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The Sanctimonious Patrons Of International Terrorism

1n the Power shift Era ahead. the primary ideological struggle will no longer be between capitalist democracy and communist totalitarianism, but between 21st Century democracy and l1th Century darkness. "

Alvin Toffler, Power Shift

For the past 15 years, the clerical regime in Tehran has suspended the fundamental rights of the Iranian people, has ruined the foundation of Persian society and heritage, has brutalized Islamic culture, and has destroyed the economy of the country. With their proselytizing political Islam and support of international terrorism, the clerics have tarnished the image of Iran. In this paper, we will be dealing with the regime's strategy in regards to its activities and support of international terrorism, and their rationale behind it. Our main thesis is that the activities of the clerics is against the interest of the Iranian people, and that they neither have the support of the Iranian people nor that of the majority of the religious leaders.

At war with its own people and the rest of the world. Tehran's primary weapon of choice in this fateful struggle is domestic and international terrorism. Having given up, perhaps only in the subconscious, on their ability to dominate the Moslem World and reverse the spread of Westernization into the Hub of Islam, the clerics in Tehran surge in revenge to punish the West. Having isolated themselves from most of the rest of the world, they have opted on a bloody course of action that can only result in more hardship and trouble for the Iranian people.

International terrorism is not the action of disaffected individuals. It is the outcome of deliberate acts, at the state level. For the Mullahs' regime and its allies, terrorism is a primary instrument of state policy - the means to achieve, through violence, fear and extortion, what they cannot achieve through normal means of statecraft. As the economic and social conditions in Iran continue to deteriorate, the clerics direct and indirect activities in international terrorism will increase. Indeed, an unprecedented crisis of confidence within the ranks of the Iranian high command - both the Armed Forces and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) - is pushing Tehran to implement an ambitious and audacious plan for a global Islamist struggle, this time involving Iran directly. Recent riots in several cities and the ensuing crisis in the military, has only increased Tehran's determination and resolve to implement this grand design.

Formulating The Strategy

T he evolution of the Clerical regime's grand strategy is characterized by a blend of zeal and pragmatism. Since the take-over of Iran by the Islamic revolutionaries in 1979, the government's strategy has been expressed through a dual approach combining aspirations for a global utopian Islamic empire, and pragmatic regional objectives. Ayatollah Khomeini reconciled the two objectives when he determined that he would lead an international Islamic Revolution, initially at least, in the Near East, and subsequently develop it into a global Jihad against the United States and its struggle, Tehran emphasized, was a component of a global confrontation. "We are at war against infidels," Khomeini declared in January 1980, "Jihad must triumph."

Indeed, the Mullahs had no doubt that an all out confrontation with the West was inevitable. From the very beginning, the Clerics reiterated their commitment to the global character of the Islamic Revolution and to its export. Another quote from Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980 emphasizes this very point: "We must strive to export our revolution throughout the world, and must abandon all idea of not doing so, for not only does Islam refuse to recognize any difference between Moslem countries, it is the champion of all oppressed people."

In a July 1982 sermon, Khomeini defined Iran's still valid strategic tenet that the success of any Islamic global surge depends on consolidating regional dominance, and argued that "Moslems should unite and defeat America; they should know that they can do this, and they have many possibilities. America and the West's lifeline depends on this regions oil".

Indeed, Tehran's initial confrontation with the US was waged in the Middle East - in Lebanon -and the weapon of choice was terrorism. The Clerics ruling Iran had a central role in the Beirut operation of 1983-4. Mohsen Rafiq-Doust, a high official of the IRGC, admitted in 1987 that "both the high explosives and the ideology which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marine headquarters in Beirut were provided by Iran."

Astounded by the strategic effect of a few acts of spectacular terrorism, Khomeini ordered the establishment of the "independent brigade for carrying out unconventional warfare in enemy territory", that is, international terrorism. The IRGC came up with an outline for a program which Khomeini approved, stating: "Whatever is necessary to destroy them [the West] must be done." By the late 1980s, Iran would have the second largest and most sophisticated terrorist training infrastructure in the world, second only to the USSR.

The terrorist training establishment in Iran is unique. Its objective is to transform the zealots and enthusiasts into mechanical professional terrorist machines. Iranian terrorist experts, along with others from such countries as North Korea, Syria, and East Germany, concluded that only highly professional experts would be able to carry out lethal strikes against choice targets, especially in the US, Canada, and Western Europe. The primary goal of the training camps is, therefore, to select the most suitable candidates, and transform the aspiring terrorists into professional operatives.

As the string of Iran-sponsored terrorist strikes worldwide clearly demonstrates, the experts were able to develop an exceptionally effective terrorist training and preparation system.

The System Matures

since the mid-1980s, the Third World's radicals, and especially the Islamists led by the Clerics in Tehran, were confident that they were on the verge of a global cataclysmic clash which would be categorized by a surge in terrorism on an unprecedented scale. Sheikh Mohammed Hossein Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of the HizbAllah, defined terrorism as a form of defensive violence erupting as a result of the oppression and despair of the weak. "The weak will fight to defend their interests,
even if they have to use knives and stones to spread chaos throughout the earth." Tehran and its allies were determined to be better prepared for this inevitable global struggle.

Indeed, by now, Iran's terrorist system was institutionalized as a state within a state. Changes in the supreme leadership in Tehran thus reflected the evolution of the Iranian terrorist policy. The rise of Ali Khamene'i, then the President of Iran, expressed the escalation of Iran's involvement in terrorism. Ultimately, the control over the HizbA11ah served as a major springboard for power by members of the Iranian clerical elite, most notably, Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who used terrorism as the prime instrument in his quest for power, despite his relatively low formal religious education.

It should be remembered that Hashemi-Rafsanjani has played a central role in the rise of terrorism since 1965, when he was responsible for providing the weapons for the assassination of Hassan Ali Mansoor, then Iran's Prime Minister.

By the late 1980s, international terrorism had become the primary instrument of projection of power in the hands of the Clerics ruling Iran. The senior leaders in the Supreme Council for National Security had become empowered to issue directives to the Islamic terrorist organizations worldwide. Tehran continued to sponsor terrorist operations against Israel, the subversion of the Hajj processions in Saudi Arabia, and the destabilization of numerous Moslem States - primarily Egypt. The sheer magnitude of these operations clearly reflected the centrality of audacious international terrorist operations to Tehran's policy, at the highest levels.

After Ayatollah Khomeini

Tehran of 1989 was a city in the midst of a major milestone in its history. The country had just emerged from the bitter and costly war with Iraq, accepting a cease fire that Ayatolah Khomeini called worse than "drinking hemlock". The Iranian economy was in shambles, and the standard of living continued to collapse. The crisis in Tehran was compounded by the death of Khomeini in June 1989. Khomeini died after a few months of failing health and concurrent intense power struggle among his followers.

Nevertheless, the shock and uncertainty that Khomeini's death brought to the fore, reinforced in the minds of the Mullahs in power in Tehran, the need to demonstrate their loyalty to the message of their late leader. In the fall of 1989, it was imperative for the Mullahs to consolidate their hold over power in Tehran by affirming and proving their legitimate rights as heirs to Khomeini's unique position as the indisputable leader of the global Islamic revolution.

Meanwhile, the terrorist infrastructure and support system were being readied for a new surge. In mid 1989, the clerical leadership began raising the level of their calls for the use of terrorism as a primary instrument in their struggle against the US. In a sermon on May 5, 1989 to the "combatants" in Tehran University, President Rafsanjani urged them to escalate their anti-US terrorist campaign - specifically the widespread killing of Americans, rather than Israelis, because "the Americans are scattered around the world, they are everywhere".

Hassan Nasrallah declared the HizbAllah's commitment to "satisfy our Imam's desire" by announcing the beginning of a real war against the United States. Ayatollah Khamene'i, in his first major speech after Khomeini's death, also suggested that violence was the only means to deal with the US. "Our enemies, including the criminal US, do not understand but the language of power," he observed.

By the end of 1989, as Iran was coping with the inevitable changes in the aftermath of Khomeini's death, the support for the Islamist revolutionary movement remained the quintessence of Khomeini's legacy.

"The preservation and continuation of the revolution is only possible through support for the HizbAllah," argued Ayatollah Jannati. Meanwhile, Rafsanjani pointed out that "the flag-bearers of the struggle against imperialism, hegemony and capitalism are the Moslem Revolutionaries," because under current conditions "Islam is now the only pivot capable of rallying together all justice-lovers around the world." In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, although apprehensive about growing challenges, the clerics were determined to capitalize on the upheaval and rage to further their cause.

Tehran and its allies were convinced that the time was uniquely ripe for the implementation of their grand strategy. Sheikh Mohammed Hossein Fadhlallah explained in March 1991 that the Near East was providing incomparable circumstances and conditions for the resurrection of the Islamic Revolution on a global scale: "The Middle East is the base of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, which has expanded to reach various regional and world locations at interlinked levels of security, politics, and culture.

The Middle East is a strategic region ... Only the Middle East could unsettle the world's political centers and affect them adversely." The clerics in Tehran had no doubt that in adopting this policy, it was intentionally provoking a major confrontation with the West. In October 1991, in a major international conference devoted to formulating long-term strategy to confront the rise of Pax-Americana, Ahmad Khomeini emphasized the fatefulness and uncompromising character of the inevitable struggle with the US: "We should realize that the world is hostile toward us only for [our commitment to] Islam. After the fall of Marxism, Islam replaced it, and as long as Islam exists, US hostility exists, and as long as US hostility exists, the struggle exists."

faith of its HizbAllah forces".

In early 1993, Tehran concluded that "an Iran-US clash" was likely because "Islam [is) at its most sensitive and that heightens our responsibilities more than ever". The Mullahs had convinced themselves that as the true defenders of The Faith, Washington had no alternative but to confront them in order to face down the Clerics [sic Islam), and to solve its own regional problems.

Since as far back as 1991, the Iranian Supreme Council for Security had already been overseeing a major escalation in the Islamist terrorist struggle - bringing terrorism into the Western Hemisphere and ultimately the US itself. It has been alleged, and not without reason, that the clerical regime in Iran was responsible for the series of bombings in Argentina, in 1992 and again in 1994, the assassinations at the gate of the CIA in Virginia, the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, and the narrowly averted plot to blow-up New York City on July 4, 1993.

There was an escalation in the assassination of the enemies of the regime overseas, mainly in Western Europe - over 60 Iranian dissidents are known to have been assassinated to-date. The Clerical regime also conducted a major confrontation with the US in Somalia, oversaw escalation in terrorism and subversion in the Middle East, Kashmir and the Far East.

Moreover, the Clerical regime consolidated its strategic alliances with Syria, the Sudan and Pakistan, to spread and escalate Islamist international terrorism worldwide. The Mullahs steadfastly continue to escalate their terrorist campaign knowing full well that it is leading them on a collision coarse with the West. In early 1994, the regime re-iterated its support for the escalation of terrorist activities. "An explicit and practical support of the Islamic countries, above all the Islamic Republic of Iran, for retaliatory measures by revolutionary Muslims, is the least the oppressed Palestinian nation rationally expect of their brethren."

The recent series of bombings in Buenos Aires, Panama, and London, as well as a series of narrowly averted terrorist strikes in Bangkok, Bonn and elsewhere, clearly demonstrates that the clerics in Tehran take their promise of sponsorship of and support for, international terrorism very seriously.


Confronting The West
The Crisis Ahead


U ith so much at stake, little wonder that the Clerics continually tighten their control over the Islamist International terrorist movement, ensuring that it remains an instrument of Tehran's policy. In the Summer of 1992, Ali Fallahian Khuzestani, the Minister of Intelligence and Security Forces, explained that Iran had "a foreign intelligence department that collates the conspiracies hatched by world arrogance against the Islamic Revolution", and that toward this end Iran "even has infiltrated the highest levels of government in some countries". He acknowledged that Iranian intelligence conducted violent covert operations, including assassinations, all over the world, and that "those activities are on the increase every day".

The spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamene'i, acknowledgeged that terrorist organizations were an integral part of the Islamic regime's long arm. He warned the West against confronting Iran, pointing out that "they should know that the strength of the Islamic Republic is in the strength of T he clerical sponsored surge of international terrorism is on the verge of a marked escalation. Sensing growing vulnerability at home and opportunity abroad, the ten supreme leaders are determined to exploit the prevailing circumstances, strike out audaciously and dramatically. The "crisis staff„ in Tehran believes that the combination of the weakness and indecisiveness in Washington, and the Islamists' triumph in the Moslem world - such as the near collapse of Algeria and Egypt, as well as the overall escalation of armed struggle in Israel, Kashmir, Turkey, etc. -create favorable circumstances for a marked escalation of the terrorist surge.

Such an escalation, the Mullahs are convinced, is vital to their survival in power. As the situation inside Iran deteriorates, and social and economic and political tensions rise, it becomes imperative for the Mullahs to divert the attention of the patriotic Iranian nation to an external threat so that they rally behind the Government against the external threat to their motherland. Tehran is convinced that its threat to use nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction will ultimately restrain Washington from directly taking on the Islamic Republic.

Therefore, determined to preserve their power at virtually all cost and on the backs of the Iranian people, the Mullahs have embarked on the instigation of a major confrontation with the rest of the world in order to provide that external threat. International terrorism is their primary instrument of choice.

The Decagon Of Disaster
Within the ruling clerical nomenclature, only ten leaders form the "Decagon" of power and terror in Tehran. They determine and control all aspects of life in Iran, from day-to-day government operations to the conduct of international and domestic terrorism, and subversion world-wide:

1. Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i - the Spiritual leader.

2. Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani - President; member, Assembly of Experts; Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Security; member, Assembly of Guardians; member of the the Armed Forces (Three Branches).

3. Ahmad Khomeini - member of the Supreme Council for National Security; member of the Council of Expediency; member of the Assembly of Experts.

4. Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nuri - Speaker of the Majlis; member of the Council of the Armed Force (Three Branches); member of the Council of Expediency; member of the Islamic Consultation Council; member of the Supreme Council for National Security.

S Ali Fallahian-Khuzestani - Minister of Intelligence and Security; member of the Supreme Council for National Security.

6. Hassan Fereidoun Rouhani - Secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security; Deputy Speaker of the Majlis; member of the Supreme Council for National Security; member of the Council of the Heads of the Armed Forces (Three Branches); member of the Council of Expediency.

7. Ayatollah Mohammed Yazdi - Head of the Judic iary Branch; member of the Assembly of experts; member, Supreme Council for National Security; member of the Council of the Armed Forces (Three Branches); member, Council of Expediency.

8. Mohsen Raftq-Doost - Brig. General, Pasdaran; Head of the Mostazafrn Foundation; Head of Iranian Economic Corporation (controls more than 25% of the countries economy).

9. Mohsen Rezai - Major-General, Commander of the Pasdaran (the Revolutionary Guards).

10. Mohammed Ali Besharati - Minister of Interior; Deputy Commander of law enforcement, with direct links to Khamene'i.

Letters To The Publisher
The Publisher and Editors of Focus on Iran welcome your correspondence and support. Please send your letters to: The Publisher, Focus on Iran, Azadegan Foundation, PO Box 40152, Washington DC 20016, USA. We have reprinted here some extracts from several of the letters which have been received since our first edition, last month.
From General Djam ...

"Your decision to publish Focus On Iran is an important step in changing the apathy towards Iran and what is going on in our beloved country. Your courage and perseverance is commendable, and I wish you great success."
- Gen. (Ref.) Fereidoun Djam, former Chief of the Supreme Commander's Staff of Iran, London.
From General Shojaie ...

"I have read Focus On Iran with great interest. It can serve as a genuine source of truth in exposing the behavior of the repressive regime in Tehran. I assure you that the majority of the Iranians are with you in this fight for freedom and peace in Iran."

-Maj.-Gen. (Rel.) Khalil Shojaie, former acting chief of J- -SCS of Iran. Gailhersberg, Marvland USA
From Dr Ameli ...

"I read the first issue of Focus On Iran. Such a paper in the English language was badly needed in order to reflect the nature of the despotic regime in Iran. World public opinion must be made aware about the happenings in that country."
- Ms. Heshmal Ameli, PhD., Los Angeles. California, USA.

 



 

 

 

 


 

 






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