Former Police Intel Chief: Turkish Gov’t in Collusion with Iran

Erdogan and Rouhani

Damning evidence support accusations that the highest levels of gov’t are in cahoots with Iran and a terrorist group it sponsors.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The former chief of the Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Unit, Ali Fuat Yilmazer, is making headlines in Turkey by claiming that the highest levels of government are in cahoots with Iranian intelligence and a terrorist group it sponsors.

According to Yilmazer, Iranian intelligence and one of its terrorist proxies, Tawhik-Salam, are collaborating secretly with senior Turkish officials. He said that a police investigation confirmed this fact, and that if the files ever become public, “We’ll see how a foreign government can act comfortably in Turkey.”

He said that Tawhik-Salam is “the stealthiest and most dangerous terrorist organization of recent times.” Turkish police have been investigating the group since 1996. That year, a member of the group was arrested for murdering two Iranian dissidents. The group is also believed to have killed several journalists and intellectuals and U.S., Saudi and Israeli diplomats.

It is reported that Turkish police discovered members of the group conducting surveillance on the U.S. Consulate in October 2010 and delivering the data to Iranian intelligence for a potential terrorist attack. It also was behind a bombing near the Israeli Consulate in 2011.

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The bottom line is this: Turkey is moving fast and hard towards Iran. Erdogan’s government is violating the stated purpose of NATO as the West refuses to wake up to the reality that Turkey is no longer functioning as an ally.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran Lashes Out at Canadian Court Decision to Award $7 Million in Seized Assets to Terror Victims

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham. Photo: Screenshot.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham. Photo: Screenshot.

By Joshua Levitt:

Iran lashed out at a decision by a Canadian court to award $7 million in seized Iranian assets to victims of Iran-backed terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah ,according to Canada’sNational Post on Monday.

“Given the approach of the Canadian government, it is crystal clear that the verdict is politically motivated and such rulings have no legal value,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Press TV, cited by the National Post.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency claimed the ruling was based on “the fabricated allegation” that Iran supported terrorist groups, while semi-official state broadcaster FARS said Tehran had reminded “the Ottawa government of its international commitment” to protect diplomatic properties, the newspaper reported.

National Post said that following years of deteriorating relations, Canada severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012, expelling all of the Islamic Republic’s diplomats. At the same time, the Canadian government designated Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism, ending their state immunity from lawsuits.

The 2012 Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act permitted victims of terror to seek damages from the state sponsors of their attackers, while the government also amended the State Immunity Act to allow the lawsuits.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled last week that Iranian funds in Canadian bank accounts and two properties in Toronto and Ottawa should be seized and split among terror victims. The newspaper said the judgement came after Iran failed to defend itself in court and sheriffs were ordered to take the Iranian assets. The groundbreaking court decision finalized four lawsuits filed in Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia by terror victims seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing Hamas, in Gaza, and Lebanon-based Hezbollah, the National Post said.

Only one of the plaintiffs is a Canadian, Vancouver dentist Sherri Wise, who was severely injured by a Hamas suicide bomber, it said. The others are American terror victims who came to Canada to collect on judgments awarded by U.S. courts.

Read more at The Algemeiner

Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran: UN Report

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A new United Nations report concludes that the persecution of Christians in Iran is at unprecedented levels. A minimum of 50 Christians are in prison, with the most famous inmate being American Pastor Saeed Abedini. Evangelical ministries see the regime as trying to suppress a rising tide of conversions to Christianity.

The report states that 35 of the 42 Christians arrested last year were guilty of forming “house churches,” where church services, Bible studies and even baptisms happen in someone’s home. The punishment for this crime against Iran’s theocracy is one to 10 years behind bars.

The U.N. report shows that the oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than what it was under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad. That is because every Islamist believes in sharia governance, so any increase in Christian numbers will lead to an increase in arrests of Christians.

The number of Christians in Iran was miniscule before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by some accounts numbering in the low hundreds. Amazingly, the takeover of oppressive theocrats acted like a growth hormone for the faith. By claiming to represent Islam, the mullahs made many Muslims second-guess their faith.

Now, it is relatively easy to find atheist or agnostic Iranians or those who practice a reformist, liberal interpretation of their faith compatible with secular democracy. Others turn to other faiths, most commonly evangelical Christianity.

Operation World says that evangelical Christianity is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated annual growth of 19.6%. Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development forVoice of the Martyrs told me that the church in Iran is “growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran Claims Covert Op. Against Plutonium Reactor

nuclear eactorBy Ryan Mauro:

Iran is developing two tracks towards nuclear capabilities: Uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, the latter of which is what Iran’s North Korean allies used. In the latest apparent covert operation against Iran, the regime says its plutonium-based reactor was targeted for sabotage.

Iran says the purpose of its Arak heavy water reactor is to make medical isotopes and thermal power. It runs on uranium but produces spent fuel that contains plutonium, a material that can then be reprocessed for nuclear bomb construction.

The joint nature of the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea means the regime will have an experienced hand guiding it if it pursues this option. Notably, North Korea restarted its plutonium plant around the same time as Iran halted construction at Arak. This is also the method used by India and Pakistan to build nukes. Iraq and Syria also tried it but were stopped by Israeli airstrikes.

The regime announced earlier this week that enemy intelligence services had tried to trick Iran into installing faulty pumps at the site. Iran predictably claimed that the covert operation failed.

If true, it would fit a pattern of other apparent covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranians were provided with rigged equipment for its Isfahan uranium conversion site as early as 2005, leading to the contamination of uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility.

Read more at Clarion Project

Obama Endorses Iranian Regime’s Fraudulent Election

AP

AP

File this under “Rouhani delerium”

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff

President Obama said in a Norwuz greeting released Wednesday that the Iranian regime’s selection of a new president last year was in fact an election in which “the Iranian people” were allowed to choose a new leader.

“Last year, you—the Iranian people—made your voice heard when you elected Dr. Hassan Rouhani as your new president.” Obama said Rouhani “was elected with your strong support.”
Shortly after the regime’s selection of Rouhani, the Wall Street Journal’s Sohrab Ahmari described the process for subverting democratic choice in Iranian elections:

Iran’s presidential campaign season kicked off last month when an unelected body of 12 Islamic jurists disqualified more than 600 candidates. Women were automatically out; so were Iranian Christians, Jews and even Sunni Muslims. The rest, including a former president, were purged for possessing insufficient revolutionary zeal. Eight regime loyalists made it onto the ballots. One emerged victorious on Saturday.

President Obama opened his message with the greeting of “Dorood” to “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” using the regime’s preferred honorific. Obama concluded his message with “Thank you, and Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak.” Obama did not mention the plight of dissidents languishing in Iranian prisons, nor did he call on “the Islamic Republic of Iran” to release the American citizens it is holding hostage or cease being the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

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It would be nice if someone would brief Obama on How to Think About Iran but I guess we’ll have to wait for the CIA to get it’s Iran operations department in order. Then there are the problems of cognitive dissonance and jihad threat denial to overcome.

a1-obama-and-kahameni-building-a-toaster (1)

The Watchman Show: Camp Jihad and Unraveling the Middle East

By Erick Stakelbek:

On this week’s episode of The Watchman, we’re joined by Brooke Goldstein, director of the Lawfare Project and the Children’s Rights Institute, to discuss the growing movement against free speech in the West and how the United Nations is helping indoctrinate Palestinian schoolchildren in anti-Semitic hate.

Plus, Middle East and intelligence expert Avi Melamed gives his insider take on the latest developments in the world’s most volatile region.

Chief of CIA division for spying on Iran is suspended over internal mutiny

CIA Headquarters at Langley, Va.

CIA Headquarters at Langley, Va.

DEBKAfile:

The CIA’s chief of Iran operations, Jonathan Bank, 46 a veteran of the service, was sent home on paid leave over disarray in his department, US, Russian and Iranian media reported Tuesday, March 18. The department was notified of this step last week at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. after its members rose up in “open rebellion” against Banks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Given the high importance and sensitivity of this department, it was most likely Intelligence Director John Brennan in person who delivered the notice.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that internal crises in US clandestine agencies are normally kept under tight wraps and rarely see the light of day. But with major crises hitting the roof for Washington with the threatened meltdown of relations with Moscow over Ukraine and Crimea, unresolved Mid East issues and the missing Malaysian airliner, John Brennan would have been obliged to step in expeditiously to contain the breakdown of a complete CIA division in “open revolt” against its chief.

Three former officials said the Iran operations division was in “open rebellion” to Bank’s management style and several key employees demanded transfers. Their ultimatum was clear: It’s him or us.

An internal investigation ordered by Brennan found that Jonathan Bank “had created an abusive and hostile work environment that put a crucial division in disarray.”

Therefore, in mid-course of high-powered US-led international nuclear negotiations with Iran, the very department supposed to be feeding President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with daily briefings, updated to the last minute, on Iran’s nuclear program and its political and military leaderships, was in no state to perform its duties.

“Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” one of the former officials said.

This disclosure hangs a big question mark over the assurances Obama and Kerry gave Israel and the Arabian Gulf leaders. They said repeatedly that there was nothing to fear from the US-Iranian rapprochement, because Washington was fully abreast with every move in Iran’s nuclear program and would know in good time if supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the final step for building a nuclear weapon.

In recent months, Israeli and other Middle East intelligence sources have warned that Iran already possesses all the components, materials and technology for manufacturing a nuclear bomb – and stands ready to go on the order from the ayatollah..
The dysfunctional condition of the CIA Iran division, now disclosed, reduces President Obama’s chances of success in his forthcoming fence-mending visit to Saudi Arabia later this month and hopes of fruitful cooperation between US and Saudi intelligence on Iran and Syria.

Jonathan Bank’s cover was first broken in 2010 when, as CIA station chief in Islamabad, his name was published and he was pulled out after receiving death threats. US officials suspected Pakistan’s intelligence service of leaking his name in protest over CIA drone attacks on Islamist terrorist targets in the country’s lawless tribal region.

Ayatollah: Islamic Messiah ‘Will Behead Western Leaders’

KashaniBY REZA KHALILI:

A leading ayatollah of Iran’s Islamic regime is promising that Western leaders will be executed by the Islamic messiah, the state-owned media outlet Mehr news reported Saturday.

“When Imam Zaman ['Mahdi,' the last Shiite Imam] comes, he will behead the Western leaders,” warned Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, the interim Friday prayer leader of Tehran and a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses the supreme leader. “However, Imam will not harm the oppressed nations,” he said.

The Shiite clerical establishment in Iran believes that at the end of times, the 12th Imam, Mahdi, a ninth century prophet, will reappear with Jesus Christ at his side, kill all the infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world.

A video revealed in 2011, “The Coming Is Upon Us,” showed regime intentions: change in the Middle East, destruction of Israel and the coming of Mahdi. The video, produced by the regime, was to be distributed in the Middle East.

Kashani compared the Western leaders as “tag rags” and criticized Europe’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for her recent visit to Tehran in which she met with female dissidents. The purpose of Ashton’s visit was to discuss with regime officials the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s illicit nuclear program. However, in a sign of support for human rights, she met with several dissidents.

“They come to Iran, and in the name of human rights, they meet with this and that,” Kashani said. “However, they commit the most heinous crimes in the region and the world.”

U.N. human rights officials recently raised an alarm about violence against women, torture and at the pace of execution in Iran. In two and a half months of this year alone, 176 people have been hanged.

Meanwhile, the chief commander of the regime’s Quds Forces, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, has called the Islamic Republic the only country capable of leading the Islamic world.

Read more at Clarion Project

From Lockerbie to 9/11: Iran is Let Off the Hook

timthumb (4)by Clare M. Lopez
Accuracy in Media
March 16, 2014

A documentary that aired 11 March 2014 on the Al-Jazeera America channel presented compelling new evidence that Iran and the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Counsel (PFLP-GC) directed and carried out the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland on 23 December 1988. “Lockerbie: What Really Happened?” presented formerly classified documents and never-before revealed accounts from two of the investigators in the case—American attorney Jessica De Grazia and her Scottish colleague, George Thompson—both of whom were part of the defense team for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan security official eventually convicted of planting the bomb.

Aware that Al-Jazeera America has its own agenda and that this story may just fit rather neatly into it this time, the evidence presented by credible sources nevertheless makes this documentary worth serious consideration. Other, especially U.S., media have tended rather consistently to pass over evidence of the Iranian regime’s long record of support for terrorism (both Shi’ite and Sunni), even when that support has involved American citizen deaths, as in the two cases presented here. This Al-Jazeera documentary diverges from that typical media coverage of Iran and so earns our attention.

In the documentary, De Grazia and Thompson discuss classified U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) cables they obtained and shared with Al-Jazeera, but never had the chance to present in court. Specifically, they document a March 1988 meeting in Malta among representatives of Hizballah, Iran, Libya, PFLP-GC, and Syria. According to a protected source who attended the gathering, this apparently disparate group found common cause in hatred for Israel and the U.S., and met to discuss general cooperation in targeting Americans and Israelis. The Iranians were willing to direct terror operations, but wanted both the fig leaf of deniability that proxies could provide as well as the demonstrated explosives expertise for which both Hizballah and PFLP-GC were known. Syria long has allowed PFLP-GC to keep its headquarters in Damascus.

The collaborative arrangement that began with that meeting in Malta received its first operational assignment shortly after the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in the Persian Gulf on 3 July 1988, with the loss of all 290 on board. Although the U.S. insisted the tragedy was due to misidentification of the Iranian plane and ultimately paid more than $100 million in compensation, a high-level Iranian defector reported that the Iranian regime nevertheless decided to seek revenge in kind, and quickly, by shooting down a similar U.S. civilian aircraft with a like number of passengers on board.

Abolghassem Mesbahi ran operations for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in Europe before he defected to Germany in the early 1990s. His testimony about Lockerbie is especially credible because he also has testified in other cases involving Iranian complicity in terror attacks, including the Paris assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar in 1991, the 1992 Mykonos Cafe assassination of Kurdish leaders in Berlin, and the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. Mesbahi was one of three Iranian defector witnesses in the Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al. legal case, in which Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York Federal District Court ruled in December 2011 that Iran and Hizballah “materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.” (The author was an expert witness for the Havlish legal team and co-authored one of the affidavits, which is cited herein.)

Mesbahi’s original 1996-97 Lockerbie testimony (as well as his more recent contribution to this newer documentary) is further bolstered by striking parallels in his later recorded testimony in the Havlish case. As described to the Havlish legal team, the Iranian regime’s efforts to galvanize pan-Islamic unity to attack U.S. and Israeli interests did not begin with the 1988 meeting in Malta, but rather a couple of years earlier, in the mid-1980s, during the depths of the Iran-Iraq war. It was then that the plan known among Iranian intelligence circles as “Shaitan Dar Atash” (“Satan in the Flames” or “Satan in Hell,” meaning America, known as the “Great Satan,” in the flames). Because it was acknowledged that Iran lacked the military power to confront the U.S. directly, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and MOIS were tasked with devising asymmetric means to destroy America. According to Mesbahi, the IRGC and MOIS discussed ways of attacking the U.S. critical infrastructure (electric, fuel, water distribution, etc.) and using civilian aircraft as “bombs inside U.S. cities” such as New York and Washington, D.C. The ultimate intent was to bring down the U.S. economy.

Efforts to unify the Islamic world across Shi’ite-Sunni sectarian lines redoubled after Iran’s revolutionary leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died in 1989. In the early 1990s, when Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were living under the protection of Sudan’s pan-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood leadership, President Omar al-Bashir and Hassan al-Turabi, his sometime political ally, organized a gathering of jihadist forces from across the Islamic world. The various Palestinian factions, including the PFLP-GC, plus Hizballah and the Iranian leadership all attended. It was in Khartoum that then-Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani offered bin Laden the explosive expertise of Imad Mughniyeh, his top Hizballah terror operative. That is the partnership, which endures to this day, that led eventually to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the wake of the July 1988 shoot-down of Iran Air flight 655, Iranian planners turned to PFLP-GC operatives who had made a name for themselves with several prior airliner attacks. According to De Grazia and Thompson, the DIA documents identify four PFLP-GC members who were involved in the Lockerbie plot: Ahmed Jibril, the PFLP-GC leader who possibly masterminded the attack; Hafez Dalkomoni, who led the German-based PFLP-GC cell suspected of involvement; Marwan Khreesat, a Jordanian master bomb-maker who may have made the bomb used on Pan Am Flight 103; and Abu Talb, the Egyptian-born leader of PFLP-GC’s Swedish cell, who is suspected of having couriered the Lockerbie bomb. German security forces were monitoring the Dalkomoni cell and arrested both him and Khreesat in October 1988, but a bomb found in Dalkomoni’s car was an exact match for the one that later brought down the Pan Am airplane. Both bombs were covered in Toblerone chocolate candy wrappers and concealed inside a Toshiba cassette player. Other bombs were discovered in Dalkomoni’s apartment, but the Germans recovered only a total of four out of five of the bombs they knew existed. The fifth exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 23rd.

By the following summer of 1989, the British and Scottish investigators were ready to issue arrest warrants for fifteen PFLP-GC members they had identified as connected with the attack. According to investigators De Grazia and Thompson, the case was for all intents and purposes solved; all involved with it (including American, British, German, and Scottish intelligence and security representatives) were in agreement that the PFLP-GC had carried out the attack on orders from the Iranian regime.

And then, sometime in mid-1989, according to former CIA operative Robert Baer, President George H.W. Bush made a phone call to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and asked her to back off the case against PFLP-GC. In the Al-Jazeera America film, Baer claims that the U.S. government made an executive decision that the role played by the PFLP-GC (and by extension, its sponsors in Damascus and Tehran) would be quietly submerged and instead, the Libyans would be made the sole scapegoats. After that, the Lockerbie prosecution went after Megrahi and the Libyans, eventually convicting Megrahi, who spent eight years in a Scottish prison before being released on humanitarian grounds, dying in 2012 of cancer.

It is difficult to know why U.S. leadership decided to protect the PFLP-GC and Iranian regime, when all the investigative work had been done and all the evidence pointed strongly at their responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. Gathering tensions with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein over his Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs and the perceived need for Syrian support and, at a minimum, a pledge of non-interference from Iran may have been part of it. In the final analysis, though, Iran still has not been held to account: not for the murder of 270 people, mostly Americans headed home for Christmas, over Lockerbie, Scotland, and not for the nearly 3,000 killed on 11 September 2001. It is time that Iran is brought to account for its crimes against humanity.

Educating Conservatives About Modern ‘Shi’ite Quietists’

By Andrew G. Bostom:

The so-called “P5 +1” interim agreement [1] with Iran was announced on November 24, 2013, amidst great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success. Putatively, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Less than three months later, punctuated by cries of “down with the U.S.”—and “death to Israel”—Iranians took to the streets en masse, February 11, 2014, commemorating the 35th anniversary [2] of the 1979 Islamic putsch, which firmly re-established Iran’s legacy of centuries of Shiite theocracy, transiently interrupted by the 54-year reign (r. 1925-1979) of the 20th century Pahlavi Shahs.

download (77)Many alarming developments since the P5 +1 deal was announced epitomize the abject failure of a delusive and dangerous policymaking mindset I have dubbed, “The ‘Trusting Khomeini’ Syndrome,” in my new book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel [3]. This “Syndrome” is named after infamous Princeton International Law Professor Richard Falk’s February 16, 1979 essay, “Trusting Khomeini [4],” dutifully published in the The New York Times. The parlous denial—born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism—evident in Falk’s February, 1979 essay, now shapes formal U.S. policy toward Iran, merely updated as “Trusting Khamenei,” Iran’s current “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini. I further maintain that the sine qua non of this crippling mindset—bowdlerization of Islam—currently dominates policymaking circles, running the gamut from Left to Right.

The late Islamologist Maxime Rodinson warned [5] 40-years ago of a broad academic campaign—which has clearly infected policymakers across the politico-ideological spectrum—“to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world.” A pervasive phenomenon, Rodinson ruefully described [5] the profundity of its deleterious consequences:

Understanding [of Islam] has given way to apologetics pure and simple.

A prototypical example of how this mindset has warped intellectually honest discourse about Iran by conservative analysts, was published [6] February 17, 2014 in The Weekly Standard. The essayist decried [6] what he saw as misguided appropriation of Cold War era paradigms—“wishful thinking built around imagined Cold War analogies”—even by members of the Israeli “security establishment,” let alone their Obama Administration counterparts. Although correctly dismissive of the sham notion that Iranian President “Rouhani and his crowd are moderates,” the essayist also insisted [6] Iran’s “ayatollahs” have somehow “perverted Shia Islam with the state takeover of religion.” He then ads [6]“the older quietist school [ostensibly of Shiite Islam] still has many adherents.”

The Weekly Standard essayist’s authoritative sounding [6] reference to the “quietist school” of Shiite Islam and its “many adherents,” expressed the accepted wisdom on these matters published in a flagship conservative/neoconservative journal, and shared by a broad swath of like-minded conservative analysts. But who are exemplar  modern Shiite “quietists” and what are their views (in writing and/or speech) on such critical matters as jihad, the imposition of the Sharia, including Shiite “najis,” or “impurity” regulations—and the Jews?

Decidedly hagiographic post-mortems written by American conservatives appeared immediately after the announcement of Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri’s death at age 87, on December 20, 2009. Neoconservative Michael Ledeen opined [7],

Some of us who have long fought against the terrible regime in Tehran were fortunate to have received wise observations from Montazeri over the years, and I am confident that, with the passage of time and the changes that will take place in Iran, scholars will marvel at the international dimensions of the Grand Ayatollah’s understanding and the range of his activities. 

Perhaps the most curious of these early assessments included a contention [8] by Michael Rubin that  “…the real Achilles Heel to the Iranian regime is Shi’ism.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, writing in October, 2010, ten months after Montazeri’s death, dubbed the Ayatollah [9], simultaneously, “the spiritual father of Iran’s Green Movement,” and the erstwhile “nemesis of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ruler,” whom Gerecht derided (in contrast to Montazeri), as “a very mediocre student of the Sharia.”

These odd viewpoints were (and remain) merely the extension of a profoundly flawed, ahistorical mindset which denies the living legacy of Shiite Islamic doctrine and its authentic, oppressive application in Iran, particularly, since the advent of the Safavid theocratic state [3] at the outset of the 16th century. Iran’s Safavid rulers, beginning with Shah Ismail I [3] (r. 1501-1524) formally established Shiite Islam as the state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life. The profound influence of the Shiite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries, although interrupted, between 1722-1795 (during a period precipitated by [Sunni] Afghan invasion [starting in 1719], and the subsequent attempt to re-cast Twelver Shi’ism as simply another Sunni school of Islamic Law, under Nadir Shah [3]), through the later Qajarperiod (1795-1925), as characterized by E.G. Browne [3]:

The Mujtahids [an eminent, very learned Muslim jurist/scholar who is qualified to interpret the law] and Mulla [a scholar, not of Mujtahid stature] are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics.

A gimlet-eyed evaluation of Montazeri’s recorded modern opinions—entirely concordant with traditionalist Iranian Shi’ism since the Safavid era—does not comport with the conservative eulogies of the late Ayatollah by Ledeen, Rubin, Gerecht, and their ilk.

Consistent with the institutionalized codifications  of Islam’s classical Sunni and Shiite legists, Montazeri’s written views [3] (from his Islamic Law Codes[Resaleh-ye Tozih al-masael]) on jihad war reiterate the doctrine of open-ended aggression to establish global Islamic suzerainty, and the universal application of Sharia:

[T]he offensive jihad is a war that an Imam wages in order to invite infidels and non-monotheists to Islam or to prevent the violation of treaty of Ahl-e Zemmah [Ahl-al-Dhimma, the humiliating pact of submission binding non-Muslim “dhimmis” vanquished by jihad]. In fact, the goal of offensive jihad is not the conquest of other countries, but the defense of the inherent rights of nations that are deprived of power by the infidels, non-monotheists, and rebels from the worship of Allah, monotheism, and justice. “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world].,” (Koran 8:39)…This verse includes defensive as well as offensive jihad. Jihad, like prayer, is for all times and is not limited to an early period of Islam, such as Muhammad, Ali, or the other Imams. Jihad is intended to defend truth and justice, help oppressed people, and correct Islam. In the Mahdi’s occultation period, jihad is not to be abandoned; even if occultation lasts for a hundred thousand years, Muslims have to defend and fight for the expansion of Islam. Certainly, if in early Islam the goodness was in the sword, in our time the goodness is in artillery, tanks, automatic guns and missiles. . . in principle, jihad in Islam is for defense; whether defense of truth or justice, or the struggle with infidels in order to make them return to monotheism and the divine nature. This is the defense of truth, because the denial of Allah is the denial of truth.

How would non-Muslims fare under the Shiite Islamic order—forcibly imposed by jihad—as  envisioned by Montazeri?

Read more at PJ Media

We Are Still in the Iranian Crosshairs

iran_headerEndowment for Middle East Truth:

By Sarah Stern
March 12 2014
It is patently clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran has absolutely no intention, what-so-ever, of destroying any aspect of the nuclear program, despite what much of the international community has been led to believe. Just days after the interim agreement, or Plan of Action, was signed in January, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke to CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria in Geneva where he reported that the “Iranian President forcefully asserted that he would not destroy its nuclear centrifuges “under any circumstances”. This interview came at a time when the American government had already released $8 billion in assets that had been frozen since the Islamic revolution in Iran. Since then, according to most experts, the Iranians have experienced a surge in their economy just for deigning to sit down at the table with the P5+1 nations.So much so, that many experts in the field estimate that at least $20 billion in new commerce and trade is expected to flow into Iran. The stock exchange in Tehran is soaring, and the Iranian economic has gotten a huge, psychological boost.The interim deal allows the Iranians to keep 50 percent of their stockpile of highly enriched uranium, (at 20 percent enrichment-nuclear weapons grade), and to dilute the other 50 percent. Iran is also permitted to continue with enrichment, but is not permitted to take it beyond the 5 percent level during the next few months, although there is no method of enforcement. This gives one very little assurance. It requires only 5 days to go from 20 per cent to 90 percent highly enriched uranium, (the purity level necessary for a nuclear bomb), and 45 days to get from 5 percent to 90 percent. In other words, all of the compliance to this agreement can easily be reversed within a matter of weeks, or even days.

As a poll that the Endowment for Middle East Truth has recently taken underscores, many people have been lulled to slumber, thinking that the menace of the threat of a nuclear bomb has been taken care of by these negotiations. The disastrous nature of the current agreement inspired The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) to put out the following video, warning of the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, and encouraging citizens to take action:

Iran is a threat to the United States, not just her allies abroad. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, one of the first things the new Iranian government did was seize the American Embassy, taking 52 of our embassy officials hostage and holding them for 444 days. This is commemorated every year on November 4th, by the annual “Death to America Day,” replete with chanting and burning of the America flag. It is Iran that bombed our Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 sleeping American marines. It is Iran that bombed the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds.  It is Iran that maimed and killed thousands of American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan with their IED’s. It is Iran that has constantly armed Hezbollah and Hamas, and it is Iran that, just last week sent a ship bound to Hamas-controlled Gaza, that was just intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces that had within it containers of long range missiles that could easily reached much of Europe, the Arab states, and the western world, let alone all of Israel. Estimates are that by sometime in 2015 the Iranians will have a missile with the capability of reaching the Eastern seaboard of the Continental United States.

By framing the conversation only about Israel, which the Iranian regime regards as only “the Minor Satan”,  focus has been taken off of the very real threat that Iran poses to the United States, which they regard as “the Great Satan.”

Many of otherwise savvy and sagacious people have been taken in by the duplicitous strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who realized that when their maniacal intentions were openly made clear by their former President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, their economy was being strangled.  The mullahs therefore, approved of a new, relatively unknown face, who was immediately greeted by the press and much of the Western world as a “reformer” or a “moderate”. After his speech at the United Nations, last fall, Rouhani was treated by much of the Western media as Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King. That totally belies the fact that this merciless brutal regime has executed close to 95 people in the last few months, and over 500 in this past year for the “crimes” of being a member of a religious minority, for being against the regime, or of being accused of homosexuality.

As the former Soviet dissident, Andre Sakharov, once said, “If you want to understand what a nation’s foreign policy will look like, look at the way, they treat their dissident population.”

The threat posed by a nuclear Iran is real and it is imminent. Take action today by going to Action.Emetonline.org for more information about how you can help prevent this dangerous regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

If you use Facebook, please join EMET’s online event on Facebook to “Stop Iran From Going Nuclear” https://www.facebook.com/events/471099482992103/ (the link is also posted on EMET’s FB page) and invite your friends to join as well.

Please also spread the word by:
*Tweeting the Video
*Posting the Video on your Facebook Page
*Liking EMET on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/EMET4U
*Following EMET on Twitter @emet4u
*Subscribing to EMET’s Youtube Channel  https://www.youtube.com/emetonline

What’s it going to take to stop Iran from going nuclear?

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Jihad Watch:

The Endowment for Middle East Truth has produced an important video about the Iranian negotiations, warning about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran to the United States, and encouraging people to take immediate action.

Ever since the Iran Nuclear Interim Deal was first announced in November 2013, EMET has been one of its foremost opponents. The deal gives Iran relief from economic sanctions in return for nothing of importance, leaving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure almost totally intact.

Iran keeps every one of its 19,000 centrifuges spinning, and under the deal is able to continue to construct more. While caps will be placed on Iran’s ability to enrich, the deal will do nothing to prevent Iran from expanding its stockpile of uranium, which means that Iran will emerge from the Iran Nuclear Interim Deal closer to its goal of building nuclear weapons.

In return, the U.S. and its allies give the Iranian mullahs immediate relief from the sanctions that had weakened the regime. The deal widens permissible trade in oil, gold and auto parts, giving the Iranian regime an economic windfall of over $20 billion. It also releases frozen Iranian assets worth about $8 billion. Worst of all, while any Iranian concessions are easily reversible, Western concessions are irreversible: the existing sanctions regime will be gutted with no realistic prospect of restoring those sanctions to previous levels.

The media has largely focused on the impact this disastrous deal will have on Israel. However, it has largely avoided discussing the very real threat that Iran poses to the United States, “the Great Satan.”

Please watch the video and:

Encourage your friends and colleagues to watch the video and follow the instructions to contact their Congressman and Senators to help stop Iran from going nuclear.

If you use Facebook, please join EMET’s online event on Facebook to “Stop Iran From Going Nuclear” https://www.facebook.com/events/471099482992103/ (the link is also posted on EMET’s FB page) and invite your friends to join as well.

Please also spread the word by:
*Tweeting the Video
*Posting the Video on your Facebook Page
*Liking EMET on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/EMET4U
*Following EMET on Twitter @emet4u
*Subscribing to EMET’s Youtube Channel  https://www.youtube.com/emetonline

Mushroom Clouds on the Horizon: Iranian Nuclear Threats Dominate AIPAC

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)

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Policy makers and experts addressing the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 2-4, 2014, consistently expressed opposition against Iranian nuclear weapons proliferation. Such unanimity, though, could not conceal widespread conference skepticism about President Barack Obama’s administration effectively meeting this danger.

“You know that I like to draw lines, especially red ones,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joked during his March 4 closing address in reference to his Sept. 27, 2012, United Nations speech.

At AIPAC, though, Netanyahu wanted to “draw a clear line…between life and death,” vowing that Jews would “never be brought to the brink of extinction again.” “There is unanimity” in Israel concerning Iran as “clearly the most dangerous threat” to Israel and beyond, Israeli Labor Party head Isaac Herzog likewise stated on the conference’s opening day.

Netanyahu emphasized that Iran threatened the wider world beyond Israel.

“That Scud’s for you,” he stated in an adaptation of Anheuser-Busch’s “this Bud’s for you” slogan when discussing Iranian missiles that will soon range beyond Israel to America. Even Iranian enrichment capability in a “threshold nuclear power would deliver a deathblow to nuclear nonproliferation” in a “Pandora’s Box” of other proliferating Middle Eastern states.

The nuclear Iran “nightmare” would place American Middle East bases at risk as “our entire regional calculus” changed, Sen. Chris Coons declared during a March 2 panel with former Sen.Joseph Lieberman. A nuclear Iran after years of American opposition would be an “even more devastating blow” to nonproliferation than North Korea, international security analyst Emily Landau subsequently agreed with Coons during another panel.

“The international community will look powerless.”

“We do not have a policy of containment…we will not allow a nuclear Iran,” Sen. Charles Schumer flatly declared March 3. This policy existed “not just to protect Israel” but also critical American Middle Eastern interests such as oil. “Deep, deep concern” by Schumer for the region demanded that the United States “use all, all available tools” against Iranian proliferation.

In this Sept. 27, 2012 file photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel shows an illustration as he describes his concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions during his address to the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Credit: AP

In this Sept. 27, 2012 file photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel shows an illustration as he describes his concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions during his address to the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Credit: AP

Prior to Schumer, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic Party House Whip Steny Hoyer emphasized bipartisan opposition to Iranian proliferation. Hoyer warned that “Iran cannot use negotiations simply to buy time.” On Iranian nuclear proliferation “there can be no compromise,” concurred AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr on March 2, “the policy must be one of prevention.”

Rhetorically, President Barack Obama’s administration seemed to agree.

Citing Obama’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew insisted March 2 upon “no alternative” to Iranian nonproliferation. “All options remain on the table,” Lew warned in repetition of Hoyer earlier while discussing “one of the most pressing concerns” for both Israel and America.

“We will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period,” Secretary of State John Kerrystressed the following night. Invoking Obama’s “complete, unmatched commitment to Israel’s security,” Kerry declared “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Iran’s “existential threat” to Israel also endangered the globe such that stopping Iran “is not some favor…for Israel.”

Kerry and Lew’s plan to forestall Iranian proliferation included the Nov. 24, 2013, Joint Plan of Action (JPA), a six month interim agreement trading international sanctions relief for an Iranian nuclear program halt. The JPA’s estimated $7 billion sanctions relief was “only a small taste of how things could improve” for an Iran suffering the “most comprehensive sanctions regime in history,” Lew stated. After the Iranian economy contracted 6 percent last year, unemployment and inflation were over 15% and 30%, respectively. “Iran is not open for business,” Kerry repeated a line of Lew’s, “until Iran is closed for nuclear bombs.”

An opportunity for the JPA to succeed without additional, congressionally imposed sanctions, was “critically important” according to Lew. A demonstrated willingness to negotiate would maintain international support for sanctions and justify any subsequent military “force as a last resort.”

Read more at The Blaze

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the Virginia State Bar. He has published over 110 articles concerning various political and religious topics at the American Thinker, Breitbart.com, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, Faith Freedom International, Gatestone Institute, Institute on Religion and Democracy, Mercatornet, and World, among others. He be reached at: andrew.harrod@live.com.

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Bank of Hawaii Unfreezes Iranian Accounts

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a meeting of the Assembly of Experts / AP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a meeting of the Assembly of Experts / AP

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The Bank of Hawaii announced on Tuesday that it had reinstated access to accounts for Iranian nationals who had seen them frozen due to U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

The bank said that it unfroze these accounts following a pressure campaign by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Tehran advocacy group longsuspected of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.

These Iranian accounts had been frozen in the first place as part of an effort by the bank to comply with tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. However, these sanctions have been loosened in recent months in accordance with the interim nuclear deal, which will provide Tehran with billions in cash relief.

NIAC, which has long lobbied to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran, said in a statement on its website that it had worked with the Bank of Hawaii and the Treasury Department to ensure that the accounts were unfrozen.

“Bank of Hawaii, in consultation with its technology providers, regulators, and advocacy groups such as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has developed a solution to allow it to once again make accounts available to Iranian residents” in the United States, the bank said in a statement posted to NIAC’s website.

A Treasury Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that it “is aware of the Bank of Hawaii’s recent action” and that “Treasury does not prohibit U.S. financial institutions from doing business with Iranian-Americans.”

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President Barack Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham served as Bank of Hawaii’s vice president for 16 years until her retirement in 1986.

Read more at Free Beacon