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Why Iran Should Get the Bomb: Not a Typo

by David Harris

When I first saw the headline in the current issue (July/August 2012) of Foreign Affairs – "Why Iran Should Get the Bomb" – I thought there was a typo. Surely it was meant to read "Why Iran Should Get the Bomb – Not!"

But then I remembered that this bimonthly journal is not known for its typos – nor, for that matter, irony.

On the contrary, this is arguably the world's most influential and straight-shooting publication on foreign policy.

The author of this particular essay, Kenneth Waltz, is no slouch, either. He is a prominent scholar and a founder of the neorealism school in international relations theory.

So I turned to the piece, eager to see if my own longstanding concern about an Iranian bomb was perhaps misplaced.

I was dumbfounded by what I read.

Here are a few choice snippets:

"Most U.S., European, and Israeli commentators and policymakers warn that a nuclear-armed Iran would be the worst possible outcome of the current standoff. In fact, it would probably be the best possible result: the one most likely to restore stability to the Middle East."

"Another oft-touted worry is that if Iran obtains the bomb, other states in the region will follow suit, leading to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.... Should Iran become the second Middle Eastern nuclear power since 1945, it would hardly signal the start of a landslide.... No other country in the region will have an incentive to acquire its own nuclear capability, and the current crisis will finally dissipate, leading to a Middle East that is more stable than it is today."

"Diplomacy between Iran and the major powers should continue.... But the current sanctions on Iran can be dropped: they primarily harm ordinary Iranians, with little purpose."

And then there's Waltz's closing line: "When it comes to nuclear weapons, now as ever, more may be better."

In essence, Waltz constructs his argument on two pillars.

First, he asserts the core problem in the Middle East is Israel's nuclear arsenal, which needs to be balanced by another power, in this case Iran.

And second, he believes such a balance of power inherently stabilizes the situation, thereby reducing, not increasing, the risk of conflict.

He could not be more wrong on Iran.

Iran does not fit the theoretical template, drawn from his research, that he seeks to impose on it, and the consequences of this misreading could be profound.

First, Waltz declares that Iran's leaders are rational, hence no need for concern about a nuclear bomb in their hands.

Really?

Just because Waltz deems them to be dependable actors who, he asserts, will behave like others moderated by their possession of a nuclear bomb (does that include North Korea's strongmen?), are we all now to go home and get a good night's sleep?

Is their Shiite eschatology, focused on hastening the coming of the Hidden Imam, not to be taken into account, as if there were no place for state ideology in the discussion?

Apropos, is it just possible that their vision of the "end of days" could be accelerated by a world without Israel? After all, the former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, famously declared "[T]he use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel would destroy everything."

Could that kind of thinking not prompt Iranian leaders, living in a self-imposed cocoon, to conclude that the risk might be worth the reward?

Was their recruitment of young Iranian boys as would-be bomb sappers in the eight-year war with Iraq, and armed only with plastic keys to enter "heaven" and the awaiting 72 virgins, the behavior of a "rational" government?

Was the plot to blow up a Washington restaurant and kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. the thinking of a predictable regime?

Second, Waltz's confidence that there would be no "landslide" of proliferation in the Middle East if Iran goes nuclear is belied by the facts.

He totally ignores the regional context. There is no mention of the critically important Shiite-Sunni rivalry. He inexplicably fails to note the panic in neighboring Arab countries, documented in Wikileaks and elsewhere, about the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Is it conceivable that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and, for that matter, Turkey would sit idly by and watch neighboring Iran become a nuclear power without following suit -- and with all the attendant consequences?

The prospect of such a neighborhood hegemon sends shivers up the spines of everyone in the region, save Iran's few friends, such as Bashar al-Assad's Syria, and those already too "Finlandized" by Iran's growing assertiveness to speak up.

And, speaking of proliferation, Waltz unconvincingly dismisses the possibility of Iran passing along its nuclear technology to terrorist groups, and entirely ignores the prospect of Tehran sharing nuclear tidbits with state actors, such as Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

Third, Israel's nuclear arsenal, believed to have been developed over 50 years ago, has not created the strategic imbalance that Waltz suggests needs recalibrating.

Indeed, that reported arsenal neither stopped Egypt and Syria from provoking war in 1967, nor launching a surprise attack against Israel in 1973.

Nor did it halt the PLO from waging its terrorism campaign.

Nor did it dissuade Hamas and Islamic Jihad from firing thousands of missiles and rockets at Israel.

Nor did it block Hezbollah from triggering a war with Israel from its redoubt in Lebanon.

Moreover, unlike Iran, Israel has never threatened another nation with extinction.

Thus, to put Israel and Iran in the same boat, as Waltz does, is utterly irresponsible.

And finally, Waltz calls for the continuation of diplomacy with Iran and the end of sanctions. Huh?

Drop the sanctions, as Waltz suggests, and we will have precisely the outcome he invites – a nuclear-armed, chest-thumping Iran, convinced, not without good reason, that it had masterfully manipulated a gullible world. At that point, what useful purpose could diplomacy serve?

As the P5+1 faces the growing prospect of failed talks with Iran, there will doubtless be more calls from the likes of Waltz for some dramatic accommodation with Tehran.

Nothing could be more dangerous for regional and global stability.

And nothing would better prove our inability to learn the lessons of history than, to borrow from the title of Barbara Tuchman's book, such a march of folly.

 

Peace and Love in Egypt : The Presidential Race is On

by Gadi Adelman

The three top Egyptian Presidential candidates exude the peace the Arab Spring has brought us.

Fotouh: “Israel is an enemy.”

Morsi: “Jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal”.

Moussa: “Most of our people consider it [Israel] an enemy”.

When Egypt's election commission published the final list of those who will be allowed to run in the first presidential election since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak last year, the list ended up with 13 names out of 23 that had initially applied.Two high-profile candidates have been barred, Omar Suleiman, the former vice president and spy chief under Hosni Mubarak and Khairat al-Shater, the main nominee of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Suleiman was deemed ineligible because he had not submitted enough endorsing signatures to qualify. Shater was disqualified because he had been imprisoned and Egyptian law bans criminal convicts from running for president. After Shater was disqualified the Muslim Brotherhood nominated their backup, Mohamed Morsi, the Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.

Two others of the Egyptian presidential front-runners faced off during the country's first televised presidential debate on Thursday. The hot topics were religion, Islamic law and Israel.

Amr Moussa, shown left,  faced off against Abdel Fotouh and the statements these two made and the points they agreed on give us a view to Egypt’s as well as the Middle East’s future. Moussa is the one-time Arab League chief and former foreign minister under Hosni Mubarak. Moussa is considered to be a moderate, and many experts see him as the favorite for Egyptians. If this guy is the “moderate” we need not look for a radical.

The Islamist candidate, Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh is a former leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who many fear will impose an Islamic state should he be elected. Fotouh was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau from 1987 - 2009. In 2011 he formally quit all political work with the Muslim Brotherhood and resigned from its membership, when he decided to run for president.

Do I really need to explain what will come of Egypt after these elections? I have been writing and speaking out on this since before the previous President, Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

During the debate, both candidates agreed that the constitution should be guided by Sharia, or Islamic law. That, in and of itself, should be enough to make any one shudder who understands Sharia.

At one point Moussa asked Fotouh about religious freedom and Christianity, as reported by Egypt’s Ahram online,

“You once said in a televised interview that Muslims can convert to Christianity and vice versa... is this still your position?”

Abul-Fotouh, taken aback, waffled at first and then stressed the importance of freedom of belief and of a moderate understanding of Islam. He, however, fought back and attempted to corner Moussa and paint him as too secular.

Moussa was twice asked: “What do you mean by the general principles of Sharia?” After equivocating, the one-time Arab League chief insisted that the general principles of Islamic Sharia law, as they existed in the 1971 constitution, should be applied.

“We want to know your vision about applying Sharia law, especially as you are now backed by radical Islamist groups; and in politics nothing is for free, there must be a deal and we need to know,” Moussa shot back.

It seems like a comedy and if it weren’t true it might actually be laughable. One radical candidate accusing the other of being “now backed by radical Islamist groups”.

When it comes to Israel and the peace treaty that has been in place with Egypt since 1979 they agree wholeheartedly,

Abul-Fotouh, shown right, stated, “Israel is an enemy which is built on occupation, owns 200 nuclear warheads, doesn't respect international decisions and attacks religious symbols. The majority of Egyptians are enemies of Israel. The agreement with Israel should be revised and the sections which are against our interests should be removed immediately and only what's in our interests should stay.”

He also called Israel a “racist state” during an interview Saturday with the private Egyptian CBC satellite station; he said he had opposed the treaty since its implementation.

“I still view the peace treaty as a national security threat to Egypt, and it must be revised.”

What’s more, he said that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's assassination by US Special Forces was an act of “state terrorism”. Yeah, I can already see the love this guy has for the U.S.

Moussa has also been a critic of Israel both as foreign minister and Arab League chief and agreed that most Egyptians view the Jewish state as an enemy,

“We have lots of disagreements. Most of our people consider it an enemy, but the responsibility of the president is to deal with such things responsibly and not run after hot-headed slogans.”

According to Ahram online the highlight of the show was when Moussa described Iran as an Arab country, Fotouh stated,

“Our relationship with Iran is based on our own independence. I am not against a relationship with Iran provided it doesn’t proselytize the Shia faith in Egypt and likewise we shouldn’t try to spread the Sunni faith there.”

Moussa had a short answer, wrong, but short,

“I am against a war with Iran. Iran is an Arab country! And we have to listen and talk.”

Mr. Moussa, far be it for me to correct you, a former foreign minister of Egypt and Secretary General of the League of Arab States, but… Iran is not an Arab country and if you really want to tick off an Iranian, tell him he is.

The third front runner for the President of Egypt is no different from the other two when it comes to Sharia and Israel. Mohamed Morsi, left, as I mentioned earlier, was the Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.

The NY Times wrote of him back in April,

Mr. Morsi has campaigned explicitly both as a more conservative Islamist and as a loyal executor of Mr. Shater’s plans.

In a speech before Cairo University students just this past Saturday night, Morsi stated such loving lines; I have to admit that I myself cannot choose between these three gems. He stated,

“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”

“Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels.”

“Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals.”

The first round of Egypt’s presidential election is scheduled for May 23 and 24. The president will be elected to a four-year term.

There are a total of 13 candidates for the President of Egypt and we all know how lucky 13 is, but the 3 above are the frontrunners and more than likely one of them will emerge the victor.

But I guess we really have nothing to worry about, our administration knows what they are doing when it comes to Egypt. Let’s not forget that Obama bypassed Congress and gave them over $1.5 billion in aid of your tax dollars just this past March.

As was reported by the Washington Post on March 22,

The Obama administration has decided to resume funding for Egypt’s military and will bypass congressional requirements that U.S. officials certify the country’s progress toward democracy, according to Capitol Hill aides.

This year’s allocation of aid — more than $1.5 billion, with the bulk earmarked for the military — was withheld amid the country’s crackdown on pro-democracy groups, including several U.S.-based organizations with close ties to political parties in Washington.

Yes, we’re in good hands. What could possibly go wrong?  After all, 13 is such a lucky number.

Gadi Adelman is a speaker on terrorism, jihad, sharia and Islam. He is a contributing editor for the Family Security Matters website as well as writing for Conservative Camp, Faith for Freedom, Gold Coast Chronicle and Pronline news. He has his own weekly radio show "America Akbar" that can be heard on the Radio Jihad network.

Aftermath of a Deadly Leak

by Ryan Mauro

In early April, I wrote that the senior U.S. officials who told Mark Perry of Foreign Policy that Azerbaijan agreed to let Israeli aircraft land in its territory could have blood on their hands, since regardless of whether the leaked story was true or not, Iran would send a warning shot towards Azerbaijan.

Only days after the story was published, Azerbaijan arrested 17 Al-Qaeda operatives with links to Iran as they were about to carry out terrorist attacks. One Azeri officer was killed and three were wounded during the sweep.

Mark Perry’s article was published on March 28. On April 6, Azerbaijan announced the arrests and said that the Al-Qaeda terrorists were planning to attack police, mosques and shrines. Some had undergone two months of training in Iran and were armed there. Others were indoctrinated in Syria and still others had been trained in Pakistan and had fought NATO troops in Afghanistan. Already in February, European officials warned that Iran and Al-Qaeda were tightening their relationship in order to carry out attacks on common enemies.

Although it can’t be proven that Iran had a direct role in the Al-Qaeda plot, the timing points to it. We know that in January, Iran paid at least two terrorists $150,000 to attack the Israeli ambassador, a rabbi and a teacher at a Jewish school in Azerbaijan. The cell leader met with Iranian intelligence. In March, Azerbaijan rounded up 22 terrorists that were trained near Tehran by the Revolutionary Guards to carry out a wave of terror attacks that were to include the U.S. and Israeli embassies, among other targets. Iranian hackers struck Azeri websites after the arrests.   

There’s no proof that Iran had a direct role in this Al-Qaeda plot, but the timing is curious, and it fits into this pattern. Iran cannot convincingly deny that it knows about Al-Qaeda’s training and organizing in its country. If the regime is able to stop tens of millions of Iranians from organizing protests, it’s hard to believe that the Iranian regime is unable to detect a network of foreigners belonging to the most high-profile terrorist group in the world.

The problem with state-sponsored terrorism is that, in many cases, we won’t know for sure if/how a government is involved. When Iran and Hezbollah decided to blow up the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan in 2008, they reached out to local militants for cover. In December, District Judge George Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah contributed materially to the 9/11 attacks behind-the-scenes.

If Iran was involved in this latest terror scheme, it could be argued that it was planned before the Foreign Policy story. It’s hard to know for sure, but officials leaking stories like this need to be fired and, when necessary, prosecuted. The Iranian regime isn’t going to just shrug its shoulders. It’s going to respond, and this latest Al-Qaeda plot could very well be a part of that response.

H/T to Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard for reporting on these latest arrests.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent security analyst for Fox News.

Where are the Media? Yet Another Iranian Terror Plot Foiled

by Ryan Mauro

A Kuwaiti newspaper has broken the story that yet another Iranian-orchestrated, Hezbollah-implemented terrorist plot was foiled this week. A cell of three terrorist operatives was arrested in Singapore as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was visiting the country. They were planning on killing him in his hotel.

The ADD of the West, especially its media, is making it miss a point I made in a recent column I wrote on this website titled, Iran's Recent Terror Assault Barely News, Iran is becoming more and more aggressive as its nuclear program advances and as international pressure increases.

The full scope of what Iran has been up to is being missed because of the lightning-speed of the news cycle. Consider what happened just this month:

  • The aforementioned plot to assassinate the Israeli Defense Minister in Singapore was foiled.
  • Plots to simultaneously kill Israeli diplomats in the nation of Georgia and India were stopped.
  • An Iranian terrorist threw grenades after an accidental explosion foiled his cell’s plot to attack Israeli diplomats.
  • The West received intelligence about a joint plot by Iran and Al-Qaeda to carry out a “spectacular” attack, likely in Europe.

And before this month:

  • In January, a plot likely aimed at Israeli tourists was foiled in Thailand.
  • In November, an Iranian plot to carry out a wave of dramatic attacks against high-profile targets in Bahrain was stopped.
  • In October, the U.S. stopped an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. by blowing up a restaurant he was to dine at. The plotters also discussed attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the U.S. and Argentina.

Is there any wonder why Israel is considering military action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

Sun, June 15, 2014 3 Israeli Teenagers, One of them American, Kidnapped by Hamas

The three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, last seen on Thursday night.

The three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, last seen on Thursday night.

Three Israeli high school students have been kidnapped by Islamist terrorists. They were last seen on Thursday night at around 10:30 near the Gush Etzion area south of Jerusalem. One of those kidnapped is an American citizen.

The names of the kidnapped students have been released. They are: Eyal Yifrah, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, 16 (who holds duel American-Israeli citizenship). 

Israel has detained at least 80 terrorist suspects as part of its investigation, including several high ranking Hamas members. Palestinian authorities estimated the number at over 100.  Large numbers of infantry have been deployed and house-to-house searches were being conducted in the disputed territories west of the Jordan River. The operation is now entering into its third day. Palestinian Authority security forces have been coordinating with Israel in the search.

Meanwhile, in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip there were reports of celebrations at the news of the kidnapping of the teenagers. On Palestinian news sites pictures were posted of citizens passing out sweets to celebrate. 

The Israeli army confirmed that Hamas was behind the kidnapping.

Yesterday Hamas fired four rockets at Israel from Gaza to which Israel responded with targeted airstrikes on Hamas' military infrastucture.

In a press statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday morning, "Today I can say what I refrained from saying yesterday ahead of the wave of arrests that captured Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria. Hamas men carried out the kidnapping." When asked about Netanyahu's remarks, a Hamas spokesman would neither confirm nor deny Hamas involvement. 

The Dawlat al-Islam group also issued a statement claiming responsibility for the abductions.  They distributed flyers in Arabic boasting of their success in kidnapping the students. Dawlat al-Islam is a subsidiary of ISIS, the former al-Qaeda group seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Over the last few days ISIS has made sweeping gains across Iraq. Dawlat al-Islam signed the flyers as, "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Palestine, The West Bank."

An online petition on the White House website is calling on the American government "to use any and all means necessary to facilitate the safe return of these three innocent teenagers, including the withholding of all government funds from the PA." When the petition reaches 100,000, the government is required to issue a response. At press time the petition had reached 99,955 signatures.

Tue, May 29, 2012 'Flaming' Attack on Iran

by: 
Ryan Mauro

An extremely advanced cyber attack, dubbed "The Flame," has been detected in seven Middle Eastern countries. To no one’s surprise, Iran is, by far, the Number 1 target of the intelligence-gathering malware. The CEO of Kaspersky Lab says Flame is 20 times as complex as the Stuxnet malware that did serious damage to Iran’s nuclear program, making it the most sophisticated cyber attack on record.

Experts agree that Flame was most certainly created by a government, drawing immediate suspicion to Israel and possibly the U.S. It has been infecting computer systems in the Middle East since February or March 2010 and was only detected just now. Its authors’ primary target is Iran, where 189 infections have been counted.

The second biggest target is Israel and the Palestinian territories (98 infections), followed by Sudan (32), Syria (30), Lebanon (18), Saudi Arabia (10) and Egypt (5). The purpose of the malware appears to be information-gathering and not sabotage, but little is known at this point.  Kaspersky says that “Flame can sniff network traffic, take screenshots, record audio conversations, intercept a keyboard and more.”

In late April, Iran announced that its oil industry had come under cyber attack, specifically its Ministry of Oil and a terminal in Kharg Island where 80% of Iran’s oil exports are sent from. Iran admitted that “data related to some of the users have been compromised,” and two government oil-related ministries were taken down by the attackers. The objective appears to have again been intelligence-gathering and perhaps to frighten the regime.

In March, Symantec found out that the operators of the “Duqu” attack, the follow-up to Stuxnet, continued to modify and deploy it even after it was discovered

On January 11, an Iranian nuclear scientist that worked at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility was assassinated. Since then, at least 10 high-level Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen have died unexpectedly, many in “apparently violent circumstances.” According to Israel National News, these incidents include a close relative of Supreme Leader Khamenei suffering a fatal heart attack, two officials dying in car accidents and two being blatantly murdered. The report attributes their deaths to “tension over those [regime business] holdings,” but based on the pattern of apparent covert operations against Iran.

I’m not convinced.

In January, the Israeli military’s chief of staff predicted that 2012 would be a “critical year” in handling the Iranian threat and that there will be “events that happen unnaturally.” He wasn’t taking a guess.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

 

Thu, May 17, 2012 Iran Boasts About End to US-Israel Alliance

by: 
Ryan Mauro

An Iranian newspaper tied to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently boasted that the U.S. has “rejected” Israel over the past three months. This belief could have disastrous consequences. The author writes that the only “obstacle” remaining is the Saudi Royal Family and once it falls, Israel can be destroyed.

“It can be said that within the last 60 years, this is the first time that the Zionist regime, since its illegal inception, has had to endure rejection by the West over its vision and interest in the region,” wrote Sadollah Zarei, according to a translation by Reza Kahlili.

It’s easy to see why Iran has picked up on this fact, which Democrats have desperately tried to deny throughout Obama’s tenure. Headline after headline is about the U.S. trying to hold Israel back. In March, an anonymous administration official told the Washington Post, “We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel.”

There’s been a steady stream of leaks from administration officials potentially damaging Israel. On March 28, Foreign Policy reported on the alleged existence of a secret agreement between Israel and Azerbaijan making the latter’s airbases available for a potential strike on Iran. The results of a classified war game simulating a conflict between Israel and Iran that showed hundreds of U.S. casualties made its way into the press. Another report claimed that Israel is using members of the MEK Iranian opposition group to target Iran’s nuclear scientists.

The author attributes the change in U.S. policy to recognition of Iranian strength because of the Arab Spring, which he refers to as the “Islamic Awakening.” He specifically mentions the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent takeover of the country by Islamist forces. Zarei also claims that the U.S. is “on the verge of accepting the Iranian nuclear program” and points to statements by Israeli officials that Iran is “rational” as proof that the Israeli government is weakening.

Don’t let the fact that Iran is Shiite and the Muslim Brotherhoodand Salafists are Sunni fool you. The two forces may be battling in Syria, but the Iranian regime still believes that its rise is a fulfillment of Islamic End Times prophecy. Last year, Ahmadinejad’s office produced a documentary titled The Coming Is Upon Us. It outlined how it views its role in Islamic prophecy and plainly states that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendance is “in accordance with the Hadith.”

In February, Khamenei declared, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help.” This should be seen as an overture to the Muslim Brotherhood. The film states that the destruction of Israel is preceded by the creation of an anti-Western Arab coalition.

Arguably the most important line in Zarei’s column is this: “With diminishing support for Israel and with the (upcoming) collapse of the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, there won’t be any obstacles left facing Iran with its policy of annihilation of Israel.”

This statement echoes what the apocalyptic documentary said. In The Coming Is Upon Us, the regime teaches that the death of Saudi King Abdullah will be a fulfillment of prophecy and one of the last precursors to Israel’s destruction. Saudi Arabia will be consumed with internal turmoil until the Mahdi appears to vanquish Islam’s enemies. King Abdullah is at least 87 years old.

In August, a Hezbollah MP in Lebanon, retired Brigadier-General Walid Sakariya, stated that two other things must happen before the final war to destroy Israel can begin: U.S. forces must leave Iraq and the Assad regime in Syria must be secure. The first objective has been completed.

President Ahmadinejad recently stated the war is not necessary to destroy Israel if the Arab world unites against it. However, the voices describing such a war in detail are getting louder.

In February, the deputy-commander of the Iranian military announced a change in policy. “Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” he said.

Around the same time, the director of the parliament’s research institute, Ahmed Tavakoli, said Iran should attack Israel by the end of the year, urging the regime to take advantage of the political climate in the U.S. Tavakoli said that Iranian missiles could pummel the coastal area to the south of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in order to degrade Israel’s retaliatory capacity. He said that the Dimona nuclear reactor and a smaller reactor south of Tel Aviv must also be destroyed.

That same month, the former governor of Kish Province and pro-Khamenei strategist, Alireza Forghani, went even further and outlined a strategy of genocide against the Jewish population of Israel. His analysis was reposted at several other regime websites, most notably the Fars News Agency operated by the Revolutionary Guards.

Forghani said that Shahab-3 missiles could destroy Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, eliminating 60% of the Jews in Israel. Nuclear reactors, air force bases and airbases should be targeted in the first wave by Sejil missiles. Secondary targets would include power plants, communication sites, transportation sites and sewage treatment facilities. Altogether, he said, it would take about nine minutes. He strongly recommended that the attack happen before 2014. That is when Ahmadinejad’s term ends.

This genocidal madness was endorsed by Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, an influential hardline cleric. Reza Kahlili reports that he recently ruled that all Israelis who did not oppose the country’s “vicious crimes” are legitimate targets. Mesbah-Yazdi has written in support of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and one of his disciples issued a fatwa in 2006 justifying their use.

Policymakers need to recognize that public tensions between the U.S. and Israel and displays of American weakness reinforce the regime’s beliefs. In The Coming Is Upon Us, the regime uses quotes from U.S. officials stating that there is no viable military option against Iran as proof that prophecy is being fulfilled.

No good comes from making Iran believe that the U.S. isn’t interested in defending Israel.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

This article appeared originally on FrontPageMage.com

Thu, May 3, 2012 Iran Smarts Under 6-Month Unabated Cyber War

by: 
Reza Kahlili

Iran is blaming the U.S., U.K. and Israel for the new cyber attack that struck the Internet and communications systems of its Oil Ministry and national oil company, Iranian media has announced. The Islamic regime says the West is not only going after its nuclear facilities, now it's going after its economy.

The regime said it immediately disconnected all Internet systems at its main oil export terminal at Kharq Island. Iranian officials last November acknowledged that a second computer virus, named Duqu and labeled "Son of Stuxnet," had spread to Iranian nuclear sites and other facilities.

Duqu uses much of the same codes as the 2010 Stuxnet, but instead of destroying the system it affects, it penetrates the system and creates "back door" vulnerabilities that can destroy the networks at the command of its creators at a chosen time.

The Stuxnet virus, which originally infected Iranian nuclear facilities, interrupted both the Natanz enrichment facility, where over 1,000 centrifuges were destroyed, and the Bushehr nuclear power plant, where it caused major operational delays. Iranian officials blamed the earlier attacks on the U.S. and Israel.

At the time, Iran announced that it would retaliate, and an editorial in Iran's Keyhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of Iran's supreme leader, warned that "Americans are under the (mistaken) impression that they are the only ones who can strike violent blows against their most ardent opponents and not sustain any damage. America needs to worry about an unknown player, sitting in some corner of the world, who would launch an attack on America's infrastructure."

A special report on Iran's media outlet Irannuc.ir on Wednesday indicated that the cyber warfare against Iran has now intensified.

The report reveals that after the recent cyber attack on Iran's oil infrastructure, information has been obtained that a joint team from the U.S., U.K. and Israel was behind the most recent attack.

"It has been six months that almost every day there has been a big cyber attack, which has so far been neutralized," the editorial said, citing an informed expert. "The aggressors have tried hard to protect their identity, but Iranian experts have now concluded that, one, these attacks are taking place from special units within the Israeli army and intelligence with full knowledge of its government, and two, America and England have provided full technical assistance for these attacks. Even NSA (America's National Security Agency) has formed a special unit for cyber warfare on Iran, and MI5 (England's intelligence service) also has provided technicians and assistance to Israel to conduct these attacks."

The editorial, citing the expert, points to an important change in tactics by the West: "In the past six months, the cyber attacks by the West, instead of on our military and nuclear installations, have been focused on economic installations. The purpose for such refocus is to create problems and interruption for services for the people and therefore create dissatisfaction among the populace."

The West is having a hard time achieving its goals as most of Iran's essential industries work offline and are not connected to the Internet, the expert told the media outlet, and the only way to infect those are by agents on the ground.

"It is important to note that the recent attacks on Iran's facilities by Israel, England and the U.S. are a reaction to attacks on their own infrastructure," the editorial said, citing the expert.

As reported last year, the Islamic regime has concluded that the U.S. power grids represent the best opportunity for a cyber attack, as more U.S. utilities are moving their control systems to the Internet and using smart-grid technology.

Security specialists warned Congress Thursday that Iran is recruiting an army of hackers to target the U.S. power grid, water systems and other facilities for a cyber attack.

Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told the House Homeland Security subcommittee: "Over the past three years, the Iranian regime has invested heavily in both defensive and offensive capabilities. Equally significant, its leaders now increasingly appear to view cyber warfare as a potential avenue of action against the United States."

Berman warned that in the coming months as America confronts Iran's nuclear program, there is a potential for retaliation by the Iranian regime at vital U.S. infrastructure facilities, with devastating effects.

According to reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, America's power grid remains vulnerable to cyber attack, a result of slow implementation of computer security standards. A successful cyber attack on the North American power grid systems could disrupt the economy and possibly create a national trauma.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board member of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

This article appeared originally on AmericanThinker.Com

Mon, April 23, 2012 Iran: Obama Should Avoid Carter's Outcome

by Reza Kahlili

With Iran claiming victory over the West in the 5+1 nuclear negotiations last week in Istanbul, officials of the Islamic regime are again increasing the war rhetoric, vowing that they will not step back from their nuclear program.  

And in any military confrontation, Iran's response will be more devastating than imagined, it warned.

At the same time, Iran is calling for the removal of sanctions, calling this the only viable option left for President Obama to save himself.

"The only path left for Obama to avoid a big loss to the Republicans in the upcoming election is to compromise with Iran and immediately remove all sanctions to allow big American oil companies to participate in the Iranian oil and gas projects," said a recent analysis on the Iranian outlet Fadaeian Islam (Devotees of Islam).

"Obama is on a steep decline where his fall is imminent, and even if there is no confrontation with Iran, the oil prices will soon go up by more than $30 (a barrel), which will surely seal the loss of the Democrats in the upcoming elections," the analysis added.  "The result of the sanctions on Iran will be less investment in the production of oil in Iran and an automatic rise in prices with a terrible outcome for America, increasing its unemployment."

The unsigned analysis concluded that Obama is in the same "terrible situation" as President Carter was when Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.  "The interesting point is that just like Carter, Obama's future is dependent on his approach with Iran, something that did not work well for Carter."

Meanwhile, Iranian generals did the bidding of the regime according to its war rhetoric.  If war should erupt, "Iran will deliver a much stronger strike, more devastating and concise to the enemy," the head of the Iranian army, Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, said in an interview with the Keyhan newspaper, an outlet under the direct supervision of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"It has been a while that we have witnessed the drums of war by America and Israel against Iran," Pourdastan said, "but when we analyze their statements, we can see that it is more of a bluff and that they currently do not have the ability to engage in war with Iran."

Pourdastan disparages Israel, saying its army was defeated and demeaned in the 2006 33-day war with Hezb'allah and the 2009 22-day war in Gaza, though they used all their military capabilities.  "The Israeli army has lost its moral guide, and there is [sic] a lot of internal divisions within that country, and their statements of war against Iran are just to divert attention from their internal rifts," he said.

As for America, its occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq "was with the intention of opening new fronts on Iran and Syria, but we saw how the Americans were defeated in Iraq and had to pack their bags and leave Iraq," Pourdastan said.  "But the Americans are facing several problems not only in the region but at home where their economy is in taters and will not allow them to risk another war."

However, the general said, Iran is prepared for war, and America's military superiority will not necessarily guarantee its victory.  One way to combat a superior force is to raise the stakes for the enemy, and Iran today is capable of attacking all of America's interests worldwide with devastating consequences for the U.S., Pourdastan said.

Another Iranian general, Ataollah Salehi, warned U.S. aircraft carriers not to enter certain areas in the Persian Gulf designated by the Iranian naval forces as areas of threats to Iran.

"The passage of U.S. aircraft carriers through the Persian Gulf is a publicity stunt and has no military value," Salehi said.  "They are soft targets for us."

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board member of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

This article appeared originally on AmericanThinker.com

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