Israel Perfecting Surveillance Tech

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Israel’s external spy organization Mossad and its internal espionage equivalent Shin Bet have reputations that are much larger than their actual successes, but the one area where they have excelled is electronic intelligence gathering. Recent electronic spying around the White House and other federal buildings in Washington carried out by the Israeli Embassy demonstrates that Israel does not differentiate much between friends and enemies when it conducts espionage. In fact, spying targeting the U.S. is probably its number one priority due to the fact that the Jewish state is so heavily dependent on American support that it feels compelled to learn what discussions relating to it are taking place behind closed doors.

Israeli penetration of U.S. telecommunications began in the 1990s, when American companies like AT&T and Verizon, the chief conduits of the National Security Agency (NSA) for communications surveillance, began to use Israeli-produced hardware, particularly for law enforcement-related surveillance and clandestine recording. The devices had a so-called back door, which meant that everything they did was shared with Israel. Israeli cyber-specialists even broke into classified networks with the NSA and FBI aware of what was going on but unwilling to confront “America’s best ally.” President Bill Clinton once quipped to Monica Lewinski that they should avoid using the Oval Office phone because someone might be listening in. He was referring to Israel.

To be sure, the Jewish state’s high-tech sector has been much assisted in its effort by “own goals” provided by the United States, which allows Israel to bid on government contracts relating to national security, virtually guaranteeing that any technical innovations will be stolen and re-exported by Israeli high-tech companies. Major technology innovators like Intel, which works with the NSA, have set up shop in Israel and have publicly stated, “We think of ourselves as an Israeli company as much as a U.S. company.” Vulture capitalist Zionist billionaire Paul Singer has recently been accused of steering highly paid U.S. tech sector jobs to Israel, jobs that are lost to the American economy forever.

So, Israel is a leader in using electronic resources to carry out espionage and collect information on various targets of interest. Israel is also an innovator, and its close relationship with the U.S. intelligence community (IC), most particularly the NSA, means that technologies and procedures developed by the Jewish state will inevitably show up in America.

The U.S. is in any event working hard on its own tools for managing the public, spurred by Covid-19 hysteria. Special ID cards could help track the health status of individuals. This status would be recorded and updated on a chip readable by government scanners that, by some accounts, might be either carried or even permanently embedded in everyone’s body. Another plan being promoted in a joint venture by Apple and Google that appears to have White House support involves “add[ing] technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact with a person with Covid-19. People must opt into the system, but it has the potential to monitor about a third of the world’s population” with monitoring done by central computers. Once the legal principle is established that phones can be manipulated to do what is now an “illegal search,” there are no technical or practical limits to what other tasks could also be performed.

Developments in Israel

With those steps being taken to control the movements of possibly infected citizens in mind, some recent developments in Israel are, to put it mildly, ominous. The Jewish state is currently achieving multi-level 24/7 surveillance of everyone residing in the country conducted in real time. Investigative reporter and peace activist Richard Silverstein describes in some detail why it is happening now, what it means, and how it works.

Per Silverstein, Israel, like every other authoritarian state, is currently taking advantage of the distraction caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose political fortunes seemed to be on the wane due to three hung elections, exploited the fear of the virus to assume emergency powers and obtain Knesset approval to use a highly classified national database “compiled by the Shin Bet and comprising private personal data on every Israeli citizen, both Jewish and Palestinian. In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel’s Knesset secretly assigned its domestic intelligence agency the task of creating the database, which was ostensibly meant as a counterterrorism measure.”

The database, nicknamed “The Tool,” includes names, addresses, phone numbers, employment, and educational information but it goes well beyond that in using phone tracking data to record every phone call made by the individual to include names and numbers of those called and the geo-location of where the call was made from. Phone tracking also enabled Shin Bet to create a log of where the caller traveled in Israel and the occupied territories. Internet use, if active on the phone, was also recorded. It is as complete and total surveillance of an individual as is possible to obtain and it does not involve any human participation at all, every bit of it being done by computer.

Netanyahu publicly proclaimed his intention to use the database, stating that it would be employed to combat the coronavirus, which he described as a threat to national survival. As a result of the claimed crisis, he and his principal opponent, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, were able to come to terms on April 20 to form a “national emergency unity government” with Netanyahu as prime minister yet again.

The exploitation of the fear of the virus plus that revelation about Israel’s powerful technical tool to thwart it produced a victory for Netanyahu, who effectively portrayed himself as a strong and indispensable leader, erasing the stigma resulting from his pending trial on charges of massive corruption while in office. One of the first steps Netanyahu will reportedly take is to replace the attorney general and state prosecutor who were seeking to send him to prison, effectively taking away the threat that he might go to prison.

The exposure of the existence of the database inevitably led to charges that Netanyahu had, for personal gain, revealed Israel’s most powerful counterterrorism weapon. There were also concerns about the significance of the huge body of personal information collected by Shin Bet, to include suggestions that it constituted a gross violation of civil liberties. But carefully stoked fear of the virus combined with some political deals and maneuvers meant that use of the data was eventually approved by the Knesset security committee at the end of March.

Israel, which has closed its borders, and which still has a relatively low level of coronavirus infections and deaths, has already started using the Shin Bet database while also turning the attempts to deal with the disease as something like an intelligence war. The information obtained from “The Tool” enables the police and military to determine if someone were standing near someone else for more than a few minutes. If the contact included someone already infected, all parties are placed under quarantine. Any attempt to evade controls leads to arrest and punishment of a six-month prison term plus a $1,500 fine. Armed soldiers patrolling the streets are empowered to question anyone who is out and about.

Mossad is also involved in fighting the virus, boasting of having “stolen” 100,000 face masks and also respirators from a neighboring country presumed to be the United Arab Emirates. Silverstein observes that “Israel’s far-right government has militarized the contagion. Just as a hammer never met a nail it didn’t want to pound, it is only natural for a national security state like Israel to see Covid-19 as a security threat just as much or more than a health threat.” And when it comes to bioweapons, Israel is no parvenu. Ironically, the hidden story behind the “war on the coronavirus” is that Israel is itself one of the most advanced states in developing and testing biological weapons at its lab at Nes Tziona.

Returning to the emergence of “The Tool,” hardline Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has also suggested monetizing the product by selling a “civilian version of it,” to include its operating system, analytic capabilities, and setup details to foreign countries, including the United States. Israel has already successfully marketed to security agencies and governments a similar product called Pegasus, which has been described as the most sophisticated malware on the market.

Like The Tool, Pegasus does data mining and real-time analysis of individuals based on a range of collection techniques. The Israeli cyber company NSO Group that markets Pegasus was recently involved in an attempt to hack Facebook-owned secure communications system Whats-App, targeting journalists and political activists, on behalf of an unknown client. Ironically, it is believed that Facebook had earlier used NSO Group’s somewhat shadowy services. Perhaps more notoriously, Pegasus was also used to monitor contacts and establish physical location in the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by Saudi intelligence agents in Istanbul.

So, Americans should beware when confronted by the new cyber-security software being promoted by Israel because the Jewish state is also exporting its own vision of a centrally controlled militarized state where all rights are potentially sacrificed for security. As whistleblower Edward Snowden has already revealed, the NSA has the capability to collect vast amounts of information on citizens. If the United States government falls for the bait and moves in the Israeli direction, using that data to enable the surveillance and manage all the people all the time, the temptation will be great to employ the new capability even if its use is not strictly speaking warranted.

And there will be no one there to say nay to the new powers, not in Congress, on the Supreme Court or in the White House. And the media will be on board, too, arguing that security against external and internal threats requires some infringements of individual rights. It is one of the ironies of history that the United States of America, with its vast resources, large population and legacy of individual freedom, has been becoming more like its tiny militarized client state Israel. It is a tendency that must be resisted at all costs by every American who cares about fundamental liberties.

«Israeli» Spy Van Scandal Triggers Privacy Breach Probe in Cyprus

«Israeli» Spy Van Scandal Triggers Privacy Breach Probe in Cyprus

By Staff, Agencies

Cypriot police are deepening their probe into a high-tech ‘spy van’ spotted on the island, owned by an Israeli surveillance firm and capable of hacking into any smartphone from a kilometer away. Its exact purpose remains unknown.

The mysterious vehicle first piqued curiosity after it featured in a Forbes report showing off its sophisticated surveillance set up, raising questions about how the gear was being used.

Owned by WiSpear, an “Israeli” spy firm registered in Cyprus, the high-tech van contains some $9 million of snooping gear which can breach virtually any smartphone application – including WhatsApp and Facebook messages, texts, calls and contacts – according to WiSpear founder Tal Dillian.

A 24-year veteran of the “Israeli” entity’s military intelligence service, Dillian bragged about his company making “a lot of money” from the widening gap between spying technology and encryption, adding that he expected more cash to roll in as governments struggle to find “back doors” to digital messaging apps.

A probe launched earlier this month into whether the van violated any privacy laws was widened on Thursday, when Attorney General Costas Clerides announced that he would appoint an independent investigator to the case, which continues to perplex authorities.

After a search of WiSpear’s headquarters in the city of Larnaca earlier in November, the van was seized and remains in police custody, though it is still unclear whether any additional evidence has turned up.

President Nicos Anastasiades said he would “never tolerate” breaches of any citizen’s privacy after a meeting last week on the matter with the country’s justice minister, chief of police and the head of the hard-left AKEL party, which first raised concerns about the vehicle.

WiSpear has denied any wrongdoing and insists the van was not used for spying purposes, nor rented out to any third party, arguing that the firm is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

“We would like to restate that the car has not been active within Cypriot territory other than for demo and field-test purposes only, solely on company-owned devices,” the company said in a statement last week.

Spy vs Spy vs Spy: The Mysterious Mr. Smolenkov

Global Research, September 19, 2019

A new spy story has been making the rounds in Washington, but this time it involved a brave Russian official who allegedly was allegedly recruited while in the Russian Embassy in Washington in 2007 and then worked secretly for the CIA until he was exfiltrated safely in 2017 lest he be discovered and caught. The tale was clearly leaked by the Agency itself to CNN by way of “multiple Trump administration officials.”

The CNN headline Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017 landed like a bombshell but then pretty much disappeared as journalists noted a number of inconsistencies in the government-produced account of what had taken place. Matt Taibbi observed succinctly that “Seldom has a news story been more transparently fraudulent…the tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies.”

The account that appeared in the mainstream media went something like this: A midlevel Russian official named Oleg Smolenkov was recruited decades ago by the CIA. He eventually wound up in an important office in the Kremlin that gave him access to President Vladimir Putin. Smolenkov was the principal source of information confirming that Russia, acting on Putin’s instructions, was trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

It was claimed that Smolenkov was actually able to photograph documents in Putin’s desk. CIA concerns that a mole hunt in the Kremlin resulting from the media revelations concerning Russian interference in the election might lead to Smolenkov resulted in a 2016 offer to extract him and his family from Russia. This was successfully executed during a Smolenkov family vacation trip to Montenegro in 2017. The family now resides in Virginia.

The CNN story and other mainstream media that picked up on the tale embroidered it somewhat, suggesting that although Smolenkov was the CIA’s crown jewel, the US has a number of “high level” spies in Moscow. It was also claimed that the timetable for the exfiltration was pushed forward by CIA in 2017 after it was noted that Donald Trump was particularly careless with classified information and might inadvertently reveal the existence of the source. The allegation about Trump carelessness came, according to CNN, after a May 2017 meeting between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which the president reportedly shared sensitive information on Syria and ISIS that had been provided by Israel.

Variants of the CNN story appeared subsequently in the New York Times headlined C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to US for Decades, which confirmed that the extraction took place in 2017 though it also asserts that the decision to make the move came in 2016 when Barack Obama was still president.

Taibbi observes, correctly, that CNN and the other mainstream elements reporting the story elaborated on it through commentary coming from anonymous “former senior intelligence officials.” As the networks have all hired ex-spooks, it raises the interesting possibility that employees of the media are themselves providing comments on intelligence operations that they were personally involved in, meaning that they might deliberately promote a narrative that does not cast them in a bad light.

Next morning’s Washington Post story US got key asset out of Russia following election hacking touched all bases and also tried hard to implicate Trump. It confirmed 2016 as the time frame for the decision to carry out the exfiltration and also mentioned the president’s talk with Lavrov in May 2017, though the meeting itself was not cited as the reason for the move. As Taibbi observes, “So why mention it?”

The Russians have denied that Smolenkov was an important official and have insisted that the whole story might be something of a fabrication. And the alleged CIA handling of the claimed top-level defector somewhat bears out that conclusion. Normally, a former top spy is resettled in the US or somewhere overseas in a fake name to protect him or her from any possible attempt at revenge by their former countrymen. In Smolenkov’s case, easily public accessible online county real estate records indicate that he bought a $1 million house in Stafford Virginia in 2018 using his own true name.

If the Russians were truly conducting a mole hunt that endangered Smolenkov it may have been because the US media and their anonymous intelligence sources have been bragging about how they have “penetrated the Kremlin.” A Washington Post June 2017 articled called “Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault is typical. In that article, the author describes how CIA Director John Brennan secured a “feat of espionage” by running spies “deep within the Russian government” that revealed Russia’s electoral interference.

So, the Smolenkov story has inconsistencies and one has to question why it was deliberately leaked at this time. The only constant in the media coverage is the repeated but completely evidence-free suggestion that the mole was endangered and had to be removed because of Donald Trump’s inability to keep a secret. One has to consider the possibility that the story has been leaked at least in part due to the continuing effort by the national security state to “get Trump.”

Highly recommended is former weapons inspector Scott Ritter’s fascinating detailed dissection of Smolenkov’s career as well as a history of the evolution of CIA spying against Russia. Scott speculates on why the leak of the story took place at all, examining a number of scenarios along the way. Smolenkov, who, according to former CIA officer Larry Johnson, has oddly never been polygraphed to establish his bona fides, might have been a double agent from the start, possibly a low level functionary allowed to work for the Americans so the Russian FSB intelligence service could feed low level information and control the narrative. It is a “dirty secret” within the Agency that many agents are recruited by case officers for no other reason than to enhance one’s career. Such agents normally have no real access and provide little reporting.

Or alternatively, Smolenkov might have been someone who was turned after recruitment or a genuine agent who was trying to respond to urgent demands from his controller in Washington, who was de facto John Brennan, by producing a dramatic report that was basically fabricated. Or the story itself might be completely false, an attempt by some former and current officials at CIA to demonstrate a great success at a time when the intelligence community is under considerable pressure.

Scott also believes, as do I, that the story was leaked because John Brennan and his associates knew that they were deliberately marketing phony intelligence on Russia to undermine Trump and are trying to preempt any investigation by Attorney General William Barr on the provenance of the Russiagate story. If it can be demonstrated somehow that the claims of Kremlin interference came from a highly regarded credible Russian source then Brennan and company can claim that they acted in good faith. Of course, that tale might break down if anyone bothers to interview Smolenkov.

Another theory that I tend to like is that the CIA might be making public the Smolenkov case in an attempt to lower the heat on another actual high-level source still operating in Moscow. If Russia can be convinced that Smolenkov was the only significant spy working in the Kremlin it might ratchet down efforts to find another mole. It is an interesting theory worthy of spy vs. spy, but one can be pretty sure that Russian counterintelligence has already thought of that possibility and will not be fooled.

The reality is that spying is a highly creative profession, with operational twists and turns limited only by one’s imagination. In this case, unless someone actually succeeds in interviewing Oleg Smolenkov and he decides to tell the complete truth as he sees it, the American public might never know the reality behind the latest spy story.

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Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Trump Refuses to Accuse “Israel” of Placing Spy Devices near WH

 

Trump Refuses to Accuse “Israel” of Placing Spy Devices near WH

By Staff- Agencies

The US government has concluded within the past two years that “Israel” has been placing surveillance devices near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, DC, according to a US media outlet.

In contrast to other instances of foreign spying, however, US President Donald Trump’s administration has not rebuked “Israel”, and there were no consequences for the regime’s behavior, Politico reported on Thursday, citing three former senior US officials with knowledge of the matter.

The phone eavesdropping devices, called IMSI-catcher, or stingrays, are essentially a “fake” mobile towers used for intercepting mobile phone traffic and tracking location data of mobile phone users.

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates – though it’s not clear whether the “Israeli” efforts were successful.

Trump is reputed to be lax in observing White House security protocols. POLITICO reported in May 2018 that the president often used an insufficiently secured cell phone to communicate with friends and confidants.

The New York Times subsequently reported in October 2018 that “Chinese spies are often listening” to Trump’s cell-phone calls, prompting the president to slam the story as “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it.”

The report said that in May 2018, officials at the US Department of Homeland Security discovered evidence of the surveillance devices around the US capital, but weren’t able to attribute the devices to specific entities.

However, based on a detailed forensic analysis, the FBI and other intelligence agencies working on the case felt confident that “Israeli” agents had placed the devices, according to the report.

“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement on the report, calling the accusation “a blatant lie.”

A spokesperson for “Israel’s” embassy in Washington, Elad Strohmayer, also denied that Israel placed the devices. “These allegations are absolute nonsense. Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period,” he said.

But former US officials with deep experience dealing with intelligence matters scoff at the “Israeli” claim.

One former senior intelligence official noted that after the FBI and other agencies concluded that the “Israelis” were most likely responsible for the devices, the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the “Israeli” government.

“The reaction … was very different than it would have been in the last administration,” this person said, adding, “With the current administration, there are a different set of calculations in regard to addressing this.”

The former senior intelligence official criticized how the administration handled the matter, remarking on the striking difference from past administrations, which likely would have at least issued a formal diplomatic reprimand to the foreign government condemning its actions.

“I’m not aware of any accountability at all,” said the former official.

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The Spy Game: It Ain’t What It Used to Be

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August 1, 2019

The Tehran government has announced the arrest of seventeen Iranian citizens caught spying for America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Some of those arrested have already been sentenced to death. It is the third major roll-up of CIA agents in Iran that I have been aware of, the first occurring in 1991 involved 20 American agents. The second episode in 2011 led to the arrest of 30 spies. The earlier arrests reportedly eliminated what were presumed to be the entire networks of American agents operating inside Iran and it is to be presumed that the recent arrests will have the same impact.

The Iranians presented a considerable quantity of evidence, including photos and business cards of US government officials, to back up their claim of American spying but President Trump dismissed the report as “totally false” and “just more lies and propaganda” — while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken.”

Iran’s press release on the arrests together with a briefing by an intelligence official supplemented by local media coverage provided some of the details. The seventeen reportedly had “sophisticated training” but those who had sabotage missions did not succeed. Other objectives included “collecting information at the facilities they worked at, carrying out technical and intelligence activities and transferring and installing monitoring devices.”

Some of the agents had reportedly been recruited by falling into what is referred to as a “visa trap” set by the CIA for Iranians seeking to travel to the US. This has long been the preferred tool for recruiting Iranian agents. The intelligence official handed out a CD with a video recording of an alleged CIA case officer speaking to an Iranian target, which was presumably recorded secretly. The video shows a blonde woman who speaks Persian with an American accent. The disc also included names of several US embassy staff in Dubai, Turkey, India, Zimbabwe and Austria who Iran claims were involved in the recruitment and training of the Iranian spies.

How exactly did the recruitments take place as there is no US Embassy in Tehran and few Americans resident in the country? Many of the Iranians were targeted when they walked into an American Embassy in a country to which they are free to travel, which includes Turkey and Dubai. In the words of the Iranian intelligence official, “Some were approached when they were applying for a visa, while others had visas from before and were pressured by the CIA in order to renew them.”

Others were targeted and recruited as spies while attending scientific conferences around the world. Those recruited received promises of money, eventual resettlement and a job in the US or medical assistance. To maintain contact with its agents inside Iran, the CIA would reportedly conceal spyware and instructions in containers that look like rocks, which would be planted in city parks or in rural areas. The Iranian agents would then recover the material, which might include false identification documents. It should be observed that fake rocks are a standard espionage tool. They are hollowed out to conceal spy-gear and communications. After they are in place, a signal is made to alert the agent that there is something ready to be picked-up. In the trade they are referred to as “dead drops.”

Why does the United States continue to spy on Iran with such ferocity? The Mullahs became a major intelligence target for Washington in the wake of the 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis, in which fifty-two American diplomats and intelligence officers were held for 444 days. The CIA mounted a major intelligence operation run from Europe that collected a wide range of information on the Iranian government and, increasingly, on its technical capabilities, including a suspected nuclear development program. In 2015 the CIA under President Barack Obama and Director John Brennan ramped up collection efforts against Iran as part of the verification process for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). More recently, Mike Pompeo, when CIA Director, further increased efforts against Iran when the Trump Administration withdrew from that agreement in the belief that Iran represented a rogue nation and a threat to United States interests and allies. In reality, of course, there is no real American vital interest relating to Iran and Trump has been acting on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are hostile to Iran as a regional rival.

But running intelligence operations in a country without a US Embassy to serve as a base for spies proved difficult. Many spies have been caught, by one Iranian estimate, 290 agents arrested in recent years. Most often the exposure of the spies has been due to human error or technical problems in communications. Iran has benefited by boasting of those arrests and has long promoted its capacity to uncover American spy rings in the country. As the New York Times reports, Iran has recently aired a documentary featuring efforts to expose and rid the country of the CIA agents working there.

A recently produced and very popular Iranian fictional television series called “Gando” has also introduced the narrative of a perpetual fight against American spies into the country’s popular culture. The show features brave Iranian intelligence officials in pursuit of an American spy posing as a journalist.

According to a Yahoo News investigation, Iran was in 2009 enraged by reports that the CIA had possibly penetrated its nuclear program and its counter-intelligence agents immediately went on the hunt for moles. By 2011, Iranian officials had uncovered and arrested a network of 30 CIA sources, a fact that US officials later confirmed. Some of the accused informants were executed. The Iranian government was able to find the operatives because of failures in the systems and techniques that the CIA agents used to communicate with the agents. Once a flaw in communications is detected, it is possible to exploit that so one can sit back and wait and watch for all those linked to the network to reveal themselves.

One might observe that the continued massive American “maximum pressure” spying effort directed against Iran is a bit of an anachronism. It is agreed by nearly all observers that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and is unlikely to start one. The sanctions put in place against the country unilaterally by the US cannot produce a popular uprising that will bring down the regime, but they have indeed hurt the country’s economy badly and the people are suffering. Iran’s military cannot stand up against its neighbors, much less against the United States, and its ability to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors is extremely limited.

So, it is probably just as well that Iran has again rolled up most of the American spies in the country, though it will be a tragedy for the men and women involved. Many critics of the Agency have argued that the CIA has forgotten how to spy in an age of drones and electronic surveillance, which may be true. Certainly, the CIA record regarding Iran is nothing to brag about.

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إيران في المواجهة… تفرض قواعد اشتباك ومعادلات ردع فاعلة

يوليو 23, 2019

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

ظنّ الغرب بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي انّ الساحة الدولية خلت له وأنه أيّ الغرب بشكل عام وأميركا بشكل خاص لهم الحق بأن يقيّدوا العالم بأوامرهم وقوانينهم وبما يفرضونه من قواعد سلوك أو قواعد اشتباك. وتصرّف الغرب بقيادة أميركية بذهنية «الأمر لنا وعلى العالم الطاعة». وبهذا «المنطق الذي يرفضه منطق العدالة والسيادة والاستقلال الوطني»، بهذا المنطق خاضت أميركا وأحلافها القائمة او التي ركبت غبّ الطلب خاضت منذ العام 1990 أربع حروب الكويت أفغانستان – العراق لبنان وألزمت مجلس الأمن إما بتفويضها ابتداء أو بالتسليم لاحقاً بالأمر الواقع الذي أنتجته حروبها العدوانية.

اما إيران التي أطلقت في ظلّ ثورتها الإسلامية نظرية «الاستقلال الفعلي المحصّن بالقوة القادرة على حمايته« فقد تصدّت للمنطق الاستعماري الأميركي ورفضت الخضوع لمقتضياته، وجاهرت برفضها له وتمسّكها بحقها في السيادة والاستقلال الوطني، ليس هذا فقط، بل وأيضاً جاهرت بنصرة القضايا العادلة ومدّ يد العون للمظلومين ضحايا الغزو الاستعماري بوجوهه المتعدّدة والتي يشكل الاستعمار الاحتلالي التهجيري الذي تمارسه «إسرائيل» في فلسطين، الوجه الأبشع والأكثر ظلماً في ممارسات الاستعمار.

ولأنّ إيران رفضت ان تنصاع للاستعمار بأيّ صيغة من صيغ الإذعان التي أعدّها لها فقد اتخذ القرار الغربي بإسقاطها وشنّت عليها الحرب في الأشهر الأولى لنجاح ثورتها وإقامة دولتها الإسلامية… ولما فشلت الحرب في تحقيق أهدافها اعتمد الغرب الاستعماري سياسة الاحتواء والمحاصرة أسلوباً لمواجهتها.

وبالتالي فإنّ إيران الاستقلالية هذه وضعت بين شرّين: شرّ الاستتباع والهيمنة كما هي حال جوارها في دول الخليج، وشرّ التضييق والحصار للتركيع عبر ما يسمّى العقوبات، وبينهما اختارت إيران الشرّ الأدنى لأنها توقن «انّ جوع مع كرامة وسيادة أفضل من عبودية وتبعية مع وعد بالتساهل الاقتصادي». ومع هذا الاختيار حوّلت التحدي الى فرصة استغلتها من أجل تنمية اقتصادها سعياً لتحقيق الاكتفاء الذاتي الممكن.

استطاعت إيران ان تصمد طيلة الأربعين عاماً الماضية الى ان وصلت اليوم لموقع بالغ الحرج والخطورة حيث فرض عليها اختيار جديد، يخيّرها بين التنازل عن حقوقها استجابة لقرار أميركي ينتهك هذه الحقوق، او المواجهة المفتوحة مع ما يمكن ان تتطوّر فيه وصولاً الى الحرب. اختبار بدأه ترامب بالخروج من الاتفاق النووي وأكده موقف أوروبي متخاذل عن حماية هذا الاتفاق.

تدرك إيران انّ الخضوع للرئيس الأميركي ترامب في مطالبه يعني بكلّ بساطة التنكّر للثورة وتغيير طبيعة النظام الاستقلالي والعودة الى مقاعد الدول التي تفرض أميركا هيمنتها عليها، اما المواجهة فإنها مع مخاطرها تختزن آمالاً كبيرة بتحقيق النجاح وتثبيت المواقع الاستقلالية، ولهذا اختارت إيران ان تتمسك بحقوقها واستقلالها وان تعدّ لكلّ احتمال مقتضياته، وهذا القرار هو الأساس الذي تبني عليه إيران كلّ سياستها.

ويبدو انّ أميركا صُدمت بالقرار الإيراني فراحت تهوّل على إيران بالحرب وعملت على تشكيل أحلاف دولية للعدوان عليها بدءاً بـ «حلف الناتو العربي» واجتماع وارسو الذي دعت اليه للتحشيد ضدّ إيران، وصولاً الى فكرة الحلف البحري في الخليج لمحاصرة إيران، ثم شرعت بتحريك ونقل قوات عسكرية الى السعودية للإيحاء بأنّ الخيار العسكري لمواجهة إيران هو خيار جدي وقريب…

كلّ هذا لم يرعب إيران ولم يهزّ ثقتها بنفسها لا بل تعاملت مع المستجدات بموقف أذهل أميركا وحلفاءها حيث كان إسقاط إيران لطائرة التجسّس الأميركية ثم كان احتجازها لباخرة بريطانية انتهكت مقابل الشاطئ الإيراني قواعد الملاحة الدولية ثم كان اعتقال 17 جاسوس أميركي في إيران ومحاكمتهم…

قامت يران بكلّ ذلك في إطار تنفيذ استراتيجية دفاعية تثبت فيها أنها صحيح لا تسعى الى الحرب ولكنها أيضاً لا تتهيّب المواجهة إذا فرضت عليها، ولهذا أعدّت إيران نفسها للدفاع وأطلقت مع حلفائها «استراتيجية الحرب المفتوحة والمواجهة الشاملة على كلّ الجبهات» وحضرت نفسها للأكثر سوءاً. ما جعل أميركا تدرك انّ لعبتها على حافة الفشل والانهيار الأمر الذي جعلها تتراجع قليلاً وتأمر بريطانيا بفعل شيء ما ضدّ إيران فاستجابت ونفذت عملية قرصنة ضدّ باخرة نفط إيرانية كانت تعبر مضيق جبل طارق. وارتكبت بذلك عملاً غير مشروع ومخالف لأحكام القانون الدولي العام بما فيه أحكام الملاحة الدولية ويصنّف بأنه عدوان على إيران بكلّ المعايير.

تصوّرت أميركا وبريطانيا أنهما ستلويان ذراع إيران وتجبرانها على وقف تصدير نفطها، لكن الردّ الإيراني جاء معاكساً للتوقع الانكلوسكسوني، ردّ حصل على وفقاً لمبدأ «السن بالسن والعين بالعين والبادئ أظلم«، وترجم باحتجاز الباخرة البريطانية التي كاث تعبر مضيق هرمز.

انّ احتجاز إيران للباخرة البريطانية بعد أيام من إسقاط طائرة التجسّس الأميركية فوق النطاق الإقليمي الإيراني يشكل خطوة نوعيه في المواجهة من شأنها ان تفرض إيقاعها على الكثير من العلاقات الدولية التي يكون الغرب طرفاً فيها. وفيها من الدلالات فوق ما كان يتوقع او يتخيّل أحد من ساسة الغرب عامة وأميركا وبريطانيا خاصة دلالات يمكن ذكر بعضها كالتالي:

1 ـ رسم الفعل الإيراني قواعد اشتباك جديدة في العلاقة مع الخصوم والأعداء، قواعد قائمة على «الردّ المناسب في الوقت المناسب وبالطريقة المناسبة»، ينفذ تطبيقاً لقاعدة أساسية في قانون الحرب هي «قاعدة التناسب والضرورة». فإيران وفقاً لهذا المبدأ لا تعتدي ولا تبادر الى عمل ميداني إنْ لم يكن مسبوقاً بعدوان عليها، كما انّ إيران لن تسكت عن أيّ عدوان يستهدفها.

2 ـ أسقطت إيران الهيبة الأميركية والبريطانية وهذا أمر بالغ الخطورة بالنسبة لاثنتين من مجموعة المنتصرين في الحرب العالمية الثانية. وأكدت أنها لا تخشى ما هم عليه من قوّة، وبأن عليهم اعتماد الحسابات الدقيقة في مواجهتها وإلا كانت الخسارة المؤكدة.

3 ـ أكدت إيران انها عصية على الحرب النفسية وأنها واثقة من قدراتها الدفاعية الذاتية وإنها أيضاً مطمئنة لتحالفاتها الإقليمية والدولية. وأنها لا تتهيّب مواجهة عسكرية مع انها لا تسعى اليها.

4 ـ أكدت إيران احترامها للقانون الدولي وفقاً للتفسير الموضوعي الصحيح، وترفض أيّ تفسير منحرف وعدواني على حقوق الغير.

5 ـ أرست إيران معادلة ردع متبادل فاعل في مواجهة الخارج عامة وأميركا ومن يتبعها خاصة، معادلة جديدة تقوم مكان مبدأ الردع الأحادي الذي تفرضه أميركا في العالم وتمنع أحداً من الدول من مواجهتها حتى ولو كانت المواجهة دفاعاً عن النفس.

انّ مفاعيل ما تقوم به إيران يتعدّى إطار العلاقة البينية مع أميركا وبريطانيا ويتمدّد ليصبغ العلاقات الدولية كلها وليفرض نمطاً جديداً فيها قائماً على الثقة بالنفس وكسر قيود الهيبة الغربية التي بها فرض الاستعمار إرادته وبها أخضعت الدول وبها سرقت أموال الشعوب وحقوقهم، وعندما تكسر الهيبة تلك ستخلع أنياب الغرب وسيظهر مدى عجز دوله عسكرياً عن القبض على قرارات الشعوب والدول. وعندها سيفتح الطريق واسعاً أمام من يريد الحرية الحقيقية والاستقلال الفعلي الناجز والتمتع الكامل بثرواته.

وبكلمة أخرى نقول انّ إيران اليوم ترسم مشهداً دولياً استراتيجياً هاماً يتعدّى القول بمعادلة الطائرة بالطائرة والباخرة بالباخرة وهي تواجه معسكر الاستعمار بالأصالة عن نفسها والنيابة عن أحرار العالم ومظلوميه، وهنا تكمن أهمية المواجهة التي ستكشف انّ الخوف من الغرب كان قائماً على وهم وخيال أكثر منه على حقيقة وواقع، فالغرب لا يملك الجيوش التي تمكّنه من السيطرة على الكرة الأرضية لكن ضعف الآخر وعدم أخلاقية الغرب مكّنه من السيطرة، والآن تقوم إيران بكسر هذه الهيبة وتشجع الآخرين على المواجهة بعد الإعداد الصحيح لها وامتلاك الثقة بالنفس… وليعلم الجميع انّ الغرب سيحجم عن الحرب عندما يلمس انّ الآخر مستعدّ لها وقادر على خوضها… كما هي حال إيران ومحور المقاومة اليوم… وبهذا نفهم ما قاله بومبيو لبريطانيا «احموا سفنكم بأنفسكم فلسنا مستعدّين للحرب مع إيران».

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

Iran Busts CIA Spy Network of 17 Members – Intelligence Ministry

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced identifying and destroying an integrated network of operatives serving the US Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] inside the country.

The Ministry’s director-general for counterintelligence said Monday that Iran captured 17 professional spies working on behalf of CIA throughout last year and some of those arrested had been handed death sentences, according to the Fars news agency.

“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” the unnamed official said in a statement.

The official said that the suspects were operating in key organizations and institutions mainly in the private sector.

He noted that the CIA had recruited the individuals by mainly contacting them over the internet. Other tactics included issuing or renewing US visas, hiring Iranian specialists, providing necessary equipment and access to certain participants in scientific events abroad, sending emails and messaging through social.

Last month, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said it had “penetrated the US safe system in cyberspace.” which the CIA has used for maintaining communication with the spies.

The discovery of the network was first announced by the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, who said then that the “cyber-espionage” network had been operating in countries other than Iran that it had been discovered “a while ago.”

“We provided the information on the exposed network to some other allied countries in which it had been operating, which resulted in the exposing and dismantling of the US intelligence officers network and arrest and conviction of some CIA agents in different countries,” Shamkhani said in June.

 

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