Hussein had calculated the war would be over by 5 October. The Iraqi advance was quick and largely unopposed; within a week some 7,000 square kilometers of Iranian territory were captured. People began to escape from the border provinces, creating a mood of fear and despair throughout the country.
But a quick victory was not to be. Khomeini, once again using the technique of rowezh which is used for mourning the martyrdom of Hussein, the third Imam, told the nation that this was a dramatic repetition of the tragedy of Karbala, with the difference that this time the forces of Good were to triumph over the forces of Evil. He fixed as his objectives of the war the destruction of the Iraqi regime, the establishment of an Islamic republic in Baghdad and the continuation of the struggle until Jerusalem was liberated. The Imams fighting words had the tonic effect expected. In many towns and villages mullahs called on volunteers to gather at mosques, and within a few days a stream of young men thirsting to kill and be killed started in the direction of the war torn provinces. Young boys who had been reluctantly returned to their classrooms after nearly two years of exciting revolutionary activity were now once again able to seek some adventure and martyrdom in the name of Allah.
They played an important role in an early turning point in the war. Saddam Hussein had declared the Iranian port of Khorramshar to be the main prize of the war. The local army and Revolutionary Guard commanders wanted to abandon the city almost immediately, preferring to draw the Iraqi forces further inland. But a group of local boys decided to stand and fight and were soon reinforced by the arrival of some 1,200 boys from Ahvaz who, led by one Gholum-Deraz (the Lanky Gholum), otherwise known as "the John Wayne of the poor", came to the port city to die the death of martyrs. Every one of them died during nearly three weeks of fighting which included several days of house-to-house and hand-to-hand combat. The Iraqis conquered the burned shell of the city, which was almost totally abandoned by its 120,000 inhabitants. Khorramshars heroic resistance transformed Irans fortunes and enabled Khomeini to dismiss any further suggestions of a negotiated end to the war. By mid-October the Iraqi offensive had spent itself and a war of attrition began. Nearly a year later the Iranians took back Hamid and Sussangerd and finally liberated Khorramshar. A new deadlock was reached when Iranian forces penetrated into Iraq in the summer of 1982 at the start of a long and endless confrontation which by 1985 had claimed at least 300,000 dead on both sides and three times that many when the war finally ended in a World War I like stalemate in 1988.
The war halted all propaganda aimed at the abolition of the armed forces. The army, at first hesitant, soon rallied and spearheaded the re-conquest of national territory. Bani-Sadr spent a lot of time at the front and played a valuable role in restoring the morale of officers and NCOs. Due to his intervention a number of air force and army officers were released from prison and allowed to take part in the fighting. Bani-Sadr hoped to use the army as a force capable of counterbalancing the organization of the mullahs. Unfortunately, while at the front, he continued to write the editorial of his daily newspaper, Enqelab Islami (The Islamic Revolution), and began to exaggerate his role, even claiming to be the one who had given Khomeini the idea of an "Islamic Government" and describing himself as the revolutions original architect. This persuaded Khomeini that his "spiritual son" was suffering from an acute case of folie de grandeur and was constantly complaining about everyone else. This gave ammunition to the Presidents enemies to discredit him.
Reports of millions of children and adolescents pouring into mosques to beg to be sent to the front persuaded the Imam that, contrary to the advice of those who preached a return to normal, the revolution had not yet run its course. The war had come at a time when the leadership was locked in petty intrigues and people were beginning to withdraw into indifference. The vast political coalition that had swept the Shah out of Iran had disintegrated and Khomeini himself was prey to more and more frequent fits of despondency. The minor heart attack he had suffered in the spring of 1980 had left him in a morbid mood.
He did not expect to live much longer.
What he was concerned about was that his revolution seemed to be dying a slow, inglorious death. The seizure of the US Embassy had given the revolution a second wind but had failed to reverse the overall trend of decline. It was the Iraqi invasion of Khuzestan that rekindled the dying flame. The Imam described the war as "a blessing from Allah," and decided that, more than ever, he should listen to on one except those teeming masses of children and teenagers craving martyrdom. The war gave these young volunteers a chance to become heroes in the service of the Imam. The Baseej Mustadhafeen (Mobilization of the Dispossesed) organization, established in 1980, was to provide the nucleus of an army of 20 million youthful fighters.
In March 1981Khomeini called Bani-Sadr, Beheshti and a few other key leaders to a reconciliation meeting. Sayyed Ahmad, who supported Ban-Sadr, was also present. The angry Iman told everyone present to stop quarreling and concentrate on defeating Iraq. He told Bani-Sadr to stop "acting like a child". He ordered all those present to stop attacking each other. Everyone emerged with smiles and assurances of friendly relations but within a few days Bani-Sadr resumed his attacks on his rivals and by June he was at the center of what looked like a burgeoning insurrection. In violent articles and speeches he indirectly attacked Khomeini for his "personality cult," and called for the dismissal of Parliament, the dismissal of the Premier and of Beheshti as Chief Justice, and the abrogation of the Council of Guardians. Bani-Sadr also called on the Teheran bazaar to close down for a day of protest but the bazaar did not heed the call and Khomeini threatened to "cut off the hands of anybody" involved in such a move.
On 10 June a Party of Allah mob, led by Gaffari, attacked and routed a Mujahedeen rally, and demonstrated its ability to control the streets of Teheran. The Mujahedeen had sided with Bani-Sadr at a time when most major political issues were settled in the streets of Teheran and such control proved decisive in the power struggle. Khomeini dismissed Bani-Sadr as Commander-in-Chief and the army reacted with total indifference. Two weeks later the Majlis approved a motion calling for the Presidents removal. The Imam hammered the last nail in Bani-Sadrs political coffin by signing a nine-word decree dismissing him as President. The Mujahedeed failed to deliver on their promise of a nationwide armed insurrection but offered Bani-Sadr protection in one of their safe house, and a few days later arranged for his flight out of Iran aboard a hijacked air force Boeing 707. Accompanying Bani-Sadr on the flight was the Mujahedeen leader, Massoud Rajavi who was later to become the ousted Presidents son-in-law and, for a while, his political ally, before he abandoned him. Bani-Sadr is still in exile in Paris. They both believed their exile would last no more than a few weeks.
Both Bani-Sadr and the Mujahedeen had overestimated each others strength. Bani-Sadr had been led to believe that Rajavis guerrillas would be able to defeat the Party of Allah militants in the streets of Teheran, Rajavi, for his part, had half believed Bani-Sadrs claims of enjoying the support of the army and thought the army would neutralize the Revolutionary Guards and allow the Mujahedeen guerrillas to seize control of Teheran. Unknown to Bani-Sadr, at least before he fled to France, the Mujahedeen had also worked out a plan for the physical elimination of Beheshti and most of the other key figures in the Imams administration.
On 28 June 1981 a powerful bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party in south Teheran, killing Beheshti and more than seventy other leaders, including Mohammad Motazeri ("Ayatollah Ringo") and ten ministers and undersecretaries. Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the Speaker of the Majlis, the future President, and Rajai had escaped certain death by leaving the meeting minutes before the explosion. The death of strongman Beheshti and of so many key figures threw Teheran into confusion and for a few hours the Islamic regime seemed on the verge of collapse. Once again, however, the Imam responded with an appeal for firmness and greater sacrifice. He called on the Party of Allah not to abandon the revolution which would never abandon them. He compared the death of Beheshti and his colleagues to the martyrdom of Hussein and his companions and urged the nation to avenge "the fallen heroes." The performance, on television, revealed Khomeini at his best as rowzeh-khan. The regime was able to creep back from the edge of the precipice. The revolution was safe once again.
The terrorist campaign, however, did not cease. Assassinations of mullahs and officials continued throughout the country as the Mujahedeen threw in all they had in the hope of bringing down a confused enemy. On 30 August the campaign of terror claimed still more victims. A powerful explosion destroyed part of the building housing the Prime Ministers office. Rajai, who had in the meantime been elected President, was killed instantly, together with Bahonar, the new Prime Minister, and two police and security officials. Madhavi-Kani, the Interior Minister who immediately took over as Premier, would have been among the victims had he not been late for the meeting, which was to discuss a new security plan aimed at curbing terrorism.
This was another turning point. The revolution once again proved itself capable of rallying and replacing its "martyrs" with new officials. Khamenei was elected President and quickly appointed Mir-Hussein Mussavi Premier. The two men were said to be half-brothers. Thus, Khamenei, who had in his turn narrowly escaped assassination and now enjoyed the title of shahid-zendah (the living martyr), became the first mullah to head the Iranian state. The Imam was now thoroughly disappointed in politicians and believed that only mullahs were truly trustworthy. In a speech he gave to vent his anger with the politicians and admitted that he had been wrong to expect them to serve the revolution with dignity. The Imams low opinion of politicians, including those who had served him before and after the revolution, was prompted by a number of factors. Bazargan had proved to be weak and vacillating. Bani-Sadr had betrayed his "spiritual father". The Mujahedeen who had killed in his name were now turning their guns against him. Documents seized from the occupied US embassy building showed that almost all "nationalist" leaders had been in touch with the Americans in one way or another. Finally, raids by Revolutionary Guards on the homes of a number of "liberal" politicians who had at first cooperated with Khomeini revealed a series of "horrors". These houses turned out to be modern versions of Ali Babas cave, with stocks of alcohol, caviar (which was forbidden under Islam), collections of objects that turned out to be "sex aids" and piles of copies of Playboy and erotic literature. Khamenei and his supporters succeeded in persuading Khomeini that all non-mullah politicians were corrupt, devious and in the pay of foreign powers.
The Mujahedeens campaign of terror crystallized the regimes attitude towards dissent. A triumvirate of exceptionally brutal men was formed. It consisted of two mullahs, Mohammad Mohammadi-Gilani and Hussein Mussavi-Tabrizi, with Assadollah Lajevardi, one of the closest friends of the assassinated Rajai and their mission was to quell the Mujahedeen revolt. A wave of executions began and continued unabated for a whole year. On a single day 19 September 1981, 149 people, mostly aged between sixteen and twenty-five, and including thirty-two women, were shot in Teherans Evin Prison. The number of executions was to reach six thousand before the end of the year. Gilani, citing the Imams theological authority, announced that there was no age limit for executions and in fact, there was none. "A nine-year old girl is considered an adult in Islam," the Hojat-al-Islam announced. "So such a girl is responsible for her acts and can be executed if she tries to war on Allah." The youngest prisoners to be executed were Zaha Maqsadi, a ten-year old girl, and the two Mesbah sisters aged thirteen and fifteen. The regime responded to violence with even greater violence. Many prisoners who had been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment were taken out of their cells and shot. Said Sotanpour, a Communist poet, was abducted at his wedding and executed at Evin. The Imam approved the repression as "a necessary surgery" and called on the people, especially children, to keep an eye on the activities of everyone around them. They were to form "an espionage network of 38 million people" and would be rewarded in the hereafter as spies of Allah. Revolutionary Guards supported by members of the Party of Allah raided the hideouts of guerillas and killed hundreds of them in gun battles. Throughout the repression the Tudeh Party worked closely with the Islamic authorities and was indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of guerillas.
This campaign of violence, besides convincing Khomeini to no longer trust anyone not totally committed to him, had two other immediate effects. It radicalized the mood of the mullahs, who could now claim to have invested their own blood in the revolution. The Mujahedeen had killed some two thousand mullahs, including at least a dozen very prominent religious leaders in provincial centers throughout the country. No other social group had offered so many martyrs to the revolution. The second consequence of the campaign was to block all avenues of possible political challenge to the regime. There was no longer any question of exerting pressure on the regime through propaganda, strikes, rallies and other peaceful means. Politics in Iran was reduced to the art of killing and getting killed. This is something that a lot of the West has yet to come to grips with. A lot of their leaders and so-called foreign policy experts are now saying "regime change" can occur if a coalition emerges that can overthrow the regime of the mullahs. It is the latest fashionable deception circulating in foreign policy and media circles. Analysts from the Middle East are aware of this and are richly funded by established think-tanks, a misnomer, in encouraging the illusion. The vast majority of Irans population can only act as spectators. The rule of the Imam emerged from the confrontation with added strength and a ready excuse for greater repression, which the current government, under an apparently moderate President Khatami, is not hesitant to use.
The third effect of the confrontation was the emergence of the Hojatieh as a powerful force. This ultra-conservative religious group had all along been worried about the revolutions Leftist rhetoric, which had been mainly imposed by the Mujahedeen, the Fedayeen and Tudeh. Hojatieh could now work their way up the state structure, benefiting from the rout of the Islamic Left. Being the only religious group with a solid nationwide organization, Hojatieh helped its members capture key positions in the Cabinet and local administrations. Its leader Ayatollah Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi, was neither seen nor heard in public but exercised great influence from his semi-derelict, two-story, mud-brick home in south Teheran. Hojatieh rejected Khomeinis claim to be either an Imam or even the sole "regent" of the Hidden Imam. Halabi was reported to have described Khomeini as "a child who plays with fire." An attempt by Morteza, Khomeinis elder brother to arrange a reconciliation in 1982 failed. Halabi would not call on the Imam unless first called upon-a suggestion which was out of the question. Khomeini described Halabi as "a fart in a storm". A year later, he ordered Hojatieh to disband and Halabi obliged by calling on his supporters to go underground.
With the Mujahedeen revolt involving at time full-scale battles with two hundred armed guerillas it also enhanced the powers of the Revolutionary Guards, now commanded by Moshen Rezai, who had been trained in a PLO camp near Beirut. The armys professional soldiers seized the opportunity offered by the Guards preoccupation with crushing the guerillas to reassert their authority and regain control of the war with Iraq. The new Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Qassem-Ali Zahir-Nezhad, emerged as a competent military leader capable of turning the tide of the war. Under his leadership Iran liberated almost all the territory it had lost to Iraq, including twelve towns and more than a thousand villages. In July 1982 Iranian forces launched their first invasion of Iraq itself and for a few exciting weeks the Iraqi regime appeared on the verge of collapse, and the Imam was speaking of an early liberation of Jerusalem as the natural sequel to victory in Mesopotamia. However victory was to prove elusive. New horrors were introduced in the form of chemical weapons used by Iraq and the Scud intermediate-range missile used by both sides but Iraq was able to bombard the cities of Teheran, Qom, and other targets on a scale Iran could not match. The missiles were eagerly sold by North Korea and both countries targeted some of them at each others military headquarters knowing the precise location of each one but the missiles came nowhere near the intended target and usually landed in a Baghdad or Teheran suburb while other missiles had dud warheads.
Both sides also began to target international shipping in the Gulf, which brought the US and other nations into the fighting by providing occasional escorts. There was one especially embarrassing incident in which a very eager US Navy Captain of the cruiser USS Vincennes shot down by mistake on 3 July 1988 Iranian Air Flight 655 with the loss of 290 lives. The captain was relieved of command. The following month on 20 August a cease-fire came into effect following Irans acceptance of UN resolution 598. Khomeini declared that taking this decision was "more deadly than poison", but he acquiesced in the cease-fire and thus endorsed the move toward a peace settlement. There was one ominous news announcement at the conclusion of the war which let those who took notice of it knew that it was not the end of hostilities but just a pause of preparation to resume. The announcement was that Iran had a team waiting to take over Baghdad.
A close reading of the news indicated there were some real reasons taking the statement seriously but before the end of the war Khomeini had to remove two more obstacles to his regime. He was particularly grieved by the discovery of a plot to murder him involving Ghotbzadeh in 1982. Of the dozen or so "student" revolutionaries who had rallied to Khomeini soon after his exile in 1964, Ghotbzadeh was, without doubt, the favorite of the Imam. Ghotbzadeh was charged with having plotted a coup detat with the help of monarchist officers and the blessing of Shariatmadari. Among those arrested were Shariatmadaris son-in-law and Hojat al-Islam Abdul-Karim Hejazi, another favorite of the Imam. Ghotbzadeh and Hejazi confessed to having plotted to seize power but denied charges of conspiracy to assassinate the Imam. But the prosecutor was able to demonstrate that plans for destroying the Imams residence by rocket had been prepared by the conspirators. Twenty men were sentenced to death and Ghotbzadeh and Hejazi were among them. Ghotbzadeh was offered the chance to recant on television but refused. Bazargan, an old friend of Ghotbzadeh, managed to obtain an audience with the Imam to intercede on behalf of the fallen Minister. Khomeini listened in silence and then rose suddenly and left the room murmuring, "It is time for my prayers." A few minutes later he told Sayyed Ahmad to give the go-ahead for Ghotbzadehs execution. Hejazi, however, was reprieved and later released. Khomeini was remaining faithful to his dictum that a mullah does not kill a mullah.
Shariatmadaris case was far more difficult. Lajevardi wanted the octogenarian Grand Ayatollah to be sent to Evin, tried and shot as a "corrupter of the earth." Had the plotters succeeded, Shariatmadari, using his religious authority, would have been able to mobilize popular support for a new regime headed by Ghotbzadeh. He had to be eliminated. A concerted campaign to discredit Shariatmadari was launched in which the Grand Ayatollah was described as an agent of the CIA and not a religious man at all. He was also threatened with the instant execution of his son-in-law. The old ayatollah decided to have recourse to the traditional technique of "telling lies to save oneself from the tyranny of ignorant brutes". He appeared on television admitting his guilt and asking for pardon. He was the first Grand Ayatollah in the history of Shiism to be defrocked and was forced to wear a European suit. He had on countless occasions helped Khomeini and had played a crucial role in the early stages of the revolt against the Shah and now Khomeini repaid him by sparing his life. The Imam also allowed Shariatmadari to continue to wear his beard, although his turban was not to be restored to him. Shariatmadari, anxious to avoid bloodshed, accepted the humiliation and refused to call his supporters to revolt. He agreed to become a virtual prisoner in his own home. He had remained faithful to his life-long belief that bloodshed and violence would not advance the cause of Islam. "Power is like a hungry dragon demanding more and more flesh," he had said years earlier in another context. There was no sign he had changed that belief.
By allowing such a high-ranking religious dignitary to suffer public humiliation, Khomeini alienated himself from the mass of traditionalist mullahs who had hitherto given him their reluctant support. The Imam was now more of a political than a religious leader in the eyes of many mullahs and talabehs. He never once spoke about Shariatmadari directly and later ordered that the defrocked Grand Ayatollah be provided with all his needs.
Shariatmadaris defeat enabled the Imam to devote most of his attention to exporting his revolution. He was now sure that no one could threaten his authority at home. He began referring to Islamic countries by their Quranic or historic names. Saudi Arabia became Hejaz and Najd, while Iraq was Bayn al-Nahrayn or Mesopotamia. Syria and Lebanon were grouped together as Shamat. This indicated the Imam did not recognize the existence of separate Muslim states and wanted to unite the Muslim world under his command. The idea of exporting the Islamic Revolution though originally advanced by Bani-Sadr but now it was Montazeri who was put in charge of a massive propaganda drive, which was soon to include the training of thousands of Enteharis or volunteers for suicide attacks of the enemies of Islam. Several camps were set up in Teheran and Qom for the purpose, including one for women near Teheran itself. It is probable that Syria, a close ally of the Imam in the war against Iraq, helped with the training and organization of terrorist groups which came to be known under a variety of names. Some of the Enteharis may have been involved in terrorist attacks that cost the lives of some three hundred American and French soldiers in Beirut in 1983. One news account mentioned that the driver of the truck, who of course knew he would be killed also, was seen and that he was smiling. Montazeri himself was, by all accounts, not involved in the terrorist side of the operation, which was led by lesser mullahs in cooperation with the Revolutionary Guards.
Sophisticated Servants of Iran
The Iran-Contra Scandal/Gulf War Implications
Early in 1987 the British publication The Economist wrote that despite the Khomeini revolution Iran retained the services of a very sophisticated business class with contacts everywhere. What made them especially profitable was that the Iran-Iraq War was often described as a weapon dealers dream. That should have been no surprise because during the 1970s the West and Russia changed their policy concerning weapon sales. Beijing eagerly followed suit and began to sell to other Islamic nations besides Pakistan. Before the seventies no major armament manufacturer would ever sell the latest ship, plane or tank to any nation outside the defense contractors home nation. That would have been in direct conflict with government policy. Even closest allies were only sold older versions. With the policy shift almost any piece of equipment and all the guidance systems necessary became available to the highest bidder and no one could bid higher than the worlds most volatile region, the Middle East. This was an obvious threat to stability, which is why the change was made. The West, in tandem with Russia, did not realize the instability would extend far beyond the Middle East but if it did they assumed it would be easily dealt with which in turn gave them a ready excuse to intervene. During this same decade the Carter administration developed its Rapid Deployment Force strategy to engage any regional crisis, which threatened either US or its Allies interest. Obviously a lot of the strategic planning revolved around the Persian Gulf. For years the Shah had warned successive American administrations that his removal from power would mean an end to US interests, not only in Iran but also in the Persian Gulf region as a whole.
During the duration of the Iran-Iraq War the warning was either forgotten or completely ignored as weapon dealers, assisted by their respective governments either officially or unofficially armed both sides. Europe was much less secretive about its dealings but the Reagan administration would publicly criticize the Iranian regime severely which is why they were so embarrassed by news reports in late 1986 that they had been selling weapons to Iran under the guise of helping hostages in Beirut and supposedly the proceeds were going to help the Contras in Central America who knew virtually nothing about the bank deposits in Credit Suisse in Switzerland. The news was disclosed by an obscure Beirut magazine al-Shiraa.
Someone, however, who was very well informed about the proceedings was the Saudi weapons dealer and liaison Mr. Adan Khassogi. Early in 1987, before the Senate hearings in Washington commenced, Khassogi is quoted in an interview that he might tell all he knew about the scandal. He used to be the darling of the West because of the enormously profitable weapons deals he would arrange concerning his own country Saudi Arabia, but I think he was personally disturbed by Irans growing influence throughout the Middle East. About a year later Khassogi is arrested. Early in 1990 a Chicago social columnist, Snead, mentions, in her column, that Khassogis third wife is a leading Iranian beauty.
Another very well informed individual was Mr. Albert Hakim an Iranian financier who testified during the Senate hearings. He and his colleagues were very well aware about the availability of business interests and politicians who are financed by them or of State enterprises looking to attract more hard currency. Such arrangements have an enormous impact on these establishments decision making. Such awareness becomes common currency. The arrangements did not stop there. In 1988 with the end of the war a syndicated columnist mentioned that if the West gets invited back to Iran it could make billions of dollars in helping to rebuild it.
Late summer or early fall, before the US elections in 1988, CBS News Radio mentioned Secretary of State George Schultz had been conducting secret negotiations with Iran, trying to insure an American position in the Iran after the death of Khomeini. Schultz had been President of Bechtel Group before he became Secretary of State and I doubt if Bechtel was shocked that Iran perhaps wanted military base complexes similar to the kind Bechtel constructed for Saudi Arabia. But I assume Iran wanted a couple of favors done first. Make up for the mistake made by the cruiser Vincennes and do damage to Iraqs military. The explosion of Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland that December made up for the mistake and the second favor began the planning for the Gulf War, which was easily carried out by the succeeding Pres. George Bush Sr.s administration and the British ally under Prime Minister John Major. Bush had been Vice-President under Reagan. For him and his peers, even in allied nations, this was war business/planning as usual. They knew they could put together a coalition, which would include Arab nations in the "liberation of Kuwait" which was told not to use her tanks while they were being "invaded" by Iraq. Saddam Hussein also knew that if he refused to go along with the scheme it would threaten his ability to retire.
But first they all had to wait for the Imam to die, which he did on 3 June 1989. He was buried in Teheran amid scenes of great mourning by crowds estimated at more than two million. The succession to Khomeini was managed without an overt political struggle. Sayyed Ali Khamenei was appointed as rahbar, or spritual leader giving up the presidency. July elections were won by Hojatolislam Hashemi Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. The post of prime minister was eliminated strengthening the position of the President. Despite his death Khomeini is still considered and revered as the inspiration behind the current Islamic revival by Islamic extremists everywhere. I suspect that even moderate Islamic people, privately, are grateful that he has made them more of a force and presence to be reckoned with.
That is why the war with Iraq did not end completely with a sense of doom and defeat. They, as well as Khomeini from his new residence in 1980 the village of Jamaran, in the foothills of northeast Teheran, "the abode of snakes", watched the spread of Islamic awareness from Morocco to Indonesia no doubt with both fear and fascination and eventually inspiration, their raison detre. If one is unable to go to the frontline, willing to be a martyr, then one can finance it and present it to the world and explain it. At first the advent of the Islamic Revolution in Iran was looked upon as a strange aberration but by 1981 it was then seen as a direct menace to almost every Islamic state. In the almost unbroken chain of riots in more than a dozen Muslim countries, from Bangladesh to Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, portraits of Khomeini and translations of his thoughts in local languages were essential parts of the revolutionary arsenal. The assassins of Egypts President Anwar al-Sadat invoked Khomeinis name during their trial and King Hassan of Morocco went on television to single out the Imam as the man behind the North African kingdoms nationwide revolts in 1983. It became evident that Khomeinis appeal was not limited to Shiites. Sunni radicals also adopted his slogans in their efforts to mobilize popular support. This was no doubt a factor in the sweeping municipal election victory in Algeria by Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) in 1990 and why Presidential elections were cancelled in 1992 with a virtual civil war ensuing and some unrest still continuing as of this writing.
Fear of Khomeini was in part responsible for the sudden and almost concerted reintroduction of strict Islamic laws in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, which an investigation discovered arranged the financing of the 9/11 operation, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania. Even secular Turkey had to move some steps away from Kemalism in order accommodate the new mood of Islamic militancy exported by Iran. A more simpler explanation may be that the Jihad was simply and idea whose time had come once again as in the time of Saladin, the Kurdish leader during the 12th century AD, who led Arabs against the Crusades. One reason for the initial success of Khomeinis brand of radicalism was that all of the three repositories of radical politics in the Middle East had become discredited by the end of the 1970s. Arab nationalism, and more particularly Nasserism, never recovered from the June 1967 defeat at the hands of Israel. Communism, a potent force in the 1950s and early 1960s in the region, had been unmasked as an instrument of Soviet policy and, finally, emerged as the enemy of Islam with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The third kind of radicalism, represented by the Palestinian resistance movement, was also fading by the time the 1970s were drawing to a close, with Yasser Arafat speaking of negotiations and an eventual peace settlement with Israel. The Muslim Middle East with its youthful population where, despite its oil wealth the poor masses still form the majority, has an inevitable radical energy, which is bound to seek expression, as long as its causes are not removed. But how do you remove the Jihad pillar of Islam, which can be financed and directed at the discretion of the State? They dont think they are doing anything wrong or extreme. They are following and investing in the dictates of the Faith. Khomeinis Islamic Revolution is the latest such expression. They hear him curse the United States, which, from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, is considered to be the real power behind all existing governments. The US may actually find that kind of flattering. They also admire the old man of Jamaran for leading the only revolution in the Middle East in which a monarchy has been overthrown without a military coup detat followed immediately by army rule. The Imam also offers the faithful protection against the modern world, which after being ardently desired from the middle of the nineteenth century through the oil boom of the 1970s is now feared and loathed by many Muslims. Modernization has become synonymous with Westernization, which in turn, is taken to mean "greed, prostitution and satanic corruption."
In the absence of an equally powerful alternative ideology, the teachings of Khomeini might well dominate the Iranian political scene for many more years to come. The rich, the conservative mullahs and the middle class would have no alternative but to put up with the current military rule at least for a while, until the Jihad runs its course and a semblance of pre-Revolutionary Iran can return. The army, de-politicized under the Shah, has been re-politicized and it seems to have formed a broad alliance with the Revolutionary Guards, the police, the gendarmerie and the paramilitary forces in order to emerge as the only institution around which the Iranian nation-state can be re-created and led. Crucial to any of their future successes were the arrangements revolving around the Gulf War. The day after it ended in February 1991 CNN showed the London branch office of Bechtel, in Hyde Park, invited to Iran. Bechtel went through London in order evade the US economic embargo against Iran. Britain had no such embargo and that can only be decided by the Royal circles that own Britain. It was no doubt their investment that enabled Becthel to go multi-national after World War II along with their established American counterparts who eagerly went along with the war business enterprise as usual. Even Mr. Henry Kissinger, when he appeared on a Sunday morning news talk show, This Week with David Brinkley, said, trying not to sound too concerned, that "he was worried about a deal that could cause a worse war a few year later." He and his interviewers, who were also aware of the arrangements tried to laugh it away. The Anglo-American enterprise arrangements have long been considered what polite, well-informed society conveniently refers to as a "no talk zone."
I personally witnessed an example of such servility in Sept. 1993 when I was hotel hoping in Paris. When I was in the lounge of the Ritz I noticed, across from me on the other side, Adan Khassogi. He knew he was being recognized which is why he nodded to me. His Iranian wife was at the table next to me with another woman but with Khassogi was a man I believe to be from Pakistan. Not only because of his physical appearance but also the news had mentioned that Pakistan was behind the Islamic effort to have the latest in military technology. The mans expression was intensely evil and it never changed, as if he were on fire from within. He represented the Jihad leadership, its High Command, as does Irans Defense Minister Adm. Ali Shamkani. This is why it is so ludicrous the US and Britain blame Bin-Laden for 9/11 as if he could arrange flight school training. Of course if the US, Britain and the coalition of the available blame Iran publicly Iran could cause further embarrassment by releasing the names and addresses and phone numbers and e-mails of those who are the Jihads business partners. Such people are more at risk than those sent to the frontline or prominent exiles. Iran has no more use for them. That was the hint from 9/11. You have outlived your usefulness and Iran does not want them to invest in the Allied war effort. A short while later two Texas tall investors entered the lounge. They were casually dressed and ecstatic. One of them was middle-aged and a younger one who may have been the older mans son. They go to Khassogis table, say a few words shake hands and leave. After a short while Khassogi and the other man leave also. I personally suspect they were from Austin. The news once mentioned a Chinese delegation visiting Austin purchasing millions of dollars of computer technology and that during the 1980s China purchased some American companies to have access to the latest. Perhaps China, which has long supported Pakistan and its opposition to India, simply introduced Pakistan to some of her American contacts. Right in front of me was an object lesson of the Jihads greatest weapon, corruption. It is impossible for the West to respond effectively. In Iraq the US, Britain and the coalition of the available are serving Iran.
I was last in Paris in July 2002 when Moroccos government was saying to Spain the boundary between them is in the wrong place. The dispute was not begun by some fundamentalists in the street somewhere demonstrating but by Moroccos Foreign Minister. Morocco received support from the Arab league and Senegal, while Spain was supported by NATO and the EU. I walked by the Paris branch office of Bechtel at No. 38 Rue Bassano. The building was completely vacant.
The Mubarak Dynasty
The Gulf War enhanced the role of Egypt and thrust her onto center stage. Mubarak eagerly had Egypt contribute to the military coalition and the primary incentive was the removal of a lot of Egypts debt, which amounted to $50 billion dollars. The Gulf crisis presented an opportunity for the nation to seek forgiveness on the most irksome portion of the debt-$4,550,000,000 in repayments to the US for military supplies. By mid-November 1990 the Egyptian daily al-Ahram was reporting that $14 billion in US military debts and Arab debts had already been written off.
Despite Egypts new authority and prestige, in which Muabark was permitted to address the European Parliament on 20 November 1991, a sustained Islamic fundamentalist uprising did begin mostly in Upper Egypt the following year. This was the most serious challenge to the government since the assassination of Sadat and the violence that year. The banned organization al-Jamaa al-Islamiya called for the destruction of Egypts Pharaonic monuments as "pagan sites" and claimed responsibility for armed attacks on tourists. The violence was concentrated in a 210-km (130-mi) stretch of the Nile from al-Minya south to Sawhaj, about 560-km (350 mi) south of Cairo.
Violence also erupted in the quiet town of Idku (population 250,000), nestled between the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta, when at least three people were killed in August. Unlike the troubled province of Asyut in Upper Egypt, where religious militants and security forces fought almost daily, sectarian violence was virtually unknown in Idku. The riots were sparked by reports that a local man had died under police torture. Hundreds of young men poured into the streets and set fire to local council offices and other government property but left shops alone.
Many Egyptians expected rapid expansion of democracy after the Gulf War, when some 35,000 Egyptians fought alongside Americans and other Westerners. This did not happen, though officials insisted in the government media that they were building democracy and broadening political participation. Pres. Hosni Mubarak told the semi-official daily al-Ahram in February 1992, "Constitutional amendments will not achieve peoples hopes for more jobs, more production, more income and better services. Amendments are not a priority."
That same year a significant border dispute with the Sudan erupted concerning mineral rights in the Halaib triangle along the Red Sea. Relations, which had traditionally been strong, were now tense after Sudan granted a Canadian oil company exploration rights in late 1991. Mubarak had initially backed the leaders of the military junta in the Sudan when they seized power in 1988.
Egypts hopes of securing a dominant role in regional affairs through the Damascus Declaration, an alliance of six Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt and Syria, received a major setback when foreign ministers meeting in September 9-10 in Doha, Qatar, declined to support Cairos suggestion of a permanent rapid deployment force. The strike force would be composed of troops from all eight states, but with Egyptian and Syrian troops forming a vanguard.
In 1993 from May 9-16 Mubarak undertook a tour of the Gulf Cooperation Council states in an effort to isolate Iran, which Egypt accused of backing Islamic extremist groups. He claimed he had details of Iranian "mobilizations" of warships around Port Sudan, 100 km (160 mi) south of the disputed Halaib border area, and threatened to strike immediately if the warships used the port. The GCC states, however, were nervous about offending Iran and declined to give explicit public support. Mubarak was more successful in cutting off Gulf state funds for the militants in Egypt, as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates issued decrees banning governmental Muslim charities from sending money abroad. In 1997 Iran did send, on May 6, her Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati on a visit to Egypt to officially discuss bilateral relations with his Egyptian counterpart Amr Musa. Unofficially they perhaps discussed regional concerns and foreign policy agendas to pursue after the completion of the construction of the base complexes by Bechtel Group. I assume Egypt gave no serious commitment realizing that an Islamic world led by Iran would severely diminish the influence of Egypt. Irans envoy may actually have pointed out that with the support for the Jihad from other Islamic governments it would be Egypt who would actually be isolated.
By the late 1990s the threat from fundamentalist had greatly diminished yet steps to reduce their influence increased in the form of arrests. Mubarak was reconfirmed for a fourth six-year term as president in a national referendum on 26 Sept. 1999. He was "elected" as the sole candidate with 93.79% of the total valid votes and was the longest-serving president since the Egyptian military took over power from King Farouk in July 1952.
Following the September tragedy of 2001 Mubarak embarked on a European tour, which included stops in France, Italy and Germany. He had long been experiencing more acceptance in the West than in the Middle East. He spoke of Egypts need to coordinate actions with Western countries to combat terrorism. The intelligence information provided by the Egyptian authorities might be very valuable indeed: many leading members of Irans al-Qaeda organization, including perhaps Ayman az-Zawahiri and Muhammad Atef were Egyptian.
During nearly all the years of Presidents Mubaraks rule he was and still is at the center of the charade of the Middle East peace process, more recently called a road map by Pres. George Bush Jr. Last year in June 2003 I attended a Salon Dinner, sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, at the apartment of the Egyptian Consul-General. He and his Egyptian guest speaker literally laughed at the "road map to peace." That same year in June Mubarak accepted the invitation from French Pres. Jacques Chirac to attend-along with other heads of state from Africa, Latin America, and Asia-the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations in Evian. That September Mubaraks ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) convened its first annual conference in which Mubaraks 40-year old son, Gamal Mubarak, head of the NDPs Policies Secretariat, had a high profile in the conference.
1997-2004 Irans New Façade Emerges/The Agenda of Deception
Strategic Travels and Axis Partners
In 1997 with the completion of the base complexes in sight and with growing disillusionment on the part of Irans young population and with the image of a pariah, outlaw state, the Council of Guardians decided deviously to approve the candidacy of someone who was very photogenic and who could turn a smile off and on like a beam of radiance. Mohammad Khatami was born in 1943 in Ardakan in central Iran and was the son of a well-known religious teacher. He studied theology at schools in Qom and Esfahan and later took university degrees in philosophy and education. In addition to Farsi, he spoke Arabic, English and German. In the 1960s and 70s he wrote pamphlets against the rule of the Shah. After the Khomeini revolution Khatamis father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khatami led the Friday prayers at the provincial capital in Yazd. Khatami was one of only four candidates approved by the Council of Guardians. In 1992 he had been the director of the National Library and a teacher and adviser to the government. Khatami held the title Hojatolislam va al-Moslemeen (The Vicar of Islam and of the Muslims, the title of a high-ranking mullah just one grade below ayatollah). As a direct descendent of the Prophet he is allowed to wear the black turban. Because of his moderate posturing he took nearly 70% percent of the votes in the May election and stated he hoped to achieve "a thoughtful dialogue with the American people." Khatami chose as his Foreign Minister Irans Ambassador to the UN, a professional diplomat who had studied in the United States, Kamal Kharrazi. The Defense Minister, a professional sailor, an officer of Irans navy and he now holds the rank of Vice Admiral Ali Shamkani.
Observers noted, however, despite the rhetoric, that the foreign policy remained in the hands of spiritual leader Khameni. If the new administration had ever disagreed with the Jihad agenda in any way none of them would be connected, in any capacity with the government. Khatami and the Council of Guardians knew one of his primary functions would be to help release some of the political frustrations of Irans population, encourage the debate on domestic issues and deceive the world as to his true beliefs as did Khomeini when he was is the Paris suburb of Neauphle-le-Chateau.
An indication of the agenda of deception was Khatamis visit to the UN early in September 2000 to attend and address the UN opening. He stated that 2001 is the "year of the dialogue." I believe it was in January 2002 he visited India during her Republic Day celebrations. He was beaming constantly and I really suspect India fell for him. They like to see anyone Islamic smiling especially since they ignored Prime Minister Nehrus warning in 1964 just before he passed concerning the dangers of Hindu extremism. That is the inspiration that controls Indias government and at the time of the warning India had a huge military advantage which Nehru was able to restrain. But with his influence gone India eagerly had another war with Pakistan in 1965 and again in 1971 both of them easily won by India. Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf is a veteran of the 71 conflict. Just three years later India proudly displays its first nuclear bomb but just five years later 1979 Khomeini and the revolutions sequel, the spreading of the faith. The same year of Khomeinis passing the Islamic uprising begins in Kashmir that November 1989 and with the impact of Khomeinis beliefs it is not just between Pakistan and India any more.
In 1998 right after the BJP, the Hindu extremist party takes office they announce they will "nuclearize" the sub-continent. Pakistan got the hint but the world ignored Pakistans warning until in May when India explodes a series of nuclear bombs. Pakistan responded in kind the following month and right after Pakistans series of explosions they are visited by Irans Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi praising what he called "the Islamic bomb." He never called it Pakistans bomb. I assume Iran and Saudi Arabia along with other established Islamic individuals and leaders and institutions, have been investing in Pakistans research and development. It has since become known even Malaysia was assisting Pakistans R&D. That same year, the Financial Times of London in October quotes Russias Ambassador to Teheran as saying Pres. Khatami is no moderate.
There are far to many travels and state visits to go into here. That alone could take up an entire volume. The new government is constantly either on the move or receiving state visitors either to deceive them or to sound them out on the extent of their commitment to the Jihad and what is the nature of their support, military, financial or both or even spiritual blessings. Support from Islamic institutions, including educational, is also crucial to give the war its justification and legitimacy. Even from every artistic field and prominent people, women especially, in Islamic society, modern or traditional. They are all needed and have an impact.
A few of the new façades travels, however, do stand out in memory. In 1998 Kamal Kharrazi visited Madrid. Right afterward there is a crisis concerning Saddam Hussein and an American aircraft carrier task force by passed the port of Singapore and steamed straight to the Persian Gulf. Perhaps Teheran wanted to remind both Saddam and the US of the obligations to them. Iran had allowed Saddam to live and I suspect news reports of him having doubles were quite true. I do not believe he was captured but that perhaps he is in Yemen. Yemen, early in 2000, invited him to attend a gathering there in May. The US of course was reminded when Teheran calls it had better be ready to answer.
Pres.Khatami beamed constantly when he visited Germany but they came to no agreement concerning Caspian Sea oil development. Germany is perhaps the only nation in the West not seduced by the easy profit deals the Jihad has to offer. When the Shah was overthrown Germany discontinued work on Irans nuclear facility at Bushehr. In 1997 Germany held a public trial in which she openly accused Irans government of terrorist planning and on the highest level of the government. That of course includes the Defense Minister Adm. Shamkani. In 1992, in Berlin, a café was attacked. The café was frequented by a lot of Kurdish exiles and Germany knew Iran had planned the attack. A lot of exiles are very prominent and could easily establish another government to replace the Republic of the Mullahs or enable regions near Iran to remain independent. I have no idea how many exiles have been killed since the revolution. A couple of year ago Reuters announced there is a group in Paris which claims to be Irans government in exile. They and the world will have to wait for the Jihad to run its course. The murder of those exiles makes it easier for the current regime because it silences effective critics. One of them may have been Lelia Pahlavi, daughter of the Shah who was found dead in a Londons Leonard Hotel in June 2001. Her mother, the former Empress Farah, issued a statement saying her daughter had been depressed and never "surmounted the death of her father to whom she was painfully close." She was buried in Passy Cemetery in Paris. A lot of depressed people, however, do not commit suicide and I personally suspect she may have supported some dissident group in exile. Another convenient death, an apparent suicide, was that of Dr. David Kelly whose body was found in the Oxfordshire countryside in July 2003. He may have been the source the BBC used to mention the Blair government had "sexed up" pre-war intelligence to justify the final war against Saddam Hussein. Some of the scenarios painted by the Blair government sounded like a James Bond picture. I almost wish these events were like a Bond picture. Things dont quite out of hand there and wonderful endings.
In July 2002 Pres. Khatami visited Malaysia accompanied by a 91member delegation. They not only signed a lot of trade agreements but leaders from both nations were saying Islam should have more say in world affairs. Even Malaysias King wanted to be seen with Khatami. Since January of this year Thailand has been under attack by some Islamic group along its border with Malaysia. Early this year Foreign Minister Kharrazi visited Rome in which he states publicly Iran is willing to sell nuclear fuel. A few days later on 18 Feb. a train in Iran blows up in a massive explosion after being derailed. Iran said it was only carrying fertilizer. Also early this year the Defense Minister visited Poland to meet his counterpart. I never saw an official explanation for the visit but I suspect Adm. Shamkani was there to look over Polands new equipment.
In 1992 Iran established one of her most strategic partnerships by establishing relations with Croatia. This was a follow up to Irans busy embassy in downtown Sarajevo. Iran announced Croatia is their entry into Central Europe. Since then Germany sent to Poland Leopard tanks and the US has helped to upgrade Polands air force and right now Russia is upgrading Polands Soviet era aircraft. Iran hates Vienna more than Tel-Aviv because of Viennas lead role in investigating Irans nuclear weapons program. Another confrontation is scheduled for next month in late November. Iran established relations with Croatia to take advantage of Viennas leading role in the comical map-making which divided Yugoslavia.
It is still the most ridiculous and sinister decision I have ever witnessed and very disillusioning. I could not help but think of the image, evil with a clown face. You see it in the expressions of their diplomatic representatives and foreign policy analysts and even in some of their prominent media personalities. They all want to be in on the same joke and profit from the same trust fund investments in the weapons industry and laugh themselves all the way to the bank while they feign concern for refugees. I thought Europe had become tired of map-making. They have learned nothing. And they claim theyre Christian as if Christ were a war lord. These are decisions that play a lead role in creating war. Vienna being the main headquarters and planning of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) composed of 55 nations, including the US, which agreed to the division that cut off Serbias access to the sea. Brussels was also actively involved. They all ignored the observation by then US Secretary of State James Baker who said under no circumstances would he ever recognize it. It was supposed to be an orchestrated crisis in the name of the new world order and I suspect Vienna and NATO and the former Warsaw Pact countries all thought they could solve it diplomatically the same way they staged and conducted crisis during the Cold War in which Vienna also at times played a lead and very willing role. Diplomatic ritual can be staged very impressively, lights, camera, action, headlines, interviews with glamorous news anchors even book sales of illusory history which boasts about ones personal impact and usually these schemes work with everyone knowing each other and following the same script and choreography but this time they under-estimated the impact of weapon dealers. During one of the winters in the first half of the 1990s an article mentioned that Serbia was receiving weapons from Libya.
Teheran and other Islamic countries realized right away the mistake the West had made. They put themselves completely out of position. The more forces the West and Russia have to commit to the Balkans the less they will have in the Mediterranean not to mention the strategic resource region of Central Asia. In late 2000 or early 2001 the news mention Turkey and Iran were comparing intelligence information but they would not say about where. A short while later fighting begins in Macedonia. The area is still a flashpoint that could easily explode even before this year is over. Just recently a Saudi official addressed an intelligence institute in Turkey. I assume it is an indication of more fighting will soon erupt. A more telling indication of the consequences of the Balkan front was the bombing of Kosovo/Serbia by NATO in 1999. Greece had long been close to Serbia because they both follow the same religious ritual so a year or two later Greece and Turkey conduct a joint peace mission to the Middle East. Athens, a very frank dialogue center, is probably on the verge of telling off the rest of Europe and would not mind to see an end to the foreign military occupation of Balkans. Just recently a French unit parachuted into Kosovo. The division of Yugoslavia divided more than Yugoslavia. It resurrected ancient suspicions and barriers within Europe, which I actually believed had been long buried. It gives a lot of weight to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelds statement "old Europe." It was one of the most regressive and darkest decisions in Europes twisted history and the consequences are by no means over. Europe will fall back on regional, continental, ritualistic, occult militarism centered in the western part in Rome and Moscow in the east.
October 2004 The Final Trip
Khatami this month has just completed a four-nation trip, which in some way seems to have circumvented Egypt. He visited Algeria, Sudan, Oman and finally Syria in which he praised Syria for its long opposition to Israel. The Council of Guardians know that unlike Khomeini the current sophisticated Islamic republic is not as obsessed with liberating Jerusalem but they do realize its symbolic importance and even more significant it will be extremely popular not only all over the Islamic world but in a large part of the non-Islamic. There has long been anti-Semitism in established European society, something of an open secret, and with blessings from the Vatican, which is why Belgium in its Defense Ministry in Brussels has the painting " Siege of Jerusalem", depicting a scene from the first Crusades. Nor is that mentality any stranger to Americas social stratosphere, which is why both societies love to hear the Islamic world, especially Iran, complain about Israel as if it were the primary reason for the crisis and that solving the Palestinian issue would end most of the violence and instability. When Iran and other Islamic governments make such statements they are in some ways encouraging the popular deception. Russia, I believe, is more willing to face the enemy in Central Asia and they, along with industrial support from Germany and the US know that the crisis in Central Asia has nothing to do with the Palestinian situation but with Iran and the Jihads economic priorities. Teheran-Riyadh-Ankara is aware of not only the oil in the Caspian region but also that Uzbekistan is the worlds fifth largest producer of gold. No doubt this has also fascinated perhaps even has obsessed former Pres. Hojat al-Islam Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who lately has been denying reports that he has amassed a huge fortune. He is the Jihads counterpart to the master criminal Auric Goldfinger in the Bond picture Goldfinger. This is also within the economic spectrum and concern of Berlin-Moscow-Geneva and not to mention the industrial and financial concerns along Boulevard Haussmann like Credit Agricole Indosuez. They do not want their Persian counterpart like Bank Melli, which has long had a presence along Avenue Montaigne, to have much of an advantage in future negotiations in which, I assume, Mr. Albert Hakim will have an active role. Both sides will of course maintain dialogue with each other throughout World War III. Iran would love to have Paris acknowledge Irans successes, Khomeini having been an exile there and the Franks obsession with taking the lead in the Middle East. Both concerns will adjust their investments accordingly after the war.
Perhaps the most revealing of Khatamis stops was in Algiers. He would never, at this stage of readiness, waste time in a nation or with a leader who still has doubts and reservations about the war. One of the reasons he may have known this in advance could have been due to an invitation to an Algerian leader of an outlawed Islamic party to a reception of King Fahd. On 4 Feb. this year Reuters mentioned not only the invitation but also the response of Algerias Foreign Ministry, which was to summon the Saudi Ambassador to ask for an explanation. Several leading Algerian newspapers reported the Algerian government was furious with the Kingdom for allowing Abassi Madani, leader of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), to attend a recent reception in Riyadh to mark the haj pilgrimage. Madani had been released from prison in 2003 after serving a 12-year sentence for threatening state security. He had been arrested shortly before army-backed authorities cancelled parliamentary elections that the FIS was poised to win in 1992.
Neither government gave a public response to the discussions but I would guess the Saudi Ambassador explained that the House of Saud supports Madani and his partys aim and sense of representation, of an Algeria, which may no longer be so influenced by the West in its international outlook. The Saudis reasons would be directly connected with their purchase of the missiles from China 20 years previously, the CSS-2 and their 2,500 mi range. The Ambassador may also have mentioned that in so many ways the Jihad could do the same for Algeria as for any Islamic government willing to answer the call. They all are presiding over a restless and largely dissatisfied population that also possesses a great deal of animosity toward not only the West, Russia, Israel and India and if necessary China, but also toward any Islamic government that is found to be unresponsive. You deflect a lot of their criticisms and protest by endorsing the Jihad, which a lot of governments would like to see what successes it achieves. There are after all a number of essentials we hope the Jihad could accomplish. The West having less influence in the Middle East and its decisions, we all should support Pakistan and the people of Kashmir who are understandably opposed to India. Perhaps the Jihad could alter some of the decisions of Ariel Sharon, at least he wont be visiting any more mosques, and of course Central Asia. Therefore if Algerias government does anything to support the Jihad, when the time came, the militants could be called out of Algeria and sent elsewhere and at no cost to Algerias government. He may have added that hopefully they will not have to be directed against Egypt. A year or two before someone speaking for Riyadh stated that Saudi Arabia is not trying to compete with Egypt. I personally suspect one of the main reasons Egypts government is not supporting the Jihad, as is Morocco, Libya, Sudan is perhaps because Egypt is not leading it. Egypt for a lot of Islams history was their leading society but they are not any more due to the massive corruption in and around the government.
Pres. Khatamis stay in the Sudan was for three days and frankly I had never seen him look so serious. He addressed the Khartoum government and mentioned the new economic opportunities in the country due to oil. It was also mentioned that he and Sudans President Lieut. Gen Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir also discussed regional issues. I assumed they had to mention the reluctance if not outright refusal of Egypts support for the Jihad and should, in fact will be declared a betrayer of the faith. Irans government could easily employ the same tactics against Mubarak and his family and government as they used against the Shah and his regime. Rumors could drive Egypts protestors into more of a militant frenzy and imagine what Teheran could loot out of Baghdad. That is a Persian aspect of the Jihad that will eventually end the unity. Reuters mentioned a week or two after the fall of Saddam that a lot of artifacts looted out of Baghdad went to Iran. I was not surprised and this is why the Islamic world will support the Jihads initial successes but they are not at all eager to see a second Persian Empire because they remember the first one.
Persia can have a tendency to be very dictatorial and demanding economically and very rapacious, insatiable. There is also a very real possibility the Persian Peacock Throne mentality could surface in Mohammad Khatami. We have yet to see him in all his glory. That manifestation is no doubt being reserved for victory celebrations during which he will have to say something. The Islamic world, especially its leadership and those who have financed it know his role was primarily deception. And after the war becomes all out be the Jihads advocate, present its argument its position to the world. But he will probably, as did Bani-Sadr exaggerate his role especially in its victories as, for instance did Osama Bin-Laden, with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Bin-Laden then told people he should perhaps rule all of Islam, not to mention the delusions of the Shah. The ancient Aryan myth of the super-race resides mostly in the Iranian psyche and at times can indeed express itself. When that happens Khatami may become the best weapon of the West and their Allies.
In Oman I assume Khatami alerted the Sultan and Prime Minister Qabus ibn Said about the potential of Irans new missile technology and its use against US and Western bases in the Persian Gulf region and he may also have stated Iran intends to see how many enemy bases in Uzbekistan, or Kyrgyzstan or anywhere else in Central Asia the missiles can hit. Khatami may also have mentioned the Sultan and his people should not be alarmed by special weapons like orbital laser that Iran may be planning to launch next May.
His most obvious messages were reserved for Syria. He openly praised the government of President Bashar al-Assad who, as his father before him, headed a government long opposed to Israel. But Pres. Khatami then extended the range of his comments. They were quoted in detail in the Arab weekly Ain-Al-Yaqeen. (The Heart of the Matter) The weekly reported that Pres. Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Pres. Mohammad Khatami discussed best ways and means to form a new anti-American-Israeli Axis to take off pressures Washington and Tel Aviv are putting on them. These pressures have always existed and we have to neutralize them through our cooperation. Israel may actually be forced to use her nuclear bombs. In a sense what may save Israel is the Jihads focus on Egypt.
For the past couple of days, 15-16 October, Reuters has mentioned someone from the Syrian side of the border has been firing mortar shells into Iraq. US soldiers in the area say they dont know who is doing it. I assume it is at least some Islamic fighters, who may or not be Syrian but are more than insurgents. They may be units designed to draw the US and Israel into a war with Damascus. They could also be Syrian units or both. Right after the fall of Saddam the news shows the then French Foreign Minister making a sudden trip to Damascus to discuss matters with Pres. Assad. They did not appear to come to any agreement. The French knew the fall of Saddam would not usher in an era of peace and stability and that the Islamic world would never agree to the US/UK occupying the country for several years. Neither was it any secret that about a year ago the New York Times, on its front page, reported that hundreds of Islamic young men are leaving Europe, heading for bases in Syria and Iran. A European official was quoted as observing they look like foot soldiers. They are not being trained for the occasional terrorist incident but for the frontline and Iran knows that the more units the US or any other Allied nation displaces to Iraq it would reduce their presence on other fronts. In describing the American experience in Iraq Irans Spiritual Leader Khamenei described the US as acting like a wolf caught in a trap.
Israel also seems incline to enter especially with militaristic Sharon as head of state but Syria may already be in the process of starting it. During this year Israel has been making the largest weapons purchases in its modern history. 102 F-16Is equipped with extra fuel tanks to extend their range and 5,000 bombs including about 500 bunker bombs that can hit targets 50ft underground. During most of this year there has been something of a war of words going on between Israel and Iran who the press likes to describe as "Israels sworn enemy". Israel and analysts saying that if need be perhaps Israel could attack and destroy Irans nuclear facilities as she did in 1981 in attacking the ones in Iraq. Irans Defense Minister replied, I think over Al-Jazeera, that it would be a mistake for Israel to do so and that Iran is not Iraq and in one of his more telling responses he also stated Iran will not let the US attack first. They know how to control wolves and despite Presidential Candidate John Kerrys statement, Iran is not bluffing. Iran knows that wolves can be distracted in all sorts of confused directions. And their statements concerning Israel adds to a lot of the non-Islamic worlds hope to see Iran attack Israel in the same way they would like to see civil war in Iraq. They also led themselves to believe Ayatollah Sistani did not like Muqtada al-Sadr and his units engaging the US. They also tried to ignore reports that Iran had been funneling to al-Sadr, before the uprising, $75-80 million.
Reuters mentioned last month on 27 Sept. That some analysts in Israel and other countries have admitted there is very little intelligence on Irans nuclear facilities. They also admitted they are very well protected. One could easily add they are Bechtel Group deep. A nuclear facility underground would be a lot deeper than a bunker. All the US and its Allies have to do is simply inquire of Bechtel about the pertinent details but Bechtel and those who own Bechtel may not have Teherans permission. But Israels new arsenal could be very useful against Syria. It has been often reported a lot of the insurgents have been coming through Syria and now the US and the French have been complaining through the UN about the Syrian units that have been in Lebanon since 1976.
Iran and the Jihad have not set their attack agenda for the convenience of their enemies. Last month Iran engaged in some very large military maneuvers including an Army Group size unit of Revolutionary Guards of several hundred thousand. I assume they will be pursuing the economic objectives of the Jihad, the control of raw materials and other priorities. They would then be active on three fronts, Central Asia/Southern Russia, against India to help Pakistan and the Balkans to help the West find reasons to remain occupied there and to silence Vienna. Teheran, however, has also long realized the necessity of addressing popular demands, which is essential for the ruler to remain in power. The news had an interesting photograph, during the maneuvers last month, of what was described as a military unit of mullahs. They seemed to be only infantry units and there was no word on their size, which could be as large as a division, 10-15,000. Whatever the size of the unit they will serve for Iran what it will probably call its symbolic gesture of support for the Palestinian people. Khatami may also say it will help regional stability. In terms of spiritual symbolism and all the feelings and emotions, real or imagined, this will probably be considered by most of the Islamic world the most holy or glorious of all fronts. Frankly I am not sure if Teheran really cares if they or anyone else "liberates Jerusalem", Iran is willing to let the population pursue its popularity and may Allah go with you, but in the meantime, in the cold, hard and very real reality of international influence and power the Jihad High Command will be more impressed with the control of raw materials and important shipping lanes.
The popularity of the war among Egypts population could easily begin to undermine and subvert the authority of the Mubarak dynasty. Other Islamic nations and their respective governments could simply be asking, where is Egypt and how could they refuse to support it? It would then be revealed as it was long suspected that they, the government and those in their circle, are to close to the West and therefore have abandoned the faith. Teheran knows Cairo is surrounded. I cannot imagine the West or anyone else being in a position to help. Mubaraks last words could be of condemnation of those who unleashed it, the West.
It is understandable to wonder why the West and Russia have not been more attentive over the years as Iran and other Islamic countries were making and preparing very meticulously and obviously for all out war against them. The reason could revolve around the Crown Jewels of Iran which date back centuries, by far the most impressive jewel collection in the world only a third of which has been seen by outsiders. In the early 1960s the Shah commissioned the French jewelry House of Boucheron, Fred and Gerard to set up the treasury museum in the underground vaults of the Bank Markazi Iran (The Central Bank of Iran). During the 1930s they were housed by Bank Melli. The most intriguing of all the known gems is perhaps the Daryai-Nur, the sister stone to the Khui-Nur in the British Crown Jewels, but it is even larger and more beautiful. It is not entirely known how the Khui-Nur came into the possession of the British but I suspect as a gift to services rendered. Some of the services could have been military. Some experts believe that the two diamonds along with the Orloff (in the Russian Crown Jewels) and another nameless stone were all part of one enormous diamond. I have long suspected that because of such possessions it obliges societies that have them to cooperate. The Anglo-Persian Committee of Understanding in Britain would be very well aware of such hereditary arrangements. Britain never had an embargo against Iran despite its revolution and its grand design since then and Russia is still sending industrial assistance to Irans nuclear program. They just announced today the completion of the facility at Bushehr with the intention to start another one. This is a very strange, occult level of decision making which is no stranger to Yales Skull & Bones, the American branch of Bavarias Cult of the Order or for those who follow the dictates of Masonrys Duncans Ritual. For the sake of ones sanity, one should never be impressed by or in service to it. Even those who own such arrangements do not really benefit. There is nothing like an established prison with bars of paranoia and fear even if the bars and walls are made of jewels. Just look at the confused expression of Prince Charles who is currently embarking on a tour of Italy, Jordan and somewhere else. Prestigious meanderings are not to be envied. I assume his highness was one of the reasons Britain had no embargo against Iran along with the Duke of Westminster who seems to shun publicity as he probably shuns reality. But as you can tell from this article they are no means by themselves.
Fortunately not all bombs and missiles are going to work. Some will miss others will be duds. Nothing works as well as advertised. When Teheran realizes they cannot defeat Russia they will make a deal with Moscow which will end at least most of the fighting. They would have acknowledged the Jihad had run its course and has accomplished enough. The remainder of the Islamic world could have realized it sooner and would have begun to restore relations with the outside world.
I must mention that I am deeply indebted to certain sources of information without which the article could not have been composed. The Economist, Financial Times, The New York Times, Britannica Encyclopedia Yearbook, Mary B. Leigh-Hunt of Town & Country Magazine October 1980 issue, European Internet, AOL News by Country which has Reuters and AP and especially to the editor Amir Taheri who wrote the definitive work on the recent events in Iran, "The Spirit of Allah/Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution". The book was published in 1985 and at the time I believe he was still the editor of one of Irans largest newspapers. I have no idea what happened to him and sadly this tremendous work is out of print. I am also eternally indebted to the absolute source of reassurances, the Bible which discuses in detail this war in two chapters of the Book of Daniel 8 and 11.The book was inspired by God during the first Persian Empire.
(Author attended Western Illinois University from 1968-72 and graduated with a degree in History, concentrating on East-West Trade, East-West Industrial Cooperation. Author is an independent international affairs analyst-consultant who likes to emphasize the established business interests behind
the foreign policy. www.crossfirewar.com )
The question then arose how to obtain the long dead Imam's signature on the document for ratification. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Saffar Harandi finally dropped the agreement into the Jamkaran well into which they believe Imam Mehdi descended 1300 years ago, where it joined tons of letters and requests from pilgrims over the centuries
Insane. Certifiably insane.
Today we have an undeclared nuclear power(Isreal) sorrounded by islamic maniacs (Palis,Jihadists), a soon to be delecared nuclear power vowing to destroy Isreal run by another brand of islamic maniacs (Iran).
What the US does is going to determine the outcome. Will we join the EU and UN in a fatal dither or will we team up with Isreal to take out the maniacs.
As Michael Leeden likes to say "Faster Please!"
Markets are getting jittery. The DOW crossed 11,000 and gold crossed 550 today, and the ratio on this chart dropped down to 20. Half way to the rock bottom. Straight up, straight down.
Look at 1928-1932 on the chart.
Scary as hell. We have a certified lunatic who may soon be in charge of nuclear weapons and sees himself as a person destined to bring the "12th Iman" back. Being somewhat of a student of end times, I can see how a worldwide economic collapse could easily cause the people to turn to anyone who could promise stability. That person will be the final antichrist.
"Perfect storm" doesn't even begin to describe this supertyphoon heading our way.
The world is about to undergo a massive change, and not one for the better, I fear. This essay confirms in detail what I had already suspected to some extent.
The fact that we're so unwilling to deal with our own domestic enemies is is a virtual guarantee of the downfall of our civilization and its replacement by something brutal and dark.
printing for later reading...thanks for the ping
We will be fortunate indeed to have our Republic in ten years.
I wish we were all wrong about this.
On the O'Reiley Factor, President Bush (in the runup to the 2004 election) was asked if he would allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. The prez said no.
I hope he meant that (and I think he probably did) but then again what if they pull it off anyway without our knowledge, or, if they don't, maybe they will just wait till Bush is out of office.
Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that out there because the President is on the record saying Iran will not have nukes on his watch.
What a hard world we live in. We just got rid of one nutsack (Saddam) and now we got this guy to deal with.
Bush's inflationary chickens will come home to roost.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.