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9 août 2008 6 09 /08 /août /2008 00:20

Former Iranian Officer Explains the Games Mullahs Play

A Revolutionary Guard who reported to the CIA believes a tough ultimatum to the Iranian regime is long overdue.


Previously at Pajamas Media: “Former CIA Agent in Iran Comes In from the Heat”

One must never forget that the Islamic government of Iran is being run by hard-line clerics. The games they play with new faces and voices, or good cop/bad cop, are an ongoing show designed to keep the West confused and falsely hopeful enough that one day there will be a diplomatic breakthrough.

It is with this mindset that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, continually works to create a wedge between the American people and their politicians by giving out mixed signals, creating a false hope for a negotiated settlement over the enrichment process and U.S.-Iranian relations.

I know. Using techniques taught to me by the CIA and with my code name Wally, from a front-row seat in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, I compiled my reports on Iranian deception in the middle of the night, knowing that capture would bring torture and a horrible death for myself and my family, but my hope was that I could be of some help to free Iran from the mullahs and their network of terror.

The city of Qom, located southwest of Tehran, is one of the most important centers of theology to Shia Islam; it is from these theological seminaries that the country is run. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a member of the Assembly of Experts (the body that chooses the supreme leader) and the advisor to President Ahmadinejad, runs the Haghani School that teaches the most radical Shiite beliefs, including the belief in the imminent coming of the 12th Imam who is called “Mahdi.”

The teachers and students of this school run some of the most important political and security institutions in the Iranian government, including the Ministry of Intelligence. Every minister has been associated with the Haghani School and involved in organizing death squads to kill the opposition and coordinating terrorist activities against the West. Ayatollah Janati, the powerful chairman of the Guardian Council, is also associated with that school.

Their deceptions work in many ways. One example was in July 1987 when the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, was in progress. Khomeini sent a public message for the pilgrims to avoid any kind of clash and to keep the peace. But my source in the intelligence unit of the Guards informed me earlier that Imam Khomeini had actually ordered an armed uprising in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj.

Many members of the Guards, Basijis, and thugs with weapons such as knives and machetes were sent disguised as ordinary pilgrims by Iran Air. The plan was to start a demonstration using slogans against Israel and America, encourage other Muslims to join the demonstration, and then incite an uprising against the Saudi monarchy. I immediately reported the details to the CIA. Not long after that, the Saudis started checking the flights arriving in Saudi Arabia from Iran and many pilgrims were sent back after the discovery of weapons on board. The Iranian regime went ahead with its plan and started the demonstration during the pilgrimage. However, the Saudi police were ready for them and at the end of the day hundreds died and more were wounded. The mullahs, angry about the interference with their planned demonstration at the pilgrimage, ordered a number of bomb attacks on Saudi agencies in and out of the country, along with the assassinations of Saudi diplomats in retaliation for the pilgrims’ deaths.

I also informed the CIA of my findings that an Iranian consulate convoy transferred arms and explosives, via an Iran Air flight, to the Iranian consulate in Dubai. Because it was a diplomatic convoy, they were not searched. This took place while the Iranian envoy in Dubai was relaying messages of friendship and cooperation to the government of Dubai.

All the while the mullahs have been supported by the Russians and the Chinese. I reported to the CIA that the Russians were selling arms to the Guards and training the new intelligence apparatus in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while also reporting that the Chinese were selling Silkworm missiles and artillery, and training the Revolutionary Guards’ naval units in a base in China.

The mullahs have always maintained a dual-strategy policy; one is to be prepared for any confrontation, and the other is to drag out negotiations with the West over their development of nuclear capabilities. Their goal is to outlast the Bush administration while pursuing the expansion of their missile delivery system for ballistic missiles and the enrichment process for the ultimate goal of obtaining a nuclear bomb. And the intention behind going nuclear is no less than destroying America and Israel’s power in the region — and beyond — with the belief that Islam will eventually conquer and rule the world.

On the confrontation front: Recently, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Jafari, who now also controls the Basiji forces, announced that the military will set up 31 command-and-control centers in provinces around Iran. They are appointing new commanders for each center, replacing the current commanders of the Guards in each province in coordination with Khamenei, the supreme leader. They are also appointing new representatives of the supreme leader within the Guards for each province.

This is designed to ensure loyalty, increased coordination, and less reliance on the central government. In case of a war and breakdown in communications between the central government and Revolutionary Guards around the country, the commanders at each center can make independent decisions to face off against any enemy or confront any public uprising.

On the negotiation front: The Iranians have found a new approach to further drag out the negotiations on the 5+1 package. As reported, they met on July 19 with the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and representatives of world powers, including the United States of America. The Iranians claim the discussions did not include any talk of suspending the enrichment program but rather a halt to expanding the project.

The terms discussed (freeze-for-freeze) could provide additional time of another six weeks of negotiations while the Iranians could maintain the current centrifuges in place. President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran now has 6,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium for their nuclear program. Their main goal is to prolong the talks for as long as they can while maintaining their right to the enrichment process. Then they will have enough nuclear material for one nuclear bomb within six months.

Their goal of destroying America and Israel is also twofold: military and financial.

On the military front: Iran’s leaders know that they will never be able to match America’s military might. I reported to the CIA from my position in the Guards in the 1980s that Mohsen Rezaei, then the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, received authorization from Imam Khomeini to officially expand the martyrdom force in the air, ground, and sea. It was decided then — since they would never be able to match the power of America — that they would create thousands of smaller forces in order to tax the response of the Americans.

For example: If 1,000 high-speed boats equipped with small missile launchers and filled with dynamite attacked the American Navy ships, it would overwhelm their defense systems and the probability of afflicting damage would be very high. Iran began creating these smaller attack boat units in the 80s. Then they purchased small submarines and started producing missiles, of which they now claim to have thousands, capable of reaching not only their neighbors but also Israel. They are working on missiles that can reach Europe and ballistic missiles to reach America. North Koreans are in Iran helping with the development of their missile technology. North Korea itself cannot pursue ballistic missile delivery without some harsh objection from the Chinese and the West, so their involvement in Iran serves their interests as well. The intent of developing the thousands of missiles is in pursuit of the same goal: overwhelming any defense capability to inflict damage and create fear, the horror of which can be heightened with the chemical weapons they possess.

The Iranians are skilled in using proxies such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Shiites in Iraq, Taliban in Afghanistan, and other terrorist organizations around the world, as they have demonstrated over and over again with bombings and hostage-taking in Lebanon and other countries. Many Americans, most notably CIA operative William Buckley and U.S. Marine Colonel William Higgins, were kidnapped and tortured to death. Many others of different nationalities were kidnapped and later on used as bargaining chips for exchange. The most blatant show of force by the mullahs was the 2006 Lebanon war through their proxy Hezbollah.

On the financial front: Iran pursues the same goals with the same philosophy as al-Qaeda in that any effort that puts a strain on the economy of the United States is a legitimate action. Al-Qaeda did that with their suicide attack of 9/11, and Iran is sowing havoc and chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mullahs have calculated the cost of the Iraq invasion and the rising oil prices to the U.S. economy, and they also see that as a tool to weaken the superpower.

They intend to continue, for there will be only two ways out for America: one is an attack on Iran, which they see as unlikely with the current economic situation and oil prices; the other way out for the U.S., as they see it, is to leave Iraq and accept defeat. This would create an environment that the mullahs most desire, as it would allow them to expand their power by seating friendly politicians in Iraq, terrorizing their foes, creating an Islamic government cooperative with Iran, and all the while developing their nuclear bomb.

Knowing the mullahs’ intentions, I am truly puzzled by the confusion of the U.S. media and politicians over the true nature of the Iranian government and the people who run it.

This confusion has had the previous four U.S. presidents and their administrations making mistakes in judgment over Iran — leaving us where we are today.

One clear example is when Khatami became the president of Iran: speaking with a voice of change and proffering many overtures to the West, the Europeans did a little rain dance around the fire, ecstatic over the prospect of more contracts and business for their governments. The media in the West jubilantly beat the drums and announced a change in Iran and how it should be supported by the West. The Clinton administration, like administrations before it, embraced the idea of appeasement, going so far as to have Madeleine Albright publicly apologize to Iran for America’s past behavior towards the country — a condition set by Iran to improve relations — and partially lifting sanctions on the import of Iranian goods.

Recently Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, the former speaker and the secretary of the Iranian government during President Khatami’s term, participated in a debate in Iran and attempted to criticize Ahmadinejad for his way of handling the nuclear issue. He stated that while Khatami was president, “we had an agreement for the suspension of enrichment, but we were importing all the necessary parts for our nuclear activity.” He continued saying that “we were conducting our policies on two fronts: one to continue negotiations openly and keep the Americans away from such negotiations; and the other to continue our nuclear activities in secret.”

These negotiations, dragged out for years, have only seen the mullahs get stronger, more equipped, and more dangerous by the day. If they threaten to wipe Israel off the map and attack any neighboring country with missiles, who will assist the U.S. in a confrontation?

Imagine what they would do once they have a nuclear bomb. Imagine Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and many other terrorist groups around the world running around with dirty bombs under the control of the mullahs, who are indifferent even to the well-being of their citizens.

Hassan Abbasi, a former commander of the Guards and a current strategist close to Khamenei, the supreme leader, and Ahmadinejad, best describes the mullahs’ agenda: “Creating terror and fear in the land of infidels in any form — not only is it legitimate but it’s holy.”

Mohsen Rezaei, the former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards and the current secretary of the Expediency Council, recently stated that both the Israeli government and the Israeli people are illegitimate, adding further that, based on Islamic belief, this is the official policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Mohsen Rezaei is currently on the most wanted list of Interpol for the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina.)

It is important to know that the current U.S. administration’s policy towards the mullahs will determine the environment we are going to be living with in the future and one needs to look back in order to understand the importance of such decisions.

Jimmy Carter’s presidency and his lack of understanding of the Middle East combined with an incompetent foreign policy were the key factors in the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran: bringing the mullahs into power and giving the Russians what they could have only dreamed of — a proxy against the West, which resulted in a spread of radical Islam, the creation of Hezbollah, and the spread of suicide bombings. I could go on and on, but with 9/11 and the ensuing events, I am sure everybody is familiar by now with the horrors of radical Islam.

The United States needs to strongly warn the world against a nuclear-powered Iran, which would create a total imbalance in the world’s economy and security. An ultimatum needs to be given with a deadline: if the Iranians do not scrap their enrichment program by a certain date, it will be scrapped for them — and when it is done, there will be somebody else running the country.

The mullahs believe in one thing only: Islam conquering the world through the reappearance of the 12th Imam. They have chosen their path. The question is: have we?

I believe — and hope — Americans can once again rise to the occasion and unite against these thugs who are determined to use any means necessary to endanger the world and cause an apocalypse.

"Reza Kahlili" — the pseudonym of an Iranian currently residing in the United States — is writing a book about his experiences as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guard.


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8 août 2008 5 08 /08 /août /2008 09:47
Nathan Sharansky soutient John Mc Cain...

Sen. Joe Lieberman: Iran's Activities 'An Act of War'

August 07, 2008
David A. Patten

Sen. Joseph Lieberman termed Iran's training of Iraqi insurgents "an act of war" in a Florida appearance Wednesday evening on behalf of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

The independent Democrat from Connecticut spoke at length about the threats facing both the state of Israel and the United States during a town hall meeting at the Palm Beach Synagogue in South Florida, describing McCain as ready to face global dangers as commander-in-chief from his first day in office.

Lieberman said that by loosing its elite Kuds revolutionary force to train extremists to fight in Iraq, the Iranian regime has "been responsible for the murder of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq." "This is really an act of war," Lieberman added, "A proxy act of war."

Citing the threat of terrorism and Iran's nuclear ambitions, Lieberman praised McCain's experience, saying it had given him "good judgment in war and in peace." Lieberman said McCain is an "idealistic realist" who understands that when confronting al-Qaida and Iran's extremist leaders, "You can not sweet talk them into being reasonable, you can't give them a warm embrace and think they're suddenly going to become our friends."

In an obvious reference to Sen. Barack Obama's plan to negotiate readily with foreign despots, Lieberman said McCain would "never be so confused as to think you can sit down with our enemies without preconditions, unless it will really benefit ourselves." He added that Americans must understand that Iran is the No. 1 challenge to American foreign policy.

In reference to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Lieberman said, "History should have taught us that when we hear a leader of a state make statements so extreme as to seem almost unbelievable, we should take that seriously." Ahmadinejad, he said, regularly leads the Iranian masses in chants of "Death to America."

"We've got to take that seriously," Lieberman said, "because he means it seriously." Early in his remarks, Lieberman drew applause after he announced that former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky had endorsed McCain.

Asked later if he agreed with Sharansky that an Obama presidency was "a risk" to Israel, Lieberman told Newsmax: "I guess I'd say it affirmatively: A McCain presidency will be good for the state of Israel."

link to original article

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8 août 2008 5 08 /08 /août /2008 09:28
Al-Sadr to turn Mahdi Army into "mostly nonviolent" social organization

The announcement does appear to place restrictions on who can use violence, and against whom it can be employed. It appears to codify lessons learned in past months -- namely, that killing Iraqi Muslims, and particularly fellow Shi'ites, is bad for business. In that vein, this reorganization will also allow for a stricter chain of command should violence be called for.

But as long as there is any armed contingent and the possibility of returning to violence, the expansion of al-Sadr's organization to include social causes will make it resemble Hizballah or Hamas more than the Rotary Club.

Muqtada 2.0 Update. "Anti-U.S. Cleric to Lay Down Weapons," by Nick Schifrin for ABC News, August 7:

The anti-American cleric who launched the Shiite insurgency in Iraq four years ago, sparking a cycle of violence that killed scores of U.S. soldiers and led to a sectarian war, will transform his militia into a mostly nonviolent social organization, his office tells ABC News.
Moqtada al-Sadr's decision to focus on education and science instead of violence cements a shift that began almost one year ago, when he asked his followers to freeze their actions against the U.S. military and the Iraqi government.
The freeze was one of the main reasons that violence in Iraq has dropped to the lowest levels in four years for both civilians and troops. But before today, he had never stepped so far back from the armed insurgency that gave him a widespread following.
"This army is cultural, religious, social and in charge of cultural and scientific jihad -- to liberate minds and hearts and souls from the secular Western tide and which forbids using weapons, ever," reads a two-page flier that announces the change and has been posted in Shiite areas around the country. "We give you this flier… to call for what's right and forbid what's wrong in an ethical way -- through tongue and heart, only."
The group will now focus on educational programs and support Iraq's infrastructure, including gas delivery and neighborhood cleanup, according to a spokesman. And the name will change from Mahdi Army to Al-Mumahidoon, which translates roughly to "The Pavers," as in the ones who will pave the way for the reappearance of the Shiite 12th imam.
"This leaflet is the constitution for joining the Al-Mumahidoon," said Abu Sajjad, a resident of Sadr City, standing in front of a flier posted on the wall. "This is one of the best decisions made by the leader Moqtada. Carrying weapons should only be left to the people who are specialized in this."
Sadr, who is referred to as Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr because he is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammed, apparently will not entirely give up resisting the people he still refers to as "the occupiers."
Salah al-Ubaidi, his spokesman, tells ABC News that "during Friday prayers we'll announce the launching of the project of a general education for the Sadrists where Moqtada al-Sadr divides the Mahdi Army into two parts: where the biggest and most important of them is intellectual and social work. And the smallest portion will be in charge of the resistance project."
But in official and unofficial statements made in the last few months, Sadr has severely restricted who could fight the United States in his name and, perhaps more importantly, where they could fight.
In a statement released last week, he placed a list of new conditions on the Mahdi Army, including that "armed actions should never take place in cities" and "armed actions should never take place in a way to harm people." He told followers "not to target the government even if it was an unjust one, for there is not any religious permission to do so."
Some analysts urge caution before accepting Sadr's declaration to transform. It's not clear, they say, whether Sadr has control over all the fighters who have fought in his name -- the same fighters who have survived battles with the Iraqi military relatively unscathed.
"Most elements of [the Mahdi Army] that were involved in significant fighting managed to disengage from heavy fighting without having to disarm the Mahdi Army," writes Anthony Cordesman, an ABC News consultant, and Jose Ramos in a new paper for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Much depends, therefore, on both the future of the Sadrist movement and the Iraqi government's success in winning sustained popular support from Iraq's Shiites."...
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7 août 2008 4 07 /08 /août /2008 22:39
Bush's Disastrous Flip Flop

by Michael Rubin
Bitterlemons International
August 7, 2008

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Press and pundits applauded George Bush's decision last month to send a representative to Geneva to join a meeting with Iran's nuclear negotiator. Barack Obama, the 2008 presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said, "Now that the United States is involved, it should stay involved with the full strength of our diplomacy." Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said the decision might be "the most welcome flip flop in diplomatic history".

To bring the Islamic Republic into compliance with its international commitments through peaceful means is a noble goal. Nevertheless, the White House reversal was the wrong move at the wrong time. Just as democracy is about more than elections, diplomacy is about more than just a willingness to talk. Absent the preliminary work necessary for its success and attention to timing, diplomacy can accelerate conflict.

Washington's insistence that Tehran cease its nuclear enrichment makes sense. While proponents of diplomacy call this a precondition, abandoning such a demand both unilaterally sets aside three UN Security Council resolutions and enables Iranian officials to run down the clock as they near irreversible nuclear capability.

Even if the White House waffles back to its earlier position, the damage is done. By establishing--and then voiding--the redline laid down by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the United States would not talk until the Islamic Republic suspended its uranium enrichment, the Bush administration undercut the credibility of future redlines. Indeed, this is the message that many Iranians have taken. On August 1, 2008, for example, Ali Reza Hosseini, an employee at the Strategic Studies Institute at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, urged the Iranian leadership "not to take the secretary of state's ultimatums seriously".

This raises the probability that Iranian officials will misread the determination of Bush or his successor administration to prevent the Islamic Republic from achieving a military nuclear capability. Where self-described realists and progressives see flexibility, Iranian officials see weakness. "America has no other choice but to leave the Middle East region beaten and humiliated," stated Mohammad Ja'far Assadi, newly-appointed chief of the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, on July 16, 2008.

Diplomacy absent opponent sincerity does more harm than good. The West has already suffered for its efforts to accommodate Tehran. Between 2000 and 2005, European Union engagement with Iran led to a near-tripling of trade. Rather than use its hard currency windfall to build civilian infrastructure and improve the economy, the Iranian leadership invested perhaps 70 percent of its hard currency and oil windfall into its military and nuclear programs.

Such an allocation is not the result of regime hardliners controlling appropriations, for the bulk of the work on Iran's covert nuclear program coincided with a period of reformist resurgence and so-called dialogue of civilizations. On June 15, 2008, the semi-official Fars News Agency provided lengthy excerpts from a panel discussion with Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Khatami-era government spokesman. He lambasted not the content of President Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad's nuclear policy but rather its style, and urged a return to Khatami-style diplomacy. "We had an overt policy that was one of negotiation and confidence-building," he explained, "and a covert policy that was continuation of [our nuclear] activities." He recommended that the Iranian government should "prove to the entire world that we want the power plants for electricity [but] afterwards we can continue with other activities."

Indeed, he signaled that Tehran may see the incentive package the White House signed on to in an entirely different light than the western diplomats who offered it. "As long as we were not subjected to sanctions, and during our negotiations, we could import technology," Ramezanzadeh explained. "We should have negotiated for so long, and benefited from the atmosphere of negotiations to the extent that we could import all the technology we needed."

Iranian officials gloat. They welcomed US concessions as affirmation that defiance succeeds. Meanwhile, with 6,000 P-1 centrifuges and a 4.8 percent enriched feed Tehran can produce 20 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium in just 16 days, a period between International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

Iranians play chess while Americans play checkers. That Tehran's nuclear program has progressed so far is a testament to the Iranian strategy. In contrast, Bush's move has little to do with a well-thought out strategy and is more a flailing attempt to change legacy. As Iranian centrifuges continue to spin, the price of Bush's flip-flop will be high: Iranian overconfidence, erosion of future UN Security Council resolution effectiveness and forfeiture of future redline credibility. With its diplomatic card wasted, the next US president will have a stark choice: allow the Islamic Republic to go nuclear or accelerate the application of far more costly measures.

Michael Rubin, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Related Topics: Iran, US policy

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7 août 2008 4 07 /08 /août /2008 15:25
Israël s'insurge contre l’accord conclu entre l’Allemagne et l’Iran
Par Sarah Smadja pour Guysen International News
Mercredi 6 août 2008 à 12:13

Un accord commercial a été conclu il y a quelques jours entre la firme allemande Steiner Gastec Prematechnik et l’Iran. Cet accord aurait été autorisé par le gouvernement allemand dans le cadre d’une coopération économique entre les deux pays. Il permet au groupe Steiner d’exporter en Iran l’équipement high-tech nécessaire pour construire trois usines à gaz au sud du pays. Ces usines convertiront le gaz naturel en liquide qui pourra ensuite être facilement transporté. Un contrat de 100 millions d’euros a été signé entre la firme et les autorités iraniennes.

L’accord a aussitôt été critiqué par Israël. L’ambassadeur d’Israël à Berlin a contacté le bureau de la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, pour lui demander d’intervenir.

De son côté, le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères a fait part de son mécontentement, et déclaré que « la décision va à l’encontre de l’esprit des sanctions que le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU veut infliger à l’Iran ».

Il s’inquiète que l’Allemagne, une des six nations impliquées dans le processus destiné à maitriser le programme nucléaire de l’Iran, adopte une position « qui nuit à l’effort international visant à durcir considérablement les sanctions contre l’Iran ».

Pourtant, selon l’Allemagne cet accord ne viole pas les sanctions de l’ONU.

Un porte-parole du Ministère de l’Economie en Allemagne a en effet déclaré qu’à l’issue d’une enquête qui a duré douze mois, aucun élément ne laissait à penser que les marchandises exportées pourraient être utilisées à des fins militaires.
En conséquence, il n’y a donc « aucune possibilité légale d’empêcher l’exportation ».

Une décision décevante pour Israël qui pensait que ses excellentes relations avec l’Allemagne mettraient à l’abri l’Etat hébreu d’une telle douche froide.

Selon le Centre Simon Wiesenthal « cette affaire aide l’Iran dans un secteur sensible et se moque des efforts de la communauté internationale pour isoler le régime nucléaire iranien ».

De grands groupes internationaux ont pour leur part d’ores et déjà annoncé le gel de leurs relations commerciales avec l’Iran.

C’est le cas de StatoilHydro, groupe prétrolier, qui a confirmé qu’il ne ferait pas de nouveaux investissements en Iran, après la pression exercée par les Etats-Unis pour isoler commercialement le régime des mollahs.

Le groupe français Total a lui aussi annoncé en Juillet qu’il cessait d’investir en Iran. La société avait pourtant remporté un contrat en 2006 afin de travailler sur l’important gisement de South Pars.

Aujourd’hui, le contrat qui a semé la discorde pourrait bien être annulé par Berlin. Des officiels allemands ont en effet affirmé qu’Angela Merkel désapprouvait ce contrat.
Un indice qui indique que l’accord entre la firme allemande Steiner et l’Iran est sérieusement remis en cause.
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5 août 2008 2 05 /08 /août /2008 00:14
Will Israel Strike Iran?

In a recent piece for the Washington Post, Israeli commentator Yossi Melman writes: “No decision to attack Iran has been made in Israel” and it is “a matter of at least one year” before any decision will be made.

Melman’s words seem enough to convince the editorial staffs of publications like the Post and the Nation. But sources inside the U.S. intelligence and Defense communities are telling us, there is an increasing “probability” that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) will soon strike Iranian nuclear facilities. The strikes -- if they take place -- will be far more extensive than that which occurred during the strike against Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in 1981. The new strikes will target much more than just the nuclear sites. The extent to which America will or will not provide support will depend on multiple variables. And the strikes will not be over in a single night.

“To hit the number of targets the Israelis need to hit with their force structure would require several days,” Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney (U.S. Air Force, ret.), former assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force, tells HUMAN EVENTS. “If they did it in a night -- with, say, 100 airplanes -- they’d probably inflict significant damage to Bushehr and other facilities, but it would be more difficult to hit the deep bunkers at Natanz.”

But, McInerney adds, the problems associated with an air campaign that goes beyond 24 hours is “it becomes more difficult politically because you’ve got to have more people complicit in terms of airspace requirements, etc.”

Nevertheless, a multi-phased campaign lasting several days is what the current plan looks like according to analysts and insiders.

One intelligence community source tells us, “The campaign will last more than a few days, perhaps up to a week or more.” And it looks as if the operational green-light will be given at some point within the next few months before any window of opportunity closes that would prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon (a reality that could come to pass within six months to a year -- perhaps sooner in a crash-building program -- according to a MEMRI interview with International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Dr. Muhammad El-Baradei).

One former Defense Department official says he believes a strike against Iran’s developing nuclear infrastructure might be “a bad idea because of Iranian national pride in the program: it's likely to strengthen the regime without accomplishing any strategic objective.”

He adds, “The only way to deal with these guys is to hit the regime itself, hard, and leave the nukes alone for the moment.”

Others say hitting the nuke sites is part of a much broader plan that will facilitate regime change.

“It’s not just the nuclear sites,” Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, ret.), former deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Pacific, tells HUMAN EVENTS. “It’s regime target sites.”

According to Vallely, the approximately 75 regime targets on the tier-one targeting list -- updated daily -- includes Iran’s command-and-control, the country’s air defense network, the various Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps units and positions, as well as the nuclear sites. There are many targets beyond those on the tier-one list.

Without getting into specifics, the current plan calls for a “takedown” that may be supported by U.S. air and naval forces in the both the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters and refueling tankers will be running back-and-forth through U.S. Central Command–controlled air corridors. Mossad agents and Iranian (anti-government) operatives will help coordinate the strikes from the ground. Meanwhile, home-based Israeli ground forces (with helicopter support) will reinforce defenses in northern Israel and on the Golan Heights; prepared for the possibility of defensive cross-border operations against Hizballah in southern Lebanon and perhaps operations inside Syria along geographic points where -- in recent weeks -- two Syrian mechanized-infantry divisions have been reinforced. Other Israeli ground and air assets will reinforce Gaza positions.

If the Iranians -- in retaliation for strikes against their facilities -- make a move against American forces in the region, or if they try to shut down the Strait of Hormuz (the strategically vital waterway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman) as they have threatened to do, U.S. forces will “unleash hell and more than complement what the Israelis are doing,” says Vallely.

McInerney says, “The Iranians may try to shut down the Strait, but they are deathly afraid that we’ll get involved.”

An intelligence source says, “Iran’s provoking the Americans into the game is exactly what Israel wants, because overwhelming U.S. airpower would be able to finish the job in very short order.”

McInerney agrees, adding, “That’s why I believe if the targets are going to be hit, we need to be the ones to do it.”

Some experts contend such a strike “must be” before the U.S. presidential elections because the Israelis know that any operation prior to the elections would give plausible deniability to either one of the American presidential candidates. After the election, it would be difficult for the president-elect to deny knowing because of the access and leverage held by a president-elect. Others say it may be after the election, but before the inauguration because if Barack Obama is elected the Israelis fear he would not support any form of military action against Iran, whereas the Israelis are confident in both John McCain’s support of Israel and in his willingness to use military force -- either directly or indirectly -- in support of Israel.

In a recent article for Middle East Times I explained how Iran's frequent threatening of Israel and the United States, its covert operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, its recent military-political victories in Lebanon (through its proxy army, Hizballah), a newly signed defense pact with Syria, and -- most important -- its nuclear ambitions; may be forcing the West's hand.

During the first week in June, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly told Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda that "influential nations should get ready for a world minus the U.S." We know Ahmadinejad frequently threatens to "wipe Israel off the map," Moreover, his surrogate deputies, like Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah, often call for the "deaths" of America and Israel.

The same week Ahmadinejad made his comments to Fukuda, the IAF conducted a massive military air-exercise over the Mediterranean, flying and refueling over a distance roughly equal to that which would be required in a strike against Iran.

Israel isn’t just saber-rattling. “The only one thing worse than Israel’s having to launch an attack against Tehran's nuclear facilities is an Iranian nuclear bomb,” Brig. Gen. Dieter Farwick (German Army, ret.), the former director of Germany's military intelligence office and the current editor-in-chief of World Security Network, tells HUMAN EVENTS. “An Iranian nuclear bomb would trigger a nuclear arms race in the broader Middle East. Still any attack against Iran should remain a last resort; and timely, limited negotiations should be given a last chance."

Closed-door negotiations are continuing. But so is Iran’s nuclear program, its president’s threats, and an uncertain American political landscape: Which is why -- in Israel’s mind -- chances, opportunities, and certainly time may be running out.

The big question remains: if Israel with it’s current force structure attacks Iran with only a nod -- and very little direct support -- from the U.S., can the Jewish state pull it off successfully.

“Yes, but the timing of this thing is important,” says Vallely. “The Israelis know that politically they have to do it this year, because they and we don’t know who is going to be the U.S. president next year. They also know this thing has to be done as a regime change. If they want this to be successful -- and they do -- they can’t just go in and only take out the nuke sites.”

The stakes for Israel go beyond any operational success or failure; for as IAF Col. Ziv Levy told Bob Simon in a 60 Minutes interview earlier this year, Israel cannot lose: “The first war we lose, Israel will cease to exist.”

Mr. Smith is a contributor to Human Events. A former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader and counterterrorism instructor, he writes about military/defense issues and has covered conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq and Lebanon. He is the author of six books, and his articles appear in a variety of publications. E-mail him at wthomassmithjr@yahoo.com.
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26 juillet 2008 6 26 /07 /juillet /2008 12:37
IRGC Revamps To Counter Enemy Within


Thursday, July 24, 2008

The ayatollahs continue to enrich uranium, despite the high-profile meeting on July 19, 2008 in Geneva between Tehran's top nuclear negotiator and senior western diplomats representing the Group of 5+1. No surprise there. They are banking their regime's survival on nuclear capability. Ali Larijani, Iran's former nuclear negotiator, once said that giving in to the West's demands that Iran suspend its enrichment would be suicide.

But, however much their regional role is tied to developing a nuclear weapon, domestically their grip is being challenged on a daily basis. Indeed, the backbone of the ayatollahs' regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is being revamped at great haste, primarily to cope with rising dissent. The region's changing geo-strategic dynamics coupled with sanctions targeting the IRGC, and its terrorist elite unit, the Qods Force, are also factors.

According to intelligence gathered by the Iranian Resistance's network inside Iran, on June 28, 2008, Mohammad Ali (Aziz) Jafari, the IRGC Commander-in-Chief, launched a major reorganization of the Corps. The scale of this re-org is unprecedented since the 1985 re-vamp, when the clerical regime's founder Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the IRGC split into three branches - Army, Navy and Air force.

The new structure changes the IRGC from a centralized to a decentralized force with 31 provincial corps, whose commanders wield extensive authority and power. According to the plan, each of Iran's thirty provinces will have a provincial corps, except Tehran Province, which will have two.

The key questions are why, and why now. A look back at the summer of 2005, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was propelled to the presidency, provides some insight. His rise came about through a "complex and multi-layered" plan devised by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the IRGC top brass. With Khamenei's backing the IRGC had already taken the reins of power in most key areas. Ahmadinejad's presidency placed the IRGC atop the executive branch, and the metamorphosis of the IRGC into a politico-military force was complete.

Khamenei then sought to implement a strategy reflecting the new pecking order. To this end, on August 21, 2005, just days after Ahmadinejad's inauguration, he ordered the formation of the IRGC Strategic Research Center and appointed then Brig. General Jafari as its head.

Within two years, the Strategic Research Center developed the new strategy, whose main components are: 1) A reign of terror on the populace; 2) Terrorist suicide operations capable of striking at the "enemy", including on "enemy" soil; 3) Increasing Iran's missile strike capability; 4) Acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

With a new strategy at hand and the IRGC in control, Khamenei felt all the pieces were in place. He was mistaken. According to reports from within the IRGC, Khamene'i soon realized there were growing problems with IRGC personnel. With Ahmadinejad's cabinet at the helm, many veteran IRGC Brig. Generals gravitated toward political, cultural and naturally, economic realms. Not only were they disinclined to fight, but they were also reluctant even to wear the IRGC uniform.

Almost a year ago, feeling the effects of internal unrest and foreign pressure worsening, Khamenei dismissed Major General Rahim Safavi, once a darling of the radical factions but later described by Ahmadinejad's cronies as a "liberal" and softy.

On September 1, 2007, Khamene'i promoted Mohammad Ali Jafari, a friend of Ahmadinejad, to the rank of Major General and appointed him IRGC Commander. On October 20, 2007, in his first public statement following his appointment, Jafari explained that "According to the judgment of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, the Guards' strategy has changed. Accordingly, the Guards' primary mission at this juncture is to fight the internal threats."

He added: "Internal security and its preservation are the tasks of the State Security Forces and other security organs. But if the problems go beyond a certain point, then the Guards - with the permission of the Supreme National Security Council and the Supreme Leader - will take charge."

According to one of the regime's analysts, "The whole security environment is intended to really suffocate or torpedo any possible change from within." In February 2008, Jafari acknowledged the regime's inability to uproot the opposition, saying, "Animosity toward our revolution is never-ending. As we move forward, the battle between the revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries becomes more critical and complicated."

Jafari has stressed that the IRGC's new strategy entails two essential components: accurate intelligence about enemy activities, and an increase in the regime's missile capabilities. Earlier this month, he told reporters that the IRGC "is equipped with the most advanced missiles that can strike the enemies' vessels and naval equipment with fatal blows." Back in May, he was quoted by the state-run Fars news agency as saying that "An independent command might be created in IRGC in order to fortify the structure and activities of the missile section."

Another of Jafari's priorities during the past ten months has been dealing with the wave of retirements, buy-outs, and resignations by IRGC Brig. Generals. Obviously, these coincided with Khamenei's efforts to tune the regime's military apparatus with the threat of a military confrontation. Khamenei found he had no option but to purge most of the commanders of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war and replace them with post-war commanders. This explains why a good many of the twenty provincial commanders announced since June 28 have lower ranks than Brig. General, which means they were lower-ranking officers during the Iran-Iraq war.

In May, Jafari alluded to Khamenei's unhappiness with the old-timers. Speaking at a ceremony introducing the new commander of Tehran's paramilitary Bassij Force (tasked with internal security), Jafari said that "in the past few years" there had been "negligence" about "domestic security" in the IRGC. Calling for a reorganization and review of the IRGC's mission, he added that the negligence was due to "a few good years" during the Iran-Iraq war, when the IRGC pursued mainly "military activities" and paid "little attention to other aspects" of its responsibilities, meaning preserving the theocratic regime against popular dissent. Strengthening Bassij Force has been the core element in the IRGC re-org.

The revamping of the IRGC underscores the reality that while the ayatollahs' foreign policy imperatives are to establish a client state in Iraq and acquire a nuclear weapon, domestically they are at risk from the Iranian people and their democratic resistance movement - the enemy within. The success of this domestic movement is the key to a non-nuclear, peaceful Iran and to an independent and democratic Iraq.

Alireza Jafarzadeh is the author of The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis (Palgrave: February 2008).

Jafarzadeh has revealed Iran's terrorist network in Iraq and its terror training camps since 2003. He first disclosed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy water facility in August 2002.

Until August 2003, Jafarzadeh acted for a dozen years as the chief congressional liaison and media spokesman for the U.S. representative office of Iran's parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

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25 juillet 2008 5 25 /07 /juillet /2008 11:47
09:49 Un convoi du Hezbollah a explosé à Téhéran la semaine dernière, selon le Daily Telegraph. Le quotidien britannique affirme qu'une grande explosion a soufflé un convoi sorti d'une base des Gardiens de la Révolution à Téhéran, qui transportait des armes et munitions destinées au Hezbollah. Au moins 15 personnes ont été tuées, mais les autorités tentent d'étouffer l'affaire.  (Guysen.International.News)

Iranian military convoy rocked by mystery explosion

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have launched an urgent inquiry after a mysterious explosion wrecked a military convoy in Tehran, killing at least fifteen people and injuring scores more.


The explosion took place in the Tehran suburb of Khavarshahar as the military convoy left a munitions' warehouse controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. According to reports received by Western officials, the convoy was taking a consignment of military equipment to Hizbollah, the Shia Muslim militia Iran supports in southern Lebanon, when the explosion occurred.

Senior Revolutionary Guard commanders immediately imposed a news black-out following the explosion, even though it could be heard throughout the capital Tehran, and no details of the incident have so far appeared in the Iranian media.

But Western officials yesterday said they had received reports that the explosion took place in Tehran on July 19, and that the Revolutionary Guards had launched an investigation into the causes of the blast.

"This was a massive explosion that was heard throughout Tehran," one official told the Daily Telegraph. "Even though lots of people were killed the Revolutionary Guards are trying to conceal what really happened."

Iran is believed to have recently stepped up arms shipments to Hizbollah in preparation for any future armed confrontation with the West over its controversial nuclear enrichment programme.

The Revolutionary Guards' investigation into last weekend's explosion is understood to be looking into the possibility that it was caused by sabotage. Iran has suffered a number of unexplained explosions in recent months, including an explosion at a mosque in Shiraz, which had been holding a military exhibition, and another incident at a missile site that killed dozens of Iranian technicians.

Last month Seymour Hersh, the respected American investigative journalist, reported that US President George W Bush had authorised up to $400 million (£200 million) to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran to destabilise the regime.

More on ...

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22 juillet 2008 2 22 /07 /juillet /2008 20:32
A Dubious Mission  
By Amir Taheri
New York Post | Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IN the past few days, those who think President Bush can do nothing right have exhausted the thesaurus in search of adjectives to label his decision to send an emissary for multinational talks with Iran.

This, we're told, is a U-turn and a sign of caving in - the first time since the mullahs seized power in 1979 that Iran and the United States are engaging in a diplomatic encounter. The reality is more complex.

To start with, this is far from the first time that the two sides have met. President Jimmy Carter sent envoys before and during the hostage crisis. President Ronald Reagan sent his own representative - remember the "Iran-Contra" scandal?

US and Iranian diplomats met at least a dozen times during the Clinton and first Bush presidencies, and under George W. Bush, the two sides have talked on several occasions since 2002 over Afghanistan and Iraq.

So what is new? This month, Washington signaled its readiness to attend the so-called 5+1 talks in Geneva - and Tehran gave its consent. Yet these talks don't touch on bilateral US-Iran relations. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns will sit beside envoys from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany to hear Iran's Saeed Jalili respond to the latest "package" offered by the European Union. The EU's foreign-policy czar, Javier Solana, will lead the dialogue on behalf of the 5+1 group.

Tehran describes Washington's decision to attend the talks as a victory for the revolution. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone further and called on his followers to "prepare for a new post-American world." Again, reality is more complex.

To start with, "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei had to set aside a law passed by the Islamic Majlis (parliament) banning diplomatic contact with the American "Great Satan." The Geneva encounter may be painful for Washington neocons - but it's even more so for Tehran radicals.

The talks are about one thing only: Tehran's response to the EU offer, which hinges on the central demand that Iran comply with several UN Security Council resolutions. The resolutions' bottom line: Iran should verifiably disband its uranium-enrichment program, thus jettisoning all possibility of developing an atomic bomb.

Tehran says it will never do that, even if that means war. The 5+1 group insists it won't accept anything less - that Tehran's refusal could lead to other resolutions that, in time, could lead to military action under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

The talks will show if either side is prepared to blink. Three outcomes are possible: 1) Iran will comply in exchange for face-saving measures. 2) It won't budge. 3) The two sides will agree on a diplomatic fudge - something of which Burns is a master.

The first two possibiliites would each be good news: Tehran abandons its bomb, or the situation at least becomes more clear, proving wrong those who claim that the crisis is solely due to Bush's refusal to authorize dialogue with Iran.

But Burns may produce the third outcome. After all, He is the architect of the fudge over Libya - which let Moammar Khadafy off the hook in exchange for abandoning a nuclear project that turned out to be no more than pie in the sky.

And he helped shape the deal with North Korea. By pulling down a cooling tower in front of TV cameras, plus a few other symbolic gestures, Pyongyang has managed to buy time to get out of its economic and political impasse.

Whatever these talks produce, one fact won't change: The Khomeinist regime is unlike any of its neighbors, nor indeed any other system in the world. Its ambition is to reshape the Middle East, and later the rest of the world, after its own fashion. And, since the United States also wishes to create a new balance of power in the Middle East, the two rival ambitions are bound to clash at some point.

Everyone has been talking to the mullahs for 30 years in the hope of changing their behavior. But the problem isn't the regime's behavior, but its nature. A regime that is at war against its own people on a daily basis can't make peace with others.

Talk is no substitute for policy. In 1990, US Secretary of State James Baker held high-profile talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Tariq Aziz. The talks proved that neither side could retreat from its basic position. The rest, as always, is history.

Amir Taheri's next book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is due out this fall.

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22 juillet 2008 2 22 /07 /juillet /2008 16:27
La main de l'Iran et du nouveau Liban fruit de la lâcheté occidentale et arabe derrière les agissements du Hezbollah en Irak :
Hezbollah Brigades propaganda specialist captured in Baghdad

Hezbollah Brigades' logo is nearly identical to that of Lebanese Hezbollah.

Coalition special forces teams, likely the terrorist hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88, have captured a Hezbollah Brigades propaganda specialist during a raid in New Baghdad.

The propaganda specialist was positively identified by his wife after the raid, and he later admitted to his role in seeding websites with attack videos.

"The man uploads web sites with imagery and video taken from attacks on Iraqi Security and Coalition forces," Multinational Forces Iraq reported in a press release. "Reports indicate this is part of a propaganda effort in order to earn money and support from their Iranian financiers."

Little information is publicly available on the Hezbollah Brigades, or the Kata'ib Hezbollah. Multinational Forces Iraq indicates the group receives support from Iran and is an “offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups."

The logo used by the Hezbollah Brigades is nearly an exact match of the one used by Lebanese Hezbollah, which is directly supported by Iran. The logo shows an arm extended vertically, with the fist grasping an AK-47 assault rifle. US forces captured Ali Mussa Daqduq inside Iraq in early 2007. Daqduq is a senior Hezbollah commander who was tasked with setting up the Mahdi Army Special Groups along the same lines

The Hezbollah Brigades began uploading videos of attacks on US and Iraqi forces this year.

The group has claimed responsibility for the July 8 improvised rocket-assisted mortar attack on Joint Security Station Ur in Sadr City [see video]. One US soldier and one interpreter were wounded after eight of the makeshift "flying IEDs" detonated near the outpost. Shia terror groups have launched a handful of IRAM attacks on US and Iraqi outposts in Baghdad.

Hezbollah Brigades also posted video of an attack on a US patrol with an Iranian-supplied, armor-piercing, explosively formed projectile, or EFP.

The capture of the Hezbollah Brigades propaganda expert is the latest in a series of raids against Shia terrorists. Scores of Special Groups operatives have been captured over the past month, including senior leaders, weapons smugglers, financiers, trainers, and cell leaders.

Video of the July 8 IRAM attack on Joint Security Station Ur in Sadr City

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Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement


Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.



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