Skip to comments.[MUST READ] Part of a Strategic Analysis that relates to Iran (Clerical Regime) From GIS!
Posted on 08/28/2004 4:00:13 PM PDT by faludeh_shirazi
Iran: But to get to that main list of concerns in the Middle East, let us first look at Iran, with a population moving toward 100-million, and which is the most important element of the regional dynamic. It is today even more critical, because the Iranian clerical leadership, under Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini Khamenei and former President and the Chairman of of Irans Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani (the highest authority in formulating Irans strategic policies), feel that they are now confronted with a life-or-death challenge to their leadership. As a result, we will need to take more time with Iran than with the other problems.
The Iranian clerical leadership has been at war with the US, and the West, since the beginning of 1979; that is, for a quarter-century. The clerics knew this all along, but only lately is the West discovering the level of ambition and hostility emanating from Tehran. Iran has been the principal sponsor of radical Islamist terrorism worldwide, and, essentially, was the source of the phenomenon, working with a range of Sunni as well as Shia leaders to create what is essentially, today, a new approach to Islam.
The Iranian population which is essentially more Persian in orientation than Muslim in the Arab sense was ready to revolt against the Khomeini Administration in 1982, when the clerics launched the attack on Iraq. This stopped all domestic opposition to the then-new Government, and people united against a perceived foreign threat. That cost Iran a million dead and wounded, and set back the economy and society by decades, but for the clerics it was a small price: they retained power.
Today, the Iranian clerics find themselves surrounded by hostile forces: Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. And in all of this they see the hand of the US, against which Khomeini had declared war in 1979. The Iranian Government had been proselytizing for a quarter century in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and in Africa. It took the lead rôle in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, an operation in which Libya took a very secondary function to Iran and Syria. It took an active rôle in the first World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993, working with Sunni terrorists. And it has worked closely with the Wahabbist al-Qaida group for many years.
Today as a result of extensive preparations over the past few months Iran is ready to move to the next stage: it is willing to let some of the mask slip from its war preparations. Until now, it has fought the US and the West through proxies and alliances. Now it is preparing to provide open military support for its surrogate in Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army.
The clerics believe that if they do not remove US Pres. George W. Bush in 2004, and if he is re-elected, he will ensure that they, the clerics, are removed in Iran. They see his re-election as an inspiration to domestic Iranian opposition elements which have, in the past year, been only barely contained.
To assist in this process, the clerics have encouraged the break-up of Iraq, and have persuaded the Iraqi Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani to pursue this line. This momentum is now underway. As well, they sent al-Sadr to build a local power base in Iraq, and in this, to a large extent, he has failed; there is no widespread popular support for his insurrection, even from among the Shia population of Iraq which does not necessarily appreciate the intervention of Iranian Shia clerics.
So Iran is now preparing to provide open military support to al-Sadr, using, particularly, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Pasdaran to attack US forces around Najaf. This is intended to provoke a US strike against Iranian forces, preferably inside Iran. Through this gesture, the clerics hope to repeat the 1982 lesson: namely, that the Iranian people would unite around their national leaders and against the external aggressors.
The Iranian clerics are probably correct in assuming that this would not result in any US invasion of Iran. The US political and military leadership is aware that Iran is too big to invade, and such an act would be strategically counterproductive. There are now about a quarter of a million Iranian troops in the south-west of the country, adjacent to Iraq. These forces, Pasdaran and regular Armed Forces, are not like the Iraqi forces; they are supported by sophisticated weapons which Saddam, for example, could not acquire in the past decade. The Iranian Air Force would have a significant capability which the US Air Force did not have to face in Iraq.
Let me quote to you from our Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily intelligence report of August 24, 2004. This was part of an estimate by GIS Senior Editor Yossef Bodansky, who authored the major new book, The Secret History of the Iraq War. He was also author, in 1999, of the monumental and important study, Bin Laden: the Man Who Declared War on America. He noted in his August 24, 2004, study:
Around May 20, 2004, Chairman of Irans Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani formally proposed to the higher Iranian leadership that Iran sends volunteers to Iraq in order to carry out qualitative operations the euphemism for spectacular terrorism against the US forces at the Shiite heartland [of Iraq]. Hashemi-Rafsanjani argued that it was imperative to fight the Americans in Iraq to foil the US plan for the region that he believed would be detrimental to the fate of the mullahs Administration.
That these were not empty words was highlighted by the fact that there was a noticeable intensification in the activities in the Iranian system of bases in the Ahwaz area near the Iran-Iraq border, particularly the arrival of elite forces organized by Irans Al-Quds Corps. Most of them were volunteers from Khuzestan Irans Arab-populated province who are indistinguishable from Iraqs Shiite population. The Ahwaz forward HQ was placed under the command of Gen. Ahmad Foruzandeh, a highly experienced veteran who has been involved in intelligence and subversion activities in Iraq for a long time.
Tehran had no illusions that its active support for the rejuvenated Shiite intifada would be noticed by the US. Hence, by mid-June 2004, Iran deployed four Army divisions toward its southern border with Iraq: the area bordering the Shiite heartland. The force included the élite Golden Division and a host of Special forces and intelligence elements. These divisions were deployed in the vicinity of Dezful in the Maysan sector, facing the Al-Amarah and Al-Basra sector in Iraq; and in Shalamcheh, facing the southern parts of the Al-Basra sector in Iraq. As well, Iranian intelligence began infiltrating into Iraq numerous military intelligence units and teams which were making contacts with the Shiite militant elements in order to establish operational cooperation and coordination with the Iranian military units. (The Iranian build-up has continued unabated throughout the Summer and Tehran aims to reach at least 20 divisions by early Autumn 2004.)
But the tactical aspects of such a contest are the least important. What is significant is that any action perceived by the Iranian people as an attack on Iran by the US could save the life of the clerical leadership of the country. It could condemn Iranians to decades more of clerical rule. The clerics know this. They know that they can afford to strike at the US forces, and at worst they would lose many tens of thousands of troops, maybe more; but they would be safe. And Iran would then be free to develop as a major nuclear power, and expand its dominance of the region, as it has been on the brink of doing. And Tehran sees itself not only as master of Central Asia, but also as a major player in the Indian Ocean, capable of dominating the sea lanes through that ocean. The rôle of the clerical Iranian leadership in essentially dictating the terms of the Somalia conflict in the 1990s was evidence of that, despite the fact that most Western defense planners remain to this day unaware of Irans ongoing and pivotal influence in the Horn of Africa.
So, if the clerics survive, they would have Iran emerge as the major strategic threat to the region, to Europe, and to the West generally. [So I would stress here that the threat to the West in the future is not the Peoples Republic of China, as many old Cold Warriors have postulated, but Iran. China, in a very significant sense, has already joined the West, despite the fact that there are many things still to be resolved, particularly relating to Taiwan and North Korea.]
Alternately, if the US does not respond to provocation by Iran, then there is a strong chance that the Iranian public will take matters into its own hands and remove the clerics. It should be noted that, historically, the Iranian people like to instigate changes themselves; they do not like their choices thrust upon them.
However, in a further twist, if Sen. John Kerry wins the US Presidency, then the pressures on the Iranian clerics will be automatically removed. Kerrys close links with pro-clerical Iranian-American financiers has resulted in a commitment by Kerry to normalize US relations with Tehran if he came to office.
So, if Bush is re-elected to the US Presidency and does not allow the US to be provoked into a war with Iran, then the clerics could fall and the entire situation in the Middle East and much of the rest of the world will change for the better. Iran, after all, has always had the potential, since the time of the Hellenic Wars, to have been a major and positive element of forward-looking modern society. Iranians, without the clerical domination, would again be able to focus on their own civilizational development and the incomparable literary focus of Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyám, and others. But if Bush goes, and Kerry wins, or if the US falls for the bait and responds to Iranian attacks, then the clerics stand a good chance of consolidating power and crushing all internal dissent. And the world then faces an ongoing slate of terrorism.
So much hangs on what Iran does, and how the US responds, in the coming weeks and months.
But if the clerics prevail, then Iraq is broken up and Iran has access through Kurdish and Shia territories to the Alawite Shia territory of Syria and the Shia area of southern Lebanon, allowing a projection of Persian influence into the Mediterranean for the first time since Cyrus the Great in the Sixth Century BCE. Iran would be free to link up with its allies in the Balkans, particularly through Albania and into Kosovo and Bosnia, where Pasdaran forces are already based in support of terrorist operations.
Freedom is Near - !!!! FREE IRAN!!!!
I would like to see a counter-reaction by the Iraqi Shiites against Iran for being behind the outrages done to the Mosque of Ali that spreads into Iran.
From a Tommy Franks interview with Hugh Hewitt on Iran:
HH: "Do you expect a confrontation with Iran in the next couple of years, and if so, any doubt in your mind about how that would go?"
TF: "There is no doubt how it would go. I don't know whether to expect it or not. I personally hope not, but on the other hand, hope is not a method, as you and I both know. One thing that I do believe very firmly is that the world is a better place, a safer place, and so is our country, because Saddam Hussein is no longer in Iraq, at least in charge, and the Taliban are no longer in charge in Afghanistan because what happens is, when a sanctuary is created, the bad guys --the terrorists-- can operate out of the sanctuary. If we don't see that happening in Iran, we should be very, very thoughtful before we do something. If we do see that happening in Iran, I am afraid we will have to take care of it, Hugh."
HH: "Did you see it happening on your watch?"
TF: "I hope not."
HH: "But I mean, did you see evidence that Al Qaeda was coming across the border from Afghanistan, after the Afghanistan war?"
TF: "You talking about into Iran?"
TF: "Yes. Yes. But what we have seen is transitory, we have seen transits, but I don't think we have seen the staging of Al Qaeda out of Iran."
Hmmm. It doesn't take much guesswork to puzzle out what the opinion of General Franks is about what the automatic reaction to the presence of Al Qaeda in Iran ought to be, which I believe would apply equally to any known terrorist groups found to be operating there. Those are the realities of the post 9/11 world, realities not well suited to a waffler like Kerry.
I believe the best type of reaction would be to militarily eliminate any fanatical insurgents that are Islamic Clerical regime sponsored. However - we should not at this point make any moves into Iranian soil and should not launch anything onto Iranian soil.
Listen: The Mullahs will likely try to f'around a lot. When they are on the verge of being removed from power they will likely launch attacks on their own soil as to try to rally the population. Iranians know the tricks as they have become quite savvy and know every in, out and angle of the Mullahs regime. Trust, the Iranian people if given the moral and extensive additional supports/political and other means from the US and if the US targets the MULLAHS non-stop - there will be an overthrow.
This is a tricky issue - but it is one that the US and the West as a whole must solve correctly. There is only one way to achieve victory in this situation and that is through the Iranian people!
"in 1982, when the clerics launched the attack on Iraq"
And I was under impression that it was saddamitic Iraq launching the attack. Well,live and learn.
As for "free Iran!" one could quote Burke that since free people are free to do as they please one should wait and see what they would be pleased to do before offering congratulations.
Was Iranian people ever free? And if yes, what it was they were pleased to do on occasion? For the past is the guide to the future.
My understanding of the Iranians is that they are proud of their 5000 year civilization and that the Mullahs are barbarians in their midst.
I don't see the US being capable of finessing the situation inside Iran given US Intelligence's track record there. The best we can do is to take a hard line and tell the State Department to be crystal clear about it.
"The Iranian population which is essentially more Persian in orientation than Muslim in the Arab sense was ready to revolt against the Khomeini Administration in 1982, when the clerics launched the attack on Iraq."
Huh? Saddam attacked Iran.
It was more of a mutually instigated engagement. Both regimes thought they would benefit from such an action - which they did = they both stayed in power for quite a long time regardless of the heavy human toll. Neither regime gave a damn about the human loss.
The Iranian people have done well under freedom. The overthrow in 79 wasn't even an overthrow by Iranian people. It was a western-inspired (Carter Admin , ie: Brezenski, Europe, etc..) in order to continue the policy of creating a Green Belt of Islamofascist terrorist states in an effort to contain Communism. Europe also liked this new arragnement as they were better able to deal and exploit the Iranian people with the Mullahs at the helm.
"So Iran is now preparing to provide open military support to al-Sadr, using, particularly, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Pasdaran to attack US forces around Najaf. This is intended to provoke a US strike against Iranian forces, preferably inside Iran. Through this gesture, the clerics hope to repeat the 1982 lesson: namely, that the Iranian people would unite around their national leaders and against the external aggressors."
This is exactly why I don't take the 'invade them now crowd' too seriously. In 1982 Saddam thought he had an easy, divided target. Instead, he wound up facing a nation that sent Iranian children walking across mine fields to clear them.
I agree with the author, indirect action should be used, not direct. The risk of the country falling in behind the regime is too great. That's not to say I'd stop the Israelis from bombing the crap out of the Iranian nuclear program to set it back.
Correction, 1980, not 1982.
Bmp for later....reading
Joseph - the issue is thus:
America must make clear to Israel that they are in no position to strike Iran soil PERIOD. The threats you hear coming from Israel to Iran are for show. Here, read this article:
This was quite an appropriate statement by Mr. Steinitz and the Israelis, because what you don't want is Fanatics throughout the Middle East having an additional issue to rally behind - and it is also correct, because bombing Nuke plants is a very very last-resort option and should be taken by US Airforce if deemed necessary. Question: Why are the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese backing the Mullahs - and helping them to get closer and closer to the bomb? Financial -
America, Bush Admin - next week, needs to make very clear to the Mullahs and to the Iranian people that America will do everything it can and stands with the Iranian people. We should make clear to the world that we will not make a military action - though will defend the integrity of Iraq if Islamic Regime forces continue to invade. By making a strong policy clear to the world - "This is where America Stands" we essentially undercurt the ability of the Mullahs to - stage an attack and blame it on the Israelis or the US.
You can but your buttons that we have ops all throughout Iran that have been working with Iranian people and you can also be sure that many within the Iranian theocracy are already on the US payroll.
You see, every dictarship after years of being in power not only results in the majority of the population it rules ABSOLUTELY HATING IT, but also people within government positions begin to to hate the regime because they know that the life-span is short and will inevitably screw them over and their families.
US should announce a NAtional Security - Presidential directive BLASTING the regime in Iran for it's support of Sadr, Human RIghts Violations, all terrorist acts it's committed over past 25 years, etc.. etc..
US must defend the Iranian people by all means - but please we cannot fall into the mistake and hands of the Mullahs - we don't want to play their game - the author makes a very good point.
REFRAIN FROM LAUNCHING STRIKES -
Lets WAX all the islamofascicsts inside Iraq - and announce our policy of supporting Iranian people 100% and ENDING THE REGIME IN IRAN for all crimes it has comitted.
It's getting close - this will be one of the biggest turning points not only in the War on Terror - but in history!
What do you make of the 4-ship of F-18s and single EA-6B that penetrated Iranian airspace today?
"There is only one way to achieve victory in this situation and that is through the Iranian people!"
"Instead, he wound up facing a nation that sent Iranian children walking across mine fields to clear them."
You're right. This is also why Israel shouldn't attack Iran. An attack by Israel, would be seen as an attack by U.S. and the results within Iran would be the same....the people uniting against us.
Through this gesture, the clerics hope to repeat the 1982 lesson: namely, that the Iranian people would unite around their national leaders and against the external aggressors."
I wonder if it would (unite around their national leaders and against the external aggressors). As the old saying goes "that was then, this is now", Then there was still a great deal for revolutionary fervor, Now, well it appears not a month goes by without a demonstration/riot against the Mullahs.
"This is exactly why I don't take the 'invade them now crowd' too seriously."
Many of them act and say things without THINKING.
What's the old saying, to a hammer every problem is a nail.
F-18s and single EA-6B that penetrated Iranian airspace today?
Do you have a link?
I've expressed so many of Mr. Copely's ideas myself. He's absolutely right that the mullahs are trying to bait us, and that taking the bait would result in Iranians uniting with the regime.
The problem lies in the timing of the regime acquiring nukes. He doesn't really address this. We can sit back and let the Iranian people fight this out themselves, but we can't wait years. This is why it's essential that we give the Iranians the financial backing and any support they need to pull this off SOON.
I hope you're right that "we have ops all throughout Iran that have been working with Iranian people and you can also be sure that many within the Iranian theocracy are already on the US payroll."
The longer the mullahs are allowed to pull the strings, the worse our chances are of seeing a free Iran anytime in the near future.
To answer your question "I wonder if it would....", Yes, from what we hear, that seems a very likey result.
Right - but you never ever want to take the chance. Israel I am sure has been ordered not to do anything with re: to the Mullahs and let the US handle. Listen - attacking is dangerous because you risk the chance of turning the Iranian people against US and then we're fucked - the Mullahs will maintain their stronghold!
Eventhough the Iranian people hate the Mullahs and will in a matter of a few months rip them to shreads - if there is an attack on Iranian soil - and Iranians becomee worried and fearful that their country will disintegrate that will unite and defend their country. The Iranian people will rip the regime to shreads - lets just help them do it!!!!
Iraq launched a massive attack on Iran in 1980 & the war lasted 8 years.
You are right... Green belt theory existed!
Iraq launched massive ground and aerial attacks on Iran right on 21st of September 1980 and the war lasted for 8 years.