How the Iran lobby sidetracked the nuclear talks: part 2

Photo by: Vahid Salemi FILE - In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 file photo, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony to commemorate the late Khadijeh Saghafi, wife of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani has dismissed pressure from the U.S. Congress over a preliminary deal on Iran's nuclear program, saying that Tehran is dealing with world powers not American lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Photo by: Vahid Salemi
FILE – In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 file photo, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony to commemorate the late Khadijeh Saghafi, wife of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani has dismissed pressure from the U.S. Congress over a preliminary deal on Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Tehran is dealing with world powers not American lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

– – Thursday, April 16, 2015:

In the previous article, we saw how the Iranian regime’s panic over the 2002 outing of its theretofore clandestine nuclear weapons program drove its subsequent decisions about how to deal with the publicity and mollify, or at least occupy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the United States (U.S.).

Having been well-trained by its mentors at the Soviet KGB, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) quickly established a two-tier system: those nuclear sites, such as Natanz, Isfahan, Arak, and later Fordow, that had been exposed were turned into show sites. IAEA inspectors were invited in, and the so-called EU-3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), later joined by the rest of the UNSC to form the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK, and U.S.), began negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

The haggling went on for a decade and counting. At no time from 2003 to this day, however, did Iran itself willingly offer up (as obligated under its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signatory status) any information about other clandestine sites in its sprawling nuclear weapons program. For unexplained reasons, nor did the IAEA, P5+1, or UNSC compel it to despite an international sanctions regime ostensibly aimed at getting Iran to comply with six UNSC Resolutions demanding it halt all nuclear enrichment and come clean about its past nuclear activities with “possible military dimensions.”

While international trade relationships, intra-UNSC rivalries, and a reluctance to alienate Iran right out of the talks altogether might explain some of the failure to press Iran about the clandestine elements of its nuclear weapons program, at least for the U.S., there was another player involved in the game: the Iran Lobby.

As discussed in a February 2009 occasional paper by this author and published by the Center for Security Policy under the title, “Rise of the Iran Lobby: Tehran’s Front Groups Move On—and into—the Obama Administration,” “a complex network of individuals and organizations with ties to the clerical regime in Tehran” had organized by the early 2000s to influence U.S. government policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A follow-on paper, “The Iran Lobby: Alive, Well, and Changing the Face of the Middle East,” published by the Center in October 2014, chronicled what I termed “the disastrous fruits of that network’s efforts.” The term “Iran Lobby,” by the way, was first noticed in the Iranian media itself, in 2007. It seemed a most apt description of the circle of influence operators that were pursuing and achieving positions of influence at the upper levels of U.S. national security then, and certainly all the more so, now.

After more than a dozen years of maneuvering behind the scenes of Washington, DC policymaking, the Iran Lobby today has succeeded in infiltrating the Department of State, National Security Council (NSC), and the nuclear negotiations themselves. Led by NIAC (the National Iranian American Council) and its founder and president, the Iranian-born Trita Parsi, the Iran Lobby counts among its affiliates and supporters a Who’s Who list of influential individuals and organizations ranging from former ambassadors and oil executives, to a bevy of Middle East and Iran experts from leading NGOs and think tanks.

The objective was always clear: shift official U.S. policy on Iran to a position supportive of Tehran’s agenda that sought protracted negotiations to buy time for its nuclear weapons development, financial concessions that eased sanctions and released frozen assets, and a conciliatory posture that eschewed any discussion of military options to deal with Iranian intransigence, ignored Iranian support for Islamic jihad (terrorism), pretended its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program didn’t exist, turned a deaf ear to non-stop genocidal threats against the Jewish State of Israel, and generally acquiesced in its regional geo-strategic ambitions.

Above all, there was to be absolutely no discussion of Iran’s parallel clandestine nuclear weapons program. Astonishingly, today, the Iran Lobby has achieved all of this and more.

Not surprisingly, the Iranian leadership mocks the Obama administration, especially Secretary of State John Kerry and his hapless negotiating team. In January 2014, just weeks after the supposed landmark ‘breakthrough’ of the November 2013 “Joint Plan of Action,” Kerry’s Iranian counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, actually laid a wreath at the tomb of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizballah terror chieftain responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans from the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing to 9/11.

The same month, Iran’s ‘moderate’ president Hassan Rouhani tweeted about how, in Geneva, the world powers “surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.” A senior Iranian TV commentator noted with rare honesty that the Geneva agreement was but “the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.” Following the 2015 April Fool’s Day ‘framework’ agreement, Iranian leadership figures were quick to describe the U.S. version as a “U.S. version” “lie” and declare it “not acceptable to Iran.” Meanwhile, Iran’s Bassij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi declared that “erasing Israel off the map” was “non-negotiable.”

And yet, the American team practically begged the Iranians to keep talking and give them something, anything to hold up as a ‘success.’

To understand this sorry state of affairs, it is only necessary to understand the function and purpose of hostile influence operations and how the Iran Lobby in America has finessed its way to turning U.S. foreign policy with Iran completely on its head. As described above, maneuvering Tehran-regime-friendly figures into positions of power and influence is the name of the game.

One Sahar Nowrouzzadeh could be Exhibit A for how this works: apparently a former NIAC employee, she now appears on a list of senior White House aides who attended a secure video conference on 31 March 2015 with the U.S. negotiating team in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is listed as the National Security Council Director for Iran.

Meanwhile, her former boss, NIAC’s Trita Parsi, appears in a photo published by the Iranian Fars News Agency, greeting Fereydoon Rouhani (the president’s brother) at the Lausanne talks. Parsi’s Facebook page shows another photo of the NIAC leader smiling at the talks alongside his Research Director, Reza Marashi, and NBC reporter Ann Curry. Marashi’s NIAC bio lists his former employment at the State Department’s Office of Iranian affairs. According to reports, at least Parsi has been present at previous nuclear negotiations in Geneva and Vienna, as well.

This is what a successful infiltration operation looks like. Apparently, Parsi thinks so, too, because on 2 April 2015, he posted the following on his Facebook Page:

“Trita Parsi

“April 2 at 5:22pm ·

“Oops. Just realized I haven’t eaten lunch today. Been too busy gloating…”

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

Iranian-backed Shiite militias lead Iraq’s fight to retake Tikrit

LWJ, BY CALEB WEISS AND BILL ROGGIO | March 4th, 2015:

Video showing Asaib al Haq fighters taking part in the Tikrit offensive

The Iraqi Security Forces, supported by several Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribal fighters, have launched an offensive to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State, which has held the central Iraqi city since June 2014. Massive columns of Shiite militas, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit.

The operation, which involves more than thirty thousand Iraqi security personnel and militia forces, started on the morning of March 2. According to Al Jazeera, Iraqi forces and allied militias attacked the city from three sides while Iraqi aviation launched an aerial bombardment.

As of yet, the US has not launched any airstrikes in support of the operation. The US has refused to support the Tikrit offensive because Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) elements are actively supporting the operation, anonymous US officials have told The Wall Street Journal

Although the US military has refused to provide air support for the offensive due to Iran’s involvement, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran’s involvement could be “a positive thing” if the Shiite militias do not lash out at Sunnis in and around Tikrit. Dempsey also estimated that the militias make up more than two-thirds of the fighting force, The Associated Press noted. Shiite militias have been accused of launching reprisal attacks against Sunni civilians and executing scores of people after liberating areas from Islamic State control.

Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force, the external operations wing of the IRGC, has been spotted near Tikrit. Soleimani’s forces are tasked with supporting the Iraqi military and Shiite militias, including the Badr Brigade, Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades), Asaib al Haq (League of the Righteous), Kata’ib Imam Ali, and Muqtada al Sadr’s Promised Day Brigade (or Peace Brigade). The Shiite militias have been instrumental in reinforcing beleaguered and demoralized Iraqi forces, and have helped retake some areas in Iraq, including Jurf al Sakhar and Amerli.

Soleimani has been spotted with units loyal to the Kata’ib Imam Ali and the Badr Organization. In one photo, a clean shaven Soleimani oversees a military parade of Kata’ib Imam Ali at Camp Speicher, a sprawling base outside of Tikrit. In another photo, Soleimani is seen meeting with militia commanders near the city. Kata’ib Imam Ali, which is allegedly led by Shabal al Zaidi, a former leader in Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army, is just one of many Iranian-backed militia taking part in the Tikrit offensive.

The Badr Organization, which is led by Hadi al Amiri, is another such group. In one photo seen on Twitter, Amiri, who is closely allied to Soleimani, is seen meeting with Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the head of Hezbollah Brigades. In a video uploaded to YouTube, a giant Hezbollah Brigades convoy is seen moving towards Tikrit. The US State Department designated the Hezbollah Brigades as a terrorist organization in July 2009 and described the militia as “a radical Shia Islamist group with an anti-Western establishment and jihadist ideology that has conducted attacks against Iraqi, US, and Coalition targets in Iraq.”

Asaib al Haq has also released a video showing a giant convoy heading towards Tikrit. Asaib al Haq is considered one of the most dangerous Iranian-supported Shiite militias. Several of its leaders are listed by the US as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

Status of offensive is unclear

The Iraqi military, Shiite militias, and Iranian forces reportedly have been able toretake two districts from the Islamic State, Iraqi military commanders have told the BBC. The reports should be viewed with caution, as in the past, Iraqi commanders provided optimistic reports on previous attempts to retake Tikrit, only to be proven wrong.

The Iraqi forces and its militia allies have allegedly been able to retake Al Tin, a district northeast of the city, as well as al Abeid in the west. The BBC also reported fighting in the nearby district of Qadisiya. In a photo circulating online, the Iraqi flagis seen flying over the town of Al Dor near Tikrit. This photo cannot be confirmed, although fighting in Al Dor has been reported.

Iraqi forces and their Shiite militia auxiliaries may have a difficult time sustaining a prolonged offensive or siege of Tikrit. The city is in central Salahaddin province, a stronghold of the Islamic State. The Iraqi forces and militias must provide logistical support to a large force by securing a long supply line from Samarra, and it will be exposed to attacks from marauding Islamic State forces.

The Military Times has reported that progress in Tikrit has been slowed due to the many improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have been planted around the town. Quoting the spokesman of Iraq’s Interior Ministry, The Military Times says that the Islamic State has “littered major roadways and routes with mines.” According to Al Mada Press, there are 8,000 IEDs near Tikrit alone. The Islamic State has also countered the offensive with suicide bombings. One suicide bomber who detonated on ISF and Shiite militia personnel as they assembled for the Tikrit offensive near Samarra was allegedly an American citizen. Abu Dawoud al Amriiki, as he was later identified, was said to have “killed and wounded dozens” in an Islamic State video release.

The Islamic State has also released several images purporting to be from Tikrit in a bid to counter positive statements from Iraqi officials. These photos cannot be authenticated. These photos show Islamic State fighters manning a checkpoint near the entrance to the city, as well as its fighters targeting Iraqi and Shiite militia personnel near the city with technicals, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades. In one photo, an Islamic State front-end loader is seen building fortifications near the city.

Other photos released by the Islamic State show its fighters engaging Iraqi and Shiite militia personnel in an unnamed place in Salahadin province. The pictures show mortars being fired on Iraqi positions, as well as RPG’s and fire from technicals. One picture shows a Humvee being hit by an RPG and another shows an Islamic State fighter shooting an RPG at a Humvee that is driving away. Several rockets are also fired on Iraqi positions in these photos.

Read more with photos and videos from Tikrit

Also see:

African Nations to Send 7,500 Troops to Combat Boko Haram – Why is Iran so Interested?

The African Union (AU) has agreed to send a multi-nation force of 7,500 troops to Nigeria to assist the Nigerian military in combating Boko Haram. Interestingly enough, the Iranian regime has offered their “services” to assist this multi-nation force. Apparently Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has been involved with African nations affected by Boko Haram to provide assistance. Specifically, the regime informed the AU that they’re willing to share their experiences and intelligence gained over the years in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Africa – Nigeria and Somalia in particular. Its also worth noting that Iran had representatives at the two-day summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that the announcement of the troop deployment was made. They were there as “observers.”

7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/international/7-500-troops-to-fight-boko-haram-1.818195?utm_content=buffer2aada&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Iran Offers to Help Fight Boko Haram

http://www.nigerianeye.com/2015/02/iran-offers-to-help-fight-boko-haram.html

So why is Iran so interested in Africa? Well, the IRG-Qods Force and Hezbollah have both been very active on the continent over the past decade, so this isn’t a new phenomenon at all (remember, the IRGC has arms production factories in Sudan). Their expansion into the continent began to really expand when the first indicators of foreign fighters were making their way into Syria in the early days of the “Arab Spring.” Since then their objectives have been the following:

1. Keep tabs on the foreign fighter networks providing personnel and weapons to anti-Shia efforts in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

2. Eliminate the key personnel in those foreign fighter networks.

3. Conduct target development for when (and it will happen) the Qods Force and Hezbollah cells in Africa receive the green light to begin attacking American, Israeli and British diplomatic facilities, military personnel and civilians.

IRGC-Qods Force Insignia Source: iranwatch.org

IRGC-Qods Force Insignia
Source: iranwatch.org

The 2011-2013 time period saw a sharp increase in Qods Force and Hezbollah activity in Nigeria with Nigerian security forces having made several arrests of individuals associated with both organizations on terrorism charges. Nigeria is an anomaly, as other African nations have kept their mouths shut on the expansion of the Qods Force/Hezbollah networks in the western and eastern parts of the continent. Much of this has to do with Iran’s increased involvement in the economic, political and cultural fields, thus creating a co-dependent relationship (as the regime has been looking for ways to circumvent sanctions, although this may well be moot now that the Obama administration is on the job). However, there was one incident in JUN 12 where two Iranian nationals – identified as Ahmed Abolfathi Muhammad and Sayid Mansur Mousavi – who were arrested in Nairobi, Kenya for possessing explosive material. Apparently they had a lot more that was shipped into the country that Kenyan security forces weren’t able to find. The two individuals were suspected of plotting to conduct attacks targeting the Israeli, US, British and Saudi diplomatic missions. They received life sentences.

Out of Iran, into Africa: Hezbollah’s scramble for Africa

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.530327

Nigeria has long been known for being a major hotbed of Qods Force and Hezbollah activity, going as far back as 2004 when an Iranian diplomat was arrested of casing the Israeli embassy in Abuja. In FEB 13, Nigerian security forces arrested Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and two other Nigerians for attempting to establish a proxy group that was reportedly trained in Iran. They were said to have been planning to attack American targets in Lagos. Berende himself allegedly first traveled to Iran in 2006, where he received his Islamic education and returned again in 2011 for weapons and explosives training. His Qods Force handlers tasked him with collecting intelligence on hotels and public places frequented by Americans and Israelis to identify potential targets for future attacks. Berende himself admitted that he worked with the Iranians and had received $30,000 USD to carry out the operations. A few months later, his associate Iranian national Azim Aghajani and another Nigerian accomplice were sentenced to five years for their involvement to smuggle a shipment of weapons into West Africa. The case was opened on them when Nigerian security forces opened 13 containers at Apapa Port in OCT 10 and found the weapons to include 107mm rockets, among other things. The shipment was bound for Gambia. The US government has linked Aghajani to the Qods Forces’ Department 400 External OPs Division. In keeping with the usual Qods Force TTPs, Aghajani was moving the weapons throughout Africa with the use of front companies such as Behineh Trading Co.

Read more at The ISIS Study Group

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2743059668Iran in Africa: A Tutorial Overview (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)

Iran’s activity in Africa is a model of their strategic conduct that allows them an asymmetric advantage over the United States in terms of diplomacy and statecraft. This pattern of behavior is adaptable and observable in Latin America as well as in Africa. Where there are weak governing institutions and fertile soil for anti-American sentiment of any form, the Iranian regime will seek global allies, revenue streams, resources, and capabilities that serve them well on the world stage.

This is an introductory overview meant to give a broad picture of behavior and intention. The open source record of Iranian, Hezbollah, and Quds Force activity in Africa is extensive.

Click here to download pdf of complete overview. See video presentation.

Iran: Unafraid and Undeterred

New-Iranian-President-Hassan-Rouhani-encouraged-by-Obamas-positive-tone-NBC-News-645x325-450x318rontpage, by Caroline Glick, Jan. 30, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Israel’s reported strike January 18 on a joint Iranian-Hezbollah convoy driving on the Syrian Golan Heights was one of the most strategically significant events to have occurred in Israel’s neighborhood in recent months. Its significance lies both in what it accomplished operationally and what it exposed.

From what been published to date about the identities of those killed in the strike, it is clear that in one fell swoop the air force decapitated the Iranian and Hezbollah operational command in Syria.

The head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, the head of its liaison with Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah’s longtime operational commander Imad Mughniyeh who was killed by Israel in Damascus in 2008, were killed. The younger Mughniyeh reportedly served as commander of Hezbollah forces along the Syrian-Israeli border.

According to a report by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira, a Hezbollah expert from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Iranian losses included three generals. Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Alladadi was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps liaison officer to Hezbollah and to Syrian intelligence. He was also in charge of weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Gen. Ali Tabatabai was the IRGC commander in the Golan Heights and, according to Shapira, an additional general, known only as Assadi, “was, in all likelihood, the commander of Iranian expeditionary forces in Lebanon.”

The fact that the men were willing to risk exposure by traveling together along the border with Israel indicates how critical the front is for the regime in Tehran. It also indicates that in all likelihood, they were planning an imminent attack against Israel.

According to Ehud Yaari, Channel 2’s Arab Affairs commentator, Iran and Hezbollah seek to widen Hezbollah’s front against Israel from Lebanon to Syria. They wish to establish missile bases on the northern Hermon, and are expanding Hezbollah’s strategic depth from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to the outskirts of Damascus.

On Wednesday night, Yaari reported that the Syrian military has ceased to function south of Damascus. In areas not held by the al-Qaida-aligned Nusra Front and other regime opponents, the IRGC and Hezbollah have taken control, using the Syrian militia they have trained since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

The effectiveness of Hezbollah’s control of its expanded front was on display on Wednesday morning. Almost at the same time that Hezbollah forces shot at least five advanced Kornet antitank missiles at an IDF convoy along Mount Dov, killing two soldiers and wounding seven, Hezbollah forces on the Golan shot off mortars at the Hermon area.

While these forces are effective, they are also vulnerable. Yaari noted that today, three-quarters of Hezbollah’s total forces are fighting in Syria. Their twofold task is to defend the Assad regime and to build the Iranian-controlled front against Israel along the Golan Heights. Most of the forces are in known, unfortified, above ground positions, vulnerable to Israeli air strikes.

THE IDENTITIES of the Iranian and Lebanese personnel killed in the Israeli strike indicate the high value Iran and Hezbollah place on developing a new front against Israel in Syria.

The fact that they are in control over large swathes of the border area and are willing to risk exposure in order to ready the front for operations exposes Iran’s strategic goal of encircling Israel on the ground and the risks it is willing to take to achieve that goal.

But Iran’s willingness to expose its forces and Hezbollah forces also indicates something else. It indicates that they believe that there is a force deterring Israel from attacking them.

And this brings us to another strategic revelation exposed by the January 18 operation.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdolahian told Iran’s IRNA news agency that the regime had told its American interlocutors to tell Israel that it intended to strike Israel in retribution for the attack. The State Department did not deny that Iran had communicated the message, although it claims that it never relayed the message.

While the Obama administration did perhaps refuse to serve as Iran’s messenger, it has worked to deter Israel from striking Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria. Whereas Israel has a policy of never acknowledging responsibility for its military operations in Syria, in order to give President Bashar Assad an excuse to not retaliate, the US administration has repeatedly informed the media of Israeli attacks and so increased the risk that such Israeli operations will lead to counterattacks against Israel.

The US has also refused to acknowledge Iran’s control over the Syrian regime, and so denied the basic fact that through its proxies, Iran is developing a conventional threat against Israel. For instance, earlier this month, Der Spiegel reported that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility in Syria. When questioned about the report, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf sought to downplay its significance. When a reporter asked if the administration would raise the report in its nuclear negotiations with Iran, Harf replied, “No, the upcoming talks are about the Iranian nuclear program.”

Until this month, the White House continued to pay lip service to the strategic goal of removing Assad – and by inference Iran, which controls and protects him – from power in Syria. Lip service aside, it has been clear at least since September 2013, when President Barack Obama refused to enforce his own redline and take action against the Assad regime after it used chemical weapons against its opponents, that he had no intention of forcing Assad from power. But this month the administration crossed a new Rubicon when Secretary of State John Kerry failed to call for Assad to be removed to power in talks with the UN envoy in Syria Staffan de Mistura. Right before he met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Kerry told Mistura, “It is time for President Assad, the Assad regime, to put their people first and to think about the consequences of their actions, which are attracting more and more terrorists to Syria, basically because of their efforts to remove Assad.”

IRAN’S PRESENCE on the Golan Heights is of course just one of the many strategic advances it has made in expanding its territorial reach. Over the past two weeks, Iranian-controlled Houthi militias have consolidated their control over Yemen, with their overthrow of the US-allied government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Rather than defend the elected government that has fought side-by-side with US special forces in their Yemen-based operations against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the administration is pretending that little has changed. It pretends it will still be able to gather the intelligence necessary to carry out drone strikes against al-Qaida terrorists even though its allies have now lost power.

The post-Houthi-conquest goal of the administration’s policy in Yemen is to seek a national dialogue that will include everyone from Iran’s proxy government to al-Qaida.

The idea is that everyone will work together to write a new constitution. It is impossible to understate the delusion at the heart of this plan.

With the conquest of Yemen, Iran now controls the Gulf of Aden. Together with the Straits of Hormuz, Iran now controls the region’s two maritime outlets to the open sea.

Far beyond the region, Iran expands its capacity to destabilize foreign countries and so advance its interests. Last week, Lee Smith raised the reasonable prospect that it was Iran that assassinated Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman two weeks ago. Nisman was murdered the night before he was scheduled to make public the findings of his 10-year investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. According to Smith, Nisman had proof that Iran had carried out the terrorist attacks to retaliate against Argentina for abrogating its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.

Earlier this week, during Obama’s visit with the new Saudi King Salman, he got an earful from the monarch regarding the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But it seemed to have no impact on his nuclear diplomacy with Teheran. The administration believes that Iran and Saudi Arabia will be able to kiss and make up and bury a thousand- year rivalry between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam because they both oppose the Islamic State. This too is utter fantasy.

Israel’s January 18 strike on Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria showed Israel’s strategy wisdom and independent capacity.

Israel can and will take measures to defend its critical security interests. It has the intelligence gathering capacity to identify and strike at targets in real time.

But it also showed the constraints Israel is forced to operate under in its increasingly complex and dangerous strategic environment.

Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Death of a Prosecutor

B7y4GYhIIAAH2ad.jpg-large-450x300Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Jan. 21, 2015:

Alberto Nisman, the Argentinean prosecutor who indicted top Iranian regime officials for the July 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires, was found dead by gunshot in his apartment on Sunday night, in what initially was called a suicide.

Nisman was scheduled to address members of parliament the next day to reveal new information about alleged efforts by Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, to cover up the responsibility of the Iranian regime in the AMIA bombing that killed 86 people some twenty-one years ago.

Just days before his murder, Nisman publicly accused the President and her foreign minister of taking “the criminal decision to fabricate Iran’s innocence to save Argentina’s commercial, political and geopolitical interests.”

Police found arrayed on a desk in his apartment documents relating to his allegations, but no suicide note.

Nisman issued his initial 801 page indictment in the AMIA case in on October 25, 2006. He asked Interpol to issue international arrest warrants against eight current and former Iranian government officials, including then president Hashemi-Rafsanjani, his foreign minister, the intelligence minister, and the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

He also accused Lebanese Hezbollah leader Imad Mugniyeh, who worked in tandem with the IRGC, of handling the logistics of the truck bomb plot.

Mugniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in February 2008, apparently by Israeli operatives. Mugniyeh has a long pedigree of killing Americans and killing Jews, which I have written about extensively.

He murdered 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983, hijacked aircraft, murdered U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and helped recruit the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Early this past Sunday, Israeli helicopters reportedly attacked a Hezbollah outpost in Syria, killing four Hezbollah operatives – including Mugniyeh’s son and terrorist-operative heir, Jihad.

A senior Iranian official told reporters that Israel would be hit at “the right time and right place” in retaliation for the strike.

That same evening, on the other side of the world, the Argentinean prosecutor instrumental in revealing Mugniyeh, Senior’s involvement in the AMIA bombings, died mysteriously of a gunshot wound to the temple, fired from a .22 revolver he did not own, with no apparent powder burns on his hands.

Coincidence? Perhaps.

When police discovered Nisman’s bloody body behind the locked door of his Buenos Aires apartment, they treated the area as a crime scene, not a suicide, and immediately called in forensics investigators.

This and other indicators led the Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey, a long-time aficionado of Iranian state terrorism, to speculate that Iran might have murdered Nisman to bury the evidence of bigger crimes.

My Iranian sources tell me there is no doubt of Iran’s efforts to coopt Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner, nor any doubt that Nisman’s death was a murder carried out by professionals.

I got involved in the AMIA investigation early on, and corresponded with Nisman’s first boss on the case, Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who eventually traveled to Washington, DC to meet with me. When Nisman ultimately took over the case and issued his indictment against the Iranian regime, he cited my evidence on more than a dozen occasions.

As I reported in 2003, a former Iranian intelligence officer, Abdolghassem Mesbahi, told the court that Iranian officials had paid $10 million into a Banque Degroof Luxembourg bank account in Switzerland that was controlled by then-president Carlos Menem, in exchange for his efforts to impede the AMIA investigation.

Menem’s denials were ultimately put to rest when the Swiss government froze the $10 million in his Banque Degroof accounts. One can only imagine what would have happened to Mrs. Kirschner’s denials had Nisman been able to testify on Monday to the Argentinean parliament.

Nisman has been under pressure from the Argentinean authorities for years. I contacted him again in 2007 to see if he would be willing to testify before the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York about what he had learned of Iran’s overseas terrorist operations, as part of the Iran-9/11 investigation I was involved in.

After several months of back and forth negotiations, he got back to me to say that his superiors had forbidden him from having any contact with the U.S. court, even though we merely wanted him to present the same evidence he had made public in the AMIA indictment.

Nisman had huge amounts of evidence that has not been made public, including transcripts of intercepts between the Iranian cultural attaché and Iranian expat taxi drivers in Buenos Aires who helped transport explosives used in the bombing, and other intercepts detailing the involvement of the Islamic Republic Shipping Lines and their local agents in conveying the explosives to Argentina.

The circumstances of Nisman’s murder – the dubious murder weapon, the door locked from the inside, the apparent absence of a struggle – remind me eerily of the November 2011 murder of Ahmad Rezai, the son of the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohsen Rezai.

The younger Rezai was found dead in his room in a residence hotel in Dubai and was immediately declared a suicide by the Dubai police.

Because I had gotten to know him well (so well that he named his first child after my daughter), I flew to Dubai to investigate.

Although Rezai was a U.S. citizen, the U.S. consular authorities had no interest in investigating the case and provided no assistance to me or his U.S. family, who I was representing.

The Dubai authorities stonewalled but I went around them. From the medical examiner, I discovered that the cause of “suicide” – an overdose of anti-psychotic medicine – was not true: the amount found in Ahmad’s blood was normal.

Furthermore, upon interrogating hotel staff, I discovered that a known Russian mafia hitman had checked into a room just down the hall a few hours before Ahmad’s murder and disappeared the next day, even though he had paid a month’s rent in advance.

Needless to say, the Dubai police had never heard of the man, let alone interrogated him.

The morning of Ahmad’s death, an explosion rocked a huge missile facility west of Tehran, killing the father of Iran’s solid-fuel missile programs. I speculatedin these pages that rivals of Ahmad’s father suspected father and son of seeking to reform the regime from within, an effort that is rejected by many Iranian opposition activists who believe that reform is impossible.

On Tuesday, an Iranian website controlled by the IRGC, identified the Foundation that I founded and chair as the regime’s Public Enemy #1.

It’s certainly not the first time the IRGC and their allies among the hardliners have identified me personally and my foundation as “enemies” of their revolution, because we support the right of Iranians to choose their form of government by democratic means.

But the timing of this latest version of the anti-jihadi hit parade seems no accident, coming on the heels of the assassination of Jihad Mugniyeh and the apparent murder of Alberto Nisman.

No one should underestimate the determination of the Iranian regime to use any means at its disposal to achieve its ends. Whether that means dispatching thousands of Revolutionary Guards fighters to Syria to prop up Assad, or murdering Americans in Iraq to hasten our departure, or providing safe haven and logistical assistance to al Qaeda, or funneling arms secretly to ISIS to stoke a fire they can boast to the gullible U.S. officials they are uniquely qualified to put out, the Islamic Republic of Iran is playing for keeps.

They have more case officers working for their intelligence services than we do in the United States, and have developed an entire branch of their military – the Quds Force – to carry out overseas terrorist operations.

They will not hesitate to murder people who get in their way, no matter their nationality or where they might be found.

They are playing hardball, and we are playing tiddlywinks. And yet, successive U.S. administration’s have thrown away advantages won by the blood of patriots – both Iranian and American – for empty promises made by known liars, assassins, and cheats.

When will we ever learn?

Also see:

Inside Iran’s Middle East: The Southeast Insurgency

ITSP logo by :

In this second installment of our Inside Iran’s Middle East series we will be covering the bloody campaign the Iranian regime’s IRGC-Ground Forces Command has been waging in the Northwestern and Southeastern parts of the country.  In the first installment, we covered the regime’s use of “reformers” to keep the west off-balance so that they can further their nuclear weapons program and eliminate the opposition.  We won’t be talking about the toothless “Green Revolution” or the Monarchists or MeK living in exile abroad.  No, we will be discussing the only viable opposition in the country in these next two installments:  the Balochs and the Kurds.

Inside Iran’s Middle East:  The “Reformers”

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/10/26/inside-irans-middle-east-the-reformers/

qods force__1

IRGC-Qods Force personnel in the Sacred Defense Week pass and review for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini (2013)

Source:  Fars News Agency

We will start with the insurgency taking place in the Southeastern part of Iran.  In this part of Iran, the dominate rebel group is Jundalla or “Soldiers of God.”  This is the group of ethnic Baloch fighters.  Their goal is the establishment of a “greater Balochistan” that consists of Southeastern Iran, all of Southern Afghanistan and Southwestern Pakistan.  The organization was founded by Abdul Malik Rigi and his brother Abdul Hamid Rigi, and have between 700-2,000 active fighters with many more reported to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan operating in a “reserve” or support capacity. Financing of operations is done through the narcotics trade, opium specifically.  As a result, Iran has been fighting its very own “War on Drugs” along the border with Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province.

Profile: Iran’s Jundullah militants

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8314431.stm

Iraq’s shadow on Balochistan

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EA25Df01.html

Waking up to the war in Balochistan

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17182978

Karzai Admits Balochistan Unrest Emanating From Afghanistan, Claims Malik

http://tribune.com.pk/story/345413/karzai-admits-balochistan-unrest-emanating-from-afghanistan-claims-malik/

jundallah

Jundallah Fighters

Source:  al-Arabiya

Jundallah was formed in 2003, but the group really put itself on the map in 2005 when it ambushed then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in Baluchistan Province that resulted in the death of one bodyguard and several more injured.  The following year would see an incident involving Jundallah fighters blocking the main road near the town of Tasooki leaving 21 civilians killed. The year 2007 would see Jundallah increase the frequency and sophistication of their attacks throughout Zahedan, starting with a VBIED attack in 14 FEB 07 targeting an IRGC convoy that resulted in 18 IRGC killed.  Jundallah would follow up two days later by bombing a girls school in Zahedan City.  What came next was mass abductions of Iranian truck drivers, who were brought to one of their bases inside Pakistan.  The Pakistani Army would later free them.  However, this would not stop the Iranian regime from accusing the Pakistani government of providing material support to Jundallah fighters.

Sunni group vows to behead Iranians

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/16/20060116-124019-6619r/

Leader of the Jundallah Movemement, Abd Al-Malek Al-Rigi: We Train Fighters in the Mountains and Send Them into Iran

http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1897.htm

Foreign devils in the Iranian mountains

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB24Ak01.html

Guns smuggling on the rise in Balochistan

http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/pakistan/2010/04/09/feature-01

rigi 33

the late-Jundallah Leader Abdul Malik Rigi

Source:  al-Jazeera

The truth is Jundallah did receive support from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by having fighters train at terrorist camps run by the intelligence organization (it is important to note that the ISI has been operating on its own agenda separate from that of the actual government – more on that in a future article).  The Rigi brothers spent the 2005-2009 time period cultivating ties with the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and al-Qaida senior leadership.  A quid pro quo deal was made where Jundallah fighters would continue to receive training, material support and AQ embeds in exchange for assistance in facilitating the travel of senior leaders across the AF-PAK border. Jundallah also assisted AQ in financing their operations through the drug trade by helping them secure the logistical supply routes.  The AQ operatives who spent time embedded with Jundallah in Southeastern Iran would later become the core of what we know today as the “Khorasan Group,” the special cell AQ senior leadership established to handle “sensitive operations.”

As a whole the American mainstream media got it completely wrong about KG, because they were not in Iran to “work with the Iranians” – they were there to kill Iranians.  In fact, KG leader Muhsin al-Fadhli (who is very much alive contrary to Western media reports) was the point-man for this endeavor.  Fadhli was able to go wherever he pleased with the assistance of Jundallah fighters who had a well-established safe-house network in that part of the country. More importantly, he’s  one of the AQ operatives that has a great deal of experience fighting the Iranian military (thanks to his time spent fighting alongside Jundallah).  The AQ senior leadership decision to deploy Fadhli and an element of KG to Syria was a bid to revitalize al-Nusra Front efforts to regain the initiative against the Assad regime, the IRGC-Qods Force and Basij Resistance Force units supporting regime forces.

The History and Capabilities Of The Khorasan Group

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/27/khorasan-group-doesnt-exist/

The Khorasan Group:  Threat To The Homeland?

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/23/khorasan-group-dont-believe-hype/

Khorasan Group is a Bigger Threat Than ISIS?

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/14/us-government-syria-based-al-qaida-cell-bigger-threat-isis/

Report: Former head of al Qaeda’s network in Iran now operates in Syria

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/03/report_former_head_o.php

Who supports Jundallah?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/jundallah.html

Read more at ITSProject

Believing Obama on Iran

Obama_Iran-450x305by :

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Eilam is an octogenarian who served as the director general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission from 1976 until 1985.

Last Friday Eilam gave a head-scratching interview to Yediot Aharonot’s Ronen Bergman in which he claimed that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a decade from completion. He said it is far from clear that the Iranians even want a nuclear arsenal. He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of cynically exaggerating the threat from Iran in order to strengthen himself politically.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Eilam’s interview was his absolute certainty in his judgment.

Eilam, who hasn’t had any inside knowledge of nuclear issues since 1985, would have us believe that he knows better than active duty Israeli intelligence chiefs and US intelligence directors about the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He even thinks he knows better than the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel assesses that Iran already has sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to produce five atomic bombs. As Netanyahu has said, the interim nuclear deal the US and its allies signed with Iran last November only delays Iran’s bomb making capacity by six weeks.

In January, James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, agreed with Israel’s assessment. In testimony before the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence Clapper said that Iran is already a nuclear breakout state. In his words, “Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile- deliverable nuclear weapons.”

Clapper argued that this doesn’t matter because the US’s monitoring capabilities are so trustworthy and advanced that Iran wouldn’t be able to put nuclear weapons together without the US noticing.

Unfortunately there is no reason to believe Clapper is right. Indeed, Netanyahu said as much to US National Security Advisor Susan Rice when she repeated Clapper’s claim during her visit to Israel last week.

And the UN agrees with Netanyahu.

In two reports released in recent days, UN officials have stated that Iran has developed an advanced capacity to hide its importation of components of its nuclear program. According to a Reuters report, this includes hiding titanium tubs in steel pipes and using its petrochemical industry as a cover to obtain valves and other items for its heavy-water nuclear reactor.

According to an AP report, the IAEA is also concerned because Iran is not cooperating with the watchdog group in revealing information about possible military applications of its nuclear program, or allowing the IAEA unfettered access to all nuclear sites.

Iran’s lack of transparency puts paid to the US’s claim that it can monitor all of Iran’s activities. It is far from clear that the US is even aware of all of Iran’s nuclear sites. So even if the US is capable of perfectly monitoring the known sites, it cannot know what it doesn’t know, and so may very well be monitoring the wrong sites.

And yet, despite US’s acknowledgment that Iran already has breakout capacity, and despite the UN’s conclusion that the Iranians are cheating on their international commitments and bypassing sanctions through smuggling activities, Brig. Gen. Eilam, who left the nuclear business 28 years ago, feels comfortable accusing Netanyahu of deliberately misleading the public and the world community.

What gives? It is hard to escape the feeling that there may be a connection between Eilam’s unhinged broadside against Netanyahu and the US’s assault on the credibility of Israel’s nuclear warnings.

On Sunday Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited a Revolutionary Guards Corps base. There he was shown what the IRGC claims is a reverse-engineered clone of an advanced US espionage drone that Iran captured in 2011. According to Fox News, after the RAQ-170 Sentinel drone landed in Iran in 2011, the Pentagon presented US President Barack Obama with three different plans to destroy or retrieve the drone.

Obama rejected all of them because “he didn’t want to do anything that could be perceived as an act of war.”

During the same visit, to the IRGC base on Sunday, Khamenei told the commanders to begin mass producing ballistic missiles to use against the US.

In his words, the Americans “expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.

The Revolutionary Guards should definitely carry out their program and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials.”

In other words, on Sunday, a declared enemy of the US, that the director of national intelligence acknowledges already has the independent capability to produce nuclear weapons, humiliated and threatened the US.

At a minimum Iran’s capture of the US drone indicates that the US capacity to monitor Iran’s nuclear capabilities is vulnerable and imperfect.

As for the ballistic missiles, they should be of utmost concern to the Europeans and the Americans. Iran doesn’t need ballistic missiles to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

It can use artillery, not to mention a human being playing the role of Enola Gay.

But rather than condemn Iranian espionage and aggression, over the past week, Obama administration officials have launched a full court press against Israel.

Read more at Front Page

Iran Announces Missiles Equipped with Multiple Warheads

Iranian Fateh-110 series Missiles with alleged  Multiple warhead capabilties  Source FARS news agency 3-5-14

Iranian Fateh-110 series Missiles with alleged Multiple warhead capabilties Source FARS news agency 3-5-14

By Jerry Gordon:

Iran’s Revolutionary guard unveiled a new class of missiles which it alleges has multiple  warhead capabilities.  In our March NER article, has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea? , We reported sources suggesting that   the Islamic regime , in cooperation with North Korea,  were testing a nuclear equipped MIRV warhead and that Iran might have  the capability of fitting one on a ballistic missile  within 4 to 6 months.

If this announcement today by Iran’s FARS agency is confirmed, it will demonstrate that the P5+1 negotiators were blindsided by Iranian demands to exclude ballistic missile development.  As Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said in a US Senate Foreign Relations hearings in early February 2014 before Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez: “It is true that in these first six months we’ve not shut down all of their production of any ballistic missile that could have anything to do with delivery of a nuclear weapon.”  Jennifer Rubin in her Washington Post blog, “Right Turn” cited Sen. Menendez in his speech before AIPAC’s Annual Policy Conference yesterday, saying:

Menendez repeated a warning he recently gave on the Senate floor that it will “be too late” to enact sanctions six months from now. That reality hangs over AIPAC, the Iran and P5+1 talks, and Congress: Iran by achieving partial relaxation of sanctions and by biding time to continue missile development and advanced centrifuge research is quickly becoming the nuclear-capable state Menendez vows to prevent.

What will the Obama West Wing do in the face of this challenge by the Iranian regime pursuing its diplomatic track?  WE don’t pretend to know. However, both sponsors of the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, S. 1881, Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) do. That is to overwhelm Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and move on passing the standby sanctions authority.  Even that may be “too late” given today’s announcement. Moreover, with the Israel Navy interception of rockets bound for Gaza in the Red Sea today, Iran is pursuing all means possible to create a nuclear equipped ICBM umbrella demonstrating its hegemony in the global Islamic terrorist war against Israel, the US, Middle East allies and the West.

Those dangers were highlighted in Israeli PM Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC Conference yesterday when he said:

Iran says it only wants a peaceful nuclear program. So why is it building a heavy water reactor, which has no purpose in a peaceful nuclear program? Iran says it has nothing to hide. So why does it ban inspectors from its secret military sites? Why doesn’t it divulge its military nuclear secret — the secrets of its military nuclear activities? They absolutely refuse to say a word about that. Iran says it’s not building nuclear weapons. So why does it continue to build ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose only purpose is to carry nuclear warheads?

See, unlike Scud missiles, that are limited to a range of a few hundred miles,ICBMs can cross vast oceans. And they can strike, right now or very soon, the eastern seaboard of the United States — Washington — and very soon after that, everywhere else in the United States, up to L.A.

And the important point to make is this: Iran’s missiles can already reach Israel, so those ICBMs that they’re building, they’re not intended for us. You remember that beer commercial, “this Bud’s for you”? Well, when you see Iran building ICBMs, just remember, America, that Scud’s for you.

Read more at New English Review

Also see:

The Iranian Regime’s American Hostage Habit

Photo sent to Christine Levinson, wife of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who was kidnapped in Iran 6 years ago.

Photo sent to Christine Levinson, wife of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who was kidnapped in Iran 6 years ago.

by Clare M. Lopez

Startling photos of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in March 2007 while on a trip to Iran’s Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, are the latest evidence in a litany of American hostages, taken, held and sometimes murdered by the Iranian mullahs and their terror proxies over a period of more than three decades.

Iran Spy Network 30,000 Strong

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security

Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security

BY:

Iran’s intelligence service includes 30,000 people who are engaged in covert and clandestine activities that range from spying to stealing technology to terrorist bombings and assassination, according to a Pentagon report.

The report concluded that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, known as MOIS, is “one of the largest and most dynamic intelligence agencies in the Middle East.”

The ministry actively supports Iran’s radical Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that has been involved in terrorist bombings from Argentina to Lebanon, according to the report produced by the Pentagon’s Irregular Warfare Support Program and published last month by the Library of Congress Federal Research Division.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained a copy of the 64-page unclassified report.

“MOIS provides financial, material, technological, or other support services to Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), all designated terrorist organizations under U.S. Executive Order 13224,” the report said.

The spy service operates in all areas where Iran has interests, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Central Asia, Africa, Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Turkey, Britain, and the Americas, including the United States.

Iranian activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela have raised alarm among U.S. government officials.

The effort appears part of “Iran’s strategy of establishing a presence in the backyard of the United States for purposes of expanding Shi’a and revolutionary ideology, establishing networks for intelligence and covert operations, and waging asymmetrical warfare against the United States,” the report said.

“In Latin America, Iran’s intelligence agencies—MOIS but mostly the Quds Force—use Hezbollah to achieve their goals.”

Israel also is a major target of the MOIS and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon is a major Tehran intelligence objective.

The ministry is under the direct control of Iran’s theocratic dictator, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and all its ministers must become Islamic clerics as a precondition for the post. However, the agency recruits foreigners, including British nationals and Israeli Jews.

“To advance its goals, MOIS recruits individuals regardless of their beliefs, including Arabs or Jews to spy in Israel,” the report said.

One MOIS deputy minister, Saeed Emami, was appointed to a key post despite being Jewish by birth.

According to the report, Iranian intelligence is expanding operations in the Middle East and Mediterranean by setting up electronic eavesdropping stations.

“Two Iranian-Syrian [signals intelligence] stations funded by the IRGC reportedly have been active since 2006, one in the al-Jazirah region in northern Syria and the other on the Golan Heights,” the report said, noting that additional stations were planned for northern Syria.

“The technology at the two established SIGNIT stations indicates that Iran’s capabilities are still limited, with little scope for high-level strategic intelligence gathering,” the report said, noting they “appear to concentrate on supplying information to Lebanese Hezbollah,” Iran’s main proxy for terrorism and intelligence-gathering in the region.

Iran also has formed a “cyber command” to conduct both offensive and defensive cyber warfare operations following the June 2010 Stuxnet virus that crippled Iran’s uranium-enrichment infrastructure.

“The success of this virus is an indication of the weakness of Iran’s cyber development,” the report said.

The spy agency was linked to a series of assassinations in the 1990s called the “Chain Murders” that exposed it to western criticism.

According to the report, Russia was active in training Iranian intelligence operations beginning in the 1990s.

The Russian SVR spy service, the successor to the Soviet KGB, trained hundreds of MOIS operatives despite the two agencies’ different doctrines.

The cooperation was based on both nations’ goal of limiting U.S. political influence in Central Asia and efforts to stifle ethnic unrest.

“The SVR trained not only hundreds of Iranian agents but also numerous Russian agents inside Iran to equip Iranian intelligence with signals equipment in their headquarters compound,” the report said.

Iran’s intelligence is also cooperating with al Qaeda despite the Sunni-Shiite differences in religious ideology.

“Cooperation between Iran and al Qaeda is based on their shared opposition to U.S. hegemony in the region—Iraq and Afghanistan, chiefly—and dates to the 1990s,” the report said.

Iran helped a number of al Qaeda terrorists travel safely from Afghanistan to Iran after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The fact that al Qaeda operates in many countries helps Iran achieve its goal of diverting U.S. attention away from Iran’s immediate neighborhood,” the report said. “In return, al Qaeda uses Iran as a place where its facilitators connect al Qaeda’s senior leadership with regional affiliates.”

“Iranians engage in two types of terrorist attacks,” the report said. “One type includes sabotage, espionage, and bombing of target locations, while the other involves the assassination of dissidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both are perpetrated inside and outside of Iran.”

Read more at Free Beacon

Iranians prepare terror campaign inside U.S.

RevGuards-340x168by Michael Carl

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is alive and well in the U.S. and the country’s law enforcement officials ignore them at their peril, according to former U. S. Air Force officer Steven O’Hern.

O’Hern says that the Revolutionary Guard, long an influential factor in the radical Islamic regime in Iran, does most of its surveillance and intelligence gathering through its proxy force, Hezbollah, considered by many to be a terror group.

“In the United States, the Revolutionary Guard uses more than one approach. Hezbollah operatives and sympathizers are present in large numbers in many parts of the United States and actively conduct reconnaissance missions that develop information, photographs, and diagrams of federal buildings, and infrastructure targets,” O’Hern said.

“Those targets include such things as water utilities or electrical substations, and other potential targets to give the Guard the ability to quickly order a terrorist strike in our homeland,” O’Hern said.

He explains that the Revolutionary Guard is working through Shi’a mosques around the United States as well as the nation’s Lebanese immigrant communities.

WND previously reported that a former Iranian official who has knowledge of Iran’s terror network estimated there are more than 40,000 of the regime’s security, intelligence and propaganda forces in the West, largely in friendly South American nations.

And WND has reported that Muslims are using mosques, including some in the United States, as terror command centers.

It is the Guards’ intelligence office that runs financing, recruiting and other strategies through Islamic centers and mosques, including some in New York and Ohio.

And as early as several months ago, the Guard threatened to bring its war to the shores of the United States.

O’Hern, who has written “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” about the issue, said the primary mission of the Iran Revolutionary Guard and its Hezbollah proxy is to weaken the U. S. national security.

“In the United States, the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah have a long-term mission of gathering intelligence on homeland targets and maintaining the capability to deliver multiple terrorist attacks if the IRGC chooses to do so,” O’Hern said. “I say ‘maintain’ because the Guard has already developed it.”

He said attacks could be ordered in retaliation if Iran’s nuclear program is hit, or, “Sleeper cells could even be ordered into action if economic sanctions were so successful that the regime was in danger.”

“Attacks against the U.S. homeland are only one place where the IRGC can strike – it also can attack U.S. troops and facilities in Afghanistan, Africa, Europe, all of which are closer,” O’Hern said.

O’Hern’s findings are affirmed by the analysis of a former Defense Department analyst who has asked not to be named for security reasons. The analyst points to the major Arab-American communities in the major cities, especially in Dearborn, Mich., and the San Francisco Bay area.

“It is my sense that IRGC will rely more on Hezbollah in the U.S. than having their own operatives here. The reason for that is Hezbollah presence is primarily through the concentration of the Arab-American communities, mainly Lebanese, throughout the U.S., such as in Michigan and elsewhere,” the source said.

Former FBI counterterrorism officer and Islam analyst John Guandolo agrees that the Revolutionary Guard has a presence in the United States, and it operates through the major Shi’a communities.

“This is the Iranian government’s military activity in the U.S,” he said.

Guandolo, who established  Guandolo and Associates in 2012, says that when it comes to working to undermine non-Muslim countries, Shi’a and Sunni Muslims work together.

“We do know the Sunni and Shi’a groups that are hostile to the United States are working together. In Lebanon, Iraq, and other places we see Hezbollah, by Iran, and Hamas with al-Qaida, working together on the ground,” Guandolo said.

“In the United States, the largest Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Islamic Society of North America, put forth the ISNA Code of Honor which says Sunni Muslims will not challenge other Muslims, the Shi’a, on their Takfiri, their legitimacy,” Guandolo said.

“All Muslims are focused on a similar goal. In other words, the Muslim world is working towards one goal right now and they have written agreements and are working on the ground around the world together,” Guandolo said, “So, yes, Hamas, CAIR works with Hezbollah, which is basically the IRGC.”

The former Defense Department analyst says the Revolutionary Guard operates the same way worldwide.

“That is similar in Africa and Latin America. Like Iran, Hezbollah is mainly Shi’a, although it will have some Sunnis and even some Christian Lebanese who are sympathetic here,” the former Defense Department analyst said.

“There is a major Hezbollah contingent, for example, in Canada. It would be much easier for Iran to work through them and the extensive Lebanese communities throughout the U.S. than to seek to establish a major independent presence,” the Defense Department analyst said.

Still, he said, it’s possible that the IRGC itself may have operational units working in the United States.

“However, I don’t doubt that IRGC may have some operatives here acting as liaison with the Hezbollah elements here. In Lebanon, the IRGC presence is more open with representatives working out of the Iranian embassy in Beirut,” the Defense Department analyst said.

Read the rest at WND

What Lies Behind Iran’s Nuclear Threat: An interview with Ex-CIA Agent Reza Kahlili

By Jerry Gordon at New English Review:

What follows is a portion of our interview with Reza Kahlili providing insights into the overarching Mahdist doctrine of the Islamic regime’s Supreme Leader and others. The dangers of Iran’s nuclear and WMD programs to Israel and America support and funding of terrorist proxies in the Middle East, Latin America and even cells in America are discussed. Kahlili reveals the deepening hatred of many of Iran’s people to both the regime and its Shiite Mahdist doctrine seeking to create worldwide chaos to foster the re-appearance of 12th Imam Mahdi. Iran’s Supreme Leader under this doctrine would hand the flag to Imam Mahdi to lead the conquest and conversion of the world’s infidels to Islam. Kahlili also speaks about the repercussions of any Israeli pre-emptive attack and the necessity for the US and the West to support regime change in his native Iran. Regime change is earnestly desired by many people in Iran who despise its rulers and Islamic doctrine for their lack of basic freedoms and reduced economic status. Surprisingly as we have found from recent debriefings of travelers to Iran, many people still harbor respect for America and Israel, notwithstanding the failure of the Obama Administration to come to their aid during the uprisings following the June 2009 fraudulent Presidential elections.

You may listen to the entire interview with Kahlili, here.

Jerry Gordon:  Reza Kahlili, thank you for taking time out for this timely interview.

Reza Kahlili:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  You have written extensively on the Mahdist Twelver Islamic doctrine of Iran’s form of Shiism. Could you tell us what that doctrine is and how it guides the actions of the Supreme Leader, the President and his cabinet and leadership of the Revolutionary Guard Corps?

Kahlili:  You see this is embedded within the philosophy on which they act. The Shiites believe that in the end of time Imam Mahdi, the 12th Imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world. This is taught by the clerics, they believe in it and they promote this ideology because in their eyes it’s the ultimate justification where Islam conquers the world and everybody is a Muslim. In every conversation they have, their statements, their actions are representative of that ideology. The majority of the Iranians don’t believe in this. They don’t even see themselves as Muslims. They see themselves as Persians. Even if they respected Islam before the revolution due to cultural customs, now they openly despise Islam. Despise the religion. Despise the clerics and what they said within the Iranian community now cannot be said in America and Europe. There would be ramifications if somebody talked about Islam the way the Iranian people do inside. So we are talking about the minority who are the true believers in Islam and take everything literally from the Quran and martyrdom is welcomed with open arms. They believe that the Islamic regime was put in place by Allah and that the end of days are at hand and their studies of the Hadiths, which are centuries old sayings by prophet Mohammed and his descendants, are representative of what is going to taking shape in the world. They are very excited with what’s happening in the Middle East because they believe these are signs spoken of centuries ago that the end of times is near. The triggers are needed to create that environment for Imam Mahdi to come. Destroying Israel would automatically trigger the coming per the Hadith and in their mind create chaos, havoc, lawlessness, where wars  take place. One third of the world population would die due to wars, another third to hunger and the rest live in lawlessness. This theology drives their actions and policies. That is what I’ve been trying to raise awareness among the public. This is serious. You have to look at the Haghani school and other seminaries in the city of Qom which the founder Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and the Ayatollah Jannati, the powerful chairman of the Guardian Council have established, they promote this idea. Every minister of intelligence has been associated with the Haghani School and they control almost all of the security institutions in the Iranian government. This is a dangerous element that believes they have a mission to create the environment for the coming of the Imam Mahdi. Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution said it himself. He had three goals for the revolution. One was to topple the Shah and the Monarchy, two was to establish an Islamic state and three was to pass the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi. It was said that within the circles of the top officials in Iran that Ayatollah Khamenei is the one who is going to pass the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi so they truly believe in this.

Gordon:  What are the relations between the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guard, its Qod Force and the Basij and their respective roles in the Islamic Republic’s Domestic and External Terrorism Programs?

Kahlili:  The Revolutionary Guards and the Basij and all of the military and security forces are under the control of the Supreme Leader’s office. There cannot be any action done without the approval of the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader has the authority to change any commander at any time as Khamenei has done several times. The Revolutionary Guards though, have great influence in the Iranian economy, a big military force in Iran and have an international operation. Yet, they are under the control of the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader can change commanders at any time. There is a unit within the Revolutionary Guards called Hefazat Etellaat, protection of intelligence. The commander of that unit is chosen by the Supreme Leader and reports directly to his office. The unit acts independent of the Guards command like the SS within the Nazis. This unit is present in every base, in every building and they report directly to the Supreme Leader’s office. Their intention is to have tight control, even over the Revolutionary Guards. I would say every act in Iran right now is an act that has been approved by the Supreme Leader and his office. Even the media outlets. Not a word can be printed without the approval of the security forces.

Gordon:  Could you describe for us the range of external activities of the Qod Force in conducting covert operations in the Middle East and globally?

Kahlili:  The Qod Force’s major operation is to collaborate with terrorist proxies, arm them, transfer explosives, cash, and fund them. They run a drug program and counterfeiting operation. They export drugs to create increased unaccounted funds for the Qod Force’s activities and counterfeiting to destabilize the Western countries by printing and circulating U.S. bonds and dollars. Now they have a grand project called, “Time for the Collapse” in which according to this plan they intend to destabilize the West through their terrorist campaign, money laundering and drug trafficking. They have many connections in Europe, Latin America and Africa and other areas where they collaborate with Hezbollah and drug cartels. The collaboration with drug cartels is directed at gaining greater access via infiltration such as is happening in Mexico and from there into the U.S. They have a very complex operation at the center of which is terrorism and destabilization of the West. They have many cells along with Hezbollah here in the U.S. who are ready to commit terrorist acts should there be a confrontation between U.S. and Iran. They also collaborate with many other governments including Venezuela and have established numerous entities in that country. These are front companies that host explosive labs and terror cells. From Venezuela they expand into Latin America, Mexico and the U.S.

Read it all

More People Must Care about CAIR

Nihad Awad

By Adam Turner:

It has come to my attention that I may be suffering from “CAIRophobia.”

Almost certainly, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), I am already afflicted with “Islamophobia,” which they define as “unfounded fear of and hostility towards Islam. Such fear and hostility leads to discriminations against Muslims, exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political or social process, stereotyping, the presumption of guilt by association, and finally hate crimes.”  Islamophobia is actually a term the Muslim Brotherhood – the granddaddy of all Islamist groups – and their cohorts may have invented to take advantage of the bleeding hearts among the politically correct.  So, if I am suffering from it, I suppose it is just a short hop to also suffering from “CAIRophobia,” which I define as having a very rational fear of CAIR.

I accept this phobia.  In fact, I sure wish some others had CAIRophobia.

CAIR is very busy pressure group these days.  Recently, it demanded that the Pentagon drop a former CIA operative who worked inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, known by his pseudonym of Reza Kahlili, as a lecturer at the Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy.  Although Kahlili is primarily known for teaching, writing and lecturing about the dangers the radical Iranian regime poses to the West, CAIR still felt the need to call for his dismissal for his supposed “anti-Islam agenda” as a former Muslim-turned-Christian.  This is all part of CAIR’S continuing quest to purge the Defense Department and other government departments or agencies of the services of any expert who identifies radical Islam as a major threat to our nation.  CAIR’s public relations “jihads” have been waged against such people as Robert Spencer, John Guandolo, and Matthew Dooley.  In Kahlili’s case, the Pentagon refused to drop him, but it did go out of its way to assure CAIR that Kahlili “does not lecture on or about Islam or any religious treatise, and his personal beliefs are his own.”

CAIR has also recently been hard at work attempting to shame and malign Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and her four congressional compatriots for their letters to the Inspector Generals (IGs) of the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Homeland Security Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  These letters asked the IGs to investigate thoroughly the degree to which members of, or sympathizers with, the Muslim Brotherhood are active in our defense and intelligence communities, and what impact that possible infiltration might be having on our national security.  Through its pressure, CAIR presumably hopes to force the congressional leadership to block any such investigation. Harming the political careers of these Congressmen and intimidating others from ever addressing any issue related to radical Islam is an added benefit.

Further, CAIR, with the help of its left-wing friends at the Associated Press, along with other politically correct leftists, has also sought to embarrass and intimidate the New York Police Department (NYPD) from doing its job: protecting the public of New York City.  The NYPD has found itself in CAIR’s crosshairs because of its continuing surveillance of Muslim people, mosques, etc. in public areas.  Even though going to Muslim-inhabited areas to surveil Muslim terrorists makes as much sense as going to an Italian-American club to surveil possible members of the Italian Mafia or going to an Irish-American bar to surveil potential IRA terrorists, CAIR believes that Muslim Americans deserve the special right not to be surveilled.

The amazing part of all this is that CAIR has an uncanny, Teflon-like ability to avoid mainstream criticism of its own disturbing background.

These are the facts involving CAIR.  CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding caseSome of its members have been indicted and then convicted of terrorism, fraud or other criminal charges.  Research has shown that CAIR does not seem to have much of an American membership, and that it probably relies on funding from other sources, including the now defunct Hamas-funder, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), and potentially illegal foreign funding, especially from Saudi Arabia. CAIR even hit up the despicable Gaddafi regime in Libya for cash.  The executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, participated in a three-day summit of U.S.-based members and supporters of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.  CAIR refused for many years to unequivocally condemn Hezbollah and Palestinian terror organizations by name, even those which are formally designated terror groups by the U.S. and international community. Members of CAIR have also been caught promoting or making anti-Semitic statements. For much more information on CAIR, just see this website devoted to exposing CAIR, which CAIR unsuccessfully attempted to shut down through a defamation lawsuit.

Luckily, there are some other prominent CAIRophobes.  The FBI has severed its ties with CAIR.  Numerous U.S. senators and congressmen have condemned it, including Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Dick Durban.  Numerous judges, FBI agents, and even a U.S. attorney have also weighed in.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

IRAN PREPARING MAHDI’S SPECIAL FORCES

by REZA KAHLILI

The Quds Forces, a special Iranian unit of thousands of operatives tasked with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution, are being told to step up preparations for terrorism for the coming of the last Islamic messiah and the destruction of the West.

Ali Saeedi, the Iranian supreme leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, emphasized during a Friday sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic must directly confront America so that the necessary environment is created for the reappearance of Mahdi, the Shiite’s 12th imam, who will kill all infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

 “In three points of history, God directly confronts the will of unruly humans in which, of course, the Right will overcome the False,” Saeedi said, according to the Sepah News, the Guards’ official publication. “The first point in history was during the era of pharaoh, the second era was Bani Abbas, and the third is our current era in which it seems that God has willed us to enlighten the world with the coming of Imam Mahdi.”

Saeedi, “Many of the signs [necessary] for the coming have taken place during the previous years; however, the main sign will take place right before the coming.”

There are five levels of readiness that have to be prepared for the coming, he said: “Individual readiness, the readiness for creating the environment, systematic readiness, the readiness in the region and the international readiness. This means Occupy Wall Street must take place, the Americans must lose hope with the Democratic Party and others, and lose faith in the U.N., while at the same time the unraveling in the Middle East, which was not ripe before, must have taken place before the coming.”

This is the first time a high-ranking Iranian official has stated on the record that the Quds Forces are not only involved in the region, but also internationally for a final confrontation with the West.

“The Revolutionary Guards are one vehicle for preparation for the coming, and in the current Islamic Awakening [the Arab Spring] in the region and on international arena, the Quds Forces play a major role in preparing the readiness of the human force needed for such an event,” Saeedi said. “The chief commander of the Guards and the supreme leader’s representative are tasked for preparing the individual readiness, regional readiness as well as international readiness for the coming.”

In another Guards’ weekly publication, Sobhe Sadegh, a front-page analysis explains that the opening of Iran’s geopolitics and the empowerment of its Islamic power are a reality in which Iran’s influence has expanded not only in the region, but also in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Asia and even in Europe and America.

As was the fall of socialism and the Eastern bloc, the analysis promises, so will be the fall of the capitalism and liberal democracy.

The analysis refers to the statements of the founder of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:

  • “I say with all certainty that the 21st century will be the century of Islam.”
  • “I say with all certainty that Islam will conquer all key entrenchments of the world.”
  • “I say with all certainty that Islam will defeat all world powers.”
  • “I say with all certainty that the 21st century is the century where the oppressed will be victorious over the oppressors.”

Read more at WND

 
Reza Kahlili translated this Iranian video about Islamic prophecies of a coming messiah and the destruction of Israel:

Reza Kahlili: Why we need regime change Iran

 

Published on Jul 10, 2012 by    

Reza Kahlili is without question the most authoritative voice speaking out against the Iranian regime and their apocalyptic Islamic theology.
(July 10, 2012) Todd Feinburg – WRKO Boston