Category Archives: Iran

What Iran shows us about the global jihadist movement

According to the very State Department that pushed so hard for the Obama administration’s Iran appeasement deal, that same nation upon whom we have lavished over $100 billion, lobbied on behalf of and promised protection of its nuclear infrastructure, remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.While many are aware of the pernicious activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard across the globe, and the Khameinist regime’s support of Shia jihadist groups like Hezbollah, lesser discussed is Iranian collaboration with Sunni jihadists.

For the latest evidence of an alliance that might surprise those who view Sunni and Shia Muslims as diametrically opposed mortal enemies, look no further than the recent news out of the U.S. Treasury Department.

As reported in the always-insightful Omri Ceren’s latest dispatch, Treasury announced that it was imposing sanctions on three senior Al Qaeda members stationed in Iran.

According to the Treasury press release, it took such action to “disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al-Qaida move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East.”

As Ceren highlights, one such Al Qaeda operative, Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn, controlled the financing and organization of Al Qaeda in Iran.

Another operative, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi, engaged in direct dialogue with the Iranian government, serving as a mediator. He was “reportedly involved in freeing al-Qaida members in Iran.”

It strains credulity to believe that a closed Shia nation like Iran, often competing against Sunni forces, would be unaware of Al Qaeda officers within its borders. And in this case we have clear evidence that it was comfortable with Al Qaeda operating on its soil because Iranian authorities were negotiating with the aforementioned Bayumi.

What are we to make of this revelation?

While Sunni and Shia Islamic supremacists may differ in terms of theology, strategies and tactics, their overarching goals are very much aligned – namely ensuring the dominance of Islam throughout the world by killing the infidel or forcing him to submit, with a focus on the “Great” and “Little Satans” of the United States and Israel.

The case of Israel, threatened by Sunni jihadists like Hamas on the one hand, and Shia jihadists like Hezbollah on the other, is most illustrative of this fact.

Another element of this story is relevant in light of the fact that 9/11 is again a live subject now that the federal government has finally released the 28 pages of its report regarding Saudi involvement in the attack.

Much though such ties have been ignored in our Ben Rhodes fantasy world, there is ample compelling evidence indicating Iranian support for the 9/11 attack as well.

In fact in 2011, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels held in Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al. that “Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported Al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks,” holding the Islamic Republic responsible for damages to family members of the attack’s victims.

The facts and findings of that court case detail chapter and verse the extensive ties between Iran and its proxies and Sunni jihadists spanning multiple decades and covering all manner of operations and activities. Some of the key high-level findings from page 15 of the report are chronicled below:

Bridging the divide

Foreign policy necessarily involves dealing with hostile regimes, and sometimes making common cause with them in order to advance greater interests.

But there is little to indicate that as concerns the global jihadist threat, comprised of state and non-state actors Sunni and Shia each with competing but often overlapping interests and motivations, that America has the faintest clue as to how best to proceed in its national interest, whether in the form of the 9/11-tied Saudis or the 9/11-tied Iranians.

With great regularity we appear to be on every side of every conflict, evincing a lack of clarity about ourselves and our enemies.

For the jihadists are playing a game of “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

They know what they want and are doing everything in their power to achieve it. Does America?

– See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/what-iran-shows-us-about-the-global-jihadist-movement#sthash.XRDi0Cjo.dpuf

Obama ignoring intel that points to Iran buying nuke and missile materials

hello-iran

See no evil, hear no evil seems to be the watchword of the Obama administration when it comes to Iranian cheating on the president’s pride and joy; the deal that’s supposed to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.

The Washington Free Beacon has learned that Germany has passed along intelligence to the US government indicating that Iran is still buying nuclear materials that would allow it to build a bomb, as well as illegally obtaining parts that aid in its missile program.

The Obama administration is brushing aside new German intelligence reports indicating that Iran has accelerated its efforts to procure key nuclear materials, despite promises to end this behavior as part of last summer’s nuclear accord, according to comments by a U.S. official provided to theFree Beacon.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

The intelligence report and subsequent warnings were met with a tepid response from the Obama administration, which declined to comment on the intelligence and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to that of leading GOP lawmakers, who told the Free Beacon that the White House is intentionally ignoring Iran’s bad behavior.

“We believe that Iran is continuing to meet its [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments,” a State Department official authorized only to speak on background told the Free Beacon.

When pressed to explain how this comported with Germany’s warnings, the official said the administration “would refer you to German authorities for any comment about reports attributed to them.”

The administration official would not take a stance on indications that Iran’s procurement activity—which has increased nearly twofold since the nuclear deal—could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans such activity.

“As for UNSCR 2231, we have spoken previously about ‎how Iran’s reported missile launches are clearly inconsistent with the resolution,” the source said when asked if the new intelligence shows that Iran’s behavior constitutes a violation of the resolution.

A CIA official declined to comment on Germany’s findings and whether they comport with U.S. intelligence assessments.

Even if the administration called out Iran for violations of the deal, the sanctions wouldn’t “snap back” into place until a lengthy examination took place and a panel that would decide if Iran is cheating voted to cite Tehran. Then, you’d have to get the Security Council – including Russia and China – to agree to reimpose the sanctions that have recently been lifted.

Good luck with that.

In fact, the president lied when he assured Congress and the American people that if Iran was caught cheating, the sanctions would “snap back” into place. No such thing will ever happen. Obama knew it at the time and he certainly knows it now. This is why the administration is ignoring the German intelligence; they couldn’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.

Iran: Ahmadinejad, ready for a comeback

IMG_1423

TEHRAN, Iran — When Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepped aside in 2013 — after eight years in office — it was clear that he had serious plans for his future. In fact, he had indicated this in a TV interview one year before leaving office, by pointing to his possible presence in Iran’s next government. The disqualification of his Vice President, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, from the 2013 presidential race, however, prevented this dream from becoming reality.

But despite the disqualification of Mashaei, Ahmadinejad had no intention to leave the stage. Soon, he came up with a special plan for the recently held parliamentary elections. In an interview last year, one of his advisers, Abdolreza Davari, revealed that a 5,000-strong cadre had been trained for parliament during Ahmadinejad’s time in office. It also came to light that the former president was holding weekly meetings with his previous ministers and advisers in a building in Velenjak, a district in northern Tehran. One of his foreign policy advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor, “I take part in meetings every Sunday. These sessions are often held on foreign policy issues, but they are not the only meetings. Other individuals in Ahmadinejad’s inner circle hold similar gatherings on different days. Of course, Ahmadinejad had no serious plans for the parliamentary elections from the start, and his mind is on the 2017 presidential poll instead.”

The source added, “Once I asked him if he had any plans for directly entering the parliamentary stage. His response was ‘no.’ He said, ‘In government, I was the only person and they created so many problems for us. In parliament, it will be me with 289 other members of parliament. Naturally this will be more difficult.’”

Prior to Iran’s Feb. 26 parliamentary elections, Ahmadinejad had predicted that the Principlists would suffer a heavy loss, and that even the Reformists’ third-rate cadres would be able to defeat the Principlists’ weak list of nominees — a prediction that proved to be true.

Meanwhile, a look at the performance of the groups close to Ahmadinejad in the recent parliamentary elections shows they were not lacking a plan either. These groups have managed to get their own candidates elected into parliament through small towns. In fact, 11 of Ahmadinejad’s former ministers, advisers, deputies and high-ranking managers have found their way into parliament’s next term through these towns.

Indeed, soon after the election results for Tehran were announced, an intense wave of joy and happiness was witnessed among the groups linked to Ahmadinejad. Posters began circulating online, bearing the slogan “The Principlists are nothing without Ahmadinejad.” In addition, numerous articles written by Ahmadinejad’s friends and allies started popping up on different websites, arguing that the main reason for the Principlists’ heavy loss — especially in Tehran — was caused by the fact that they had distanced themselves from the former president — a point that was also stressed by Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad’s former adviser for press affairs. With all the parliamentary leaders of the Principlist movement eradicated in Tehran, analysts began to talk about a Principlist return to Ahmadinejad. Sadegh Zibakalam, an Iranian university professor and analyst said, “The Principlists do not have the power to return to power without Ahmadinejad.”

This idea has, however, not been met warmly within the Principlist movement. In an editorial published on the Khabar Online news website, Mohammad Mohajeri, former editor-in-chief of hard-line newpaper Kayhan, wrote that the main reason that the Principlists lost in the recent parliamentary elections was Ahmadinejad’s first election as president in 2005. Saeed Ajorloo, the editor of the Principlist magazine Mosalas, also referred to the idea of the Principlists turning back to Ahmadinejad as the worst possible thing.

Moreover, in another editorial, Hossein Kanani Moghadam, the founder of the Green Party, described the main reason for the Principlist loss in the elections as the cost inflicted on their reputation by Ahmadinejad. Yet despite all this, one should not forget that Ahmadinejad is good at playing the political game — especially when it comes to the public. By relying on this strength alone, he has managed to get his people into the next parliament, while the Principlists have failed to even predict the defeat that was awaiting them.

It is possible that Ahmadinejad is now preparing to enter the 2017 presidential race himself, which could pit him against incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the foreign policy adviser to Ahmadinejad told Al-Monitor, “I once told Ahmadinejad that it was unlikely that he would get votes and that it is best that he forget about the presidency. He got upset and told me that I only saw Tehran and other big cities, while he enjoyed high popularity in smaller towns.”

Except for Abolhassan Bani Sadr, the first president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution who was impeached by parliament less than two years into his term, all other presidents in the history of the Islamic Republic have served two terms in office. Based on this and the high voter turnout in the recent parliamentary elections — an indication of public satisfaction with Rouhani’s performance — it will be somewhat risky for Ahmadinejad to enter the 2017 presidential race, in which he would likely have to run against Rouhani, who has the success of the nuclear negotiations behind him.

Thus, maybe it is best for Ahmadinejad that he wait another four years and instead run in the 2021 presidential vote. However, some analysts believe that Ahmadinejad’s actions show that he does not intend to wait. Others believe that his tendency to go against the norm — such as his 11-day sulk in 2011 when he refused to show up for work after failing to dismiss his minister of intelligence, or his insistence on supporting Mashaei despite strong criticism from the Principlists as well as clerics — will prompt the establishment to prevent his return.

Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian journalist and economist, told Al-Monitor, “Whether the establishment allows Ahmadinejad to return or not is not important. We have to prevent this ourselves by closing the holes through which he could return, such as manipulating the weaker [social] class and the economically vulnerable and pulling them toward him, something that Mr. Rouhani has until now managed to do well.”

by Saeid Jafari