The Democrats’ Broken Record on Iran

Over on Investor’s Business Daily, Michael Barone reports that Stratfor analyst Robert Kaplan has suggested that Obama is trying to forge some alliance of sorts with Iran.

As implausible as this might seem, Kaplan evidently makes a case for it and it certainly wouldn’t be the first move by Obama that defies all logic and appears to work directly against US interests and those of our allies:

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/021014-689504-obama-shifting-mideast-alliance-to-iran.htm?p=full

The apparent basis for Obama’s obsequiousness toward Iran, a country that has sponsored Hezbollah in its campaigns of murder of US citizens and even cooperated with Al Qaeda (YES, Al Qaeda: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/223992/iranian-entanglements/christopher-w-holton)–not to mention Iran’s involvement in supporting insurgents battling US GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan–is the newly fashionable mythology that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is at long-last the “moderate” Iranian leader that we have all been waiting for.

The basic flaw in this thinking is that the President of Iran has no real authority over foreign policy and national security issues and policy. That authority resides only with the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Despite the absurdity of the theory that Rouhani will make a real difference in US-Iranian relations, history suggests that it should not come as a real surprise that Team Obama is championing him. Democrats in office have held out this theory for decades. (Not that Republicans should get a free pass, since they too have sat idly by as Iran built up its nuclear infrastructure.)

The first known example of damaging Democratic naivete came, of course, during the disastrous administration of Jimmy Carter. Carter’s UN ambassador, Andrew Young, declared that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was akin to an Islamic “saint.” National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski considered Khomeini someone America could work with to oppose the Soviets. Young’s saint proceeded to seize political power despite public pledges not to do so and ordered the slaughter of thousands of opponents. He then dragged Iran back centuries with the imposition of Shariah law and began exporting the Islamic revolution through terrorism.

The next nauseating episode of Democratic gullibility when it came to Iran involved Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who served in several capacities in the Mullahs’ hierarchy in Iran, including Speaker of the Majles, a sort of parliament, and president of Iran from 1989-1997. Rafsanjani is one of the wealthiest men in Iran, his family having earned its fortune in the farming of pistachio nuts. The Clinton administration went to far as to ease sanctions on pistachio nut imports from Iran to the US under the misguided expectation that such a move would win favor with Rafsanjani, who many in the Clinton administration considered a “pragmatist.”

The rest is, as they say, history. Clinton’s pragmatist was evidently the Ayatollah in direct charge of kicking off Iran’s nuclear program to begin with.

In a 2001 speech, Rafsanjani had this to say about nuclear weapons and the conflict with Israel:

“If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession – on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”

This was not Rafsanjani’s first statement on nuclear weapons. Before he became president of Iran and long before Bill Clinton’s team came along to declare him a pragmatist, Rafsanjani was making worrying statements about Iran and nuclear weapons.  In a broadcast over Tehran radio in October 1988, when he was speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ayatollah Rafsanjani made this chilling declaration that called for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons:

“We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons.” 

Rafsanjani was eventually replaced as president by Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami, another Great Iranian Hope for the Democratic Party in the US. Khatami served as president from 1997 to 2005 and many in the West portrayed him as a champion of reform and dialogue between the West and Iran.

Of course, none of that amounted to anything, perhaps because Khatami, as president, had no authority over foreign policy and served at the pleasure of the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But, like his predecessors, Khatami was not what he appeared to be. When he was Iran’s minister of culture and Islamic propagation, Khatami was directly involved in the creation of Hezbollah, the global Jihadist terrorist organization that has served as Iran’s proxy in waging war against the West. It should also be noted that Iran’s nuclear program accelerated during Khatami’s presidency.

So, now we have Rouhani and Obama’s apparent miscalculation to follow in the footsteps of Clinton and Carter before him. The difference now is that the Iranians are so much closer to becoming a nuclear power.

 

 

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The Coming Bonanza for Jihad from the Obama/Kerry-Ayatollah Nuclear Bargain

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Lost in the discussion about the disastrous P5+1 agreement on nuclear technology forced on the world by Barack Obama, John Kerry and the Ayatollahs in Tehran are the profound implications for Jihadist terrorism.

No where in the agreement is the issue of Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism even addressed. For all we know, John Kerry didn’t even raise it as an issue in his talks with the Iranians.

It’s not like the Obama administration can deny Iran’s role in the sponsorship of terrorism. The State Department has for years called Iran the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism. We have chronicled that in the past:

https://iranbulletin.me/2010/08/06/irans-sponsorship-of-terror-detailed-in-new-state-department-report/

Note that in the State Department report we cited in our 2010 post on Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, the Obama State Department acknowledged not only Iran’s sponsorship of Shia Hezbollah, but also Sunni terrorist organizations, such as HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, Iran was cited for providing safe haven for Al Qaeda and for providing arms and training to the Taliban, who were fighting US forces in Afghanistan.

Iran’s complicated, on-again, off-again relationship with Al Qaeda was the subject of an article I wrote for National Review way back in 2008 as well:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/223992/iranian-entanglements/christopher-w-holton

Meanwhile, TerrorTrendsBulletin detailed Iran’s ongoing support for the Taliban as long ago as 2009:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2009/06/08/taliban-continue-to-get-heavy-weapons-from-iran/

How does all this fit in with the nuclear agreement?

The point is, it takes money to arm, train, supply and provide safe haven for Hezbollah, HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Money is the lifeblood of Jihad and no one supports Jihad more than Iran does. That money has to come from somewhere. For the most part Iran gets money from oil and natural gas. Divestment and sanctions policies in the US and the West over the past 8-10 years have been geared toward reducing Iran’s oil revenue.

Now, with the stroke of a pen, Obama and Kerry have provided a renewed stream of revenue to the Ayatollahs by easing sanctions that were designed to pressure the Iranians into changing their behavior. This was done with the hope that the Iranians would not build nuclear weapons, a fool’s errand most likely. But even so, the deal was done in a vacuum of consideration for Iran’s sponsorship of Jihadist terrorism. So, whether the Iranians build an atomic bomb next week, next month or next year, Obama and Kerry obviously don’t care that Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of Jihadist terrorism.

How much of a financial bonanza will the Iranians enjoy as a result of Obama and Kerry’s handiwork?

Well, one estimate forecasts that the Iranians will see an increase in their oil exports of as much as 50%. Given that Iran exports 1 million barrels of oil per day, that figure could rise to 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. Assuming a price of oil of $100 per barrel, that comes to an increase of $50 million each and every day over and above what the Iranians bring in now. Multiply that times 365 days per year and you get a figure of $18,250,000,000.

http://freebeacon.com/analysts-iran-oil-experts-could-increase-50-percent/

In other words, over the next year, the Iranians will earn an extra $18 billion thanks to Barack Obama and John Kerry.

How much of that ends up in the form of weaponry and training for Hezbollah, HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Taliban is anyone’s guess. Surely a portion of it will also go to Iran’s ballistic missile development program as well…which is yet another nefarious Iranian activity that Obama and Kerry actively ignored in putting together this unprecedentedly horrible deal.

 

 

 

Clare Lopez and W. Thomas Smith: Iranian Press TV Publishes Names of US Citizens in Apparent “Hit” List

Clare Lopez and W. Thomas Smith are two of the best practicioners of national security analysis in America. They have just co-wrote an important article that reveals that the Iranians have published a list of Americans who have been active in opposing Shariah and warning about Jihad. Some experts warn that such a list amounts to a threat, much like a fatwa.

The names mentioned are some of the best, most knowledgeable folks in the US when it comes to Jihad. The fact that the Iranians would publish such a list–which looks eerily similar to the names mentioned by the George Soros-funded think tank Center for American Progress last month–is testimony to the work that these brave people do. The fact that the list is similar to the Center for American Progress list raises serious questions about that organization as well…

Read more at Canada Free Press…

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/39990

 

Iran’s Sponsorship of Terror Detailed in New State Department Report

This week the US State Department released its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2009,” which includes details on state sponsors of terrorism, of which Iran is obviously at the forefront.

We have pasted the entire section on Iran below, but will preface it with a few comments. Much of the report is a rehash of last year’s report and, unfortunately, this is a pattern we have noticed in this State Department report for some time now. Very few new facts seem to emerge from this report and the language is quite similar from year to year.

All one has to do to see this is to check these three links from the 2009, 2008 and 2007 reports (in that order). The facts presented are all the same and the language is very similar:

2009

http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/140889.htm

2008

http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2008/122436.htm

2007

http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2007/103711.htm

This calls into question how much work and thought actually goes into this report in the first place. It is a disservice to the American people to regurgitate the same information year after year and it is difficult to regard such a report as authoritative under such circumstances.

There is one aspect of the report’s section on Iran that frankly cannot be emphasized enough:

Iran has given weaponry, training and funding to Sunni terrorist organizations for years. Two primary examples are HAMAS and the Taliban.

The quaint notion that Shia Iran does not sponsor Sunni Jihadist terrorist organizations is one which we cannot afford to allow to persist.

When someone tells you that Iran would never aid a Sunni terrorist organization because of the Sunni-Shia divide, that is a sure sign that they don’t have the slightest idea what they are talking about.

Speaking of Sunni terrorist groups, the State Department continues to be in denial about Iran’s relationship with Al Qaeda. They have basically kept the same language about Iran and Al Qaeda for years now, with no further information or intelligence at all. The boys and girls at Foggy Bottom insist that Iran’s connection to Al Qaeda doesn’t go any further than Iran keeping Al Qaeda members and their families under house arrest. This flies in the face of numerous reports and piles of evidence, including details disclosed way back during the 9-11 Commission Report:

http://article.nationalreview.com/352385/iranian-entanglements/christopher-w-holton

Perhaps when the State Department wonks get a notion in their heads, they don’t want to alter that notion for fear of being shown to have been wrong in the first place. Who really knows, but the year to year copy and paste job that State does on this report is unprofessional and, were it done this way in the private sector, the authors would be told to go back and start again and not to come back with another rehash of last year’s report…

Nevertheless, here is the official US State Department view on Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism during 2009:

IRAN

Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s financial, material, and logistic support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf and undermined the growth of democracy.

Iran remained the principal supporter of groups that are implacably opposed to the Middle East Peace Process. The Qods Force, the external operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. Iran provided weapons, training, and funding to HAMAS and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support to Lebanese Hizballah and has trained thousands of Hizballah fighters at camps in Iran. Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has assisted Hizballah in rearming, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Iran’s Qods Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments to select Taliban members, including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives.

Despite its pledge to support the stabilization of Iraq, Iranian authorities continued to provide lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi Shia militant groups that targeted U.S. and Iraqi forces. The Qods Force continued to supply Iraqi militants with Iranian-produced advanced rockets, sniper rifles, automatic weapons, and mortars that have killed Iraqi and Coalition Forces, as well as civilians. Iran was responsible for the increased lethality of some attacks on U.S. forces by providing militants with the capability to assemble explosively formed penetrators that were designed to defeat armored vehicles. The Qods Force, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq and advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry.

Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran has repeatedly resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its AQ detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for trial; it is reportedly holding Usama bin Ladin’s family members under house arrest.

Senior IRGC, IRGC Qods Force, and Iranian government officials were indicted by the Government of Argentina for their alleged roles in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA); according to the Argentine State Prosecutor’s report, the attack was initially proposed by the Qods Force. In 2007, INTERPOL issued a “red notice” for six individuals wanted in connection to the bombing. One of the individuals, Ahmad Vahidi, was named as Iran’s Defense Minister in August 2009.