Thursday, January 05, 2006

Iran's "Let's Roll" Beginning?

Analysts watching Iran on a daily basis were not taken by surprise by the Islamic Regime not showing up at the International Atomic Energy Agency on January 05, 2006, since reports out of Tehran have for the past weeks been mentioning President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's office privately leaking to the Tehran newspapers that Iran already has four nuclear weapons obtained from the Ukraine. Back in 1991/1992 three nuclear weapon devices the Mullahs had obtained from Kazakhstan were verified on ground in Iran and intelligence further estimates that Iran has totally between eight to 12 nuclear devices from the Soviet era. The press leaks pointed to Iran possibly not proceeding with negotiations, reassuring internal supporters and preparing to confront the West. The final decision to disdain the European meeting was apparently made with the sudden incapacitation of Israel's Ariel Sharon. Concurrently, Iran has suddenly moved a significant number of tanks toward its southern border near Basra, Iraq; has started repositioning naval assets and intercepts show military communications have become very atypical. Is Iran expecting an attack now that the more pragmatic Sharon is out of the picture or has U.S and Coalition information leaked to them of an impending strike to put an end to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of someone like Ahmadi-Nejad. The new regime in Iran has certainly tried to provoke the USA and Israel beyond the point of endurance. Brigadier-General Mohammad Kossari, head of the Security Bureau of the IRGC has long stated, "Iran intends to become a superpower and will drive all foreign forces out of our region". What was previously sheer hyperbole now has a basis in serious executive policy and planning. Alternatively, is Iran planning to set up a reactive retaliation in the Middle East by the USA from an attack through surrogates like the Hezbollah? The huge one-day increase in fatalities in Iraq appears to be an effort to distract the Coalition Forces, while the Islamic Regime sets up its pieces on the war map. Part of this involves backing up an increasingly under pressure Syria and trying to take advantage of the power vacuum in Israel. Palestinian confrontation at the Gaza border with Egyptian forces on January 4th, 2006, which drove the Egyptians back a good mile, allowed Iran supported and financed Hezbollah to bring in substantial quantities of high-end weaponry through the gap they had bulldozed in the concrete slab border. Iran, Syria and the Hezbollah can now create havoc in Israel. Either as a starter for a regional conflict or in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Mullah's nuclear facilities. In addition, perhaps help ward off pressures by Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Syria that would not favor Iranian interests. Working in Iran's favor is the disagreement between the Saudi desire for a Sunni take over in Syria and Egypt's decades of fighting the Moslem Brotherhood, who would enter the picture if the ruling Alawites of President Bashar al-Assad were overthrown. Cairo has been trying to lobby the French government to give al-Assad another chance despite the latter recently offering asylum to al-Assad's defecting deputy, Khaddam, who can lay bare all Syria's secrets. Potentially including the location of WMDs that Syria accepted from Iraq both just prior and during U.S. and Coalition Forces invading. Plus, about stockpiles moved to the Beqa'a Valley in Lebanon in anticipation of the invasion and currently guarded by the Hezbollah. Meanwhile, back home, Ahmadi-Nejad and his spiritual mentor Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi – both fanatical adherents of the apocalyptic Hojatieh - which promotes Armageddon, pain, suffering, oppression and misery to entice their religious icon, the 12th Imam to return sooner - based on a sufficient quantity of all these for him to bother, now move into the next phase of their power grab. From the day after he was sworn in as President in mid-August, Ahmadi-Nejad has replaced every key position – down to mid and lower levels, with his military Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) colleagues and their supporters. Despite a few hiccups with his crony choices of amazingly useless candidates for the position of Oil Minister and a couple of other posts, which the Majliss (parliament) refused to ratify, he now has his people deep inside all parts of the power structure. Interestingly enough, the rejection of one person as Oil Minister was because the former deputy minister of Defense was independently rich and therefore unacceptable. The story behind that story was that he had confiscated enormous tracts of property and goods, ostensibly for the benefit of the country, then kept it all himself. The internecine struggle and fissure between the old guard Mullahs and the fundamental, neo-Islamic government of Ahmadi-Nejad has also reached boiling point with him and his mentor Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi fanning the flames. Realizing that the new President controls most strings of government, on paper at least - and also the IRGC – as opposed to the less effective standing army, Mesbah Yazdi has approached the Council of Experts to elect him as Supreme Ruler to replace Ali Khamenei. Ironically, Mesbah Yazdi and the Iraqi born Minister of Justice, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroodi, were the only two who supported designating Khamenei as a Grand Ayatollah, nobody else would, which was a prerequisite to his being elected Supreme Ruler to replace Khomeini. Incidentally, sabotaging the original Ayatollah whom Khomeini had previously selected as his religious heir. Now Mesbah Yazdi has apparently recanted and asks the Council to elect him instead. (Khomeini found Mesbah Yazdi's lunatic fringe Hojatieh version of Islam so appalling he eventually drove it underground by refusing to acknowledge or support it). Should this power putsch succeed, Iran will not only have an incredibly strange President but also an even weirder new Supreme Ruler. As if all this were not enough, Western financial analysts have reluctantly come to accept and write about Iran's neo-Islamic leadership, with its propensity for death and destruction built into its philosophy, to potentially cause a melt down of the world economy. Iran has already threatened to stop oil shipments if Europe goes along with any referral to the UN Security Council and deals its oil in Euros rather than dollars. (For more on the Hojatieh, Ahmadi-Nejad and the oil crisis he can bring about, read my articles posted at: )

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