Hezbollah

The Iranian Regime's Propaganda of Exaggeration

 

Iran is a mighty nation. In fact, historically, Iran is a powerful, far-stretching empire that once encompassed much of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. Even as it stands today, Iran is almost as large as Western Europe, minus the United Kingdom. Moreover, Iran's multi-ethnic population is unofficially estimated to have exceeded 80 million. And more importantly, Iran is a nation that gives birth to marvelous, highly creative minds.

Yet, in spite of Iran's well-known might, it's regime never ceases its deliberate saber-rattling. Most recently, during an interview aired by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) and al-Alam TV IRGC Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi fired a volley of belligerent statements aimed overtly at the United States and subtly at Iran's neighbors across the Gulf.

Iranian IRGC Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi

Admiral Fadavi declared to his interviewer and domestic and international audiences, "You may have footage of the daily interaction between us and our enemies -- the Americans and their allies -- in the Persian Gulf." But, who are these allies of the Americans and "enemies" of Iran? Are these not countries such as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which the Iranian regime ideologues allege is occupying Mecca and Medina unlawfully?

Fadavi went on to explain the concept of deterrence: "The Americans are incapable of doing anything undetected by the hawk-eyes of the fighters of 'Islam.' They know better than ever before that they must not even think about initiating any confrontation against the 'Islamic Revolution.' That's what deterrence is all about."

Fadavi also asserted that "Nobody in America -- no political or military official -- even thinks, thinks, with a single brain cell about war with the 'Islamic Revolution.'" Somehow Fadavi chose to ignore the incredibly costly budget of the U.S. Department of Defense and the the thousands of Pentagon officials, officers and civilians contractors whose very job is to constantly devise and update plans to subdue America's adversaries, including Iran. And not to mention the numerous think tanks dedicated to combating the Iranian regime's ideology, strategic plans, and nuclear ambitions.

Iranian IRGC Rear Admiral Ali FadaviIranian IRGC Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi

Fadavi also missed or chose to ignore an important geopolitical reality: Why would the United States bother to wage war on Iran when Iran is now bogged down in an endless Shiite versus Sunni sectarian war? To the contrary, the U.S. is openly but indirectly helping the Iranian regime and its allies and proxies, including the Assad regime and Hezbollah, in sectarian civil war theaters such as Iraq, Syria and even Lebanon (where Hezbollah is battling Daesh (a.k.a., ISIL; ISIS; 'Islamic State;' and IS) in the eastern Beqaa Valley).

Fadavi also boasted about his forces' new secret "strategic" naval weapon, which is most likely a submarine-launched torpedo. That should remain as the wonder of the ages in the imagination of the Iranian regime's devotees and fans until one day the secret is exposed. It is then that the world shall learn about yet another North Korean, Chinese or Russian weapon acquired by the Iranian regime but optimized by its scientists, and renamed by its Khomeinist mullahs.

Iran's IRGC Navy attacks mock US aircraft carrierUltimately, Fadavi's aggressive hype is meant to swing the oil markets and increase oil prices (and hopefully recover the cost of the mock Hollywood-type aircraft carrier blasted by his forces in the Gulf). But, more importantly, Fadavi's aim is to manipulate the minds of gullible domestic and international Shiite mobs with intoxicating talks about power-matching the United States and secret special weapons that are neither special nor secret.

While the oil markets' reaction to such bellicose propaganda is short-lived, the imprint created in the popular mind is long-lasting. This does indeed create deterrence to domestic unrest and guarantees more peaceful nights to a privileged class of special treatment-craving mullahs and Pasdaran militants that have hijacked an entire country and with it much of the Middle East.

But nothing lasts forever -- except the Creator.

Indeed, fortune is like the moon, ever changeable. ("O Fortuna, velut luna, statu variabilis.")

Wathiq al-Battat: Khamenei’s Militiaman?

By Hamza Mustafa
 
BAGHDAD—Wathiq al-Battat, secretary-general of Hezbollah in Iraq, seems to be paying little attention to the arrest warrant issued against him by the Iraqi interior ministry after he formed the militia dubbed jaysh al-mukhtar, or the Mukhtar Army. The confusion and uproar was compounded by the appearance of pictures and posters in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities in the country’s south and center which declare, “Support the Era of Mukhtar!” with Mukhtar here meaning Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
 
These slogans and posters were accompanied by an escalation in the demonstrations in the Sunni-dominated western provinces of Iraq in opposition to Maliki’s policies.
 
A series of events has added to the confusion: recruitment forms for the Mukhtar Army have been distributed throughout the streets, rocket attacks on Camp Liberty have begun anew, and leaflets have been scattered about in some Baghdad neighborhoods openly threatening citizens. Maliki has decided to address these new developments by issuing an arrest warrant for Mr. Battat, while simultaneously hoping to disambiguate the terms “era of Mukhtar” and “the Mukhtar Army.”
 

Terrorist Wathiq al-Battat of Iraqi Hezbollah

 

Maliki went as far to call on ordinary citizens to aid him in arresting Mr. Battat. Yet despite the authorities’ inability to track Mr. Battat, various Iraqi and Arabic media outlets, including Asharq Al-Awsat, were able to reach him by telephone. He did not conceal his location during the call, saying he was in the holy city of Najaf.

 
Interior ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Saad Maan blamed the authorities’ inability to locate Mr. Battat ten days after the issuance of the warrant for his arrest, on the authorities’ “inability to track his phone calls.” He added in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that “The government is serious about imposing security and stability in all parts of the country, and those who scatter leaflets or issue threatening statements online aren’t necessarily capable of posing a serious threat.”
 
Lt. Col. Mann added, “The right to use coercive force belongs solely to the state, and no extrajudicial army or militia of any name is permissible, and thus the authorities will continue to pursue those who sow division regardless of affiliation.”
 
Mr. Battat, who seemed relaxed throughout his telephone conversation with Asharq Al-Awsat, believes that the decision to issue a warrant for his arrest was misguided, for two reasons: First, because he has not collided with the government, having entered the political fray two years ago, following the US withdrawal. Second, if the government wants him arrested because he founded the Mukhtar Army, it will have a difficult time doing so due to the thousands of jihadists he has at his beck and call.
 
Mr. Battat said, “I am surprised that they have decided to issue a warrant for my arrest while I am the secretary-general of a party that boasts tens of thousands of jihadist militants and thousands of rockets, that party being Hezbollah – Islamic Renaissance, which had been previously been named Islamic Resistance prior to the American withdrawal.
 
“The Mukhtar Army came about at a difficult time. It is not an organized army, nor does it have weapons or structures of command like that of Hezbollah. It is a local group formed to protect the people. However, our enemies, which include al-Qaeda, Salafist militias, and other armed groups, are openly hostile towards us. They fear the Mukhtar Army, and this prompted the government to issue this arrest warrant that neither I nor the jihadists of my party find necessary.”
 
Militias in Iraq
 
The fall of the Baathist regime in 2003 and subsequent dissolution of the Iraqi army by Paul Bremer, then the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, paved the way for militias and groups that had been fighting against the former regime. Jihadist groups had two options: either continue carrying out operations under the guise of “resisting the occupation,” something which Hezbollah in its various incarnations chose to do (Mr. Battat’s group included), or enter the political process and incorporate the militias into the ranks of the new National Guard forces which was formed in 2004 during the government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
 
The formation of this new army did not mark the end of the militia phenomenon in Iraq, rather it marked a shift towards these group assuming political, partisan, and regional dimensions. The period of sectarian strife and civil war from 2006 to 2008 was the most trying test for the sectarian balance, with Sunni Al-Qaeda in the western provinces of Iraq and the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in country’s central and southern governorates, and Baghdad divided along sectarian lines by neighborhood.
 
The various awakening movements among the people, aggressive government measures, and noticeable help from the Americans all but eradicated the militias. In late 2007 the irregular armies of Iraq splintered into the Mahdi Army, the Army of Muhammad, Islamic Army, and others. The Sunni Awakening in the western regions of Iraq, first established in the Anbar Governorate at the hands of the late Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, pursued Al-Qaeda, paving the way for American and Iraqi military forces to neutralize many Al-Qaeda field generals, which including killing the Egyptian Abu Hamza and arresting Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi. In the south, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki undertook Operation Charge of the Knights which successfully drove the Mahdi Army out of its stronghold in Basra. Muqtada Al-Sadr, after whom the army had been named, fled Iraq for Iran where he lived in exile for four years. Mr. Battat told Asharq Al-Awsat that at that time offshoots of Hezbollah were, “…part of the Mahdi Army up to a certain point in time, after we had discovered that we shared a common cause, not to mention that I was already working in the Office of Al-Shahid Sadr.” The Sadrists had already entered the political process, participating in elections and winning dozens of seats in parliament. Meanwhile Hezbollah – Islamic Resistance remained disconnected from the political process and convinced that “Combating the American occupiers was what was needed,” according to Mr. Battat.
 
The various awakenings later allied with the government and enjoyed a honeymoon of sorts for several years, before a series of disputes wiped away any semblance of amiability between the two. With the outbreak of demonstrations in the country’s western regions, Anbar Salvation Council leader Ahmed Abu Risha became highly critical of Maliki’s policies. Meanwhile Muqtada al-Sadr, who joined Maliki in the Iraqi National Alliance, seemed to turn against Maliki in 2012 when he joined a coalition with the president of Iraqi Kurdish Region Massoud Barzani and with the leader of the Iraqi List Iyad Allawi, which attempted to topple Maliki’s government with a vote of no confidence.
 
Beginnings
 
Mr. Battat seems more candid than the rest regarding his links to Iran. He says that he is “ideologically bound to the authority of the faqih.” Mr. Battat says that he does not see “any contradiction between my being an Iraqi national, and my religious identification with the Islamic Republic [of Iran], based on my adherence to the guidance of the faqih…It would be difficult to impose the rule of the faqih over Iraq because of its pluralistic makeup…any comrade, whether a comrade through religion or through ethnicity, must respect the will of the majority in Iraq… The most suitable form of government for Iraq is the presidential system, or at the very least the system of majority rule.”
 
Wathiq Battat was born in 1973 to a Shiite family in the Masharah District in the Maysan Governorate (400 km south of Baghdad). His convictions were first forged here when Saddam Hussein drained the marshes that dominated the landscape of his hometown, and again when this area was exposed to repeated shelling during the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s.
 
He moved with his family to the nearby city of Amara where he completed his primary school education. During the 1990s he moved with his family to Baghdad where he completed his secondary school education and one of his brothers worked in a military factory. After secretly joining jihadist groups opposed to Saddam’s regime, he moved to the marsh regions of Iran in 1993. These groups fell under the leadership of Hezbollah in Iraq, led by Hassan Al-Sari (now a leading figure in the ruling Dawa Party in Iraq), where he adopted the nom de guerre Abu Asadullah.
 
His father and brother were arrested while he was in Iran operating under the leadership of Dr. Hussain Al-Shahristani. Dr. Shahristani is currently the Iraqi deputy prime minister and was one of the most prominent rebels, and languished in Sadam’s prisons for many years due to his refusal to take part in Iraq’s nuclear project under Saddam Hussein.
 
Mr. Battat said that: “Dr. Shahristani established jihadist militias with Iran’s backing opposed to the Baathist regime of Saddam. A group of my peers and I joined despite the fact that these groups did not have any official name at the time. We carried out missions against the former regime, sometimes entering western Iraq from Dehloran in Iran. I adopted the nom de guerre Sayed Ali Sayed Taher al-Battat. Our group was 300 strong however the authorities were able to arrest of 270 of us, and I was among the captives.”
 
His nom de guerre allowed him to escape identification, and from there on he was tied to Iranian cells. “We were assigned missions within Iraq, most notably operations against the People’s Mujahedin of Iran which opposed the Iranian regime. Soon after they sentenced me to death in absentia and I was arrested.” Fearing for his life, he fled to Iran to join the Badr Brigades and enrolled in the University of Tehran where he obtained a BS in Military Science and later a master’s degree in the same subject. He later went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Kufa in Iraq.
 
As a member of the Badr Brigades, Mr. Battat was assigned the most difficult mission of his life in 1998: the assassination of Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as “Chemical Ali.” “We were ordered by the Badr Brigades, which at that time operated under the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, to assassinate Ali Hassan al-Majid. However we were arrested en route, but because they did not identify us we were granted amnesty by Saddam Hussein and released. Soon after I was arrested again, and this time they managed to identify me. I was imprisoned for a year and 8 months and three death sentences were issued against me but none of them were carried out. I was pardoned and released again, and subsequently founded Thar Allah in 2002. From Saddam’s fall in 2003 until 2006 I was in the ranks of the Mahdi Army, during which time I traveled to Lebanon and thereafter formed Hezbollah in Iraq which is tied to the rule of the faqih in Iran.”
 
The just dictator
 
Mr. Battat does not shy away from many topics. He willingly discussed his vision of a just dictator and the reasons behind why he chose to name his militia the Mukhtar Army. He admits that he believes in the system of government advanced by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the ‘rule of the supreme jurist,’ or velyat-e faqih, in which a qualified religious figure acts as a just dictator.
 
How do others perceive this? According to Adnan al-Sarraj, a prominent figure in the State of Law Coalition led by Nuri al-Maliki, the government does not support the existence of militias. Mr. Sarraj told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Rule of Law, unlike other political groups, does not maintain any militias or believe that they can be part of the political process, something which is apparent to everyone . . . On the contrary, we fought the militias and stood firmly against them. We are determined that weapons are limited to the state, and that the Iraqi Army is the only army.”
 
As for the symbolic act of naming the group “Mukhtar,” Mr. Sarraj says: “Aside from names, the state issued an arrest warrant against him. It is the state’s right to pursue and prosecute militia leaders, subject them to the law, and see that they get their correct punishment . . . Some of these militias take shape after calls for their establishment from here or there, especially from radical clerics in some governorates during Friday sermons or the like.”
 
The Iraqi List called upon Maliki to eliminate what it called the Battatian phenomenon (referring to Mr. Battat) and the Khazalian phenomenon (referring to Qais al-Khazali, commander of the League of the Righteous). Hamid al-Mutlaq, a leading figure from the Iraqi List, told Asharq Al-Awsat that, “These phenomena are caused first by failing to build a professional army capable of securing the homeland and that does not follow a certain party or sect. Secondly, from the outset, the army, which was established by the American administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq Paul Bremer, was composed of partisan and sectarian militias . . . We have suffered from these mistakes for a long time, as we will continue to suffer from the government’s lack of commitment to eliminating these groups.”
 
Hussein Fawzi of the Democratic Movement in Iraq said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that “The
 
formation of one of these groups, no matter its pretext or motives, is done to protect a group of people. It signals the weakness of the authorities and their failure to maintain security in the country. The constitution prohibits armed groups of any kind, and these armed militias are tantamount to a giant sword dangling above all of our heads, threatening the foundations of the state and its weakening institutions . . . Mr. Battat announced that he owes his allegiance to the faqih in Iran. There are religious authorities in Iraq to whom he owes his allegiance. They are from the same homeland and from foreign lands. Therefore if he was committed to the political process as he claims then he must respect the Iraqi state despite its shortcomings.
 
Hezbollah comes to Iraq
 
Hezbollah in Iraq is part of the Hezbollah organization, which includes Hassan Nasrallah’s Hezbollah in Lebanon. The latter group also pledges its allegiance to the faqih in Iran, from whom they directly derive their instructions as well as their funding.
 
Hezbollah in Iraq, led by Mr. Battat, is an offshoot of Hezbollah and Thar Allah, which were active in the Mesopotamian marsh regions during the war between Iran and Iraq and after the Shiite uprising in 1991. Mr. Battat founded his group in 2006 in Lebanon under the name of Hezbollah–Islamic Resistance, but after the withdrawal of the Americans at the end of 2011, ‘Resistance’ was changed to ‘Renaissance.’
 
According to statements by Mr Battat in a recent interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, his group can call upon 387,000 armed members and an arsenal of more than 10,000 missiles.
 
He also claims that his group carried out some 1,200 military operations against US forces. They also bombed the Kuwaiti port Mubarak during tense talks regarding this port between the Iraqi and Kuwaiti governments.
 
As for its other activities, Mr. Battat says his group carried out its first operations in Iraq against the People’s Mujahedin of Iran. He recently admitted to bombing Camp Liberty, which houses elements of the People’s Mujahedin, with more than 50 rockets. This raised fears that his group will possess formidable military force as long as it openly pledges allegiance to Iran and, as he says, it’s just dictator.
 
This article was first published by Asharq al-Awsat.
 

Hezbollah's Rafic Labboun in Belize: Is the Justice of the Peace Involved?

By Shane D. Williams
 
From left, Rafic Labboun (Allaboun), Yasser Safa and George Abdallah Elders
 
Yasser Safa is one of two naturalized Belizean men who were captured in Mexico along with U.S. fugitive, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun on Saturday, September 8th, after a successful operation by the National Migration Institute (INM) and the State Police. According to reports, almost a dozen law enforcement vehicles were seen parked in front of Labboun’s Mexican home in the Francisco Montejo area of Merida. The officers breached the premises with extremely high powered rifles. Arrested along with Labboun, and naturalized Belizeans, Safa was George Abdalah Elders.
 
Rafic Mohammad Labboun is a U.S. citizen of Lebanese citizen,  who has first moved to the States almost 30 years ago. He was convicted of credit card fraud and after serving time in prison, he was released on parole. However, he violated the terms of that parole when he left the United States.  Labboun was deported to the U.S. a few hours after his arrest, Sunday very early in the morning, because there was a warrant out for his arrest in Houston, Texas. On Monday, he appeared before a judge in Texas for violating his parole and was returned to California for imprisonment. 
 
Delroy Cuthkelvin
Delroy Cuthkelvin

According to officials, Rafic Labboun identified himself at the time of the arrest using a Belizean passport with the name William Dyck. The Belize Police Department is currently engaged in an investigation to determine exactly how it is that he got the passport. The Guardian spoke to the Senior Public Relations Officer in the ministry of National Security, Delroy Cuthkelvin, on Wednesday, September 13th. He explained that the matter has been turned over to the Criminal Investigation Branch. So far, they have determined that William Dyck was born in Shipyard in Orange Walk on February 8th, 1976. The birth registration was confirmed by the Vital Statistics Unit. Police visited the listed address for Dyck and, according to Cuthkelvin, they spoke to a woman, who said that she does remember William Dyck. The woman identified herself as Dyck’s sister and informed the officers that William Dyck died two months after birth in 1976. Both of their parents have since died as well. Police then visited the Vital Statistics Unit but could not find documentation of the baby’s death. They then focused the investigation on the application and issuance of the identification documents. Labboun was also found with a Belizean driver’s license.  

 
Police investigation has revealed that a copy of William Dyck’s birth certificate was issued on August 29th of this year. Anyone can request a person’s birth certificate. However, their name must appear on the application form. The application form for Dyck’s birth certificate has not been found at the Vital Statistics Unit since police started their investigation. Therefore, it is not known who applied for the document. Police investigation has also revealed that, on the same day the birth certificate was issued, a passport application was filed. The applicant paid $100 for express service and received the passport the following day, on August 30th. The driver’s license that Rafic Labboun had was issued by the Belmopan City Council. The license identification number is 02592 and the serial number is 12751. Subsequent checks at the Belmopan City Hall revealed that the license identification number already belonged to another Belmopan resident. A further check showed that Belmopan licenses have not even reached the 12000 series as yet; therefore, 12751 could not have been issued. As part of police’s investigation into the validity of the passport, police have spoken to Juliana Arana who was the Justice of the Peace that signed on the passport application. In a striking bout of coincidence, Juliana Arana’s house was burnt on Saturday morning a little after 4 a.m. She was not at home at the time, she was in Barranco attending a family funeral. Just like the case with the Vital Statistics Unit, the Immigration Department is experiencing difficulties tracking down the passport application form. Cuthkelvin says that if it is not a culture of negligence, it is a practice of poor filing techniques because old application forms at both departments seem extremely hard to locate. The application forms would answer very important questions like who applied for the documents; who accepted the application form; who issued the document and who received the document. Cuthkelvin says that police have confirmed that Labboun visited the immigration office himself to apply for and receive his passport. How he got into the country in the first place is another question still unanswered.
 
As for Safa and Elders, both Lebanese immigrants and naturalized Belizeans, they both entered Mexico legally and no charges are expected to be filed against them or their family. However, according to reports, they are believed to be operatives of a Hezbollah cell stationed in Mexico and Central America. Sources say that intelligence agencies from the United States were tracking the group for a while. It is believed that they were participating in financing activities in an attempt to bail out incarcerated Hezbollah members jailed in the United States. Safa is no stranger to Belize police. He's been known in Belize for selling a bunch of stolen SUVs from Guatemala and passing off multiple bounce cheques. In February of 2007, Yasser Safa was busted in Panama with 3 kilos of cocaine. According to a report by 7 News on February 5th, 2007, Safa had also been busted in Mexico on a human trafficking charge, but was traded back into Belize on a prisoner exchange programme. Despite all allegations and charges against Safa, he seems to have a gift for escaping prolonged jail time. Elders worked in Belize as a mechanic on Coney Drive. 
 
This article was first published at Guardian.bz in Belize.
 
Rafic Labboun is an imam with Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Islamic Center of San Jose, CA).

A week of disappointments for Tehran

By Amir Taheri

According to Iranian media, the Non-Aligned Movement [NAM] summit cost Tehran around $600 million. Taking into account production losses incurred by a week of martial law, the cost could be higher.
 
What did the investment bring for the organizers?
 
The conference had one key objective and two subsidiary goals.
 
Let us deal with the subsidiary goals first.
 
One was to show that, despite five United Nations Security Council resolutions against it, the Islamic Republic was not isolated. The second was to mobilize support for Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad.
 
Neither goal was achieved.
 
Of NAM’s 142 members and observers only 23, mostly small African nations, sent heads of state. Most of Iran’s 15 neighbors did not do so.
 
There was also no support for the Syrian despot. The passages Tehran had composed in al-Assad’s favor were cut by the committee producing the final communique.
 
Tehran’s biggest disappointment, however, concerned the key objective of the conference. This was to build an international stature for “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei.
 
Khamenei cannot travel outside Iran because of an international arrest warrant issued by the Berlin Criminal Court for his alleged involvement in the murder of Iranian Kurdish leaders in that city. He is obliged to build his international image with the help of foreign dignitaries visiting him. The trouble is that few dignitaries agree to do so. Tehran has been trying for years to persuade Vladimir Putin to come to Tehran and the hope was that he would do so during the NAM meeting. Putin didn’t. Instead he sent a letter which contains no reference to Khamenei’s “wise leadership.” Even the Castro brothers who run Cuba refuse to visit Tehran. The 27 members of the European Union would not go anywhere near Khamenei. When it comes to Muslim nations, the situation is no better. Several, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco have no relations with the Khomeinist regime. This year, even al-Assad failed to turn up, afraid of leaving his foxhole in Damascus.
 
Tehran is left with few regular visitors, usual suspects, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. But, being unwell, Chavez, too, is no longer able to pop in.
 
Tehran had pinned hopes on two men: United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi.
 
The two were especially attractive because Washington had criticized their decision to go to Tehran.
 
However, both proved disappointments.
 
Ban ignored diplomatic niceties and lashed out against Iran’s domestic and foreign policies both in his address at the conference and during his meeting with Khamenei.
 
Not knowing what to do, Tehran decided to do what it has often done: make things up. Here is how Ali-Akbar Velayati, advisor to Khamenei for “Islamic Awakening”, described Ban’s meeting with the “Supreme Guide”:
 
“Addressing the Sublime Position of the Leader, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said: You are not Leader only of Iran but also hold the Religious Leadership of the entire Muslim World. We have come supplicating at your threshold to ask you to help us in solving the region’s problems, including Syria, because in all those domains we face difficulties.”
 
Velayati’s claim unleashed a tsunami of headlines claiming that Ban had praised Khamenei as “Leader of the Muslim World.”
 
President Ahmadinejad’s “First Assistant” Muhammad-Reza Rahimi used the claim to weave an even bigger tale.
 
“The Tehran conference prepared the ground for worldwide management based on the teachings of our Imam,”
 
The daily Kayhan, published by Khamenei’s office, was more enthusiastic. “A New World Order is taking shape,” it claimed. “It will be guided by Our Leader.”
 
Needless to say, the claim was instantly denied by Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky.
 
“It is impossible that the Secretary-General would have said that,” he told reporters. “Mr. Ban could not have given such a title to the leader of Iran.”
 
For the Tehran media, that was enough to transform Ban from a man who had recognized Khamenei as Leader of Islam to “a tool of Zionism.”
 
Khamenei’s entourage came out with stories about how various foreign leaders had recognized him as a leader “not only for Islam but for all humanity”.
 
Muhammad Golpaygani, a mullah who heads Khamenei’s office, claimed that one leader who paid tribute to Kahmenei was South African President Nelson Mandela.
 
According to Golpaygani: “When received by the Leader of our Revolution, the [then] 80-year old man, Mandela, knelt in front of His Holiness and called him Leader.” (The claim was denied by Mandela’s spokesperson Birget Masanjo.)
 
Next came, a Lebanese gentleman, identified as Muhammad Yazbeck, Chairman of Hezbollah’s Religious Council. He was quoted claiming that Khamenei, being “the true heir” to Ali Ibn Abi-Talib , is “the undisputed Leader of all believers”.
 
However, the real disappointment came from Mursi. He refused even a courtesy call on Khamenei who was waiting in a room a few meters away.
 
Mursi refused to go on “pilgrimage” to Khomeini’s tomb and rejected Iranian demands to extend his four-hour stopover. Mursi did not even agree to discuss a restoration of diplomatic ties with Tehran.
 
Tehran’s answer was to “doctor” Mursi’s speech at the conference to make him sound as if he backed al-Assad in massacring Syrians.
 
Then, Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdullahiyan told reporters that Mursi and Ahmadinejad had negotiated the restoration of relations. (Mursi’s spokesman denied the claim.)
 
Tehran was shocked, not knowing what to do with Mursi.
 
For years, thanks to such Muslim Brotherhood figures as Kamal el-Halbawi and Fahmy Howeidy, Tehran had believed that it could steer the Brotherhood towards Khomeinism. Mursi was expected to be Khamenei's Man Friday.
 
Kayhan spearheaded the change of tune on Mursi.
 
The Egyptian leader is now regarded as “a dubious character” and “an opportunist.”
 
The sharpest attack on Mursi came from Tazendejam-Razmandeham, a Hezbollah-affiliated Internet site.
 
Here is its take on the Egyptian leader:
 
“The Egyptian President has studied and grown up in America. There, they pickled him in salt from an early age so that, one day, they could use him as a winning card. .. Mursi has come with a well-calculated plan to draw the Egyptian people towards him while turning Egypt into a land base for America from which to invade Lebanon, destroy the Lebanese nation and overthrow Hezbollah. We do not see a bright future for Hezbollah. For them, the countdown has started.”
 
Has the “countdown” started only for Hezbollah?
 
This article was first publish by Asharq Alawsat.

Lee Kaplan Discusses the Pro-terrorism Activities of Ali Mir of SABA Islamic Center

Lee Kaplan discusses the pro-Hezbollah activities of SABA Islamic Center's Ali R. Mir (a.k.a. Ishraq Abidi)

The investigative journalist Lee Kaplan looks into the pro-terrorism Internet activities of Ali R. Mir (a.k.a. Ishraq Abidi) and discusses them with Zia Atabay on NITV.

Ali R. Mir (a.k.a. Ishraq Abidi): "HEZBOLLAH [a dangerous international terrorist organization] -- Take the gun and fight the Zionists [i.e., Jews] and the Nawasib [i.e., Sunni-Muslims]."

Ali Mir (Ishraq Abidi) is a leading figure at the San Jose-based Shia Association of Bay Area (SABA Islamic Center). He is the son of SABA's troubled imam Nabi Raza Mir (a.k.a. Nabi Raza Abidi). Ali Mir is also a Qur'an teacher in SABA's Sunday School. Last year, Ali Mir led SABA's procession during its yearly Husayn Day "Peace" Walk, an event that uses to promote extremism in the Bay Area.

Said Lee Kaplan: "There are a lot of things going on because of the Internet. That's one of the things too. I did an article on HomelandSecurityUS.com (the Northeast Intelligence Network), where I talked about the imam's son [Ali R. Mir (a.k.a. Ishraq Abidi)]at the SABA Mosque who seems to be, you know, a forthright young man of seventeen, who is the imam's son. But, you know, after we did some research into the boy's social media on the Internet we saw a multitude of websites, which had Jihadist and Khomeinist leanings on them. Now I am not just talking, you know, about public opinion or propaganda in favor of the Velayat-e Faqih regime, but I am talking about things that promoted terrorist entities, you know. Things like, you know, "fight the Zionists," which is of course the Jews; "fight the Nawasib," which is of course the Saudis because they are considered the enemy [by the Khomeinists] because they are Sunnis. And the boy's social media pages are festooned with armed terrorists, armed fighters, propaganda war videos from Iran and things like this..."

Do discard the ‘resistance axis’ hoax

By MICHAEL YOUNG

A Syrian regime Russian-made armored personnel carrier destroyed by the Free Syrian Army on Wadi Al Sayeh Street in Homs, Syria.

The notion of a “resistance axis” has been a casualty of the revolts in the Arab world. Using the term displays willful blindness to what has taken place during the past year. Resistance, the way the word is currently understood in the Arab world, implies resistance to injustice and hegemony, principally imposed by the United States and Israel. Yet when Iran and Syria, pillars of the axis, have been at the vanguard in violently and unjustly suppressing freedoms at home, the term “resistance axis” elicits only laughter. And yet there are people who need to keep the term alive, with its moral implications, because their professional agenda is invested in its being taken seriously.

Asad Jafri & Co.: Ontario’s hate mongering misfits

By ALAN SIMONS
 
This past week in Toronto, Canada, a group of morally defunct raving pro-Iranian, Hezbollah, hate mongering misfits, received a permit to hold an Al-Quds Day Rally at Queen's Park, the seat of the Ontario Provincial Government. Their message, elucidated by Imam Zafar Bangash of the Islamic Society of York (Toronto) region, to a group of Hezbollah flag waving cronies and young children, included racist statements such as, "This black man in the White House, Barack Obama," and "He would rather have Americans starve to death but he cannot say no to the Zionist parasitical state." He added, "That is what makes them racists, that is what makes them inhuman, that is what makes them barbarians."
 
Flag of the terrorist organization Hezbollah
 
Not to be outdone, the Imam was accompanied by none other than Toronto born and Iranian trained, Asad Jafri, a militant antisemitic mullah. Asad Jafri openly supports the international terror organization Hezbollah. His message to the motley crowd included, "The Zionist regime that sucks the resources, the blood and everything that belongs to all the people across the world..."
 
Sounds familiar? In Toronto, you say? The city, as described on the City of Toronto's website where, "Diversity of race, religion and lifestyle help define and set Toronto apart from other world cities." Oh yeah?
 

The Khomeinist agent Syed Asad Jafri of Toronto, Canada
The Khomeinist agent Syed Asad Jafri of Toronto, Canada.

According to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, "Asad Jafri was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He grew up in a very active Islamic community under the leadership of Hujjatul Islam Syed Mohammed Zaki Baqri. In 1998, Syed Asad graduated from his Bachelor of Computer Science program in the US. He worked for IBM from 2000-2004. In the year 2004, he, along with his family, travelled to Iran and entered the Hawza to pursue Islamic studies with his wife. He began his Tabligh missions in 2006 with stops across different cities in the US and Canada. He has travelled to such cities as Dallas, Atlanta, San Jose and Phoenix... He continues to study and reside in Qum."
 
The Khomeinist mullah maulana Zaki Baqri a.k.a. Mohammed Zaki Baqri of Toronto, Canada and Alipur, Karnataka, India.
 
Another speaker described Israel as a cancer.
 
Referring to the rally, the liberal Muslim and acclaimed Canadian author Tarek Fatah, who wrote the book, "The Jew is Not My Enemy," in a TV interview said that what bothers him is not so much the rhetoric and cliché spoken by Zafar Bangash, "as much as his notion that an Islamic army of Muslims will rise up and liberate that entire region [Israel]."
 
Fatah added, "This is being said not in Urdu or Arabic or Persian or Turkish so you as a mainstream Canadian cannot understand. He is speaking in English and he is thumbing his nose, he is showing his middle finger to Canada and the United States and what he's saying is: You can't do a dam thing about what I say, because you are cowards and too busy watching your football games, you're too busy enjoying your weekends and cottages, while we are infiltrating your institutions and taking over, and you do not have the courage to stop us."
 
Are Canadians too complacent in allowing hate-mongering individuals as Zafar Bangash and Asad Jafri to spread their vile messages? Hate, religious intolerance, virulent Judeophobia, be it promoted by one individual or many, must not be allowed in our society, irrespective of where one lives. The sickness that spews out of the mouths of people such as Zafar Bangash and Asad Jafri must be stifled.
 
 
Originally Titled: CANADA: Ontario’s hate mongering misfits
​Photos added by the Islamic Counterterrorism Institute

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