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.

Iran Threatens Turkey, Reveals Missile Silos

Soon those silos will contain nuclear-tipped missiles.

June 28, 2011 - 12:00 am - by 'Reza Kahlili'

Iranian regime-run site Entekhab reports:

According to sources close to the Iranian regime, who were interviewed by Al-Manar [Hezbollah affiliated TV run out of Lebanon], Iran’s resolve is as strong as a rock and defending Damascus is as much of a priority as defending Beirut and Tehran. … Tehran does not meddle in any of the events taking place in Syria.

Quoting the Iraqi daily newspaper Al-Akhbar, Entekhab wrote:

Tehran has threatened Turkey by announcing that Iran will bomb every single NATO and U.S. base in Turkey, should they allow any attacks on Syria to be launched from within Turkish soil. The Iranian regime believes protecting Syria to be as important as protecting both Lebanon and Iran.

Though Iranian regime officials have claimed that this threat has not affected Turkish-Iranian relations, there are reports that privately a number of Turkish officials are extremely incensed by the Iranian regime’s belligerence. So far, neither Iran nor Turkey has publicly commented on this matter.

I revealed on May 9 that Ayatollah Khamenei held a covert meeting in Tehran with commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, representatives of the Syrian embassy, members of Hezbollah, and leaders of the Sadr movement. There, he demanded that all operational and logistic forces be applied in order to stamp out the blaze of sedition in Syria and to destroy those who are enemies of God in that country. The Iranian supreme leader called the Syrian protesters an enemy of God who are plotting against Islam. One week after that meeting, reports from sources within Iran indicated a dispatch of Guard forces to Damascus via four planes filled with guns, ammunition, and other military equipment.

The Iranian leaders are extremely worried about the situation in Syria as the fall of the Assad government will be a big blow to the Islamic regime in Tehran. Syria has provided the gateway for the expansion of the Iranian terror networks needed to influence the events in the Middle East, and a change in Syria could mean the start of the demise of radicals in Iran.

Interestingly, on Monday June 27, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps began a 10-day major missile war game, code named Great Prophet 6. During the war game, the domestically manufactured short-range, medium-range, and long-range missiles, consisting of the Qiam, Shahab, and Sejil missiles, will be test-fired. The latest military achievements by the IRGC will be unveiled — which includes underground missile silos that were revealed for the first time on Monday.

Iranian state TV footage showed deep underground missile silos, including images of missiles being fired from one silo after a large metal roof opened to facilitate the launch. They claim that the Iranian missiles stored in them are now ready to hit targets should there be any threat or aggression by the enemy. A Guards’ officer further claimed that Iran has “numerous” underground missile silos, which satellites can’t detect. Other officers from the Guards stated that only a few countries in the world possess the technology to construct underground missile silos. The technology required for that is as complicated as building the missile itself. The missiles in these silos are permanently mounted in the vertical position and ready to be launched on a moment’s notice, making it much harder for the U.S. or its allies to detect and destroy the site before the launch.

The West ignores or seems to not understand the danger that the radicals in Iran pose to the stability and security of the world. Soon those missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads, and this will be checkmate.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. A Time to Betray, his book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was published by Simon & Schuster on April 6.

Video: Hostage John Limbert Speaking with Ali Khamenei

This fascinating video came to our attention yesterday.  It shows Ambassaor John Limbert, at the time a hostage in the U.S. Embassy, speaking with Ali Khamenei, then Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister (subsequently President and currently the Supreme Leader).  Just this morning, Ambassador Limbert — a NIAC advisory board member — joined us at our Capitol Hill conference for a panel assessing Obama’s diplomacy with Iran, but this is an amazing look at his experience thirty years ago today.

For non-Farsi speakers, the exchange between Limbert and Khamenei here is incredibly interesting.  To paraphrase: Limbert politely welcomed Khamenei, who was being treated as a guest since he was visiting the hostages at their “residence” where they were being held.  Limbert remarked about the Iranian cultural quirk known as “taarof,” which characterizes the uniquely Iranian version of hospitality, saying: Iranians are too hospitable to guests in their country, when we insist that we must be going, you all tell us “no, no, you must stay.”

When Limbert pressed the matter further, Khamenei revealed that the real issue was the United States’ willingness to allow the deposed Shah to enter into the country for medical treatment.  When the US returns the Shah to Iran so the revolutionary government can prosecute him, Khamenei explained, then the hostages will be allowed to leave.

For those old enough to remember the hostage crisis as it happened, this will surely evoke strong memories from that period thirty years ago.  But for the rest of us, this is an amazingly personal glimpse into the ordeal that held the world’s attention for so long, and for which all of us are still dealing with the repercussions.

Article Source: niacINsight

The Satanic Imam: Signs and Symptoms

There are many ways to determine whether an "imam" or a "maulana" or a "syed" or a "sheikh," etc. (whichever way you want to spell these fancy and egotistic titles and there are countless ways to do so) has gone bad, very, very bad:

  1. If a turbaned "syed," he considers himself implicitly or more often explicitly to be special and requires special treatment because he wraps his head with a piece of black shroud and claims to be a descendant of the holy line of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH&HF.
  2. He declares those who question or reject his leadership or refuse to serve him or decline to provide him with Khoms and other types of financial donations to be apostates and U.S. government spies.
  3. He seeks the interference of terror organizations such as Hezbollah, VEVAK (the intelligence arm of the Velayat-e Faqih clerical regime of Iran), the Pasdaran mercenaries (i.e., the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - IRGC), and the Basij thugs, in the lives and affairs of those who have abandoned, rejected, defied, or upset him.
  4. He fills the management groups of his Islamist center with Iranian regime operatives, Basij thugs, Hezbollah terrorists, and their likes.
  5. Foul odor comes out of his mouth whenever Ali Khamenei farts out his messages of hate and bitterness somewhere in occupied Iran. In other words, Khamenei would say something evil and his hench-maulana would repeat it in the United States like a parrot or a tape recorder.
  6. He sends word to every Islamic center in the lands that his real or imaginary adversary is an "undercover FBI agent" or a "Mosad operative," etc, trying to "get them..." Watch out Khomeinist: There may be an FBI agent inside your cloak or even beneath your turban (in your sick mind)!
  7. He refuses to keep and raise a U.S. flag in his Islamist center or mosque lest this upsets Baba Khomeini in his bloody grave and gives Baba Khamenei a nastier-than-usual mood. (You never wanna upset Seyed Ali [Khamenei] for he may slam you with an irreversible killer-fatwa that sends every Faqihi thug after you. Baba Khamenei can get you even if you flee to the Moon: Remember, nowadays, his regime is considered a space power!! Yes, the IRGC has already launched TWO satellites into space!!!! Can you believe that: TWO, I mean TWO satellites!! Wow, not even Libya has been able to do that!! Anyway, you flee to the Moon and you may be slammed with an IRGC rocket even there!)
  8. He habitually takes advantage of the pulpit of Rasoulullah (Prophet Muhammad), PBUH&HF, to make jabs at those whom he dislikes for one true or imaginary reason or another. True the purpose of the pulpit is to educate, inspire, and save souls, but it doesn't hurt to use it to settle scores once and a while or does it?!?
  9. He launches covert slander campaigns, with the pretext of defending Islam and the Muslim community, against those who question his behavior, defy him, or side with a competing mullah, etc.
  10. He brags that he settles his scores with his adversaries in the wee and dawn hours by cursing and casting spells on them while they sleep.
  11. He works systemically to isolate those who do not want to be enslaved by him by painting them as a danger to the community. In reality he is the greatest of all dangers to everyone around him first and foremost because he is the explicit and overt agent of foreign and hostile anti-West, anti-American, anti-freedom, and anti-liberty entities (e.g., the Velayat-e Faqih Regime of Iran, Hezbollah, the Qa'eda, etc...)
  12. He obsesses about the level of presence at his center and the centers of his competitors.
  13. He feels a great joy when his spies send him word that the level of attendance at competing mosques has declined.
  14. His heart fills with envy and bitterness whenever he hears that competing Islamic centers are doing very well.
  15. He wants to control or have a say in all Islamic centers in his area.
  16. He makes persistent claims that he runs the biggest Islamic center or mosque along with the largest parking lot in the land!
  17. He has the body of a man and the heart of a scorpion.

Signs and symptoms indeed... Verily, such a cleric is aalem-e soo.

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