Sayyed Nasrallah: No More Red Lines in Any New Attack, War on Iran to Eliminate ’Israel’

Zeinab Essa

Sayyed Nasrallah: No More Red Lines in Any New Attack, War on Iran to Eliminate ’Israel’

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed on Tuesday the axis of Resistance’s support to its leader and its heart, His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei – Leader of Islamic Revolution.

Addressing hundreds of thousands of mourners commemorating Ashura on the 10th of Muharram, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed his party’s eternal pledge to the top cause of our nation, the Palestinian cause.

“We renew with the Palestinian people and Resistance our pledge that there is no choice away from resisting the “Israeli” occupation,” His Eminence said, reaffirming Hezbollah’“ eternal commitment to the Palestinian cause and to confront what is being planned in the ‘deal of the century’ .”

Moreover, he stated that “this stance costs us a lot but it is our commitment.”

He further deplored “Israeli” Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s desecration to the Holy Ibrahimi Mosque. “The Palestinian stance is the main pillar in the confrontation against the US-‘Israeli’ scheme. These people will protect their cause and holy sites.”

“We – in Hezbollah – reaffirm our commitment to the rights of the Palestinian people in Lebanon as honorable refugees, who must return to their homeland,” The Resistance Leader added.

Moving to the Yemeni arena, Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “the people of Yemen are the title of oppression and siege as [Imam] Hussein was in Karbala.”

“The war on the Yemeni people has turned into a futile war in light of the international community’s silence and the US-British partnership,” he underscored, pointing out that “the recent developments in southern Yemen form an evidence on the Saudi-Emirati aggression’s false allegations regarding protecting Yemen’s legitimacy.”

His Eminence once again renewed the call to an immediate end to the war on Yemen.

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah denounced he Bahraini regime’s actions, describing it a “a traitor that went far in normalizing with the “Israeli” enemy as well as in supporting the “Israeli” aggressions against the people of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.”

Addressing the peaceful Bahraini revolutionary people, His Eminence said: “You, in your peaceful revolution, are waging a jihad for the sake of Allah.”

On another level, he confirmed that “the unjust sanctions on the axis of resistance forms an aggression practiced by the US administration after the failure of the Zionist wars on the resistance.”

“If our people were oppressed by the sanctions, we must act differently and the state must act as well,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized, urging the Lebanese sides to open the file of sanctions because it has put the Lebanese economy under attack.”

In this context, he highlighted that “the government must defend the Lebanese and state institutions must not rush to execute the American desires in terms of sanctions.”

“The Lebanese resistance has been on the sanctions lists for years and this is not new. But

when this aggression expands to target others in Lebanon – banks that have nothing to do with Hezbollah – this needs a different approach. We must reevaluate and study our choices well,” His Eminence went on to say.

Regarding the recent “Israeli” attacks on Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary General viewed that “the recent aggression against Dahyia [the southern suburbs of Beirut] through the bombed drones was a great one.

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the united Lebanese official and popular stances in face of the dangerous “Israeli” aggression. “Today we are setting the equations and strengthening the deterrence that protects our country.”

According to His Eminence, “The invincible “Israeli” army turned to act in Hollywood movies. For the first time, the “Israeli” enemy is building a security zone inside occupied Palestine with a depth of 5 km.”

To the apartheid “Israeli” entity, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a sounding message: “If Lebanon is attacked, Hezbollah will respond to the aggression appropriately to defend Lebanon. Lebanon respects 1701 and Hezbollah is part of the government that respects this resolution but if “Israel” attacks, there will be no red lines at all.”

“Lebanon has imposed itself on world powers and everyone contacted it after the latest “Israeli” attack, prior to the resistance’s response and during the Hezbollah response,” Sayyed Nasrallah added, noting that “Lebanon must know that it is strong through the army-people-resistance equation and all countries in the world contacted our government to thwart us from retaliating to the “Israeli” aggression.”

On the Lebanese economic situation, he assured that “the situation is not hopeless and there is a possibility to address it if there is the necessary seriousness. The same as we discussed the previous state budget we will discuss the 2020 budget.”

“The principles that govern our stance will be the same. We refuse any new taxes on low-income citizens in any economic solutions in Lebanon. Instead of going to the pockets of the poor, let us search for the looted funds, and this should be the leading choice to address the economic situation,” His Eminence said.

On the regional scene, Sayyed Nasrallah rejected any war scheme against the Islamic Republic of Iran because it will ignite the region.

“We will not be neutral in the battle between the truth and falsehood and who thinks that the supposed war will be the end of the axis of resistance I tell them that it will result in the end of both “Israel” and the US domination in our region,” he clarified.

According to His Eminence, “Today, our Hussein is Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Republic of Iran is the heart of the resistance’s axis.”

To Imam Khamenei, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “ We tell you as the companions of Imam Hussein said on the 10th night of Muharram, ‘We won’t leave you, O son of Hussein’.”

Related Videos

Related News

Advertisements

End of ‘Israel’ Not Far Away – Iranian Army Commander

End of ‘Israel’ Not Far Away – Iranian Army Commander

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist regime of ‘Israel’ is on its last legs, Iranian Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said, adding that the fall of ‘Israel’ is going to happen in the not too far distant future.

In comments in the city of Qom on Friday, Mousavi said the axis of resistance is going to beat out the US hegemony and win the ultimate victory.

He also said that everyone will see the end of the “ominous Zionist regime” in future, stressing that the day is not far away.

The evil Zionist regime has brought about nothing during its existence but aggression, plundering, barbarism, bullying and brutality, the Iranian Army Commander said.

“The enemies are well aware that any outbreak of insecurity and tension in the region will put them in the most insecure conditions,” Mousavi further warned.

He added that the US government has become confused and disillusioned after suffering successive defeats in the region and the failure of its policy of maximum pressure on Iran.

Back in December 2016, Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei expressed high optimism that the ‘Israeli’ regime will perish within the next quarter of a century.

“The Zionist regime – as we have already said – will cease to exist in the next 25 years if there is a collective and united struggle by the Palestinians and the Muslims against the Zionists,” Imam Khamenei said.

As for any move against the Islamic Republic, Imam Khamenei has frequently warned the adversaries that they would face a “harsh reaction” in case of any offense against Iran, stressing that the era of hit and run is over.

Related

War Gaming the Persian Gulf Conflict

August 02, 2019

War Gaming the Persian Gulf Conflict

By Blake Archer Williams for The Saker Blog

Greetings from Tehran, the “Capital of the free world” (E. Michael Jones).

A few days ago, Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst, had a brief post on Colonel Patrick Lang’s weblog, Sic Semper Tyrannis. Here’s the link:

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/07/will-donald-trump-kill-his-presidency-over-iran-by-larry-c-johnson.html#comments

He gave four possible options, and invited the commenters to add others of their own. The whole post and the comments which followed were absolutely pathetic in terms of the depth of analysis, including this mind-blowing comment by the Turcopolier himself:

“The strait would not stay closed long, but there would be considerable economic damage while it is.”

I mean, are these people nuts?? Let me put it this way:

The [sand] niggers have burned down the plantation, OK? The plantation is no more. It is an ex-Plantation.

And the niggers have built their own supersonic Noor ground to sea and ground to ground missiles; we have built ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 2000 km and winged cruise missiles with a range of 2500, all with high precision (low CEP) impacts. Our latest generation of drones are on the leading edge of the technology. Trust me. (We are always in the 90+ percentile if not actually winning the medals in the Olympics for mathematics, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, information technology, etc.)

Image result for abraham lincoln ship

If the first ballistic missile or Noor cruise missile fails to take out the control tower of the Abraham Lincoln (and fail they won’t), we will use the multiple warhead option on the ballistic missiles, and “carpet bomb” the runway so that it will be useless. Just a rubber duck sitting in our pond, with its 5,000+ sailors constantly under fire until they raise the white flag of surrender and wait to be taken hostage.

The niggers have exercised strategic patience for a very long time (four decades). It would be nice to have a few more years just to be sure, but we are ready. We are thirsting for relief from the false new worldly order (novus ordo seclorum falsus) as declared in the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican in 1965 and in the Centesimus Annus encyclical issued by Pope John Paul II in 1991, which emphasized the surrender to usury (“capitalism, properly understood”).

Let us game this. Trumpf is talking about the use of nuclear weapons. He is itching for it. But only after he gets re-elected. What are Iran’s options? The Iranian “Samson Option” is simple: Fire a few Noor missiles at the deep-water supertanker docking ports of Ra’s Tanura (Saudi Arabia), Fujairah, and Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, “the largest man-made deep-water harbor in the world that is also the U.S. Navy’s busiest port of call outside of America.” It would take at least six months to rebuild the ruins, IF the sand-niggers allow the reconstruction to take place, during which time no supertankers will be able to dock anywhere in the Persian Gulf to fill their huge bellies with that yummy crude. What that would do to the world economy, you would have to ask my friend, Pepe Escobar, who knows a thing or two about derivatives and over-extension more generally. What is Trumpf going to do now that he has crashed Wall Street worse than 1929? I.e. the final crash which Pax Americana (as wagged by the Pax Judaica tail, of course) will not recover from. I.e. finally putting the Crash of September 2008 precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy out of its misery. Take a dive from the top of Trumpf Tower, that’s what. The American equivalent of Seppuku, not having the “guts” for the real thing, or not being able to “make the cut” – you decide.

The pathetic talk on Sic Semper Tyrannis is that we would be able to hit some of the Saudi oil and tank infrastructure. For example, one of the commenters (Jack) says,

“The real question is how badly could they damage Gulf oil production infrastructure and how long would it take to rebuild?”

Why would we want to destroy what is [ultimately] ours??

Why not provide machine guns to the 2 million oppressed Shi’a in Qatif; you know, the niggers who run the Ra’s Tanura refinery and port… Roll in a couple of armored Divisions, given them the Uzi and Kalashnikov high copies (and maybe some magic Houthi sandals with which to wage war), and leave the tanks there for them to defend Qatīf with. (We would have their backs on the Persian Gulf side).

Why not take as many of the 10,000 soldiers at the un-defendable Bagram base in Afghanistan hostage, as well as the 5,000 or so sailors of the Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain? (With the fall of Qatīf, Bahrain would also fall back into Iranian suzerainty.)

Why not bomb the control centers and runways of all the airfields the US would want to use to take out our radar installations out in the first few weeks (so that they can then send in their Depends™ -wearing pilots to take out our nuclear sites). And for what? Like that is going to achieve anything other than bring about further national unity and cohesion. But like I said, there would be no “few weeks” once Iran implements the first three days of its gameplan.

Why not take out Dimona and the Haifa Port Chemical Terminal and the Ben-Gurion Airport control tower?

Why not make Israel a no-fly zone, so that the dual passport holders can make their way back to Europe and New York, which is where they came from in the first place? Not for the military aircraft, but for commercial aircraft: Anything taking off or landing in Ben-Gurion will be shot down by domestic analogues of the S-300’s; you know, the same good fireworks brought to you by the same folk who destroyed the so-called “stealth” Triton drone at four o’clock in the morning. (Help me out here… we’re just gaming this, ok?). And as for the Persian Gulf (not “the Gulf”, stupid); someone rightly characterized it as the Hotel California for whatever martial vessel which dares enter it. And for those who are not old enough to know: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”

So these are the options as we see them.

First the Emirates (half of whose keffiyeh wearing “sheiks” are ethnically Iranian and Persian speaking anyway), and Qatīf (and of course Jīzān and the southern parts of Asīr back to the Yemenese, where they have always belonged historically). And then on to the Hejaz and the haramayn: Mecca and Medina, driving the Wahhabeast heretics back under the rocks of Najrān, from under which they crawled with the aid of British arms and financing back in the middle of the 18th century.

Yes, Russia isn’t too happy about the possibility of Iranian control over such a large geopolitical jugular vein, but hey, it’s geographical determinism; they’ll get used to it. They will be getting Germany and France and the European sub-continent’s integration into the Eurasia “world continent” (McKinder?). And better the oil in the hands of the rational Shi’a than the crazy-as-a-loon American cowboys. And the ‘Sea Power’ pirates, Perfidious Albion and Uncle $cam will have to scamper back home with their rat-tails between their rat legs, followed by all their takfiri scum “rats” (Ghaddāfī), who will be deported to London and New York, God grant!

The phase of strategic patience is over.

We are now in the phase of Eye for an Eye Escalation. But do not think that this phase will have the longevity of the last one. It is on a high-sprung spring-loaded trigger, after which all bets are off.

This is the way we see it. How do you see it, Pray tell? Do you see it as we see it? As Colonel Lang sees it? Or somewhere in between? I eagerly await to see your perspectives in your comments.

Blake Archer Williams has asked me to add this article under his analysis because it illustrates the points he just made.  He also added the following important caveat to this translation:

The translation of the subtitles is not the best. Particularly, General Soleimani’s very first sentence, which is very important, has not been rendered well. Where it says, “There is no need for armed forces, I am your foe, the Qods Force is your foe.” It should read as follows:
“There is no need for the [regular] Iranian Armed Forces [to get involved in order to resolve the conflict between us]; I am [a sufficient] adversary for you; the Qods Force is [sufficient enough] of a foe for [the likes of] you.”

Also, at 1:37, where the good general says, “You start this war, but the end of it, we will decide.” Should read:

“You [may] start this war, but [know that in such an event], it is we who will draw (tarsīm) [the political map] of how it will end [literally: “of its end”)].

And as you know, my friend, General Soleimani is not given to hyperbole and lies, as is the unfortunate habit of US politicians and now generals too.

——-
Here is the article in question:

PressTV reports

Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani has sharply reacted to the recent “cabaret owner-style” military threat by US President Donald Trump against the Islamic Republic, saying he takes the position to respond “as a soldier” since it is beneath the dignity of Iran’s president to do so.

Addressing Trump, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said, “You threaten us with an action that is ‘unprecedented’ in the world. This is cabaret-style rhetoric. Only a cabaret owner talks to the world this way.”

He was reacting to Trump’s all-caps tweet addressed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in which he threatened the Islamic Republic with actions “the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”

The tweet came after President Rouhani warned the US against its hostile approach against Iran, saying Washington should know that peace with Iran will be the mother of all peace while war with the country will be the mother of all wars.

“It is beneath the dignity of our president to respond to you. I, as a soldier, respond to you,” Soleimani further said.

You already did all you could!

The senior general further reminded the United States of its failures in its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“What was it that you could do over the past 20 years but you didn’t? You came to Afghanistan with scores of tanks and personnel carriers and hundreds of advanced helicopters and committed crimes there. What the hell could you do between 2001 and 2018 with 110,000 troops? You are today begging Taliban for talks,” Major General Soleimani said.

The Iranian commander added, “Afghanistan was a poor country, what the hell could you do in this country that you are currently threatening us?”

“You arrogantly attacked Iraq with 160,000 troops and multiple times [military equipment] compared to what you used in Afghanistan, but what happened? Ask your then commander who was the person that he sent to me and asked ‘Is is possible for you to give us time [and] use your influence so that our soldiers would not be attacked by the Iraqi fighters in these few months  until we exit this country?’ Have you forgotten that you provided adult diapers for your soldiers in tanks? Despite that you are currently threatening the great country of Iran? With what background do you threaten [us]?”

“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine. We are the nation of martyrdom, we are the nation of Imam Hossein, you better ask. Come; we are ready. We are the man of this arena. You know that this war would mean annihilation of all your means. You may begin the war, but it is us who will end it,” he said.

In Yemen, Soleimani said, the US-backed coalition of Saudi Arabia and its allies has been incapable of making any gains against the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is both running state affairs and defending the nation against the Riyadh-led aggression.

“A mere organization is standing against you in Yemen, but it has emerged victorious in the face of the most advanced of your military equipment. What have you achieved over the past four years? You stripped the Red Sea – which used to be a safe sea – of security. You brought under fire Saudi Arabia and [its capital] Riyadh – which had not seen a single rocket fired at them for 100 years.”

The senior general further warned Trump against insulting the Iranian nation and president.

“Trump! You must not threaten our nation and must not insult our president… You must know what you are talking about; ask your predecessors and take advantage of their experiences,” General Soleimani emphasized.

The senior military official also censured the US for supporting the most hated anti-Iran terror group, called the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), saying Washington failed to achieve anything by doing so.

The commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force said,

“the US had some grandeur in the past [and] when its fleet moved out, a nation fell apart. Have you now become attached to the Monafeqeen, who have been thrown in the trash bin of Iran’s history? You have become attached to a vagrant woman, and show her in all [your news] networks; is your hope pinned on this? Is this all your power? You are aware of our power in the region and capability for [launching] asymmetrical war?”

 

Sanctions on Khamenei? Ending the myth of the ‘Millionaire Mullah’

July 27, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV)

Sanctions on Khamenei? Ending the myth of the ‘Millionaire Mullah’

There are many pieces of nonsense about Iran which are fervently believed in the West but which have zero credibility inside Iran. “Millionaire Mullahs” is a concept which has captivated the Western imagination, even though it has no basis in reality.

The idea of “Millionaire Mullahs” was conceived in 2003 by the uber-capitalist magazine Forbes. What’s worse, it was created by their longtime Russia editor… Russia during the age of Yeltsin, when neoliberal capitalism was shamelessly gutting all the nations of the former Soviet Union and transferring the longtime assets of the people/state to Western high finance.

The idea “sounds right” to Western ears for three likely reasons: they are often ardently secular and suspicious of all religious authority, they assume all Muslim religious authorities are as rabidly capitalist as the Roman Catholic Church has often been, and also because they know nothing about the revolutionary (unique) and inherently anti-capitalist post-1979 changes to the Iranian economy.

Let’s stop with the nonsense: being a mullah in Iran usually places one in the lower middle class. Iranian Shia clergy do not have extravagant lifestyles, and they have certainly chosen the wrong calling if that was their aim. Furthermore, the Iranian press – which casts an open and intensely critical eye on the government, contrary to Western perceptions – would absolutely have a field day were there any mullahs living the lavish lives of millionaires. The entire idea is absurd and – rather crucially – unproven.

The subject has come up again, due to the incredibly foolish sanctions by the US against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei, like his predecessor in the Leader post, Ruhollah Khomeini, and his family are known by all Iranians for living simple lifestyles and for possessing absolutely common levels of personal wealth. How does all of Iran know this? Well, doesn’t everyone in the US know the general financial background of Trump?

But first, a bit of background for non-Iranians: Khamenei is from clerical families on both sides of his parents. They were not rich clerics, but lower-middle class, like the majority of Iranian clergy. The 1979 Revolution was decidedly class-based – it was called “the revolution of the barefooted” – and this extended to the clerical class as well, so it should not be surprising that someone from Khamenei’s class background rose so high.

Because clerics are humans, they have a right to have varied personal interests: ex-Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani was rather an Iranian Islamic Revolution anomaly – a revolutionary cleric from a rich background (pistachio farmers) – and he had a personal interest in the affairs of business. It is common knowledge that Khamenei has never evinced this interest, and nor have his several brothers, who are also clerics – the family’s interests are clearly religion and politics.

Furthermore, simply check out his speeches on YouTube (and perhaps while you still can do so, as PressTV was banned from YouTube in April): Khamenei is always discussing the example of his namesake, Imam Ali, the personification of personal austerity in Islam. “Shia” means “partisan of Ali”,msm so non-Muslims should be able to easily imagine that if Khamenei was constantly exhorting everyone to follow “Pope” Ali’s worthy example, yet not following it himself… this would be cause for immediate and widespread comment among the highly-educated, very politically-involved Iranian general public.

So even the whiff of a mere rumour of personal embezzlement would be a major risk to Khamenei’s job status! Part 2 will fully quote and explain the begrudging exoneration of Khamenei by one of his biggest adversaries – Western mainstream media – that there is “no evidence” that Khamenei has used Iran’s wealth to enrich himself. And, of course, there is no logical reason why he would thus tolerate theft and fraud among his fellow lower-ranking clergy who also work as civil servants.

Khomeini’s and Khamenei’s precedents of clearly living in a manner which rejects worldly riches will certainly help produce this same type of Leader in the future, but whoever is the Supreme Leader at any time in the Islamic Republic of Iran will likely be forced to live lives of transparent piety and to display moral, spiritual and fiscal rectitude – that, combined with self-sacrificing patriotism, is the very essence of the job. The Supreme Leader post is not that of a technocrat, as Western leaders are now often merely supposed to be – he is essentially called to act as the “soul of the nation”, and, I would also add, “of the government”.

Such values are anathema to Western secularism, which is a governmental philosophy that was certainly available in 1979 for Iranians to select. However, even atheistic secularists must concede that Western-style secularism was democratically rejected by Iranians, and this fact cannot be ignored, no matter how disagreeable non-Iranians may find this fact.

To put it plainly: Does the West really think that Iranians don’t have a good sense of Khamenei’s personal morality? He has been living in the public eye longer than French President Emmanuel Macron has been alive, and the French all know about Macron’s privileged upbringing, marriage to a chocolate heiress who was his high school teacher, and Rothschild banker-paid lifestyle. An entire nation simply cannot be kept in the dark about the true personal nature of its leaders; people are not stupid, anywhere, and and the Iranian press is far from being either non-existent or totally subservient to power.

You can take the average Iranian’s word for it: if Khamenei was living lavishly – or, living like every single Western CEO does, and with absolutely zero Western media condemnation, sadly) – all of Iran would know it, and there would be serious repercussions.

This all explains why Iranians view the recent US sanctions on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as absurd and based on both propaganda and ignorance. The sanctions put the The New York Times in a quandary – they had to choose between their iron-law Iranophobia and their equally unobjective anti-Trump editorial policy. Their jeering-but-accurate headline, “Iran Greets Latest U.S. Sanctions With Mockery”, reflects that the anti-Trumpers drowned out the Irano-/Islamophobes… on that day in their newsroom.

Beyond Khamenei, I can very briefly explain how and why the West can persist with their “Millionaire Mullah” mythology:

There are many economic principles that guide the Iranian economy which have no basis in the West – they are, after all, “revolutionary”. Many are based on principles of Islamic charity and of Islamic finance; many are also based on anti-capitalist principles which were obviously drawn from 20th century socialism. There are almost too many to list, but in Part 2 of this 3-part article I will pick a few key ones which specifically relate to clergy, and which – when added with Iranophobia – create such widespread and ignorant propaganda.

Part Two

Beyond Khamenei, I can very briefly explain how and why the West can persist with their “Millionaire Mullah” mythology:

There are many economic principles that guide the Iranian economy which have no basis in the West – they are, after all, “revolutionary”. Many are based on principles of Islamic charity and of Islamic finance; many are also based on anti-capitalist principles which were obviously drawn from 20th century socialism. There are almost too many to list, but in Part 2 of this 3-part article I will pick a few key ones which specifically relate to clergy, and which – when added with Iranophobia – create such widespread and ignorant propaganda.

One of the five pillars of Islam is to give to charity (zakat), but one of the five additional pillars of Shia theology is that businessmen must give 20% of their profits to charity (khums). Thus, it should be clear why some say that Iran has an “alms-based economy”. That’s an exaggeration, because there are state taxes as well, but this money goes directly to religious authorities and has gone there for over 1,000 years.

For example, Khamenei was raised in a family (lower middle class clerics on both sides of his parents) which would have never received this money directly – they would have been the recipients of this charity from much higher-ranking clergy.

Khamenei, through hard work, sacrifice and other virtues, is now a “Marja’” (top religious authority). He now heads various religious foundations which receive – and redistribute downwards – this zakat and khums money.

Of course, he heads these foundations, but this money cannot (and is not) be used by him to by a Ferrari for his favourite nephew, for example. The Iranian press would die of happiness at the sales prospects caused by such a sensational, unheard-of event! These are “religious foundations” not “The Clinton Foundation”: These foundations serve the poor – they do not trade high-level political access & favours in return for funding a jet-set lifestyle. Of course, most Western media cynically assume that everyone – even a Marja’, and even a Marja’ as publicly present as Khamenei – secretly operates on shameless Western capitalist principles….

Let’s clarify two key issues: zakat and khums are individual choices – they are not compelled to go to Khamenei. Iranians can send their charity to a Marja’ in Iraq if they like, and many do. Secondly, drastically changing this historic process of zakat and khums would certainly constitute a major revolution in Iran – however, for many it would constitute a rather “un-Islamic Revolution”, and there is no doubt that the democratic majority wanted an “Islamic Revolution”.

Therefore, Islamic charity is a reality of modern economics and finance in Iran. It is not something which non-Muslims can easily comprehend, perhaps, but the failure to do so will help fuel nonsense like “Millionaire Mullahs”. Unlike neoliberalism in the West, these financial principles have the virtue of being democratically-supported, and I can easily argue that they have the additional virtue of far more efficiently increasing economic equality than neoliberalism does.

Khamenei, as the Supreme Leader, is also often listed as the head of companies simply out of respect by the company’s founders. It is often purely honorary. Khamenei is not, for example, giving ideas on product improvement or production strategies to such companies (now the rare ex-president Rafsanjani – rare because he was an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary cleric from a rich, business-oriented background might have gotten involved, but Khamenei has evinced no such interest) and he is absolutely not in any control of the company’s assets. He is there in name only as a sign of respect for him, Islam, Iran, etc. Of course, this is distorted/misunderstood by Western pro-capitalist papers.

The Iranian Islamic Revolution also did something which no doubt enrages Western imperialist-capitalists, and about which they have no desire to spread honest information: the revolution took a huge chunk of the factories and industries owned by the shah and his tiny coterie and gave them to charity.

These are called the bonyads, and they are an estimated 15-20% of the entire Iranian economy. A staggeringly revolutionary concept, no?

The bonyads are thus different from the Islamic charity I have described, and the Islamic foundations which administer that charity, because the bonyads were expressly charged with getting involved in economic production.

The bonyads are not designed for capitalist profit, but are co-operatives which exist to create low-cost goods and jobs for Iranians. This planned” inefficiency” – in attaining maximum profit, but not in social cohesion and equality – is falsely branded as “corruption” by raging Western capitalists, sadly.

Khamenei heads some bonyads, and this gives him economic influence, of course… because the popular, democratic, openly-debated decision to award a significant chunk of the Iranian economy to the administration of religious authorities was a popular, democratic, openly-debated decision of the Iranian people. Oppose decisions arrived at in this manner, and you oppose democracy for Iran.

Bonyads are not specifically proscribed in The Koran, unlike zakat and the ubiquitous concepts of charity and anti-usury (high interest/compound interest), but if one tries to overturn them… well, all I can say is – prepare for a serious fight. If you think the millions of bonyad workers and recipients of bonyad lower-cost goods want all that to be replaced by (mostly-Western) stockholders… good luck with your efforts.

Very obvious, but of course not perfect, parallels can be made elsewhere: the lower class supporters of Chavismo’s collectivos have won an unprecedented number of votes (and street battles) to preserve similar anti-neoliberal economic concepts and structures. Iran is not nearly as susceptible to Washington’s meddling, in large part because such gains have been consolidating democratic support for the government for a generation longer than in Venezuela. Cuba adopted similar (though not Islamic-influenced) concepts a generation earlier than Iran did. China is a generation up on Cuba, and aren’t they doing rather well? China doesn’t have bonyads, of course, but Beijing and Tehran have such a strong and long-term alliance because they obviously have much in common… once translations are made.

So, between zakatkhums, the bonyads, generalized Iranophobia and a desire to denigrate any economic thought which is not far-right neoliberal capitalism… this is how we have arrived at Western nonsense like “Millionaire Mullahs”, and the propaganda is unrelenting.

Like, for example, the 2013 Reuters report on Setad, a bonyad headed by the Supreme Leader post, which was absurdly titled, “Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures”.

Part 3 will examine this report, which is still being cited today despite its obvious bias, misrepresentations and clear goal of spreading Iranophobic and Islamophobic propaganda.

Part Three

Part 1 of this article discussed why the recent US sanctions on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei provoked laughter in Iran and derision even from Iranophobic Western mainstream media.

Part 2 proved that – between zakatkhums, the bonyads, generalized Iranophobia and a desire to denigrate any economic thought which is not far-right neoliberal capitalism – it is easily understandable how we have arrived at Western nonsense like “Millionaire Mullahs”.

Part 3 will show (NOTE: these three links go to the PressTV versions) how this propaganda is unrelenting.

Like the 2013 Reuters report on Setad, a bonyad headed by the Supreme Leader post, “Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures”.

Uhhh… yes, confiscating the ill-gotten property of the king and his 1% was undoubtedly the democratic choice of Iran. Iran is a rare country to have done that, but it was not the first. Economically right-wing Reuters, of course, opposes every such occasion where this has happened.

Reuters’ report spends just ten miserly words to describe for their readers both bonyads and khums, which is certainly not enough to give a sympathetic, much less objective, rendering of these rather vital parts of the Iranian economy. Reuters makes apparent its total disinterest in admitting Setad’s universally-known, multi-billion charitable functions with the brief and dismissive: “It’s unclear how much of its revenue goes to philanthropy.” It’s a report which openly airs the grievances of lawyers based in Beverly Hills, California, because talking about the economically-redistributive concepts at work in the Iranian economy are expressly against Reuters’ editorial policy.

As Reuters admitted, with a brief sentence that indicates their maximum disappointment: “Reuters found no evidence that Khamenei is tapping Setad to enrich himself.” Exactly. All Iran already knew that. Reuters’ buried a sentence which has been a headline in Iran.

Beyond the role of Islamic charity, the usury-banning role of Islamic finance, and the unique (revolutionary) economic principles installed after 1979, the widest-view statement I can give about the Iranian economy is this: because it is (Islamic) socialist-inspired when it comes to handling the economy, the Iranian state controls the Iranian economy even more completely than today’s “hosting tourists is ok” Cuba. Both nations control their economies in a patriotic way, though Iran has, thankfully, far more oil wealth; both nations reject foreign control (neoliberal/globalist capitalism); and both nations have been incredibly successful at improving the lives of their average citizen despite decades of murderous sanctions by the US and Europe.

The revolutionary Iranian economy is thus most succinctly described (this is “daily journalism”, after all) as “Iranian Islamic Socialism” because it is exactly that, and in exactly that order of importance: first come the patriotic needs of Iran, then adherence to the principles of Islam as much as possible, and then the clear rejection of capitalism-imperialism and neoliberalism/globalism. Importantly – at least to those who believe Iranians have a democratic right to choose their own path – Forbes, Reuters and Washington are resolutely dead-set against the success of all of these principles, and their actions and stances show that they view tolerance, accommodation and limited cooperation as impossible.

But this – the enormously anti-neoliberal aspects and the enormously successful redistributive aspects of the Iranian economy – is something the West can never admit because… they might be copied! Indeed, when Washington talks about Iran’s “destabilising behaviors”, there is nothing more destabilising to US and Israeli hegemony in the Muslim world than the very example of Iranian democratic success.

What works usually is copied, but Iranian economic solutions do not “work” for the aristocratic readers of Forbes. Therefore, “Millionaire mullahs” has been the Western editorial line, and they are sticking to it.

It should be clear: it is a well-known reality is that Khamenei does not personally have much to sanction at all; the Iranian economy is so unique (revolutionary) that it is easily distorted and rarely attempted to be understood; the guiding economic concepts democratically installed after the Iranian Islamic Revolution will always be the subject of massive Western propaganda efforts.

Therefore, pity Trump and his New York City slumlord/Pentagon gun-runner advisors – by foolishly sanctioning Khamenei all they did was insult him, and insult his tens of millions of often-ardent supporters, and show their total ignorance of how the Iranian economy actually works!

How did they get so misled? Simple: they read too much Western propaganda, which since 1979 has had an editorial line of “100% fake news, 24/7” when it comes to Iran. Such an editorial line is designed by their 1%-owners to push Trump, and others, to wrongly assume that Iran is some sort of dystopian, totalitarian regime where the top leader owns everything and can liquidate anything at any time for their personal profit.

Such a system only exists in comic books… and in the Arab monarchies. And are sanctions on these Arab despots arriving next? LOL, not likely. Forbes and the neoliberal-loving, English-Canadian Reuters are likely in the middle of preparing their latest puff-piece on yet another Arab monarch-dictator.

It is ironic that the only type of millionaires these rabidly capitalist media seem to have a problem with are of the Iranian clerical variety, a variety which Forbes was the first to ever claim even existed. But the phenomenon they allege does not exist, and Khamenei is often held up as a standard of good and moral leadership in many nations for very justified reasons.

What is certain is that Washington’s ignorance of and opposition to the nature of the Iranian economy will cost them dearly – sanctions on Khamenei will be totally ineffective in reaching their totally unjust aims. Such sanctions are amusing… but that is actually a sad commentary: the decades of murderous sanctions on Iran, Cuba, Korea and others shouldn’t be funny at all.

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”.)

Iran’s Qods Force And Modern Proxy Wars

South Front

25.07.2019

Iran’s Qods Force And Modern Proxy Wars

Based on the analysis prepared by Dennis M. Nilsen, PhD exclusively for SouthFront

The Qods Force is the irregular warfare unit of Iran’s Corps of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Eslami).  Created during the Holy Defense to augment the capabilities of the Sepah to include irregular warfare, it has since become one of the chief means of expanding Iranian ‘soft power’ within the Middle East and throughout the world.  Carrying the Persian name for Jerusalem, it is emblematic of the eschatological significance of the Islamic Republic’s regional military strategy.  More has come to light about this secretive organization since its inception, but precious little of its organization, personnel, weaponry and operations is known, and comes to light only in the wake of its suspected activities.

The close of the Holy Defense in 1988 saw the completion of the first chapter of the history of the Islamic Republic – conventional war.  The peace which followed left the new government intact but the population war-weary; the government needed to turn its attention to rebuilding the infrastructure and bringing orderliness to the disrupted lives of its people. The armed forces – both the Artesh and the Sepah – though rich with battle experience, had been worn down and desperately need this peace.

If this war taught the Iranian leadership anything, the lesson was: prevent another conventional attack by pushing the frontier for possible conflict as far as possible from the border.  To safeguard the home of the Revolution – which Khomeini and his followers viewed, and still view, as the only legitimate Islamic government, and the one which is meant to prepare the way for the return of the Mahdi – a sizeable buffer had to be constructed to allow for its endurance.  While Iran had not been defeated in the Holy Defense, it had been severely wounded by Saddam’s army with Western backing. At end of the war, Iran was in shortage in key resources and finance. The war clearly exposed the weaknesses of both the Iranian economy and the armed forces. The mujtahid rulers needed to create and perfect a national defense based upon self-reliance in order to turn Iran into a fortress for Islam from which calls for Islamic unity in the face of Zionist and Western imperialist influence could issue.  Having survived this baptism of fire intact, and with geopolitics still centered around the bipolar contest between the United States and the Soviet Union, the time for such a reconstruction appeared optimal.

The Sepah was created immediately after the Revolution in order to counter threats from armed opposition groups inside Iran such as the MKO (the Mojahedin-e Khalq or People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) and to protect the ideological integrity of the new political system. Originally a paramilitary formation, during the Holy Defense it necessarily took on a military character while shouldering with the Artesh the burden of fighting.  During the war, in addition to the many conventional battles fought against the Iraqis, the Iranians also deployed special forces to the front line in the mountainous terrain of the north, and behind the lines to support the Kurdish struggle in northern Iraq against Saddam Hussein regime. To mirror this unit within the Artesh, the Sepah created the Qods Force to engage in all aspects of irregular warfare. Thus, the role of Quds force in the establishment of Hezbollah’s Islamic Resistance (al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya) in 1982 during the Lebanese Civil War was inevitable; following this it was used to support the operations of the Hezbe Wahdat Shia mujahedin in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.

By supporting Hezbollah and the Hezbe Wahdat, Iran was able to counter, respectively, the American/Zionist coalition and the Soviets, thereby keeping these two groups from threatening the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic.  When Khomeini died in 1989 and was succeeded by Ali Khamenei, who oversaw the transition from a war to a peace economy, Qods was able, along with its parent Sepah, to maintain its level of funding and even to increase its relative importance within the military strategy of Iran.

Having discussed the ideological and strategic origins and purposes of the Qods Force, let us look at its structure and methods of warfare.  Apart from its three senior commanders, no names can be attributed to either its leadership or the remainder of the force.  Major General Pasdar Qassem Soleimani, presently the most well-known Iranian soldier, has commanded the Qods Force since 1997, and his two deputies are Brigadier General Pasdar Ismail Qaani and Brigadier General Pasdar Ahmad Sabouri.  Because all members of Qods are taken from the larger Sepah, one can presume that it retains the same rank structure as its parent, although it is impossible to verify or deny this.  Similarly, although the size of the Qods Force can be approximated, its small-level tactical organization can only be guessed at based upon the arrangement of other comparable military units.  As indicated previously, Qods has two missions: advising and training of foreign military and police, and clandestine operations.  Teams of men for either type of mission may be formed ad hoc out of the service pools of each of the eight directorates suspected to exist.  According to the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, Qods is divided into the following eight directorates:

  • Iraq
  • Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen (Persian Gulf)
  • Israel, Lebanon, Jordan (Middle East)
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
  • Turkey
  • Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldovia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia (former-Soviet Union)
  • Central and Western Europe and the United States and Canada
  • North Africa

Further, US military intelligence suggests that Qods is divided into several branches of specialization:

  • Intelligence
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Sabotage
  • Special operations

Because however its operations are unconventional, there is no reason to think that the Qods Force has an organization remarkably different from other secret services.  For its clandestine operations, something approaching a commando team of varying size (anywhere from 5 to 15 men led by one or two officers) seems reasonable.  Also, there could be organic, permanent units of Qods assigned to each directorate, each with a different operational specialty, and these would invariably be combined-arms units but with the component men varying depending upon what needs to be accomplished.  For the advisory and training missions, arguably what constitutes the greatest percentage of Qods assignments, one can imagine an officer/NCO structure corresponding to the level of the ranks needing training; e.g. so many officers of such a rank to train their peers or lower ranking officers, and likewise so many NCOs to train their peers or enlisted men.  As a side note, it has been suggested that Qods trains most of its clients in either the Sudan or in Iran itself.

For all of these missions, the officer/NCO ratio is necessarily higher than in the rest of the Sepah.  For this reason, it can be argued that officers and NCOs comprise a large majority of the Qods Force personnel, seeing that enlisted men would not be used to train or advise their superiors.

Where does the Qods Force carry out its clandestine operations?  From reasonable conjecture regarding the structure, the reach of Qods is world-wide.  It has been suspected of involvement in South America (e.g. in supporting the government of Venezuela), of continuing to intervene in Afghanistan against the American presence, of constituting a permanent training and advisory role to the Islamic Resistance of Hezbollah, of supporting the Syrian government since the conflict of 2011, and most of all of involvement in Iraq since 2003. Since 2008, the Qods Force has been given control of all military operations in Iraq, and it formed and currently oversees the three primary Shi’ite paramilitary organizations which work in conjunction with the Iraqi military: Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (“League of the Righteous”) with 10,000 members, Kata’ib Hizb Allah (“Brigades of the Party of God”) with 30,000+ members, and the Saraya al-Salam (“Peace Companies”) with anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 members.  This theatre of operations, provided indirectly to Qods by the Americans, gives the most continual experience to its members through the training and directing of these militias.  In the theatre of the Persian Gulf, the recent attacks against oil tankers bear the mark of what Qods is capable of, but the Iranian Government has consistently denied responsibility.  Conversely, American and Israeli special forces possess the capability to carry out such false-flag attacks and their histories give plenty of examples.  Currently, the most important missions which Qods directly or in which it participates are:

  • Missile shipments to Hezbollah
  • Arming and directing of Shi’ite militias in Iraq
  • Support of Syrian Government
  • Support of Houthis

As to types of weapons, the Qods Force probably uses the same species as other special forces (e.g. United States Green Berets, Russian Spetsnaz, British SAS), that is:

  • Handguns (e.g. PC-9 ZOAF)
  • submachine guns (e.g. MPT-9, KL-7.62mm)
  • heavy machine guns (e.g. MGA3)
  • portable MANPADs (e.g. Soheil)
  • rocket-propelled grenade launcher (e.g. Raad, RPG-29)
  • anti-tank weapons (e.g. Saeghe 1/2)
  • portable mortars (e.g. 37mm Marsh mortar)
  • plastic explosives (e.g. C4, Semtex)

The use of heavy equipment does not correspond to its missions.

In terms of size, the active personnel of Qods has been estimated to be anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000, although the most common number given is 15,000.  Globalsecurity.org asserts that in 2008, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council authorized an increase in the size of the group to 15,000, but this cannot be presently confirmed.  By comparison, the Russian Spetsnaz has a strength of roughly 5,000, the United States Green Berets 7,000, the British SAS 400 to 600.

Moving to consider its place in the Iranian political ideology of Twelve Shiism, Qods Force bears great eschatological significance.  A fact which receives barely any coverage in the Western press, the founding of the Islamic Republic was clearly stated by Ayatollah Khomeini to coincide with the approach of the end of the world.  As Twelver Shias, Khomeini and his successors are convinced that the maintenance of velayat-e faqih is critical to the return of the Twelfth Imam, Mohammad al-Mahdi.  The eschatology of the Jafari School of Jurisprudence (the official legal teaching in Iran, named after the Sixth Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq) names Jerusalem as central to the return of the Mahdi and to the establishment of Islamic government throughout the world; i.e. the golden age of Islamic rule as promised by the Prophet Mohammed. According to Sunni and Shia prophecies, the army foreordained to conquer Jerusalem is to be comprised of mostly people from the region of Iran with Iranians having a great and important role in the event. Thus, the naming of the special operations subset of the Sepah after the Persian name for the Holy City of Jerusalem should show the rest of the world just how important to the Iranians is the maintenance of their system of government by all means possible.  Currently, the use of Qods to engage in asymmetrical warfare against the American-Israeli alliance is the best means to ensure this end.  Presently, Qods can be seen as forming a ‘shield-forward’ for the Islamic Republic from a strategic point of view; this gives eschatological importance to their continued support of Hezbollah in Lebanon and to their great commitment in men and material to ensure the continuance of the Syrian government. They believe that when Imam Mahdi returns, Zionism, which Shia regard as one of the main tools in the struggle between Good and Evil, will be defeated in the final great battle for Jerusalem. Therefore they are approaching as close as possible to Israel, serving at the front line. They have succeeded in giving Iran a reasonable amount of protection, if at the expense of their allies who are physically closer to Israel.  The American Navy remains a threat in the Persian Gulf, but the wider Sepah, to whose vigilance this theatre is committed, are confident they can close the Strait of Hormuz if necessary.  The strategic balance is currently in favor of Iran and they have thus fulfilled what they believe to be their role in preparing for the Mahdi’s return.

Of those who believe in the eschatological purpose of the Islamic Republic, the Qods Force is unquestionably the vanguard of the coming march on Jerusalem, and the Western press ignores this to their own peril and the continued ignorance of their audiences.

From military and political standpoints, Qods has been very effective.  Iranian strategy has, since the 1979 Revolution, been to keep the American-Israeli alliance and its proxies at bay.  As stated previously, due to Iran’s inability to wage a full-scale war against both countries, the use of unconventional warfare has made the Qods Force come into prominence within Iran’s national defensive strategy.  Through both its advisory/training roles and its clandestine operations, Qods is used to prevent Iran’s two chief enemies from realizing strategic objectives in the Middle East and Persian Gulf and to make their continued presence within Iran’s immediate zone of security as costly and unpleasant as possible.

حماس» في طهران: عودة متأخرة… لكن مثمرة

هاني إبراهيم

الأربعاء 24 تموز2019

«حماس» في طهران: عودة متأخرة... لكن مثمرة

نقل وفد الحركة ارتياحاً لطبيعة الاستقبال والخطاب (من الويب)

غزة | بينما أعادت الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران وحركة «حماس» بناء الثقة المتبادلة بينهما، ورجعت الأخيرة إلى تموضعها ضمن محور المقاومة خلال العامين الأخيرين، تفيد معلومات بـ«قرب انضمام الحركة إلى تحالف دفاعي مشترك مع بقية أطراف المحور». تقول مصادر مطلعة إن زيارة وفد رفيع من الحركة إلى طهران أول من أمس، ولقاءه المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي، لأول مرة منذ مغادرة «حماس» دمشق عام 2012، جاءا تلبية لدعوة إيرانية لرئيس المكتب السياسي إسماعيل هنية، الذي حاول الخروج من قطاع غزة أكثر من مرة، لكن الرفض المصري أعاقه، فتقرر إتمام الزيارة بأعضاء المكتب في الخارج، وعلى رأسهم نائب هنية، صالح العاروري، فيما تمكنت شخصيات قيادية من غزة (مقرّبة من هنية)، أبرزها إسماعيل رضوان، من الحضور، علماً بأن رضوان تسمح له القاهرة بإجراء جولات خارجية.

وسبق للسلطات المصرية أن رفضت أربعة طلبات لهنية خلال العامين الماضيين لإجراء جولة خارجية تشمل عدداً من الدول. وكان من أبرز تجليات ذلك رفضها خروجه لتلبية الدعوة الروسية في آذار/ مارس الماضي للتباحث في ملف المصالحة الفلسطيني. ولم تحمل تلك الردود على مطالب الجولات الخارجية أي رفض مباشر، عدا مرة واحدة في أيار/ مايو الماضي، فيما كانت بقية الردود في صورة تأجيل ومماطلة. مع ذلك، حاول هنية ممارسة ضغط على المصريين بداية العام الجاري بقراره البقاء في القاهرة أربعة أسابيع متواصلة، لكن هذه الطريقة لم تفلح، ليضطر للعودة إلى غزة.

عرضت الحركة الانضمام إلى «حلف دفاعي مشترك» مع أطراف محور المقاومة

بالعودة إلى لقاء الوفد بالمسؤولين الإيرانيين، تكشف المصادر أن «حماس» أبدت رغبتها في تعزيز علاقاتها مع جميع أطراف محور المقاومة، وصولاً إلى الاتفاق على «تحالف دفاعي مشترك» تتمكن فيه هذه الأطراف من مواجهة الاعتداءات بتنسيق جماعي. وسلّم العاروري الجانب الإيراني رسالة رسمية من هنية يشكر فيها الجمهورية الإسلامية «على جهودها في دعم القضية الفلسطينية»، مبدياً رغبة الحركة في تعزيز العلاقات مع إيران، وطلبها تقديم المزيد من الدعم «لمواجهة الحصار الإسرائيلي الخانق الذي يواصل الفلسطينيون الصمود أمامه»، مؤكداً أيضاً «تضامن حماس مع إيران في مواجهة السياسات الأميركية والإسرائيلية».

وعلمت «الأخبار» أنه على رغم إجراء لقاءات بين أطراف من «حماس» ومسؤولين في الدولة السورية بصورة غير رسمية لبحث إعادة العلاقات، فإن «الملف ما زال معقداً… إذ تتهرّب حماس من الرد على المطلب السوري باعتذار الحركة عن خروجها» في مؤتمر صحافي. مع ذلك، ثمة ارتياح «حمساوي» لمستوى التصريحات الإيرانية خلال اللقاءات، خاصة بعدما وصف خامنئي «حماس» بأنها «في قلب فلسطين، وفلسطين في قلب العالم الإسلامي»، مشيداً بالمواقف المهمة لرئيس المكتب السياسي للحركة في مواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، ومؤكداً أن إيران «لن تجامل أي دولة في العالم بشأن القضية الفلسطينية… نعلن دائماً مواقفنا من فلسطين بشكل صريح وشفاف، وعلى الساحة الدولية، تعلم الدول الصديقة لنا، التي لديها خلافات في وجهات النظر معنا حول فلسطين، أن الجمهورية الإسلامية جادة في دعمها لفلسطين».

Related Videos

Six Years Ago

 

RELATED NEWS

Iran Imposes Its Rule of Engagement: “An Eye for an Eye”

Source

The Straits of Hormuz

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Iran has meticulously selected its political steps and military targets in recent months, both in the Gulf and the international arena. Its partial and gradual withdrawal – tactical yet lawful -from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the nuclear deal, is following a determined path. Its clear objective is to corner the US President and his European allies, and indeed Iran seems aiming for a final withdrawal from the JCPOA. Also, despite the effect the US sanctions are having on the Iranian economy – and despite Iran’s determination to reject US hegemony – Iranian officials have publicly put on hold a Russian offer to support its oil sales.

In Iran, sources confirm that “China rejected the US sanctions and Russia offered to sell one million barrels daily for Iran, and to replace the European financial system with another if needed. But why would Iran make it easy on those who signed the deal (Europe)? If the European countries are divided and not in a position to honour the deal why did they sign it in the first place? Iran will pull out gradually, as stated in the nuclear agreement, up to a complete withdrawal. Iran is experiencing a recession (Trump is expected to be re-elected, which will prolong it), but is not in poverty, and is far from being on its knees economically and politically”.

Despite the harsh US sanctions, Iran is sending unusual and paradoxical signs, playing down the effect of the economic crisis and showing how less than relevant the Trump administration’s measures are: it has frozen the Russian offer designed to ease its financial burden by selling one million barrels of oil daily, and by stepping in to replace the European financial system. The only plausible interpretation is that Iran is determined to pull out of the nuclear deal if possible without invoking worldwide sanctions. In parallel, its military steps continue at a calculated pace.

IRGC Navy speed boats circling the British-flag tanker Stena Impero to slow it down before boarding it by Special Forces.

None of the several military objectives that have been hit in recent months was a casual or impulsive response, starting from the al-Fujeira sabotage, followed by the drone attacks on Aramco pumping stations, and ending with the damage to a Japanese tanker. The first action was not officially claimed by Iran. The second was claimed by the Houthis in Yemen. The third was against a Japanese tanker and the attacker is still at large, officially unknown.

However, Iran came out in public to announce its downing of the US surveillance drone and its capture of a British tanker in the Gulf of Oman. The ship was forced to sail into the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Every single reaction by Iran’s opponents was envisaged and calculated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the preparation of these attacks was perfectly planned and equally well executed. However, this doesn’t mean Iran did not take into consideration a possible war scenario where missiles could potentially fly in all directions. Iran is harassing, engaging, and even playing with Trump and Netanyahu’s threats of war, walking on the edge of the abyss.

Most Iranian leaders are repeating the clear message: no one will export oil if we can’t. It is also telling neighbouring countries that any attempt to export their oil by bypassing the Straits of Hormuz will be thwarted, hence the attacks on al-Fujeirah (the Emirates) and Aramco (Saudi Arabia). Both were potential substitutes, ways to export Middle Eastern oil without going through the Iranian controlled straits.

Iran chose to down an unmanned drone, where it could have downed a US spy aircraft with 38 officers onboard. The same US President- who was embarrassed by the lack of reaction to the downing of the drone – had to thank Iran for not shooting down the spy plane with the US personnel on board. That was a masterly planned decision: cool thinking by the IRGC leadership in the face of tough alternatives.

Trump could justify his failure to react by the lack of human victims; he was certainly aware that any military friction could blow up his chances of re-election: a factor very carefully calculated by Iran. Limited war is not an option available to Trump.

Moreover, after the UK Royal Marines landed by helicopter on the Iranian super tanker “Grace 1” to capture it – despite the fact that neither Iran nor Syria are part of the EU, and thus they are not legitimate targets for the sanctions to be applied and validated in this case – Iran first gave a chance to the French envoy Emmanuel Bonne to find an exit to the crisis. When the UK decided to keep “Grace 1” for another month, hours later Iranian IRGC special Forces captured – using the “cut and paste” style of boarding- the British tanker “Stena Impero”, a UK ship, just at the moment when that government was at its weakest, and the UK Prime Minister was bailing out. Again, very thoughtfully planned, and a well-calculated risk.

The US pushed the UK to move against Iran but stood idly by,watching the humiliationof the former “British Empire” which indirectly dominated Iran during the Shah era and before the Imam Khomeini came to power in 1979.

Iran took the UK tanker from the Gulf of Oman and offered a mediocre pretext, equal to the British one when capturing “Grace 1” in Gibraltar. Iran is telling the British that no war confrontation took place and no human losses are registered so far even if the Middle East is in the middle of a war-like situation with the US economic war on Iran.

So far, not one victim has been recorded, notwithstanding the massive and important events that involved several sabotage operations, the downing of one of the most sophisticated and expensive US drones, the capture of two tankers, and a warning to a US spy plane which escaped Iranian missiles by a hair’s breadth.

Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei ordered the IRGC to continue developing its missile programme and injected billions of dollars into it. The leader criticised both President Hassan Rouhani and the Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif for leading the country to a deal with the US and the EU when both are partners to each other and cannot be trusted. Therefore, the only exit seems the direction Iran is taking, particularly since Europe remains divided. The UK is heading towards selecting a Trump-like leader, Boris Johnson, the US President’s favourite candidate. The UK is in a critical situation where the “no-deal British exit” (hard Brexit) from the European community will weaken the country and isolate it- and certainly Trump will not bother to rescue it.

Iran is exposing its policy now: an eye for an eye. It is as prepared for war as much as US; prepared for the “absolute worst” as Trump has said. The US is building up its military capability by re-opening its air base in Saudi Arabia (Prince Sultan desert base) – the same base that the US used for its war against Saddam Hussein in 1990. Iran is active with its allies, Palestinian groups, the Lebanese Hezbollah, various Iraqi groups and Yemeni allies to provide these with enough missiles to sustain a long war if need be, yet without obviously provoking it.

Iran wil continue its war in the shadows, and will continue harassing the western countries, disregarding the Arab states so that its war is not turned in a sectarian direction. Middle Eastern peoples are watching the dangerous bickering and can see Iran’s finger is on the trigger. It is gripping it firmly, without no hesitation to fire when appropriate, and regardless of who is the opponent or opponents.

The USl most likely will have to wait and think carefully about its next move, particularly the building up of a maritime security coalition to patrol the Gulf and protect ships during the six hours needed for the transit of the Straits of Hormuz. The more western military presence there is in the vicinity of Iran, the richer the bank of objectives and targets offered to the IRGC, and the easier it becomes for Tehran to select its choice of target – in case of war – without launching long-range missiles against US bases established in the Middle East or any other long-distance target.

Washington won’t go to war if the outcome is not clear at least for itself. And, with Iran, no outcome can be predicted with certainty. Iran is aware of this US weakness, and is playing with it. It is showing that the West, for all its bulky muscles, is fragile and even vulnerable.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

%d bloggers like this: