LOPEZ: Obama pledges additional support for Iranian puppet regimes

In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014.  (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader’s office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

By Clare Lopez:

In a prime time address to the nation on the eve of 11 September 2014, President Obama pledged an expanded U.S. effort to destroy the Islamic State (IS), which he still calls “ISIL” (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). American air power, stepped-up training for anti-Assad Syrian jihadis (which he calls “moderate rebels”), an additional $25 million in financial aid to Baghdad, and partnership with “a broad coalition” (that currently consists of 9 countries) comprise the key elements of the new military campaign.

Given that the only territory IS currently threatens are the regimes of two Iranian puppets – one in Baghdad, one in Damascus – Obama’s announcement in effect amounts to a renewed U.S. commitment to support Tehran’s grip on regional hegemony. The nuclear talks about how quickly the U.S. will accede to the Iranian bomb resume in another week.

Remarkably, the president opened his remarks with the rather preposterous claim that “ISIL is not Islamic.” Now, Obama himself has admitted in his autobiography “Dreams From My Father” that he “made faces during Quranic studies.” Still, it might be expected that he retained something of those madrassa lessons—or at least that White House advisors (not the Muslim Brotherhood ones, though) would have steered him away from such an egregious misstatement.

As it is, one of the reasons that the Saudi regime is so shaken by the approach of IS forces toward its borders is precisely because Riyadh royals know full well their Islamic piety doesn’t begin to measure up to the purity of IS practice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader, not only boasts a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from a Baghdad university, but wears the black turban to signify descent from Muhammad. Whether entitled to claim the Islamic prophet’s bloodline or not, al-Baghdadi models his every action on the example Muslims believe set out for them centuries ago by the founder of their faith. For Muslim purists like al-Baghdadi, the Qur’anic verse 33:21 that tells them “Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day…” is taken quite literally (amputations, beheading, crucifixions, flogging and all).

Obama rambled on, claiming next that “ISIL is certainly not a state.” Unfortunately for the Iranian proxies in Baghdad and Damascus that are his intended beneficiaries, it is their former states that no longer exist—because the Islamic State, the Caliphate, has dismantled them. Obama did seem to recognize the effective erasure of the 1916 Sykes-Picot borders at least in some measure, though, as he declared his intent to expand U.S. air strikes more evenly throughout the Caliphate (including into what used to be called Syria as well as the former Iraq).

Apparently in pursuit of a public relations coup that’s eluded him of late, Obama nevertheless offered up additional glimpses of his unenviable conundrum about which jihadis to support on the ground in the intra-Islamic sectarian struggle that’s torn the region apart since the Islamic Uprising began in 2011.

For example, he seems to have conveniently forgotten that the ranks of today’s IS are full of Syrian jihadis armed, funded, and trained by U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) in cooperation with the now-terrified Hashemites, NATO ally Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood sponsor Qatar, and the flailing Saudi monarchy. A monster has slipped the leash but the American president says he’s more than ready to provide even more support to more Syrian rebels, who, this time, definitely will be exclusively the ‘moderate’ ones.

But what about the threat to the homeland if IS is allowed to exist and consolidate? Well, the question somehow is never asked about how either individual jihadis or small jihadi cells that an IS enclave might direct to attack the homeland are in any way different than the jihadis the Iranian or the Saudi state have launched our way over the decades—to include the hijackers of September 11, 2001 or the uncounted numbers of Hizballah cells operating across the Americas today. But there’s never been a hint of a suggestion that those jihadist sponsoring states constitute a compelling national security threat to the U.S. that requires an international coalition to deal with them.

Read more at Washington Times

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

Who is the bigger threat, ISIS or a nuclear Iran?

AYELET_SHAKED

Israeli Politician Humiliates Obama

By David Sidman:

Israeli parliamentarian and coalition member Ayelet Shaked went where no mainstream media outlet dared to go. She called out Obama’s failure to understand the real danger facing the Middle East and threatening the free world.

Obama stated in an interview with NBC news that “the problem for Sunni states in the region, many of whom are our allies, is not simply Iran. It’s not simply a Sunni-Shia issue,” he added. “Sunni extremism, as represented by ISIL, is the biggest danger that they face right now. And with that understanding, it gives us the capacity for them to start getting more active and more involved.” This means that the commander in chief believes that countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan are more worried about ISIS than a nuclear Iran.

Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party called out Obama taking to her Facebook page saying that it is “unimaginable that the US President thinks that several thousand terrorists riding around on pickup trucks is more dangerous than Iran as a nuclear power all because of two YouTube videos.” Shaked continued: “ISIS is is a dangerous organization and needs to be confronted in an all-out war, but to dismiss the Iranian threat on their account?” She then pointed out that Iran is at the threshold of becoming nuclear powerhouse and at the same time is sponsoring terrorism throughout the Middle East. Shaked then noted that the “Government of Iraq, while fighting ISIS cried out for help before they began their journey of conquests and Obama refused. Better late than never.”

Its hard to disagree with Shaked’s assessment.  ISIS is gruesome, cruel, barbaric and their beheadings are grizzly but how powerful are they really? Especially compared to Iran?  Let’s compare the two shall we: Iranian sponsored terror has created Hizbullah, Hamas and is responsible for virtually all unrest in Iraq during operation Iraqi Freedom. resulting in the death of 4,486 U.S. service members.

Now let’s take a look at ISIS’s scorecard.  They have primarily massacred unarmed, defenseless Christian and Kurdish civilians as well as several western journalists.

Let us have a look at military capability:

The Iranian military boasts 425,000 personnel respectively. The Islamic Republic of Iran army has 350,000 personnel, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy has 18,000 personnel, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has 52,000 airmen flying advanced jet fighters such as the F-14 Tomcat.  It has also been confirmed that Iran is one of only five countries that have a cyber army capable of conducting cyber-warfare operations.  Iran has also manufactured their own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can be utilized for reconnaissance operations. Most importantly,, they are on the brink of acquiring nuclear warheads.

Let us compare that with the much talked about ISIS. They have may rifles, machine guns, small arms, M-79 rockets, and have seized several armored personnel carriers and humvees. Although they may not have a Cyber-army capable of conducting cyber-warfare operations on an international scale, they do have iphones and the capability of uploading videos to Youtube!

Now who’s the big bad wolf?

Read more at Shoebat.com

 

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Iran Supreme Leader: Prepare for the ‘New World Order’

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, President Hassan Rouhani kisses the forehead of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after his surgery at a hospital in Tehran, Iran / AP

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, President Hassan Rouhani kisses the forehead of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after his surgery at a hospital in Tehran, Iran / AP

By Adam Kredo:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the “new world order is emerging” and that “Iran will have a strong role in creating” it, according to a Farsi language transcript of Khamenei’s remarkslate last week to the country’s Assembly of Experts.

Iran will lead this “new world order” that will replace American influence as capitalism and Western influence collapses, according to Khamenei, who underwent surpriseprostate surgery on Monday.

“Iran will have a strong role in creating the new world order,” Khamenei said, explaining that Tehran will expand its already growing influence in Latin America and even Asia.

“We have important potential outside Iran, we have supporters, we have strategic depth, in the region, some because of Islam, some because of language, some because of Shia religion, they are our strategic depth, these are all our strengths, we should use them all,” Khamenei said, according to a translation of his remarks provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

“And it is not only in the region, outside the region, in Latin America we have strategic depth, in some important parts of Asia we have strategic depth, we have the tools to use these opportunities and we have to use these opportunities, using them makes the country strong,” Khamenei said.

A sign of the West’s waning power came when “the Zionist regime of Israel” purportedly “lost the battle against the small population of the Muslims in Gaza,” according to a separate recounting of Khamenei’s remarks published by the state-run Fars News Agency.

“The recent war in Gaza was an example of miracle; a small region with limited capabilities accomplished a task that brought the Zionist regime, as the symbol of the West’s power, to its knees,” he was quoted as saying. “The current world order cannot continue and a new order is emerging.”

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Iran Fails to Prove Nukes Not for Weapons: Monitors

A test of an Iranian missile (Photo: © Reuters)

A test of an Iranian missile (Photo: © Reuters)

The Int’l Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has failed on two obligations to which it agreed: to give up work on nuclear warheads and detonations.

By Ryan Mauro:

A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the group tasked by the United Nations with monitoring nuclear activity, says Iran has failed to meet two obligations to prove its nuclear program is not for weapons. The IAEA also admitted that it is unable to know if Iran has hidden nuclear activities.

There were five obligations that Iran committed to as part of its agreement with the U.S. and the IAEA. Two of them, related to evidence of work on nuclear warheads and detonations, have not been met.

A 2011 IAEA report detailed Iranian activity that cannot be credibly attributed to a nuclear energy program. This includes tests of explosives necessary for nuclear weapons, development of neutron initiators that trigger nuclear detonations, construction of underground sites for uranium enrichment and research on nuclear warhead development.

Iran even reviewed logistics for an underground nuclear weapons test. The report concluded, “The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

The new IAEA report says Iran is not adequately answering inquiries about work on technologies related to causing nuclear explosions and developing nuclear warheads for its ballistic missiles.

Inspectors are denied access to the Parchin site where a test of high-powered explosives is believed to have been carried out in 2003. Iran has been cleansing the site since at least 2012 and the IAEA says construction there continues.

The Iranians also denied a visa to a specific IAEA inspector for a third time so he could not visit the country.

Page 14 of the document includes an important admission by the IAEA. It states that Iran has not diverted the declared and monitored nuclear material. However, “the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

The IAEA knows it lacks the capability to detect secret nuclear activity inside Iran. In addition, we know that Iran and North Koreawork closely together on their nuclear and missile programs. Iran’s activities inside its territory could be frozen or even rolled back but continue unabated in North Korea.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran’s Quiet Military Build Up

Irans-military-drill-450x321by Majid Rafizadeh:

The Islamic Republic and the Ayatollahs have mastered a new tactic and strategy to achieve their ideological, geopolitical, hegemonic and strategic objectives: speak softly on the international arena, while quietly building up weapons and arm more militia groups.

While Iran’s state media outlets and Iranian officials had previously boasted about their military accomplishments, drone capabilities, nuclear technology, and power periodically, they have recently toned down their language and publicity. But does that mean the ruling Ayatollahs have given up on their nuclear ambitions to build a nuclear bomb and stopped their military operations and interference in other states?

In fact, a recent report reveals that the Islamic Republic continues to pursue the same geopolitical and strategic policies in order to achieve its objectives. According to a classified Pentagon assessment,

Iran has not substantively changed its national security and military strategies over the past year; however, Tehran has adjusted some of its tactics to achieve its enduring objectives. President Hasan Ruhani’s international message of moderation and pragmatism is intended to support these objectives: to preserve the Supreme Leader’s rule, counter Western influence, and establish Iran as the dominant regional power. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei remains unchallenged atop Iran’s power structure as both the political-spiritual guide and the commander in chief of the armed forces.

Those who believe that the Islamic Republic is going to change its fundamental ideological, military, strategic, and hegemonic ambitions, are fooling themselves and they are not cognizant of the major pillars upon which this Islamist regime is founded upon. More recently, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) has covertly, tremendously increased its political and military influence in several countries in the region including in Iraq and Syria. Iranian leaders have also intensified their ties with Hezbollah and ratcheted up their arms delivery to Hamas. In addition, the Iranian military is delivering weapons to Judea and Samaria in order to ensure “the annihilation of the Zionist regime.”

According to the classified Pentagon assessment, IRGC-QF has built up its capabilities to carry out a terrorist attack in foreign countries as well:

Iran’s covert activities appear to be continuing unabated in countries such as Syria and Iraq. Despite Iran’s public denials, for example, other information suggests Iran is increasingly involved, along with Lebanese Hizballah, in the Syria conflict. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) remains a key tool of Iran’s foreign policy and power projection, in Syria and beyond. IRGC-QF has continued efforts to improve its access within foreign countries and its ability to conduct terrorist attacks.

When it comes to Iran’s nuclear defiance, long-range missiles, and technological nuclear capabilities, Iran has not given up on its ambition to build a nuclear bomb,  even after the nuclear interim deal between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany) was reached. Accordingly,

Iran continues to develop technological capabilities that could be applicable to nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, which could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons, should Iran’s leadership decide to do so. On 24 November, 2013, Iran agreed to a Joint Plan of Action (JPA) with the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+ 1) that included enhanced monitoring of lran’ s nuclear facilities and a six-month halt to enrichment activities over 5 percent and further advances on the IR-40 Heavy Water Research Reactor. In public statements, some Iranian officials have minimized the JPA’s impact on the nuclear program.

In addition, while Iranian leaders and the Mullahs previously publicly threatened the world claiming that they would block or cause damage to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran’s recent toning down of threats does not necessarily mean that the Ayatollah and ruling clerics have changed their strategy and goals.

Read more at Front Page

 

Security Expert: Our Southern Border Is A War Zone

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Center For Security Policy:

In Part 2 of The Daily Caller’s video interview with Clare Lopez, a senior official with the Center for Security Policy, she explains how the collapse of America’s southern border was a planned, willful refusal to maintain national sovereignty. Citing a January budget request from the Department of Homeland Security requesting funding based on the expectation of new flows of some 65,000 immigrants including children, Lopez thinks Americans, especially at the border, are threatened.

She discusses how narco-traffickers are flowing through, organized in columns at night in military formations guarded by sentinels and scouts, and armed with advanced weaponry. To her, the southern border is a war zone. As these undocumented immigrants are dispersed by air or bus throughout America, the threat widens, she reports.

To Lopez, President Obama is “consciously trying to diminish America’s leadership in the world.” She discusses the “great purge” that occurred early in the Obama administration where there was a comprehensive removal of training materials from departments and agencies who were engaged in ferreting out jihadi threats from radical Islamic terrorists. This purge, Lopez says in this video interview, “crippled and neutralized American national security interests.”

Discussing lessons learned from the Iraq war, Lopez says, “the U.S. never understood the “fundamental incompatibility between Islamic law and liberal western democracy, and in particular, the U.S. Constitution.” She continues, “Islamic law and Islam’s doctrine mandates inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, between men and women.” She ends by stating, “As long as a people remain enthralled to Islamic law, there cannot be genuine, true liberal Western style democracy.”

To view Part 1, Clare Lopez on Benghazi, click here.

U.S. Links Iran to Both Al-Qaeda and Taliban Terrorists

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei in front of a picture of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The U.S. Treasury Department is again linking the Iranian regime to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. On August 21-22, it sanctioned several terrorists and disclosed their Iranian ties. Yet again, it is confirmed that Shiite and Sunni terrorists are willing to cooperate against common enemies.

An August 22 press release announces the sanctioning of Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh, described as an Al-Qaeda facilitator and strategist in Syria. He is also a senior leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, and very active in social media.

The Obama Administration explains that he also played a leading role in Al-Qaeda’s pipeline in Iran that operates with the consent of the regime:

“Prior to his work in Syria with [Jabhat al-Nusra], al-Sharikh served in early 2013 as chief of al-Qaida’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network before the return of already designated al-Qaida facilitator Yasin al-Suri to the position. Al-Sharikh has also previously served al-Qaida as a key financial facilitator in Pakistan.”

A press release from a day prior announced that the Treasury Department was sanctioning the Basir Zarjmil Hawala based in Chaman of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province. Hawala networks are underground money transfer systems in the Muslim world.

The U.S. government says the Basir Zarjmil Hawala became the “principal money exchanger” for Taliban leaders in Pakistan in 2012. It provides a list of branch offices, with one being in Iran. Given the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime and suspicion of Sunni terrorists, it is inconceivable that the regime is unaware of this major operation. Other offices are in Afghanistan and Dubai.

The Clarion Project’s fact sheet on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism details how the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations have all asserted that the Iranian regime supports Al-Qaeda, despite their intense ideological divisions.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Iran and Al-Qaeda began collaborating in late 1991 or early 1992. Al-Qaeda operatives began receiving training, particularly in explosives, inside Iran and Lebanon.

The report leaves open the possibility that Al-Qaeda worked with Iran in carrying out the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996. The attack killed 19 U.S. soldiers. The Iranians wanted to expand the relationship after Al-Qaeda’s bombing of theUSS Cole in Yemen in 2000, but Osama Bin Laden was worried about losing Saudi supporters.

“The relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shi’a divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations,” the 9/11 Commission concluded.

***

Iran is offering to help the U.S. defeat the Islamic State (formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq) if sanctions are lifted on its nuclear program. The Iranian regime is acting like a firefighter that sets blazes so it can come to the rescue.

The Shiite Iranian regime and the Sunni terrorists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may kill and condemn each other, but they are far closer to each other than they are to us. The history of the relationship shows that they will work together against us, even as they fight tooth-and-nail in Syria and Iraq.

At the end of the day, Islamist terrorists will always choose each other over us. We ignore that demonstrated behavior at our own cost.

Read more at Clarion Project

Documentary – Meeting ISIL (PressTV goes deep inside the terrorist group)

Published on Aug 21, 2014 by PressTV News Videos:

To learn who these people are, what they are fighting for, and who funds them, PRESS TV goes deep into their camps and brings you face to face interviews and exclusive footage. Many of those who were initially infatuated by the group’s promise of justice seem to be horrified and utterly disillusioned today.

(Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). The IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.- wikipedia)

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Iran links Iraq role to lifting of sanctions

Iran is ready to join international action against militants in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

His comments followed a call by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday for all countries in the region, including Iran, to join the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters who have seized swathes of Iraq as well as neighboring Syria.

“If we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side of the negotiations should do something in return,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.

“All the sanctions that are related to Iran’s nuclear program should be lifted,” he said.

It is the first time that Iran has explicitly linked its readiness to work with the West in Iraq with a lifting of the crippling EU and U.S. sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

Those sanctions are the subject of ongoing talks between Tehran and the major powers that are due to resume before the opening of the U.N. General Assembly next month.

In return for lifting the sanctions, the Western powers are demanding that Iran sharply rein in its nuclear program to ally international concerns about its ambitions as part of a comprehensive deal they are seeking to strike by November.

The Iranian foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that discussions were under way with several European governments about the possibility of joint action against ISIS in Iraq.

Zarif said tough negotiations were still under way over what role Iran might play in Iraq and what the reward might be for its cooperation.

“It is still not clear what we have to do in Iraq and what they have to do in return,” the Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian foreign minister as saying.

“And that’s exactly the difficult part.”

Iranian and U.S. officials discussed the jihadists’ lightning offensive in Iraq in June on the sidelines of nuclear talks with the major powers but both sides ruled out joint military action at the time.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, although they have had contacts over Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

Sherman’s 300,000 and the Caliphate’s Three Million

Middle East Forum:

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
August 12, 2014

553When General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the city of Atlanta in 1864, he warned, “I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Add a zero to calibrate the problem in the Levant today. War in the Middle East is less a strategic than a demographic phenomenon, the resolution of which will come with the exhaustion of the pool of potential fighters.

The Middle East has plunged into a new Thirty Years War, allows Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations:

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeking to defend their interests and increase their influence. Conflicts take place within and between states; civil wars and proxy wars become impossible to distinguish. Governments often forfeit control to smaller groups – militias and the like – operating within and across borders. The loss of life is devastating, and millions are rendered homeless.

Well and good: I predicted in 2006 that the George W. Bush administration’s blunder would provoke another Thirty Years War in the region, and repeated the diagnosis many times since. But I doubt that Mr. Haass (or Walter Russell Mead, who cited the Haass article) has given sufficient thought to the implications.

How does one handle wars of this sort? In 2008, I argued for a “Richelovian” foreign policy, that is, emulation of the evil genius who guided France to victory at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648. Wars of this sort end when two generations of fighters are killed. They last for decades (as did the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the 20th century) because one kills off the fathers in the first half of the war, and the sons in the second.

This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.

The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of those who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.

It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration, compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient bombing of Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, warned Bush that America’s occupation army in Iraq had become hostage to Iranian retaliation: if America bombed Iran, Iran could exact vengeance in American blood in the cities of Iraq. Then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen told Charlie Rose on March 16, 2009:

What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is, in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences. It’s the further destabilization in the region. It’s how they would respond. We have lots of Americans who live in that region who are under the threat envelope right now [because of the] capability that Iran has across the Gulf. So, I worry about their responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.

The Bush administration was too timid to take on Iran; the Obama administration views Iran as a prospective ally. Even Neville Chamberlain did not regard Hitler as prospective partner in European security. But that is what Barack Obama said in March to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:

What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.

Bush may have been feckless, but Obama is mad.

With Iran neutralized, Syrian President Basher Assad would have had no choice but to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority; as it happens, he had the firepower to expel millions of them. Without the protection of Tehran, Iraq’s Shia would have had to compromise with Sunnis and Kurds. Iraqi Sunnis would not have allied with ISIS against the Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad. A million or more Iraqis would not have been displaced by the metastasizing Caliphate.

The occupation of Iraq in the pursuit of nation building was colossally stupid. It wasted thousands of lives and disrupted millions, cost the better part of a trillion dollars, and demoralized the American public like no failure since Vietnam – most of all America’s young people. Not only did it fail to accomplish its objective, but it kept America stuck in a tar-baby trap, unable to take action against the region’s main malefactor. Worst of all: the methods America employed in order to give the Iraq war the temporary appearance of success set in motion the disaster we have today. I warned of this in a May 4, 2010 essay entitled, General Petraeus’ Thirty Years War (Asia Times Online, May 4, 2010).

The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America’s Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus’ putative success in the Iraq “surge” of 2007-2008 is one of the weirder cases of Karl Marx’s quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous.

Wallenstein put 100,000 men into the field, an army of terrifying size for the times, by turning the imperial army into a parasite that consumed the livelihood of the empire’s home provinces. The Austrian Empire fired him in 1629 after five years of depredation, but pressed him back into service in 1631. Those who were left alive joined the army, in a self-feeding spiral of destruction on a scale not seen in Europe since the 8th century. Wallenstein’s power grew with the implosion of civil society, and the Austrian emperor had him murdered in 1634.

Petraeus accomplished the same thing with (literally) bags of money. Starting with Iraq, the American military has militarized large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the name of pacification. And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reason to use them.

There is no way to rewind the tape after the fragile ties of traditional society have been ripped to shreds by war. All of this was foreseeable; most of it might have been averted. But the sordid players in this tragicomedy had too much reputation at stake to reverse course when it still was possible. Now they will spend the declining years of their careers blaming each other.

Three million men will have to die before the butchery comes to an end. That is roughly the number of men who have nothing to go back to, and will fight to the death rather than surrender.

ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. The Saudi and Jordanian air forces are quite capable of defending their borders. Saudi Arabia has over 300 F-15′s and 72 Typhoons, and more than 80 Apache attack helicopters. Jordan has 60 F16′s as well as 25 Cobra attack helicopters. The putative Caliphate can be contained; it cannot break out into Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and it cannot advance far into the core Shia territory of Iraq. It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.

Ultimately, ISIS is a distraction. The problem is Iran. Without Iran, Hamas would have no capacity to strike Israel beyond a few dozen kilometers past the Gaza border. Iran now has GPS-guided missiles which are much harder to shoot down than ordinary ballistic missiles (an unguided missile has a trajectory that is easy to calculate after launch; guided missiles squirrel about seeking their targets). If Hamas acquires such rockets – and it will eventually if left to its own devices – Israel will have to strike further, harder and deeper to eliminate the threat. That confrontation will not come within a year, and possibly not within five years, but it looms over the present hostilities. The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.

David P Goldman is Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the Was Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery Press in September 2011. A volume of his essays on culture, religion and economics, It’s Not the End of the World – It’s Just the End of You, also appeared that fall, from Van Praag Press.

Iranian Official: Hamas Should Use Tunnels to Protect Civilians

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Arutz Sheva, By Tova Dvorin:

Mohsen Rezai, Secretary Expediency Discernment Council for the Islamic Republic of Iran and former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, called for Hamas to step up their campaign of human shields in future wars against Israel on live television on Sunday – disguised, cynically, as protection for the civilian population.

“I would like to tell the mujahideen [terrorist fighters] in Palestine that they should think of a way to protect the civilians,” Rezai said, on Al-Alam TV. Rezai’s comments were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“They could dig tunnels, and when a war breaks out, the people could take refuge in these tunnels. All the people will go underground.”

“They use the tunnels to launch missiles, but they should also use them to protect civilians,” he said. “In my letter to Mr. [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani, I called for the Islamic countries to provide air-resistance systems to the Islamic resistance.”

 

Rezai also noted Iran’s great support for Hamas, as a symbol of “resistance.”

“As a mujahid in the army of the great Islamic world, and as a fighter in the great Islamic resistance, I believe it to be my responsibility to help (the Palestinians),” he said. “I felt that I had to write to the commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades [Hamas's 'military wing' - ed.] and to express my support.”

“I wrote that they should not be on the defense alone,” he continued. “Rather, they should set out from their posts.”

According to Rezai, Hamas should employ specific strategies in the war of “resistance.”

“As you know, Israel has a weakness: when two or three people – two or three soldiers – are kidnapped, Israel will surrender,” he insisted. “From now on, if Israel attacks, it should not expect the (Palestinian) fighters to remain in their posts.”

“There are 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip. Half of them are women, which leaves us with 900,000. If we deduct the children and the elderly from those 900,000, we are left with 500,000 or 600,000 men capable of bearing arms. If only 100,000 begin to take action, Israel will not be able to withstand it.”

“In future wars, Israel should expect the Palestinians to wait for the raids in their homes,” he added. “They will cross the borders, and a third intifada will begin.”

“I personally would like to say that we should provide the Palestinians with defense and weapons technology, so that they will be able to produce weapons even when under siege,” he said.

When questioned whether Iran continues to provide Hamas with weapons, following the revelation last month that it had aided the terror organization in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, he responded in the affirmative.

“How do you think these missiles were produced?” he asks, smirking. “All these missiles are the fruit of the technology provided to Palestine.”

“If Israel was capable of attacking Iran, it would not have hesitated to do so,” he dismissed. “What has prevented Israel from attacking Iran is the realization that such a thing would be the end of it for Israel. There would no longer be such a thing called ‘Israel.”

Interestingly, the idea of using the tunnels for shelter was raised by pro-Israel advocate Lee Kaplan in a recent interview with PressTV

Lee was doing such a good job of refuting their lies that they cut his mic off

Iran’s New Strategy Of Diversion: Persuading The Sunni Camp To Fight Israel, Not Iran

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei's office (Source: Facebook.com/www.Khamenei.ir)

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei’s office (Source: Facebook.com/www.Khamenei.ir)

By: A. Savyon and Y. Carmon:

Introduction

Recently, the Iranian regime has launched a campaign for arming the Palestinians in West Bank and Israel’s Arab citizens; the campaign is being led by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

On July 23, 2014, on the eve of Iran’s Qods (Jerusalem) Day, Khamenei said that “the only solution [for Israel] is its annihilation and liquidation. Of course, until that time [when this happens], the determined and armed Palestinian resistance, and its spread to the West Bank, are the only way to deal with that bestial regime… Therefore, it is my belief that the West Bank should be armed just like Gaza. Anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine, and who is capable of doing something, should act in this matter in order to reduce the suffering and torment of the Palestinian people by means of their strong hand…”[1]

This campaign played a role in Iran’s strategy, in two vital areas that are completely unconnected to the war in Gaza or to the Palestinian cause: a) It serves the Iranian regime in its struggle against the Sunni world, which has ratcheted up its pressure on Iran, and b) it serves the Iranian regime in its struggle against the opposition, i.e. the pragmatic camp, at home, that has recently escalated its attacks on the ideological camp (see MEMRI series on The Struggle Between Khamenei And Rafsanjani Over The Iranian Leadership).

While the policy of annihilating Israel is one thing that the ideological and the pragmatic camps in Iran have in common, as it is a founding tenet of the regime, the move to arm the West Bank Palestinians and Israel’s Arab citizens is a new element that the regime is stressing in recent days, and by all possible means. In every major speech and announcement, regime spokesmen emphasize the need for the Sunni world to stop fighting Shi’ites and join Iran in its fight against Israel.[2] The regime also is highlighting the need for unity at home, which is actually a demand that the pragmatic camp accept the authority of the ideological camp.

It should be noted that on the internal level, this tactic has been successful, as expected; the pragmatic camp has hastened to stand with the regime on this matter.[3]

However, the effort to divert the Sunni camp from its struggle with Iran and the Shi’ites has as of yet yielded no results. Apparently, the Sunni world understands Iran’s gambit and is not going along with it; it is also stepping up its pressure on the Shi’ites in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.[4]

It should be clarified that this strategy of diversion is not just talk – the Iranian regime is working to implement it in coordination with the leaders of Hizbullah and of the Palestinian factions. But the main importance of this effort for Iran is that it serves both Iran’s existential interest against the external Sunni threat and also the interest of the Iranian regime at home against the opposition.

Read more at MEMRI

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.

dea-used-car-scam

Picture-117

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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.

20130220_hezbollah_south_america

–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.