Fighting for us: The Real stakes in Israel’s war

Israeli soldiers sleep atop a tank during a small truce between Israel and Hamas near the Gaza Strip on July 28. Photo: AP

Israeli soldiers sleep atop a tank during a small truce between Israel and Hamas near the Gaza Strip on July 28.
Photo: AP

By John Bolton:

Israel’s effort to destroy Hamas’ underground Gaza Strip infrastructure is about defeating terrorism, yes — but even graver issues are involved.

Hamas’s long record of indiscriminate rocket attacks (over 11,000 since Israel left Gaza in 2005), its suicide bombers and its determination to destroy the Jewish state are all too real.

This is more than ample justification for Israel not just to retaliate against Hamas, but to destroy it.

But in Gaza today, Israel is also battling the existential peril of Iran’s nuclear program.

Despite Hamas’ 2011 refusal to support Assad in Syria, Iran never forgot Hamas’ potential usefulness against “the little Satan”; Tehran and Hamas have resumed their strategic partnership.

By confronting Hamas, Israel is simultaneously also striving against the fear of a new holocaust courtesy of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Removing or at least substantially degrading this mortal threat is the key imperative in Gaza, and could take considerable time to accomplish.

Appreciating this objective requires understanding the interwoven layers of deterrence and military capability involved in Israel’s war on Iran’s nuclear threat.

Of course, a nuclear Iran is not simply Israel’s problem, but America’s as well. Unfortunately, Washington and its allies have abdicated their responsibilities.

President Obama says repeatedly that “all options are on the table,” but no one really believes he’ll ever order military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program, and few think the endless talks with Iran will even slow Tehran’s progress. Israel is the only power that may act.

Yet Iran’s most likely response to an Israeli attack would be to unleash Hamas and Hezbollah against the Israeli civilian population.

A direct Iranian attack on Israel is unlikely, since Tehran wouldn’t want to risk an Israeli nuclear response. Retaliating indirectly through its terrorist surrogates is safer, while providing an air of plausible deniability.

Other options (closing the Strait of Hormuz; attacking US forces in the region) are highly unlikely, since they’d prompt an American military response, even from Obama.

(Incidentally, an Israeli strike would not prompt a broader Middle East war, because key Arab states also oppose a nuclear Iran.)

Thus the Hamas and Hezbollah arsenals in Gaza and southern Lebanon are crucial.

Most of Hamas’ rockets are short-range and not terribly accurate. If they hit civilian targets, they are of course lethal, but for Hamas their main use is as a weapon of terror.

After the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, however, Tehran not only replenished Hezbollah’s more muscular missile stockpiles, but also substantially upgraded Hamas’ assets. Longer-range missiles began appearing in Gaza, smuggled in courtesy of Iran, such as the Fajr-5 and the Khaibar (Syrian-built from Iranian design).

As recently as March, Israel intercepted the Klos-C in the Red Sea carrying Khaibar missiles, mortars and assault-rifle ammunition, which Israel credibly says were Gaza-bound. Although shipping records were counterfeited, Iran was undoubtedly the source.

Thus Iran could order the launching of longer-range, more accurate missiles from both Lebanon and Gaza, substantially increasing the threat to Israel.

Despite Israel’s huge strides in missile defense, especially Iron Dome, such systems can still be defeated by overwhelming them with large numbers of rockets arriving simultaneously on a given target, especially if they’re launched from two disparate locations.

Iran fully understands the deterrent effect these missiles have on any Israeli government contemplating a pre-emptive strike. The Khaibar’s range of about 200 miles means it can strike Israel’s port of Haifa from Gaza.

With its 50-mile range, the Fajr-5 can hit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor. (Missile ranges rise or fall depending on the weight of the weapons payload being carried.)

Israel needs to feel confident it can successfully attack Iran’s nuclear program without risking unacceptable civilian losses when Tehran retaliates via Hamas and Hezbollah.

Thus, Israel should destroy Hamas’ missile capabilities now, as well as any unmanned aerial vehicles in Gaza that might disperse biological or chemical weapons.

Ideally, Israel would do the same to Hezbollah — which helps explain why Hezbollah has held back during the current hostilities.

But there is little doubt that Iran and Hamas desperately hope John Kerry or others will manage to impose a cease-fire in Gaza before their stocks of long-range missiles are uncovered and destroyed.

This is why it is so important that Israel continue its Gaza operations for as long as it deems necessary, precisely to destroy those missiles.

In so doing, Israel is acting not only in its own legitimate self-defense, but in America’s as well.

Some Facts and Notes About The Situation on the Border: From the Jihadi Threat Perspective

h2Terror Trends Bulletin, By Christopher Holton, July 27.2014:

• Hezbollah has a major presence in North, Central and South America.

• Hezbollah is embedded in the Lebanese Muslim community in the US and enjoys protection from a neighborhood watch-type program that serves as a countersurveillance and counterintelligence operation. They also are embedded in multiple Shia mosques, some of which are directly tied to the Iranian regime.

• In 2003, then-CIA director George Tenet testified before Congress that 12 Hezbollah cells has been identified as operating in the US conducting surveillance.

• A Congressional Research Service report published in 2011 indicated that Hezbollah was present in 15 US cities, including Houston and Nashville.

• Hezbollah’s activities in the US primarily center around drug trafficking and criminal schemes and scams.

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• In Operation Smokescreen from 1995-2002, a Hezbollah cell in North Carolina that was bootlegging cigarettes to raise money was broken up. This was detailed in the excellent book, “Lightning Out of Lebanon.”

• In Operation Tobacco Road, 16 Muslim in the US were indicted for trafficking bootleg cigarettes in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. The proceeds are believed to have gone to Hezbollah and/or HAMAS.

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• In 2011, 70 car dealerships in Florida and elsewhere were uncovered laundering cars for sale in West Africa to raise money for Hezbollah.

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• Hezbollah has two major networks operating in Latin America:

1. The Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani Network

2. The Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine Network

• Rabbani is an Iranian diplomatic official who was formerly the cultural attache’ to Argentina when Hezbollah attacked two Jewish targets there in 1992 and 1994. He is wanted on an Interpol Red Notice.

Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani

• Nassereddine was born in Lebanon, became a Venezuelan citizen in 2000-2001 and became Venezuela’s number 2 diplomat to Syria.

Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine

• Hezbollah’s Rabbani network operates in Brazil and Venezuela and is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and has been identified as operating cocaine labs and providing security for drug operations.

The Southern Border of the US

• Former DEA Operations Chief, Michael Braun, has testified about Hezbollah’s extensive operations in Latin America:

–Hezbollah has exploited America’s porous southern border for years.

–Hezbollah has close relations with Mexican cartels.

• Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman detailed Hezbollah’s Latin American operations in his indictment of Iranian officials for the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings:

–9 Latin American countries have Hezbollah deeply embedded.

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–The origin of Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America was the heavy emigration out of Lebanon from 1975-1990.

–Hezbollah initially set up operations in the lawless “Tri-border” area where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together.

The lawless "Tri-Border Area" in South America

• Hezbollah has a particularly heavy presence in Venezuela, especially on Margarita Island, where Hezbollah operates a training camp and has banking assets

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• Hezbollah operates in Mexico and has relations with the Los Zetas cartel.

• In Mexico, Hezbollah’s operations include drug and human trafficking and providing explosives and tunneling training for the cartels. Hezbollah originally provided explosives training to Al Qaeda in Sudan in the 1990s and they have extensive experience in tunneling operations on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Hezbollah tunnel

• In July 2010, acting on intelligence provided by the US, Mexican authorities arrested a Hezbollah operative in Tijuana.

• The two main north-south routes for Hezbollah trafficking operations are I-35 and Highway 59.

interstate-35-map

US Highway 59

• US LE and Border Patrol have reported an increase in detainees with Farsi language tattoos and Hezbollah imagery on tattoos in recent years.

Source: fortressoffaith.org

• It has become increasingly common for Muslims in Mexico to change their Islamic surnames to Hispanic sounding names to facilitate moving across the border. Apologists claim this is simply to avoid discrimination. 

• Cartels have been involved in trafficking Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Hezbollah operatives into the US.

• From 2008-2010, an estimated 180,000 OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were believed to have crossed the border illegaly.

• In that same period, 1,918 “Special Interest” OTMs were apprehended on the border. “Special Interest” means they originated from nations of terrorism concern, such as Middle Eastern Islamic nations.

• In January 2011, a Farsi language book was found on the border in Arizona. It was named “In Memory of Our Martyrs.” It was an anthology of Jihadis killed in martyrdom operations.

English language translation of "In Memory of Our Martyrs" published by Iran's Qods Force and available on Amazon in the UK

• In April 2005, then-FBI director Robert Mueller reported that Hezbollah was involved in human trafficking on the southern border.

• In July of 2012, six Special Interest aliens from Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen were arrested in Laredo, TX. Each had 60,000 Iraqi dinars.

Information on general enforcement conditions on the Mexican border:

• There are constraints on border control. The Border Patrol is forbidden from patrolling on federal land. The Border Patrol reports receiving instructions to avoid detaining and processing illegal aliens.

• The majority of border crossers are NOT economic immigrants.

• Cartels are buying real estate on both sides of the border to set up staging areas and camps.

• The cartels employ high-tech comm gear superior to that in the hands of US LE.

• Cartels and coyotes employ scouts and snipers on the high ground along trafficking routes.

• The Mexican army has in fact provided surveillance and cover fire FOR traffickers on more than one occasion.

• Arizona ranchers are afraid to use their cell phones in the open because cartel snipers might think they are calling in reports to LE and kill them. Even US LE are careful about using comm gear in the open on the southern border. It is believed that the cartels have snipers and scouts in the high ground all the way to Phoenix.

• In 2010, an indictment in San Antonio involved the human smuggling of 100 or more Al Shabaab members from Somalia.

In short, the border is not secure, not at all. Any politician that says otherwise is LYING. In significant portions of the border, for much of the day/night, the border is completely controlled by cartels who have known ties to Jihadis, such as Hezbollah.

Christopher Holton is Director of Education and Outreach at ACT! for America. Holton joined ACT! for America after serving for 10 years at the Center for Security Policy, where he directed the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in twenty states to divest taxpayer supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic as well as passage of American Laws for American Courts and several other forms of state level legislation in dozens of states. In 2005, he was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, The American Thinker, Family Security Matters, Big Peace, World Tribune, World Net Daily, and NewsMax. Before joining the Center, Chris was President of Blanchard and Company, a two hundred million dollar per year investment firm, and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit.

Iran’s Proxy War Against Israel

ayatollah_2146641b-450x336Front Page, by Majid Rafizadeh:

While the mainstream media has focused solely on Hamas and Israel in the current ongoing war, there has been less attention given to the major role that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been playing in ratcheting up the conflict with its military assistance to Hamas fighters, including Iranian-built Fajr 5 and M-75 with ranges of approximately 75 kilometers.

These are missiles and rockets that can target cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It is worth noting that the export of arms as well as military and weaponry assistance by the Islamic Republic to Hamas is legally prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, written in UN Resolution 1747.

Although Iranian leaders often deny that they are supporting Hamas militarily, some, including former Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, admitted that the Islamic Republic has been supplying military aid and technology to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On the Iranian parliament’s website, Larijani stated, “We are honored to provide the Palestinian people with military aid, while all Arabic countries do is hold meetings. Palestinian people do not need lectures and meetings.”

In addition, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Mohammad, Ali Jafari, admitted that Iran is supplying weapons to Hamas and other groups: “Iran provides technical assistance to all Muslims who fight against world arrogance.”

What is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s stance? Is he truly a moderate? Rouhani’s stance on arming Hamas and standing against Israel is no different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian president recently projected Iran’s leadership by calling Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and pointing out that tthe Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the international community, ought to take immediate and serious steps to assist Hamas and the Palestinians.

After all, Iranian presidents are all loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In fact, across Iran’s political spectrum, there is no difference with regard to their position towards arming Hamas and fighting Israel. They all share anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinians views. In addition, whenever the international community or the United States has attempted to broker a peace, Iranian leaders have attempted to scuttle it. Their view is the same as what Ahmadinejad previously conveyed:  “Who gave them [Mahmoud Abbas’ negotiating team] the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and doomed.”

The Iranian leaders hypocritically and frequently point out that the reasons they support the Palestinians and Hamas are humanitarian. Nevertheless, the main reason is advancing Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions and its strategic, geopolitical and ideological goals.

In addition, the Islamic Republic has been seeking to project its regional hegemonic supremacy by supporting not only Shiite groups such as Hezbollah (Lebanon), Bashar Al Assad (Syria), and Nori Al Maliki (Iraq), but also penetrating the Sunni communities and supporting groups such as Hamas.

Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, the main foreign policy objectives of the Islamic Republic have been rivalry and antagonism towards the United Sates and its ally Israel.

The Islamic Republic attempted to find or create any group possible to stand against US foreign policy in the region (as well as those of Israel), in order to advance Tehran’s ideological, strategic and geopolitical objectives in the region.

The major force in Iran supporting Hamas are the Quds forces, an elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps which fight abroad, under the leadership of Khamenei and headed by Qasem Suleimani.

Another admission from the Islamic Republic on arming Hamas came from its own press, surprisingly. Last week, Javan newspaper, an Iranian state newspaper, stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in which a consensus on the Palestinian issue exists between the regime and its people. Together with popular support for the Palestinian fighters, the [Iranian] regime also provides important aid to the Palestinian fighters, including military weaponry… This measure by the Islamic Republic – arming the Palestinian groups – is carried out publicly, and not in secret, and has even been publicly emphasized by the leader [Khamenei],” according to Algemeiner and MEMRI’s translation of the Persian text.

Accordingly, the Islamic Republic has also provided Hamas with Fajr 5 missiles and Abadil drones before the war.

Across Iran’s political spectrum, Iranian leaders follow the words of the founder of this theocratic regime, Iran’s former Supreme Leader, Ayatollah and Ali Khomeini, who repeatedly attempted to rally people against Israel and the United States, “To liberate Qods [Jerusalem], Muslims should use faith-dependent machine guns and the power of Islam and keep away from political games which reek of compromise… Muslim nations, especially the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, should punish those who waste time indulging in political maneuvers.”

Under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s foreign policy has not shifted and it is crucial to draw attention to Iran’s intervention and military assistance as the Islamic Republic is major player in ratcheting up the ongoing war.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Dr. Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.

Iran General: We Will Hunt Down Israelis House To House

image-e1406512087862Daily Caller, By Reza Kahlili:

The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowed revenge against Israel for its ongoing military incursion into Gaza, which has already killed hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.

“You [people of Israel] are trees without any roots which were planted in the Islamic lands by the British,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said at this week’s Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported. That statement referred to the Balfour Declaration, which led to the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and the eventual creation of the state Israel in 1948.

“We will chase you house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine,” Salami said. “and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.”

The deputy commander promised that Palestine will no longer remain calm and cited a statement by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime: “Imam [Khomeini] with the statement that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth gave a true message to the world. This message enlightened the Muslims and became the concept on the streets of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.”

Salami, recalling previous wars Israel fought against Hezbollah in Lebanon, said: “The end of the Zionist regime [Israel] has arrived. Islamic movements are armed, missiles are positioned, and today we witness how the arms of the resistance in a corner of the Islamic world are controlling the events in the face of the tragic and barbaric attack by the Zionist regime against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinians in Gaza.”

Salami blamed the U.S. and England for Israel’s policies and activities in the region and stated, “The balance of power will change to the benefit of the Islamic world, and we warn the Zionists that you are a rootless society with no land, no race, no history and no element which constitute a nation. Today, no place in the occupied land is safe for the Zionists … today the missiles of the Palestinian resistance cover much farther than the Zionists expected.

“We are confident that Allah’s promises will come true and in the end the Islamic world will be the graveyard of America and the Zionist regime’s policies along with their allies in the region. The flag of Islam will be raised,” Salami concluded.

The Islamic regime has long trained and armed Hezbollah and Palestinian forces for attacks against Israel. In reference to further arming Palestinians, the speaker of the regime’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, said in a statement Wednesday: “The clear need of Palestine is its need for weapons and basic necessities, and Iran plays an important role in meeting the clear needs of the Palestinian people.”

As reported by The Daily Caller on Wednesday, the Islamic regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza.

“These crimes are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, (and) the only solution is its destruction,” the ayatollah declared to his audience. “However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians (from Gaza to) the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime.”

Tasnim News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, reported on Wednesday that in a letter, 40 high-ranking Guard commanders warned America that it will “certainly be held responsible for the consequences of these events [in Gaza].” The commanders included Ali Shamkhani, current secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council; Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the Guards and current adviser to the supreme leader; and Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Forces (in charge of terrorist activities outside of Iran).

The regime has been awarded $2.8 billion in sanctions relief by the Obama administration in return for an agreement on a four-month extension to the Geneva talks in finding a peaceful solution to its illegitimate nuclear program. The Islamic regime had received $7 billion in sanctions relief after the negotiated agreement last November with a six-month deadline to finalize the agreement, but it has so far refused to back down from its demand to continue developing its nuclear program. It has also succeeded in excluding from the talks its ballistic missile program, which is under U.N. sanctions.

The Revolutionary Guards announced last week its first anti-radar ballistic missile, named “Hormouz 1,” and claims it can penetrate and destroy missile defense systems and could now destroy Israel’s famed Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as any Patriot missile defense system. The announcement said the missile could be used to attack the radar systems of U.S. warships and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)

 

Khamenei: Israel a Rabid Dog. The World Should Arm the Palestinians:

 

Former Iranian Official Amir Mousavi: Iran Will Provide Missiles to West Bank Palestinians:

 

Stories From The Battlefield: Hamas Tunnels Used To Target Israel’s Kindergartens

Gaza21-e1406466928121By Mordechai Ben-Menachem

Multiple media outlets report that Hamas’s offensive tunnel network – now known to have been composed of over forty attack tunnels dug underneath Israel’s border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip – was set to be activated during the Jewish High Holidays (September 24th) as a mass terror attack.

The attack was meant to generate as many as ten thousand casualties, men, women and particularly children and hundreds of captives.  Explosives were particularly placed underneath kindergartens to make certain that these “institutions” would be the first struck, even before any thing else.

The IDF recently published the below map showing that tunnels were created in pairs, to empty out on both sides of nearby communities.  The known cost of the infrastructure – each tunnel costs upward of some $1 million – clearly shows that Hamas was planning a coordinated mega-attack.  It must be understood that use of even one tunnel would inevitably trigger Israeli retaliation against the entire network.

A map of a small portion of the tunnels meant to be used 9 weeks from now.

A map of a small portion of the tunnels meant to be used 9 weeks from now.

Revelations regarding the planned tunnel attack magnitude played a decisive role in the Israeli government’s rejection of a ceasefire proposed late Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Unbelievably, Kerry actually proposed in his latest “cease-fire proposal” – none of which have been honored by Hamas so far – that Israel refrains from degrading remaining attack tunnels.  This mind-boggling concept would necessarily be rejected by any sane government, of any country.

Israeli security sources, citing information acquired in interrogations of captured brigands, described a scenario under which hundreds of heavily armed Hamas fighters would have spilled out into Israel in the dead of night and within 10 minutes been positioned to infiltrate essentially all Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.  Waiting then in hiding until schools and kindergartens were occupied, the terrorists would then attempt to kill the children first, and then kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible.  The plot was set to take place during Jewish New Year, on September 24.

“It’s like the Underground, the Metro or the Subway,” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. “These tunnels are all connected. I would describe it as Lower Gaza.”

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “A whole city of terror tunnels has been found.  Without the ground operation, we would have woken up one day to an Israeli 9/11.”

Except, the actual objective was to be five times 9/11.

Read more at Daily Caller

Also see:

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UANI Applauds U.S. House for Passing New Sanctions on Iran’s Terrorist Proxy Hezbollah

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UNAI:

New York, NY – Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (H.R. 4411), a measure to impose further sanctions on the foreign assets of designated terrorist organization Hezbollah. Among other provisions, the legislation would direct the Treasury Department to prohibit a foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates Hezbollah activities from maintaining a payable-through account in the U.S. The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Edward R. Royce (R-CA), and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and cosponsored by 321 Members of Congress. The legislation’s Senate counterpart, S. 2329, was introduced by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and has 46 cosponsors.

Said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:

We applaud the House for voting to toughen sanctions on Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s terrorist proxy. The House has sent a strong, bipartisan message with this unanimous vote, and we hope the Senate now passes this bill and sends it to President Obama’s desk. As the Administration has noted, Iran remains the world’s top sponsor of terrorism, and Tehran and its agents must be held fully accountable for sowing terror across the globe.

For additional information on Hezbollah and Iran’s terrorist activity, visit the following UANI resources:

Iran VERITAS Project: Documenting Iran’s Violence, Extremism, Repression and Terror

For 35 years the Islamic Republic of Iran has used violence and brutality to consolidate power at home and spread its radical revolutionary ideology abroad. UANI’s Iran VERITAS Project is the definitive record memorializing Iran’s violence, extremism, repression and terrorism at home and abroad.

Iran State Sponsor of Terrorism Timeline

Iran – particularly the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – has been repeatedly tied to terrorist organizations and terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies throughout the world.

Iran, Russia Scooping Up Disgruntled U.S. Allies

A U.S. Apache helicopter in flight

A U.S. Apache helicopter in flight

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. and a major pro-American Iraqi political leader are voicing their frustration with a lack of counter-terrorism assistance from the U.S.

Former Prime Minister Allawi says a Russian “crescent” has developed over the region and blasted America’s treatment of Iran.

The Iraqi government has requested U.S. military assistance in combating the Islamic State (formerly known as  ISIS) terrorist group that controls significant parts of Iraq and Syria. The Obama Administration has sent about 750 advisors to Iraq. The Iraqis are requesting military equipment and airstrikes, not combat forces.

Iran and Russia are moving in to fill the void. The Iranian regime is ramping up covert operations in support of Prime Minister al-Maliki, and Russia has provided fighter jets and reportedly even pilots.

Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s interim Prime Minister from 2004 to 2005, is widely regarded as one of the most pro-American figures in the country. He is a Shiite, but his secular orientation and staunch opposition to Iran has made him well-liked by Sunnis. His cross-sectarian bloc won the most votes in the 2010 elections.

His voice is precisely the kind we need to be listening to. And he does not speak well of current U.S. policy:

“U.S. policy has been without [a] compass and sailed in rough seas, which the United States helped make rough—whether intentionally or unintentionally, the result in the same,” Allawi said.

He specifically cited the U.S. backing of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2010, even though his coalition won the most votes. He cited it as “further evidence of the U.S. disarray, as is siding with Iran.”

Allawi has previously asserted that the U.S. and Iran backed his rival. His account is backed up by Ali Khedery, the longest continuously serving U.S. official in Iraq.

“Many now doubt [American] abilities and whether it has a clear orientation,” Allawi explains.

Read more at Clarion Project

Experts: American Adversaries Work Together Despite Differences

Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) / Reuters

Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) / Reuters

BY: :

American adversaries in the Middle East continue to work together across sectarian and religious divides to harm U.S. interests and security, requiring a more nuanced response from U.S. officials to address the turmoil in the region, experts say.

The Obama administration has claimed in recent weeks that the United States and Iran—a traditional U.S. enemy since its Islamic revolution 35 years ago—have a shared interest in pushing back the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), an al Qaeda offshoot, in Iraq. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last month that the United States and Iran have “some history here of sharing common interests,” citing early cooperation on the Afghanistan war against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Iran, led by a Shiite government, is typically viewed as opposing hardline Sunni groups such as the Taliban and al Qaeda as part of an intra-religious dispute among Muslims.

However, Iran has a long history of harboring and supporting al Qaeda. European intelligence reports indicate that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, founder of the group al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) that eventually morphed into ISIL, operated from Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Zarqawi used protection from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to rebuild the terrorist group’s network and prepare for its expansion into Iraq.

The U.S. Treasury Department has called Iran “a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The department in February sanctioned three IRGC officers for allegedly providing support to the Taliban as well as to a senior member of al Qaeda who allegedly used Iran to move Sunni fighters into Syria.

“Iran has a long history of fomenting violent conflict and inflaming sectarian divides throughout the Middle East including in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq,” said the group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in recent press release.

“Depictions of Iran as a source of stability are therefore erroneous and short-sighted, as are assertions that increased Iranian involvement in Iraq will serve American and Iraqi interests,” UANI added.

Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq for the George W. Bush administration, said in an email that U.S. diplomats often only view the Middle East through “a sectarian lens.”

“Sunnis and Shi’ites show no compunction working together to screw over America, which their respective extremists consider a bigger threat,” he said. “Heck, sometimes it seems that the State Department never bothered to read the 9/11 report which suggested that the attacks might not have happened had Iran not facilitated the travel to training camps of the 9/11 hijackers.”

“Sure, at first glance, Secretary of State John Kerry may believe that the U.S. and Iran share an interest in Iraq,” he added. “But just because firefighters and arsonists share an interest in fire doesn’t mean they are on the same side.”

In Iraq, ISIL partnered last month with former Baathist generals under Saddam Hussein’s regime to seize the key northern city of Mosul. Religious extremist groups such as al Qaeda have traditionally sought to overthrow secular Middle East regimes such as Hussein’s Baathists.

Top U.S. officials have recently expressed grave concerns about the potential for foreign fighters in ISIL to commit terrorist attacks in the United States.

The secular-religious rift in the Middle East also did not stop Hussein from supporting jihadist groups when it suited the former Iraqi dictator’s interests. Hussein reportedly provided safe haven, training, and arms to these groups as long as they agreed to attack countries he wanted to pressure.

Hundreds of thousands of documents obtained in Iraq since 2003, compiled in a report by the Institute for Defense Analyses, further confirmed Hussein’s links to terrorist groups.

Read more at Free Beacon

Threat of Nuclear Iran Looms Due to the West’s Weak Resolve

Iranian nuclear negotiators (Photo: © Reuters)

Iranian nuclear negotiators (Photo: © Reuters)

BY SHAHRIAR KIA:

The sixth and final round of talks between the Iranian regime and P5+1, which started on July 3, is quickly running its course toward its self-imposed July 20 deadline, at which time world powers and the Iranian regime are supposed to reach a final agreement on Iran’s illicit nuclear program and curb the nuclear capabilities of a regime that has already proven to be a regional and global threat without nuclear weapons.

The talks were initially launched with a lot of pomp and ceremony. Accordingly, a lot of optimism was pumped into mainstream media, mainly centered on the positive changes that would supposedly occur now that the Iranian regime’s new president Hassan Rouhani had assumed office, and his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was at the helm of Iranian negotiating team.

Western states rushed to the negotiating table, offering the Iranian regime many concessions and not demanding much in return, seemingly forgetting that this same regime has so far defied six U.N. Security Council resolutions, and Rouhani has previously braggedabout how he had duped the West and preserved the Iranian regime’s nuclear project during his 2003-2005 nuclear tenure.

Also being ignored is the proven fact that no matter who is up front, it is the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who has the final say on important matters, the nuclear project included.

Now, after many months of ongoing talks, it turns out that the Iranian regime had nothing new to offer and insists on preserving its nuclear program and its potential to produce nuclear arms.

Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who had touted the talks and had high hopes over the prospects of reaching a solution to Iran’s nuclear deadlock, now feels a little disgruntled and dubious about the whole affair.  “What will Iran choose?” he wrote in his June 30 op-ed in the Washington Post, “Despite many months of discussion, we don’t know yet.”

With a few days left on the schedule, many sticking points remain between Iran and world powers, including the number of centrifuges, the much-debated Arak heavy water reactor, the possible military dimensions of the program and the regime’s ballistic missile program, which could be used to launch nuclear warheads to intended targets.

If recent remarks by Khamenei are any indication, the gap between the Iranian regime and world powers is too great and isn’t likely to be bridged within the next weeks. Acknowledging that it is at a critical milestone, the Iranian regime’s supreme leader made it clear in a session with high-profile regime officials that his regime needs 190,000 SWUs (Separate Work Units) as compared to the 10,000 that the international community is willing to concede. He also dismissed any notion of shutting down military facilities or giving up on nuclear research.

Khamenei took advantage of the weak resolve of the international community to taunt the West and affirm that any attempts at further sanctions or possible military action against his regime would fail.

The best result that the talks could yield is a bad deal, one which allows the Iranian regime to preserve its capacity to create a nuclear bomb and make a break for it at a time of its choosing. The only amount of relief U.S. President Barack Obama might draw from the situation is that the catastrophe might not come to pass on his watch.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iranians Flying Russian Planes in Covert Ops in Iraq

Memebers of Iran's Basij, a paramilitary group under the auspices of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Photo: © Reuters)

Memebers of Iran’s Basij, a paramilitary group under the auspices of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Photo: © Reuters)

BY RYAN MAURO:

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group dedicated to replacing the Iranian regime with a secular democracy, has provided the Clarion Project with intelligence from its sources inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps about its covert operations in Iraq.

The Iranian regime has deployed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to Iraq to try to stabilize the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Key meetings were held with radical Shiite militia leaders on July 4-5 to plan offensives against the Islamic State (formerly ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and its Sunni allies.

“The clerical regime [of Iran] is extremely worried about their regional strategy and all of their investment in Maliki is on the verge of collapse, and thus, it is sparing no effort or expense in its attempt to keep Maliki in power,” a spokesperson for NCRI told Clarion Project.

The U.S. government has sent about 750 troops to Iraq to help protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and to advise the Iraqi security forces battling the Islamic State. The U.S. is considering airstrikes against the terrorist group because of its direct threats to the West.

NCRI says that the Iranian operatives are flying Sukhoi fighter jets given to Iraq and that helicopters and drones were also transferred to them. Russia has also provided fighter jets and reportedly even pilots. The Syrian regime has also dispatched pilots to Iraq, the organization claims.

Read more at Clarion Project

The Watchman: Jihadists on the March

Published on Jul 8, 2014 by The Christian Broadcasting Network

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we sit down with Middle East experts Raymond Ibrahim and Tawfik Hamid to discuss the latest developments with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Iran and what can be done to counter the jihadist.

Fmr POTUS Adviser: Iran Talks Deadlocked Over Enrichment

Illustrative photo of a nuclear reactor. Photo © Reuters.

Illustrative photo of a nuclear reactor. Photo © Reuters.

Clarion Project:

July 8, 2014 – Clarion Project hosted an exclusive briefing for diplomats and journalists from all over the world with Dr. Gary Samore, President Obama’s former adviser for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction and the president of United Against Nuclear Iran.

In light up the upcoming July 20 end of the interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1, Dr. Samore spoke about Iran’s current objectives as well as the differences between the negotiating parties.

The main point of contention is Iran’s nuclear breakout capacity. “Iran wants to have the ability to create nuclear weapons on short notice, while the six world powers are not prepared to accept Iran as a nuclear threshold state,” Dr. Samore explained.

Dr. Samore mapped out the current time it would take for Iran to “breakout” and build nuclear weapons. “Right now, on paper, Iran’s breakout time is two to three months. The six world powers are demanding Iran significantly reduce this capability … to make breakout time over one year and to keep that in place for more than a decade.”

However, on this core issue – enrichment capabilities — neither side is willing to make concessions, says Dr. Samore. Further, he explains, “Both sides are very constrained by domestic politics. President Obama can’t sell a nuclear deal to Congress if it allows Iran to retain a credible nuclear weapons option, and President Rouhani cannot sell a nuclear deal to Supreme Leader Khamenei if it requires Iran to give up its nuclear weapons option.”

“But, even if a deal is impossible,” Dr. Samore continued, “I think all parties appear relatively comfortable with the status quo that has been created by the interim agreement. The U.S. and its allies have essentially succeeded in freezing the most important part of its nuclear program with only modest sanctions relief.”

Further, Dr. Samore says that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been highly effective in deterring Iran from breaking their agreements at known nuclear facilities. In terms of covert facilities, ferreting them out is and always has been the job of U.S. and other intelligence agencies.

Due to the current volatile world situation, Dr. Samore expects that the interim agreement will be renewed without changes for another six months. This is due in part, to the political situation in Ukraine, Iraq and the deadlock between the negotiating parties for which a renewal would allow all parties to attain their goals.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran’s Path to the Bomb

76114095_3c03127b-b8dc-47c0-af9c-66715d0adff4by Charles Bybelezer:

As nuclear negotiations resume between Iran and world powers, it is becoming increasingly clear that any deal signed will be considered negatively by Israel as “ill-conceived.”

According to most estimations, the focus of the talks has shifted from dismantling Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, as demanded by Jerusalem, to creating a verification network that would, ideally, grant inspectors unfettered access to Iranian sites to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear operations.

In “Inspections: The Weak Link in a Nuclear Agreement with Iran,” Dore Gold, a former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and currently an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, questions “the advisability of erecting a comprehensive agreement with Iran that is so highly dependent upon the efficacy of its inspection system and the willingness of Iran to agree to what some analysts call unprecedented levels of transparency.”

The drawbacks should be evident, especially when considering Iran’s ongoing refusal to grant the IAEA access to its Parchin facility, where the UN nuclear watchdog believes Tehran has conducted military research into the development of atomic weapons. That the underground Fordow nuclear plant remained unknown to the West for years casts further doubt on both the Islamic Republic’s trustworthiness and the ability of monitors to keep tabs on the whole of its nuclear activities.

The fact that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently revealed that Iran’s breakout capacity stands at a mere two months should alone obviate any such deal, as this window is surely too close for comfort.

Nonetheless, it appears as though the prospects of reversing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear progress by significantly reducing the number of its centrifuges is off the table.

In the prescient words of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, the “talks are not about nuclear capability…they are about Iranian integrity and dignity.”

But the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is undeserving of respect.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

 

Is ISIS Iran’s Proxy to achieve Regional Hegemony?

isisBy Jerry Gordon at NER:

Pinhas Inbari is an astute analyst of rof Arab affairs and regional dynamics at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) in Israel. Periodically, we have published his analysis as it confounds conventional wisdom about the conflicts and actors in a multi-dimensional chess game of geo-politics in the region. Such is the case with his analysis of  the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) whose blitzkrieg has rent asunder the artificial map of both Iraq and the Middle East, “ISIS: Iran’s  Instrument for Regional Hegemony.” A Middle East map whose origins can be found in the secret Sykes Picot agreement of 1915 reflected in the Post World War I Mandates of the League of Nations dividing up the former Ottoman Empire awarded  the French and British at the San Remo Conference in 1920.  The Iraq that arose from the British Mandate was an amalgamation of former Ottoman Empire vilayets encompassing restive Kurds, Sunnis and Shia and minority Assyrian Chaldean Christians, Turkmen and Jews.  The latter were driven out after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Inbari presents evidence to support a thesis that ISIS is really a creation of the Syrian Mukhabarat (Intelligence) and Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence with the dual purposes of  defeating the  rebel opposition in Syria and forcing the breakup of  Iraq. His key points are:

  • Immediately after ISIS emerged in Syria, sources in the Syrian opposition said, “We are familiar with the commanders of ISIS. Once they belonged to Assad’s intelligence, and now they are operating on his behalf under the name of ISIS.”
  • Why would Shiite Iran support a Sunni jihadist organization like ISIS? Iran wants to be certain that a strong Iraqi state does not emerge again along its western border.
  • The notion that Shiite Iran would help Sunni jihadists was not farfetched, even if it seemed to defy the conventional wisdom in Western capitals.
  •  It is unreasonable to expect Iran to fight ISIS. If Iran does so, it would be turning against a movement that has been a useful surrogate for Tehran’s interests.

Thus, to replace Iraq, Iran would use ISIS to forge a new alignment and map. There would be three sectarian entities, Kurdistan, a  southern Shia satrapy of Iran  encompassing  the holy sites of Karbala and Najif, Baghdad and Basra, as well as  a rump Sunni state comprised of the central and  western provinces.  Inbari’s analysis may explain why the Obama Administration has temporized about committing military assets in the Gulf region in support of the faltering Maliki regime in Baghdad. Moreover, the Administration does not wish to upset its outreach to Iran, especially with regard to the current round of nuclear discussions, while seemingly rejected the Islamic regime’s offer to assist in quelling the turmoil caused by the ISIS blitzkrieg in Iraq.

Inbari presents confirmation in the upending of the official Al Qaeda opposition in Syria, the Al Nusrah Front, and the ISIS siege in Deir al Zour that appears directed at destroying the Free Syrian Army and Islamic Front rebel opposition to the Assad regime.  Inbari presents similar views of prominent Gulf region media analysts corroborating his thesis. Further, he points out the existence of a cache of intelligence on the leaders of ISIS found in digital memory sticks obtained by Iraqi intelligence during the battle for Mosul in northern Iraq.

Inbari’s proposition would fit the Twelver Shia conception of creating turmoil to bring about the return of moribund twelfth Imam to lead the conquest of the Dar al Harb under the Islamic regime’s hegemony ruled under Sharia, Islamic law.  Hence the rise of a Caliphate under the ISIS banner bestride Syria and current day Iraq would fit the Shia theology.

The fact that Sunni supremacist ISIS is leading the charge for creation of a Caliphate under Sharia in the Middle East, as Inbari points, is entirely consistent with Iran’s behavior in the run up to 9/11.  Iranian Intelligence with the aid of the late Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh facilitated the training and transportation of the 19 Egyptian, Saudi and Yemeni perpetrators of 9/11 Islamic terror attack in lower Manhattan, Southwestern Pennsylvania and  at the  Pentagon in northern Virginia,. The evidence of that was revealed in the New York Federal District Court “9/11 Iran Links Case”.

downloadThere is more to support Inbari’s thesis in a new book to be published next week by Ken Timmerman, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi:

  • The group that took credit for the Benghazi attack, Ansar al Sharia, was trained and equipped by the Quds Force.
  • Both the CIA and US Delta and Special Operations Forces in Tripoli were actively monitoring Iranian operations in Benghazi, and warned their chain of command- including the late US Ambassador Stevens- that the Iranian were preparing a terrorist attack on the U.S. Compound in Benghazi.

Timmerman further notes that the Obama Administration supplied weapons to fight Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria knowing that many rebel leaders were Al Qaeda operatives.  Moreover that Qatar was deeply involved both funding and transporting these weapons and the diffusion of MANPADS throughout North Africa, the Middle East and even Afghanistan.

Timmerman, in an email to this writer, commented that he  found  “curious” the timing this week of  the seizure of Ahmed Abu Khattala on the streets in Benghazi, Libya  by US special forces with the aid of the FBI.   Khatltala was a leader of Ansar al Shariah attack on the Benghazi Legation on 9/11/12.  He hid in plain sight for past nearly two years, as Timmerman notes in his new book.  He even gave interviews to the media.  Reports in the media tells of his telling the history of the terrorist group while slow steaming on the USS New York towards the US for possible detention and prosecution following his interrogation.  The irony is that the US navy vessel was built from the debris of the twin towers of the World Trade Center destroyed on 9/11 that Iran facilitated.

We will review Timmerman’s new book in the July NER.  This weekend we will be interviewing both Timmerman, and Daniel Diker, a colleague of Inbari at the JCPA, on The Lisa Benson Show on Sunday on KKNT960 at 4PM EDT in the US.

Inbari’s analysis of ISIS as the instrument of Iran Hegemony in the Middle East is both fascinating and timely.

Also see:

Shadowy Iranian spy chief helped plan the Benghazi attack

According to the book "Dark Forces," Major General Qasem Soleimani, right, was the powerful figure behind the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, left. Photo: EPA/Ay-Collection/Rex USA

According to the book “Dark Forces,” Major General Qasem Soleimani, right, was the powerful figure behind the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, left.
Photo: EPA/Ay-Collection/Rex USA

As a radical Islamic army marches across Iraq, America is making a deal with the devil. Qassem Suleymani, the head of Iran’s secretive Quds Force, is allied with us in Baghdad — but he’s plotted to kill Americans elsewhere.

As Kenneth R. Timmerman reveals in his new book, “Dark Forces,” Suleymani was even the shadowy figure behind the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya.

He’s the Wizard of Oz of Iranian terror, the most dreaded and most effective terrorist alive.

He is Qassem Suleymani, the head of the Quds Force, an organization that acts as a combination CIA and Green Berets for Iran, and a man who has orchestrated a campaign of chaos against the United States around the world.

Today, the Obama Administration has allied itself with Suleymani to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In this case, Iran’s goals — a Shi’ite-friendly government in Iraq — coincides with America’s hope that the country doesn’t fall apart.

But don’t be fooled: It’s only a partnership of convenience, and one that won’t last.

“Iran wants chaos. They want to generate anti-American anger, radicalize the rebels, and maintain a climate of war,” a former Iranian intelligence chief for Western Europe told me. “They are very serious about this. They want to damage the reputation of the United States as a freedom-loving country in the eyes of the Arabs.”

Suleymani has orchestrated attacks in everywhere from Lebanon to Thailand. The US Department of Justice accuses him of trying to hire a Mexican drug cartel to blow up the Saudi Ambassador to the United States while he was in Washington, DC.

My sources, meanwhile, say Suleymani was involved in an even more direct attack on the US — the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya.

Read more at New York Post