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
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
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 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
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,"
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
"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
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
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
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.